How to clean and maintain your windows and doors

Our modern double glazing can and does last 30+ years if it is maintained properly. It's like a car, needs frequent cleaning a service every 6 months. Two of the most frequent questions we're asked are why do you need to maintain windows and doors? And how do we maintain them? So we thought that we would put together tips to help you get the most from your product. If you read all the way through to the bottom you can watch the videos 🙂

Why?

Firstly, as modern uPVC and aluminium windows and doors are advertised as 'low maintenance' it is easy to put off cleaning them and, subsequently, their upkeep. Due to this, we often receive queries from homeowners experiencing issues that can easily be remedied/avoided through proper maintenance. As they contain moving parts they need to be well maintained to ensure proper function and long life. It may surprise you to know, the windows my Dad installed in my childhood home are still going strong and they were installed 30 years ago! So, if you find yourself needing something to do why not give your windows and doors a treat?

Here are a few simple tips.

Advice for maintaining your windows and doors

Person cleaning their windows

Cleaning - frames

The prep

Windows and doors should be cleaned every 3 - 4 months to prevent any dirt and grime getting ground into the frames. This is especially true for uPVC frames.

Firstly remove unwanted grime and debris which can prevent them from working properly. During this, grab a bit of sandpaper or a wire sponge and carefully remove rust from the locks and hinges. Afterwards, wipe the frames down with a soft cloth and warm water to remove all the dirt and grit. This will remove all the grit from the frame that could scratch it and leave marks. Most importantly, when you are cleaning the frames ensure that you remove all the muck from around the hinges, locking mechanisms and the drainage holes. If you have an external cill, clear any debris that is caught in the gap between the frame and the cill, making sure the drainage holes are clear.  

The cleaning

Once the muck is cleaned away you can use a non-abrasive cleaner and soft cloth to give them a proper clean. There are plenty of specialist cleaners on the market, however, you don't need to shell out for a specialist cleaner. For instance, you can use normal washing-up liquid, however, if you want a professional clean the solution is simple;

  • Mix 1 cup of vinegar with 4 cups of hot water
    • If you have a sprayer use that to spray it on to the frame
    • Otherwise use a cloth to apply the mixture to the window
  • Coat the frames with the mixture and leave for 10 minutes
  • When 10 minutes have passed use a clean, dry, soft cloth to wipe down and remove any access liquid

Do not use any abrasive or cream cleaners as these will scratch and subsequently remove the finish of the frame. 

Cleaning - glass

Firstly clean down the glass as you did the windows, removing the mick and grit. You can use a specialist glass cleaner, although, you can get a professional finish for a fraction of the cost with a simple homemade solution. 

  • Mix 2 cups of water with half a cup of vinegar
  • Lightly dip a sheet of newspaper into the solution and use this to clean the glass
  • Wipe the glass with the newspaper using circular motions, removing the dirt and smears

Homemade cleaning product and lemons

Hinges, locks and handles

Once you have finished cleaning the window and door it's time to give the hardware some TLC. Most importantly this should be done every 4 - 6 months whether or not the frames are cleaned. If you do decide to maintain the hardware only, you will need to clean them first.

You've done the leg work, getting them all clean so now comes the easy bit. Take a 3 in 1/multi purpose oil and spray all the locks and hinges. If you don't have 3 in 1/multi purpose oil spray, are unable to get it or you want a healthier alternative use olive/vegetable oil or baby oil. Simply take a cloth pour a little oil in to it and wipe it into the hinges and locks. For cylinder locks, spray or wipe the key with the lubricant and lock and unlock it a few times.

One of the most important pieces of advice that I can give is DO NOT USE SILICONE SPRAY/WD40. To clarify, I'm not saying that this is a bad product, or that you shouldn't use it for other jobs in the home. However, when it comes to locks and hinges on windows and doors it can attract dirt and dust and subsequently cause problems. 

Above all make sure that the locks are in the appropriate position before operating them.

Things to avoid when maintaining windows and doors

Most importantly you don't want to use any product that may damage you windows or doors. For example, using a product that will discolour the frames. Some of the products that you'll want to avoid are;

  • Applying too much pressure when cleaning the uPVC
  • Bleach
  • Cream cleaners – for example, Jif or Cif as they're slightly abrasive
  • Methylated spirits
  • Nail varnish remover
  • Silicone spray
  • WD40
  • White spirits
  • Wire wool or iron wool (on frames)
  • Scouring pads (on frames)

Check out our 'How to' videos below