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Published on November 3, 2023 11:12 AM

Introduction

Windows are our view to the world, but they’re also a place where dirt and grime collect, both on the glass and the frames. While there are numerous cleaning products available, many can be harmful to our health and the environment. So, how can we keep our windows sparkling clean while staying green? From homemade cleaning solutions to gentle, eco-friendly frame cleaning methods, we’ve got you covered. Let’s embark on a journey toward streak-free, brilliantly clean windows, the eco-conscious way!

Lets start with the frames of your uPVC windows

Embracing Green: Eco-Friendly uPVC Windows Frame Cleaning

uPVC window frames are notorious for collecting dust, dirt, and grime, but they don’t require harsh chemicals to be cleaned effectively. Here’s how you can get those uPVC window frames shining brightly again, the eco-friendly way. If you’ve got our uPVC sash windows most of them tilt in for easy cleaning which is a huge bonus….you’ll be able to clean the outer glass and frames from the inside!

Materials You’ll Need
Bucket
Warm water
Eco-friendly liquid dish soap
Baking soda
Soft-bristled brush or old toothbrush
Microfiber cloth

Step-by-Step Guide:
Begin with a Gentle Wash: Mix a few drops of eco-friendly liquid dish soap with warm water in a bucket. Soak a clean microfiber cloth in the solution and gently wipe down the uPVC frames. This initial pass is to remove the surface dust and to soften any stubborn grime.
Spot Treat with Baking Soda: For areas where dirt and stains persist, use baking soda as a natural abrasive. Sprinkle a small amount onto the affected area and gently scrub with a soft-bristled brush or old toothbrush. Baking soda breaks down the tough grime without scratching your frames.
Rinse Well: Use a clean, damp cloth to thoroughly rinse the soapy solution and baking soda off the frames. It’s important to ensure no residue is left behind, as baking soda can leave a white film if not properly rinsed.
Dry and Buff: Wipe the frames dry with a clean microfiber cloth. This step is crucial to avoid streaks or water spots. Once the frames are dry, buff them with a dry cloth to make them shine. The friction and slight static created by the cloth pick up any remaining dust particles and can help to restore some of the uPVC’s original sheen.

Extra Eco-Friendly Tips:
Avoid Abrasives: Stay away from scouring pads or abrasive cleaners, as they can scratch and dull the uPVC surface.
Monthly Maintenance: Regular cleaning prevents the build-up of stubborn stains and reduces the need for intensive cleaning treatments.
Mind the Gaps: Use a dry, soft-bristled brush to gently clean out the crevices and any track areas to prevent dirt build-up and ensure smooth window operation.

Our very popular heritage aluminium French doors need a slightly different approach to our uPVC casement windows.

Eco-Friendly Cleaning for Powder-Coated Aluminum Frames

Powder-coated aluminum window frames offer durability and a sleek finish, but they also require careful cleaning to maintain their look and integrity. Harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners can damage the coating, leading to issues like discoloration or chipping. Luckily, eco-friendly methods are not only gentle on the environment but also ideal for preserving your frames.

Understanding Powder Coating
Powder coating is a type of coating that is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder. Unlike conventional liquid paint, it doesn’t require a solvent, and it’s known for creating a hard finish that is tougher than conventional paint. This makes it great for frames but also means they need special care during cleaning.

Materials You’ll Need:
Soft cloths or sponges
Warm water
Mild, eco-friendly dish soap (ensure it’s a simple soap, not a detergent, and free from harmful chemicals and abrasives)
Soft-bristled brush (for tougher spots)

Step-by-Step Guide:
Gentle Dusting: Start by wiping the frames with a dry soft cloth to remove surface dust and debris. Regular dusting is essential as it prevents accumulation, which can embed into the coating causing damage.
Soapy Solution: Mix a few drops of mild, eco-friendly dish soap with warm water. Soak a soft cloth or sponge in the soapy water and wring it out well. It should be damp but not dripping to avoid excessive water exposure on the frames.
Tender Cleaning: Gently wipe down the frames with the damp cloth or sponge. If you encounter tougher spots or stains, use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the area. Avoid using anything abrasive, as it can scratch or wear away the powder coating.
Rinse with Care: Remove soap residue by wiping down the frames with a cloth dampened with clean water. It’s important to ensure all soap is removed, as any residue can attract dust and dirt.
Dry Thoroughly: Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe down the frames, ensuring they are completely dry. This step prevents water spots or streaks and protects the frames from potential water damage.

Eco-Friendly Tips:
Regular Attention: Frequent, gentle cleanings are more beneficial than infrequent, intensive ones. They help maintain the frames’ appearance and prevent the build-up of damaging substances.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Solvent-based cleaners, harsh chemicals, or bleach can damage the powder coating. The milder the cleaning solution, the better.
Mind the Edges: Pay attention to the corners and crevices where grime can accumulate. A soft-bristled brush can be handy for these hard-to-reach spots without damaging the coating.
Prompt Care for Spills: If the frames are exposed to any acidic substances (like fruit juice or beverages), clean immediately to prevent potential damage to the coating.
Now you’ve got lovely clean frames let’s move on to the glass!

Sparkling Views: DIY Eco-Friendly Window Cleaning Solutions and Techniques

Homemade Window Cleaning Solutions
Why spend money on commercial cleaners that introduce harsh chemicals into your home when you can create effective solutions with ingredients already in your pantry? These homemade cleaners are safe for kids, pets, and the environment, and they leave your windows streak-free and sparkling.

Materials You’ll Need:
Spray bottles
Microfiber cloths or squeegee
Old newspapers (optional)
Distilled or filtered water (prevents mineral residue)
White vinegar or distilled vinegar
Surgical spirit
Cornstarch (optional ingredient for enhanced cleaning)

Recipe 1: Vinegar Solution
Vinegar is a powerhouse in eco-friendly cleaning due to its ability to dissolve dirt, grease, and grime. It’s also highly accessible and affordable.

Ingredients:
1 cup distilled water
1 cup white vinegar

Instructions:
Mix the water and vinegar in a spray bottle.
Spray generously on the window surface.
Wipe away with a microfiber cloth or squeegee. For extra shine, polish the window with crumpled newspaper – the ink acts as a mild abrasive, leaving windows sparkling.

Recipe 2: Alcohol Solution
For windows that need a little more grease-cutting action, surgical spirit can be a fantastic aid.

Ingredients:
1 cup distilled water
1/2 cup surgical spirit
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Instructions:
Combine the water, surgical spirit and vinegar in a spray bottle, and shake well.
Apply to the window and follow the same wiping technique as with the vinegar solution.

Recipe 3: Cornstarch Solution
Cornstarch might seem out of place in a cleaning solution, but it’s actually a secret weapon against streaks and built-up grime.

Ingredients:
1 cup distilled water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup surgical spirit
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions:
Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well to ensure the cornstarch is fully dissolved to prevent clogging the spray nozzle.
Spray on windows and wipe clean using the microfiber cloth or squeegee.

Extra Tips for Streak-Free Windows:

Clean on a cloudy day: Direct sunlight can cause the solution to dry too quickly, leaving behind streaks.
Dust the sills and frames first: This prevents dirt from turning into a muddy mess when mixed with the cleaning solution.
Employ the top-to-bottom method: Start at the top and work your way down to ensure that no drips will happen on the already-cleaned areas.
Use the right cloth: Microfiber cloths or squeegees are excellent for preventing lint and streaks. Avoid paper towels.

Conclusion

Clean windows reflect the beauty of a home, both inside and out. But true cleanliness goes beyond what meets the eye. By adopting eco-friendly cleaning practices, you’re not just ensuring a streak-free view; you’re also preserving the health of your household and the environment. Whether you’re wiping down glass panes, sprucing up uPVC casement window frames, or caring for powder-coated aluminum frames, remember that a gentle, green approach is both effective and responsible. Let your windows shine with your commitment to a greener, cleaner world!

I hope you’ve found this advice useful….if you have please feel free share it using the buttons below!

Colin Greenslade
Written by Colin Greenslade
I'm the founder of Colin's Sash Windows. I disrupted the sash windows market in the UK in 2014 by introducing fixed prices for uPVC sash windows in the UK. Before this they were generally only available at very high prices through window installers. Today our business is one of the market leaders in supply only windows, doors and roofs in the UK.

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