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Published: March 7, 2024

Q: What can I use to remove all residues from glass prior to gold leaf gilding?

A: When creating beautiful reverse gilded glass art pieces, starting with a perfectly clean glass surface is essential for successful adhesion of the gold leaf. Any trace residues of oil, dirt, or previous cleaning products can interfere with the bonding of the gelatin size and lead to imperfections in the final gilded piece.

Traditionally, artisans used Bon Ami mild abrasive cake or powder to clean the glass and provide a slight “tooth” for better adhesion. However, these methods can occasionally leave behind residues that may not be visible but can still cause problems with the gilding process.

To ensure thorough removal of any potential interfering residues, we recommend a final cleaning step using Alconox Liquinox critical cleaning liquid detergent. Liquinox is a highly effective yet gentle cleaner trusted by restoration experts and conservators worldwide for delicate surfaces.

After initial cleaning with Bon Ami powder (if using), wipe the glass surface with a 1-2% Liquinox solution (1.25 – 2.5 oz/gal or 10-20 mL/L). Follow this by rinsing thoroughly with clean water and wiping dry with a clean, lint-free cloth. This process, thanks to Liquinox detergent’s powerful emulsifiers, will eliminate any unseen residues from previous cleaning steps or other sources, leaving the glass immaculately clean and ready for gilding.

Liquinox detergent is specifically formulated to be free-rinsing, meaning it leaves behind no residue of its own when properly rinsed. Its mild yet powerful cleaning action makes it perfect for preparing glass for gilding without any risk of interference with adhesion.

As a global leader in critical cleaning detergents with over 75 years of experience, Alconox Inc. is here to help with any cleaning challenges you may encounter in your gilding process or other critical cleaning processes. Our technical support team is always available to provide personalized advice and complimentary cleaning recommendations for your specific needs. Feel free to reach out anytime for assistance in ensuring the success of your gilded glass art projects.

To request any Alconox Inc. detergents for free, please complete the questionnaire at Get Sample. For more information about any one of our Alconox, Inc. detergents, consult the technical bulletin for each product. Or click here to access each of our detergent’s Safety Data Sheets.

Do you have a critical cleaning question for the experts at Alconox Inc.?  Search TechNotes to see if it’s been answered before or Ask Alconox.

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