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Tips for Glass Cleaning of Reproduction Furniture

Dirty Wooden Antique cabinet

Many of our favorite antique reproductions feature glass. Mirrors are the most prominent example, but there are also coffee tables with glass tabletops, china cabinets with glass encasements, and entertainment centers with small glass doors. Cleaning glass on its own is easy enough, but a lot more caution needs to be taken when it comes to cleaning the glass on wooden reproduction pieces. The wrong kinds of cleaners can ruin the wood's finish, and unattended moisture can leave unwanted stains.

To help in the event of any unwanted accidents, we've gathered some cleaning tips so you can know how to safely and efficiently clean your glass reproductions.


When it's time to clean your mirrors, avoid using abrasive chemicals or any commercial cleaners that contain acids, ammonia, or vinegar. These chemicals aren't good for the mirror's surface, and if they leak into the back of the mirror, they can create dreaded black edges.

Additionally, resist the urge to spray any cleaner directly onto a mirror's surface. It's much safer for the wooden frame (and the mirror itself) if you apply the cleaner to the cloth first and THEN wipe it.

Make sure that the cloth you use is soft and lint-free. If you use water, make sure that it's warm. Make sure that the edges of the mirror don't stay wet for long; your goal is to clean the glass and then dry it immediately. If you think it'd be helpful, in the sense that it'd allow you to be more careful, think about taking the mirror off the wall and laying it flat on the ground to clean it. That way, stray droplets of water are less likely to roll somewhere that could cause damage.

Again, the most important thing you can do to protect your mirrors while you clean them is to make sure the wood frames stay dry. If a little moisture gets on the wood, dry it immediately.

Side or Coffee Tables with Glass Tabletops

A lot of the same principles used for mirrors apply to side and coffee tables: choose non-abrasive sprays, never spray the cleaner directly onto the glass surface, and dry wet spots immediately. The main difference you'll find between cleaning a coffee table and a mirror is that you'll need to remove whatever's sitting on the coffee table before cleaning it. Not only will it be much easier than trying to clean around your books, plants, and picture frames, but it'll protect your belongings from accidentally coming into contact with a cleaning solution.

If you happen to own a coffee or side table with removable glass, you could try to remove the glass to clean it and then put it back when you're done; the tricky parts of this method are making sure the glass isn't accidentally dropped or shattered, and finding a way to put the glass back in the table without leaving fingerprints. For these reasons, we'd probably recommend not removing the glass at all unless you're comfortable doing so.

Curio or China Cabinets with Glass Encasements

Most China cabinets have glass doors; some even have glass panes on the cabinet's "back wall." If that's the case, we recommend removing all of your China or various curios and then spraying your solution onto the rag before wiping. Because these cabinets come in many designs, some more intricate and detailed than others, you might find that the cleaning process takes a little while. It's okay to take your time! In fact, we encourage it. People who are passionate about reproduction furniture want to keep their pieces looking beautiful for years, and if that means taking an extra half hour to make sure that the glass in their curio cabinet is clean without damaging any of the wood, then so be it.

Entertainment Centers with Glass Doors

The most glass you'll probably see in an entertainment center is a set (or two) of small glass doors. Fortunately, cleaning these doors isn't particularly time-consuming. Follow the same principles listed above, and you should be done in no time; but keep in mind, if you have bad knees or a bad back, that it might be worth asking a family member to get down on the ground to clean these doors if they're too low for you to reach safely.

We hope that these tips will allow you to care for your glass reproduction furniture. Remember, it's always better to be cautious with the cleaning materials you use, just like it's always better to take your time rather than rush through a cleaning job.

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