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How to Clean Aluminum Windows

Meg Jernigan

Aluminum windows are strong, durable and provide more sound proofing than vinyl windows. Painted window frames are easy to care for. Unpainted aluminum frames can become scratched and pitted over time. They're also prone to developing a cloudy patina. This can make them difficult to clean.

Clean Aluminum Windows

Soap and water and elbow grease or a commercial aluminum cleaner should work on light soil and stains. Older stains require more effort. Use one of these methods to clean aluminum windows.

  1. Remove most of the soil by washing the frames with warm soapy water. Rinse and dry it with a soft cloth.

  2. Use a cleaner with solvent in it to remove grease spots. Test the cleaner on a hidden spot to make sure it won't damage or discolor the aluminum.

  3. Make a paste of ½ cup of lemon juice and ¼ cup of baking soda. Rub it onto the aluminum and let it sit for a minute. Use a damp sponge to remove the paste and dry it with a soft cloth.

  4. Clean aluminum window tracks by spraying on a solution of ½ cup of baking soda, ½ cup of vinegar and 2 cups of water. Rinse and dry the frame.

  5. Dampen an SOS pad (not Brillo) and gently rub it over the aluminum. Rinse and dry the frame.

  6. Spray WD-40 on hard-to-clean spots and wipe the frame dry with a soft cloth.

  7. Treat really tough stains by dipping a fine steel wool in paint thinner and scrubbing the aluminum. Or substitute aluminum jelly for the paint thinner. Use caution as this method might cause scratches.


Wash the glass after you've washed the frames. Aluminum jelly and aluminum cleaners can be found in home improvement stores.


Do not use strong cleaners or scouring powder on painted aluminum as these will damage the paint.