How to Clean Your Vinyl Windows in San Diego

How to Clean Your Vinyl Windows in San Diego

August 23, 2021
Martin Whitmore, President of US Window & Door
cleaning the window

A clean vinyl window frame from the outside certainly gives your home a certain attraction and impresses neighbors. As with any other window, vinyl windows need to be cleaned a few times a year. They do not need much maintenance; however,  it is still a good idea to give them a little attention so that they look lovely and stay in excellent condition. 

The sea breezes that keep San Diego’s climate warm and comfy favor seaside and cliffside residences. They have stunning vistas for famous Southern California sunsets. Living near the beach, however, comes with the drawbacks of a salty, damp, and sandy atmosphere. If you live by the sea, you must take extra precautions and get your windows cleaned more frequently. Cleaning the windows and sides of the house on a regular basis will get rid of the dirt, sallt, and sand that might accumulate on your property, particularly if you live in San Diego.

long lasting vinyl windows

On humid days, the sticky air and moisture from the seaside cause layers of muck to develop all over the window frames and glass as salt and sand are blown towards your house. The air is notably sticky during those weeks when remnants of tropical storms move up into Southern California. It's not easy to remove salt accumulation, and it typically necessitates the use of expert equipment. In this article, we’ve got some tips to help you keep your windows clean and nice to maintain the amazing vistas and curb appeal.

The glass in your window might develop tiny holes over time, making the view out the window appear duller than it was before. The pits on the glass can also cause glare when direct sunlight shines in through the window. Cleaning the windows will not prevent sand pitting; however, if you clean the windows on a regular basis, you'll be able to identify where the truly problematic places are before they become worse over time.

One of the reasons manufacturers and distributors recommend PVC or vinyl windows is that they are easier to maintain than aluminum or wood windows. However, the biggest mistake homeowners make when cleaning PVC or vinyl windows is to treat them like stained glass windows and use cleaners or harsh chemicals, such as bleach to clean their windows. Here are some of our best tips for cleaning vinyl window frames.

Step 1: If Possible, Take Out the Window Panel

Unlocking the window is the first step towards removing it. On the inside of the glass, you'll see their clips, which you'll want to lift. Remove the snap molding from around the fixed window to free it from the frame. To remove a sliding window from its frame, all that is typically required is some lifting. When the sash is lifted, the bottom of the window will slide out. Keep a strong grip on it since it may swing in suddenly. Next is to pull the tabs. To remove a double-hung window from the frame, lift the tabs at the top of the window. The sash may be tilted inward by pulling the tabs inward.  Tilt the sash, and remove the pane. Use a vacuum and wipe away the internal debris that has accumulated within your window. Make sure the frame is clean and place the window pane back after you're finished. 

Step 2: Thoroughly Clean the Frames

Every six months, or more frequently if you’re within the dusty region of San Diego, you should clean the frames of your windows. If you have a nice new window, you don't want it to look dusty around the frame. Grab your vacuum cleaner and remove all loose debris and dead insects on the window sills and tracks.

cleaning vinyl window panel and frame

It is important to get as much dust as possible out of the window frame before washing it.  As soon as the dust is removed, you can now easily clean the frame. 

Apply a mild cleaner of your choice to the frame and wipe it with a cloth, rag, or paper towel. You can also use dish soap and water to clean the frames. With a non-abrasive sponge or cloth, you can easily remove grime and smudges. Rinse well with clean water and pat dry with a cloth. Let it sit for a while for complete drying.

The vinyl frame of your windows can discolor if it is not cleaned regularly. In addition to cleaning the inner frame, you should also keep your outer window frame clean. If the inside of your vinyl window frames is not as dirty as the outside, it may be sufficient to clean them with a damp cloth.

Vinyl replacement windows have "weep holes" on their outer frames to aid drainage and prevent water from accumulating in the sill and window tracks during rainstorms. To function effectively, these holes must be kept clear of debris. Using a tiny, soft bottle brush to clean the weep holes. Pour a little amount of water into the corner of the window track to see if the weep holes are working correctly by checking if water can leave through the weep hole. It's okay to have a little amount of water left on the track during a storm as long as it doesn't staycstay in there for days after the storm. Cleaning wipes also work great for getting into the corners of vinyl window tracks. To pick up dust and grime, run wipes up and down the rails.

Step 3: Wipe the Panel with a Soft Cloth While It Is Dry

Apply the cleaning solution to the glass and frames after the windows have been rinsed. Clean the vinyl windows with a gentle sponge and then dry the glass with a lint-free towel. If you go with the vinegar solution, drying the windows with a cloth will help you get a fresh new look.

cleaning window panel

Step 4: Apply a Mild Glass Cleaner and Wipe It onto the Panel

Because the environment in San Diego is rather dry, it is not difficult to avoid condensation and mold in replacement windows, but in coastal regions with greater humidity, it may be beneficial to do the following to decrease the amount of moisture inside your home: Check that all of your windows and doors are properly sealed, and fix any that aren't. When the weather permits, open the windows and doors.

More often than not, windows accumulate, mold, grease, brazen stains, and excessive debris that can become difficult to get rid of. In such an event, you can use water-based household cleaners as they provide strength to the solution without any additional chemicals. 

Windows can be washed off by applying a simple cleaning solution to the glass. You can clean your window panels by mixing a small amount of washing-up liquid with water. Rinse the outside of the windows with water to remove dirt that sits along the edges. Use a soft brush or cloth to remove dirt on textured surfaces, clean the glass with a combination of dish soap and water. Abrasive cleaners should be avoided. Glass should be cleaned using ammonia-free solutions. 

Never clean your windows with caustic chemicals or petroleum-based products. Never wipe your windows with a razor blade or other sharp instruments as these pointed items can quickly damage the glass. If you need to remove paint from a glass surface, use water and vinegar. Dip a clean rag into the heated liquid and gently rub the paint off—at first slowly, then more forcefully as the paint loosens. Wash the excess dirt off but be cautious if you decide to rinse windows with high-pressure spray nozzles.

cleaning window solution

Most people think that cleaning vinyl windows in San Diego need special cleaners and tools to make their surface spotless. However, the truth is far from it. You don't need any special cleaning tools for window marks to make the windows look new. Homemade solutions and DIY cleaners can be utilized for cleaning these windows. 

For instance, one of the most commonly used homemade cleaners consists of baking soda and white vinegar. These two ingredients are excellent cleaning agents that can wipe any stubborn stain. 

With the help of a paper towel, you can wipe the surface clean. You can also use baking soda without any additional substance. It is a powerful chemical cleaner, enough to take on the brazen stain on its own. Pour a considerable amount of baking soda over the window rails and let it do its magic. 

As mentioned above, baking soda and white vinegar are a great combination for cleaning purposes. Use vinyl window polish to clean blurred windows. You can use the same cleaning solution to clean both the inner and outer windows. You can then use a wet squeegee to wipe the window clean.  

Step 5: Pat Dry the Window Panel Using a Soft Dry Cloth

If your windows are exposed to the sun, you may notice that the window cleaner begins to dry before you finish the job. Remove the cleaning solution off the window using a squeegee to avoid streaks. You can either use a lint-free cloth or a microfiber cloth to clean and dry the interior of the window frame. Paper towels are ineffective for cleaning windows because they leave lint particles on the surface. If your vinyl windows continue to seem hazy or dirty after cleaning, it may be time to replace them. Check out our high-quality vinyl windows or contact us for a free window replacement quote.

Long-lasting Vinyl Windows

One of the most significant investments you can make for your house are on your windows. Security, curb appeal, safety, and emphasizing a view are just a few of the reasons why they must be properly maintained. Rot, mold, and insects can sneak inside through leaking windows. Drafts can be let in through ill-fitting or warped casements, as well as damaged or shredded weather stripping.

clean styleline windows

Broken or filthy tracks might prevent a window from working properly, posing a safety risk. Therefore, it is essential to maintain your window and clean them every once in a while. Window cleaning isn't difficult and it should be included in your everyday house care regimen. While vinyl replacement windows and doors require little care, there are a few measures you should do now to ensure that your windows continue to function as effectively as possible. Windows that have been properly cleaned and cared for enhance the beauty of your house while also providing the safety and security that your family needs.

At US Window & Door, we want to help you improve your home with new, easy-to-clean vinyl windows. Unlike most vinyl products, windows made of pure PVC will look the same after installation for at least 25 years. With Milgard’s signature vinyl formula, the vinyl windows we offer look just as good as the day you got them for years on end. Occasional cleaning of your PVC or vinyl windows is important to extend their service life. It is not difficult, and we hope these instructions will help.