Polishing glass

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I got this cloche (actually a cheese dish with… cloche?) in a local thrift shop, a couple of years ago. I thought it was dirty or just covered in hard water marks. The lightning in the shop is pretty bad.

Turn out it was permanently etched. Apparently this can happen due to salts or other chemicals carried in the water that condenses on the surface of the glass. Could be the glass is of poor quality (looks like recycled glass) or maybe a particular noxious kind of cheese was stored in it? hehe.

Anyway, the cloche lingered unused because the etch was bad enough to not allow much light for plants and hiding the contents.

Today I decided to try and polish it, I didn’t have much to lose.

To my surprise it worked!


Here a portion of the cloche had been polished. The glass doesn’t look perfect (nor do I want it to, I do like shabby, not to the extent of un-usability though), but it is again transparent and usable.

I used my small motor (similar to a Dremel) with a felt polishing tip (I tried the cotton wheel but the results were not as good) and white polishing compound for silver, from a jeweler’s supply shop. This is just what I had around. I don’t know how other compounds would work, but the wheel with no compound did nothing, to be sure. The compound is important.

Then when I went on to actually build a terrarium I realised that I couldn’t access my supplies. We do have a bit of a temporary set-up in the kitchen. I think it perhaps better wait until after we move. That is months away… and then I won’t have the time I guess. We’ll see!

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