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How to Clean Soft Vinyl Windows

Corey M. Mackenzie

Soft vinyl windows are strong, flexible and impact-resistant. Therefore, you’ll find these windows in some boats and convertibles. Although strong, soft vinyl is prone to scratches.

Cleaning these with the right, non-abrasive products, and doing it regularly helps keep abrasive dirt or sand from scratching or scuffing the vinyl. Cleaning does not typically take very long and can keep your windows in good shape.

  1. Rinse off the windows with a gentle stream of water from a garden hose.

  2. Mix a tbsp. of a mild detergent such as dishwashing detergent with water in a five-gallon bucket. If you have some on hand, you can alternatively use marine vinyl window cleaner, as suggested by ctekmarine.com. If your windows are not very dirty, however, and you don’t have hazing, then the dishwashing detergent should be sufficient.

  3. Wet a microfiber cloth in the bucket and wipe over the windows. If the windows are heavily soiled, be sure to rinse the cloth often so you aren’t dragging scratchy sand or dirt over the vinyl.

  4. Rinse the windows with your garden hose. Dry them with a dry microfiber cloth.

  5. Use a vinyl window polish or haze remover if, after cleaning, your windows are still hazy. Many of these simply spray on--just spray the product on the windows and wipe off with a clean microfiber cloth.

  6. Tip

    Look for vinyl window cleaners at boat shops or auto detailing supply shops. If you don’t have access to a garden hose (for instance, when you are camping), then use a bucket to rinse the windows.


    Ctekmarine.com warns against using harsh detergents, abrasives, or products containing alcohol or silicone on vinyl windows.

    Marinestore.com warns against using products containing ammonia on vinyl windows.