Steel wool is great for cleaning cooking utensils like pots & pans, buffing furniture, and cleaning rusty tools, but what about glass? You can’t just try steel wool on your glass without being sure if it wouldn’t scratch it.
We’ll be talking about everything there is to know about steel wool and glass.
Since we have different types of glass surfaces and they aren’t all the same, we will discuss Glass Oven Doors, Cooktops, Windows, Shower Doors, and Car Windshields. We’ll also give you step-by-step methods to clean these glass surfaces.
Can You Use Steel Wool on Glass?
Steel wool is softer than glass so you can use it on glass but the steel wool should be super fine, which is the #0000 grade of steel wool. A coarser grade will scratch your glass.
Steel wool that is damaged, old or rusty even though very fine will however scratch your glass.
Steel wool is also great at removing scratches from glass so you’ll be getting a double reward for your efforts. It will clean as well as polish your glass to a smooth finish.
1- Steel wool is best used on glass with soap and water which will serve as a lubricant to further reduce the chances of scratches and enhance the effectiveness of the cleaning.
2- If you have used the steel wool to clean something other than glass before, residual particles from that object may have worked their way into the steel wool which can scratch your glass if used on your glass. So it is better to use new steel wool when you want to clean glass.
Now let’s delve deeper into the various types of glasses you may want to clean or polish and see if steel wool is safe to use on them.
Can You Use Steel Wool on Glass Oven Door?
You can use Steel wool on Glass oven doors because simply soap and water with a soft sponge may not do the trick. You would need something abrasive enough that won’t scratch glass, which makes steel wool perfect for the job.
Oven doors get dirty often with splatters, grease, and burnt food remnants that get stuck on them. This can make your glass foggy and cooking hard to monitor.
Spraying your glass oven door with some oven cleaner and wiping it with steel wool will get stubborn stains and grime off it.
Ensure you use a #0000 steel wool or any steel wool that is advertised by the manufacturer as being safe for glass.
You should also ensure you use the steel wool well, especially if you need it to remove stubborn stains. Else, you won’t get the results you are after. Here are the detailed steps to accomplish this:
STEP 1: Heat the oven to a low temperature to get your glass oven door warm. This will make it easier for stains to be wiped off.
STEP 2: Spray some soapy water on the glass and wipe with the steel wool in circular motions.
To get better results, use baking soda and vinegar. Sprinkle some baking soda on the warm glass oven door. Spray white vinegar on it and allow the bubbly paste to sit for 15 minutes.
STEP 3: Use the new steel wool to wipe the glass in a circular motion. Then rinse the glass and dry with a soft towel.
Can You Use Steel Wool on Glass Cooktop?
Steel wool can be used on glass cooktops. Many people often say steel wool shouldn’t be used on glass cooktops because it causes scratches, but this isn’t entirely true. Only coarse steel wool pads cause scratches on glasses. When you use the #0000 steel wool grade with some water, you won’t have to deal with scratches.
The Brillo steel wool pads are even better. The type that comes with soap embedded in them is very fine and cleans the glass cooktop without damage.
There are gentler options for cleaning your glass cooktop but steel wool removes scratches, burnt-on stains, and water residues that make your stove unattractive. Try not to use too much pressure during the cleaning.
To get the most out of the steel wool option, you should do it correctly. Here are a few important things to remember:
1- Don’t use the steel wool dry. If you’re doing light cleaning or polishing, you should make the steel wool damp before using it on your glass cooktop.
2- Don’t use any grade different from #0000. Coarser grades may scratch your glass cooktop.
3- For heavy-duty cleaning, use caustic soda or baking soda with steel wool. You’ll get better results.
Mix a quarter of caustic with 1 part water and spray the solution on your glass cooktop while it is hot and let it sit for a few minutes. Then gently wipe your glass. You can then rinse and wipe with a soft cloth.
Caustic soda should not be mixed with vinegar or any other chemicals.
Can You Use Steel Wool on Glass Windows?
Steel wool does a very good job of cleaning and shining glass windows. It doesn’t scratch, nick, or leave particles that could damage them. It also doesn’t leave fibers as towels do.
Steel wool helps remove grime buildup, etched water spots, and fingerprints from glass windows. It can also be used to polish your window glass to remove scratches caused by tree branches and sharp objects, giving it a smooth finish.
Razor blades are sometimes used to remove grime buildup on glass windows and later wiped down with a brush and soapy water, but they sometimes leave lines on your windows. Using steel wool solves this problem.
Clean with a razor blade first, then use steel wool to remove any lines from the razor and give your glass windows a better finish.
To avoid scratches or ineffective cleaning, use the steel wool properly.
1- Apply minimal pressure. Glass windows are of varying types and thicknesses but most are fragile. Apply too much pressure with steel wool and your windows will scratch.
2- Don’t use steel wool alone. Spray your glass windows first with a glass cleaner generously. You can also use Windex or denatured alcohol if the windows are very dirty.
If you’re going to be using the steel wool with a razor blade, don’t use the steel wool first. Follow the explained earlier and you’ll get good results.
Can You Use Steel Wool On Glass Shower Doors?
Using Steel wool on glass shower doors is one of the most effective ways of cleaning them. As long as the steel wool is very fine, it will do an excellent job and won’t scratch your shower doors.
Dust particles and grime buildup can be cleaned from your glass shower doors easily by other cleaning materials like brushes, soap, lemon, razor blade, etc. but hard water deposits and soap scum will be difficult to clean without steel wool.
Steel wool is better than most other methods because you don’t need to spend hours scrubbing or use tons of elbow grease. You don’t even need to apply pressure. You don’t need bleach or other harmful solutions if you use steel wool.
You however need to combine steel wool with other cleaning materials to get the best result. Using it alone may not rid your shower doors of hard water stains and soap scum.
Here are 3 different methods to use steel wool on glass shower doors:
Method 1- Using Bar Keeper’s Friend
STEP 1- Pour 1/4 of the Bar keeper’s friend into a small bowl and add water until you get a paste.
STEP 2- Smear that paste all over your glass shower doors and let it sit for two minutes.
STEP 3- Now wipe with steel wool in circular motions, paying attention (wiping extra) to very dirty areas and stains.
STEP 4- Rinse with water and wipe down with a soft towel.
You can make use of baking soda if you can't get Bar Keeper's Friend.
Method 2: Using Detergent
If your glass shower doors aren’t too dirty, you can use hot water and detergent.
STEP 1: Mix some detergent into hot water and pour this solution on your glass shower doors.
STEP 2: Moisten your steel wool pad and use it to wipe your shower doors. Then rinse it off after a few minutes.
Method 3: Using Vinegar
You can also use steel wool with vinegar on your glass shower doors because it easily breaks down any films that build up on glass shower doors.
STEP 1: Mix one part vinegar with one part water and soak a sheet in it.
STEP 2: Now drape that sheet over your shower doors while pressing it on the surface. Leave it for 10 minutes.
STEP 3: Now remove the sheet and wipe your glass shower doors with steel wool. The grime would have loosened and will be easy to get rid of.
STEP 4: Rinse thoroughly when through.
A word of Caution: Never try using a pumice stone to remove stains from the glass as it will likely cause scratches.
Can You Use Steel Wool on Windshield?
Steel wool works great on windshields and this is widely accepted and proven. It doesn’t scratch, etch or damage them. Unlike other types of glass surfaces, applying pressure on steel wool to clean windshields won’t damage them.
Making your steel wool damp before using makes it prone to rusting and getting damaged.
You can use the steel wool dry which is economical because the steel wool will last longer. You can use just one to clean your windshield about 10 times before it needs to be changed.
Steel wool is also great for cleaning the side windows of your car and the side mirrors. It removes water spots, pine sap, etc, and polishes these surfaces to a smooth finish.
If your windshield isn’t very dirty, you don’t even need to wash it before using the steel wool on it.
Here are the steps doe using steel wool to clean your car windshield:
STEP 1: Take a #0000 steel wool and wipe your windshield thoroughly, wiping stains and water spots a bit more. This polishes your windshield and makes it clearer.
STEP 2: Spray Rainx on your windshield generously and use a soft towel or socks to wipe it in circular motions. Rainx completes the work of the steel wool and makes your windshield shiny.
STEP 3: Allow the Rainx to dry, then reapply. After the second coating dries, use a wet cloth to wipe your windshield removing the Rainx. Then use a dry cloth to finish the job.
You will get the most out of the steel wool if you do it this way. If you only intend to perform regular cleaning and are not necessarily after a shiny windshield, you can use only the steel wool without applying Rainx later.
Steel wool is good for cleaning glass but steel comes in various grades and not all grades are good for glass. Some will scratch or etch your glass.
We have explained in the article the type of steel wool that can be used to clean glass and how various types of glass can be cleaned with steel wool. Some glasses get cleaned better when steel wool is added to other cleaning agents and we have given tips and steps to do it.
Avoid using old, damaged, or rusted steel wool as this is damages glass surfaces.