Vinyl Window Frame and Glass Cleaning

Regardless of your geographic location, the most common type of window installation (for United States that is), is vinyl windows. One of the reasons manufacturers and installers work with vinyl windows is because these are the easiest to clean, maintain, repair, and replace. When comparing vinyl windows to aluminum or wooden windows, you experience very different and far fewer problems. Vinyl windows do not rot, fade, lose color brightness, or need to be stained each season. They are not cold to the touch like aluminum windows either. Window manufacturers use specialty PVC so your window investment looks the same over its 25 or more year lifespan.

While they may not break or need maintenance, every product in your home needs to be cleaned, windows are no exception. Follow our vinyl window cleaning tips that are directly from Milwaukee’s most trusted Window Contractor, Milwaukee Windows.

Proper Maintenance of Vinyl Windows

Lady opening a window by the sash

How To Properly Clean Vinyl Windows and Frames

    • Use a handheld vacuum cleaner around the frame of the window and all horizontal window pieces such as the sash and locks. Get as much dust off as possible to avoid streaking and to remove any pieces that may smudge or scratch the glass pane surface.
    • Clean the frames and glass with a mild soap and warm water mixture. Other cleaning solutions tailored to vinyl frames and glass windows can be used.  Avoid cleaners that have a colored component such as Windex. Any cleaner that has a dye will deposit that dye onto the surface of your windows. The cleaners such as Windex have a blue colorant added which provides no additional cleaning benefit, but makes the buyer believe that it has some type of blue cleaner in it, this is not true.  Do not use harmful chemicals or rough cleaners, no matter how dirty the window glass or window frame may be.
    • After washing the frame and the glass, rinse with clean and clear water. Wipe this water off with a lint free cloth to avoid any fibers to be left behind.
    • Maintain the windows hardware such as joints, locking mechanism, and decorations. Do so by lubricating the tracks, rollers, and locking mechanisms.
    • To avoid window condensation, use a floor fan or a rotating tall fan depending on the height of the window.
    • Keep the window track clean and free of any debris. This will allow your window to operate smoothly and consistently over the life of the product.
    • If you have a mesh or wire screen, these should be maintained with a similar soap solution and a soft brush. After cleaning rinse with clean and clear water as you have done before.
  • Do not use high pressure cleaning techniques which may break the glass.

Techniques for Cleaning Window Glass

Everyone can tell the difference between a clean and dirty car, the same principle is true for window glass. Vinyl windows look the best if they are cleaned on a regular basis, many people choose a time in spring, and again before winter.  Here are some techniques for getting a clean and streak free window.

    1. Clean in the early morning. If you are familiar with gardening you don’t want to water the plants when the sun is out to burn the leaves or evaporate all the water.  The same is true for windows. If you are cleaning in the sun, the heat can cause the solution to dry before you wipe the window down, leaving streaks.
    1. Vacuum the window sash and the window sill before you start cleaning
    1. Wash the inside of the window with horizontal strokes, and the outside of the window glass with vertical strokes.  This is more of a technique to determine which side of the window a smudge or a streak is on because you can easily identify which direction it is in.
    1. Wash the window from the top of the glass to the bottom.  This way if any of the water or cleaning solution drips it will be dripping on a part of the window that still needs to be cleaned.
  1. Remove the window screens before you start cleaning.