How to clean and maintain your vinyl windows


With only simple care and cleaning, your windows and doors can keep their beautiful appearance for years to come. Vinyl won’t pit, peel or flake over time, but like any surface exposed to outside elements, your windows and doors will get dirty from time to time. Often, heavy rains will wash the vinyl clean, but if the rain isn’t enough, you can restore the splendor of the windows and doors by following these simple instructions.

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Cleaning the glass in your vinyl windows 


  • Wash using mild detergent (if necessary) and a soft cloth or ordinary soft bristle brush. Do not clean the windows or doors with a high-pressure washer. The extreme spray pressure could crack or destroy the caulking around the window or door.

  • For difficult to remove dirt and stains use the readily available household cleaners listed on the chart. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on use of the cleaners

  • In some cases, you may wish to use a mildly abrasive cleanser such as Soft Scrub®, but the use of any abrasive material could scratch the surface of the glass and window or door frame.


* Strong soaps or detergents containing organic solvants * Nail polish remover * Furniture polish * Cleaners containing chlorine bleach     window cleaning guide vinyl windows

  • Ammonia-free glass cleaners such as Windex® also produce good results.

  • Rinse windows and doors first if there is excessive dirt and debris.

  • Thoroughly dry water and/or cleaning solution from glass and all window surfaces.


* Razor blades

* Metal blades

* Abrasive cleaning solutions

Cleaning Interior Woodgrain Laminates


  • Use warm soapy water for routine cleaning and dry thoroughly.

  • Mild household cleaners can also be used to clean interior laminates. Always test the cleaner on an inconspicuous area to ensure compatibility with the laminate surface.



* Abrasive Scrubbing devices

* Organic solvents or abrasive cleansers

(Both of these will cause surface damage)

replacement window and arch

Cleaning exterior coatings on Vinyl windows    (FRAMES)

  • Wash using mild detergent (if necessary) and a soft cloth or ordinary long-handled soft bristle brush. Do not clean the exterior coating with a high-pressure washer. The extreme spray pressure could damage the surface or crack or destroy the caulking around the window or door.

  • Mild window cleaners that are safe to clean the exterior coating on windows and doors include Windex®, Formula 409® and Fantastik®.


* Liquid grease remover,

* Strong soaps and detergents containing organic solvents

* Nail polish remover

* Furniture polish

* Cleansers containing chlorine bleach


How to maintain the brass hardware. (locks, latches, etc.)

If properly maintained, the brass hardware on your windows should keep a brilliant luster for years to come. During routine housecleaning, use a dry, clean, soft, cotton cloth to remove dust and dirt from the protective lacquer coating on your brass hardware.


You may notice spots on the hardware over time:  

Use: Fine Steel wool and soaked in a light oil based cleanser or mild soap to keep abrasion low.


Need something tougher?

Use:  For tough to clean hardware soak hardware in lacquer thinner or paint reducer overnight.


Once you soak hardware in paint thinner, you will need to restore the hardware’s luster.

Use: Coat the locks in any kind of furniture polish, followed by several coats of car wax.


How to clean and maintain your screens

Screens are sometime neglected but need very little maintenance:

  • For routine cleaning carefully vacuum your window screens.

  • To thoroughly clean window screens, remove the screens from the window frame. Place the screens on a flat surface (such as the driveway) and use mild soap and water with a soft bristle brush to remove dirt and grime. Clean both sides of the screen and around the interior and exterior of the frame. Rinse off the unit with lukewarm water. Allow the screen to dry completely before replacing in the window.



* Use  high-pressure washer to clean screens; it could damage the units.

(Use extreme care when cleaning aluminum mesh, since it can be dented or creased if too much pressure is placed on the screen)

Thank you for joining me this week.  I hope you found these simple do it yourself at home tips to maintaining your windows both helpful and useful!   Have a great week everyone! – Jessica 

* Information courtesy of Simonton Windows and Doors

The post How To: Clean and Maintain Your Vinyl Windows appeared first on Southland Exteriors.