cleaning vinyl windows

Durable vinyl windows are a low-maintenance option for your home. Occasional heavy rainfall will usually keep exterior vinyl windows clean. However, if rainfall is sparse or does not work, you can clean exterior windows with a garden hose and gentle cleaning products.

Routine cleaning with readily accessible products will remove mildew and grime from your interior vinyl windows. To preserve your warranty, read the window manufacturer’s instructions and follow any specific maintenance recommendations.

Cleaning Supplies

A mild dish detergent and water mixture will clean vinyl windows without damaging the surface. Use the smallest amount necessary to clean the windows so no residue remains after rinsing. Use a water-based household cleaner or a solution of 30 percent vinegar and 70 percent water for grease, crayons, mildew, and other stubborn stains. Wipe window frames and panes with a soft, non-abrasive cloth. A soft-bristle brush will dislodge stubborn dirt and clean between the ridges in textured surfaces.

Outdoor Cleaning

Use a soft cloth or long-handled soft brush and soapy water to clean exterior windows. To rinse the windows and dislodge remaining debris, set your garden hose to a moderate stream of water and spray the windows, starting with the top and working your way downward. Do not use a direct, full-pressure spray which can leak into the vinyl frame components.

Indoor Cleaning

You can clean the interior and exterior surfaces of many types of vinyl windows from indoors. For example, you can crank casement windows open or tilt single- or double-hung window sashes into the room. The sashes have tilt latches that release the sashes so that you can tilt them or remove them. Clean your vinyl window frames and panes with a soft cloth and soapy water. Wipe the windows with clear water and dry the surface with a soft cloth. Do not leave soap residue on the window.


Before you use a cleaning product, check the label to ensure its ingredients are acceptable under environmental laws in your state. Do not use cleaners that contain strong solvents or acids, which produce fumes and can permanently damage vinyl surfaces. Abrasive cleaners or pads can scratch vinyl windows. When you clean your windows, do not remove stickers that contain warranty information or other product certifications.

Categories: Windows