The Best Way to Clean Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows are a form of window that uses clear vinyl rather than glass panes.


Vinyl windows offer more flexibility than traditional panes. However, since the windows are made of a delicate material, the cleaning process is a little different than that for glass windows. If you use correct cleaning methods, your vinyl windows should last for years.

Vinyl windows are designed to be low-maintenance and provide a clear view with little to no attention. In many cases, rain or a spray with water alone will provide enough cleanliness to satisfy owners. However, for deep cleaning options, there are some supplies that owners of vinyl windows should have on hand. A soft cloth and soft brush can be used to wipe away grime and dirt. Water-based window cleaners can also polish and shine the glass. A solution of 80 percent water and 20 percent vinegar as well as soft scrubs and other gentle cleansers are useful. It is not recommended to use bleach, soaps, detergent or harsh chemical cleaners.

General Maintenance

In general, cleaning vinyl windows is easy. Spray the windows with a hose to clean off dirt and grime. Do not use a pressure washer or a high-powered spray. Mineral spirits will clean off oil, tar and other sticky solutions that get stuck to both the outside and inside of windows. A squeegee works well to eliminate streaks and leave a perfect shine on the windows both inside and out. The windows do not need to be cleaned more often that once every 1 to 2 months.

Washing Tough Grime

For deep cleaning of vinyl windows, or for windows that have not been cleaned in a long time, more drastic cleaning measures may be necessary. A water and water-based cleaning solution can be mixed together to aid in the removal of grime and oil from the windows. A soft bristled brush is best for eliminating stuck-on contaminants. A mildly abrasive cleaner can be used to remove stains and other grime that may not come off with gentler solutions. Use caution when using abrasive cleaners, as the windows can become easily scratched. Test the solution on a small area of the window to see if scratching occurs. Wait until the solution is completely rinsed away and dry before judging any damage. A paint scraper or even an old credit card can be used to remove paint splatters from the windows.

About the Author

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.