How to Clean Vinyl Window Panes

Vinyl windows are an attractive and efficient replacement for traditional windows.

Clean the exterior of the windows from the bottom, up.Clean the exterior of the windows from the bottom, up.
They can be crafted to match most any architectural style, thus becoming a popular home improvement project. Caring for vinyl windows is a bit different than caring for other windows. Abrasive products should never be used when cleaning vinyl window panes.

Check that all windows are closed and secured.

Clean the exterior vinyl window panes by using water from the garden hose to dislodge the dirt and rinse it away. Apply the water slowly at first to ascertain if the window leaks. Sometimes a direct, full-pressure blast of water may penetrate into the interior of the window. Start at the higher windows and work your way down.

Pour 10 cups of water into a bucket and add one tsp. of liquid dishwashing detergent. Dip the mop into the solution and gently rub the windows. Work from the bottom of the window to the top. Rinse with clear water from the house, from the top of the window to the bottom.

Use a household bleach solution for stubborn stains. Add a 4:1 ratio of water to bleach to a bucket and apply it as you did the detergent solution. Rinse the window with clear water.

Clean interior windows with water-based cleaners such as Windex or Lysol. Spray a small amount onto the window pane and use a soft cloth to remove the product from the pane.

Remove paint stains by using a plastic spatula to gently dislodge the paint, enabling you to peel it from the window.

Pour a quarter-sized dab of mineral spirits onto a soft cloth and gently rub out more difficult stains such as oil or tar. Rinse the mineral spirits off with water from a spray bottle and dry the pane with a soft cloth.

Things You Will Need

  • Bucket
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent
  • Liquid household bleach
  • Mop or long-handled soft scrubbing tool
  • Soft cloths
  • Mineral spirits
  • Water-based cleaning products

About the Author

Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.