Windows can make a major contribution to energy conservation and comfort. Today’s windows are available in a wide range of materials. Glazing choices affect how much light they transmit, how much of the sun’s heat they allow in interior spaces, and how well they prevent the flow of heat. Modern doors offer similar choices in construction and performance. But a high-tech window or door won’t give you what you paid for if it is not installed properly.

Protecting the frames of your windows and doors is just as important as cleaning the glass. The following are simple suggestions that can enable you protect the life and extend the beauty of your windows and patio doors.

  • Vacuum soil and debris from the sill or track prior to washing.
  • Use a mixture of mild dish-soap and water to gently clean window and door frames.
  • Non-abrasive soaps are the safest for removing soil from both vinyl and aluminum frames.
  • Never use abrasive or caustic cleaners or solvents as they may damage the finish of your windows and doors.

Glass Windows

Many of our window and door products are designed with a built in drainage system. This is referred to as the window weep. It drains away rainwater that may accumulate on the sill. The weep holes must remain open and free of debris in order to perform properly.

  • It is a normal occurrence for wind-blown rain to accumulate in the sill or track area of many windows.
  • It is important that the weep holes be kept open in order to function properly.
  • Use a small bottle brush to clean weep holes if you suspect that they are blocked.
  • Some weep holes may contain open-cell foam to keep elements out. To avoid damaging these plugs, check prior to cleaning.
  • Keep the window sill or track area clean of soil or debris to encourage proper draining.


Cleaning windows means more than just cleaning the glass. Here are some helpful tips for cleaning your window and frame effectively without damaging them.

  • Make sure to vacuum any dirt from sill and track areas before washing.
  • Use a mixture of mild dish soap and water for cleaning of window frame.
  • Rinse completely with clear water and make sure to wipe dry.
  • Make certain that drainage or “weep” holes are clear of dirt or obstructions both inside and outside of the window frame.

Regular Cleaning

  • Thoroughly clean the surface of the glass with a clean sponge or soft cloth and plain water to remove surface contaminates.
  • Dry with a clean soft cloth. Use a clean sponge or soft cloth to wash the surface with a solution of 10% to 20% vinegar. Always use a new soft cloth or a squeegee to dry the glass. Cleaning may cause streaks when dried if the glass is exceptionally dirty. In this case repeat cleaning. Care should be taken with rubber squeegees as they can leave streaks that are extremely hard to remove if they are used incorrectly or are in poor condition.
  • Commercial glass cleaners (WINDEX®, GLASS PLUS®, etc.) may be used, but some may leave a film residue and may cause smearing. If these situations occur repeat the cleaning process using vinegar based cleaner. Vinegar based cleaners tend to cause less streaking than other types of cleaning solutions. The most important consideration is to remove as much contamination from the coating as possible with the plain water wash before attempting final cleaning.

Special Cleaning

For unusually hard to remove contaminates such as crayons, wax, grease, markers and adhesives, special cleaners may be used to spot clean the glass. Denatured alcohol and isopropyl alcohol work on a variety of contaminates. For harder to remove contaminates such as crayons and markers, commercially available cleaners work well. After spot cleaning, the full glass surface should be cleaned as discussed above.

Window cleaning is among the tasks that one can outsource for professional window cleaners. Professional cleaners will perform a better job than you could ever do.–All that spraying and reaching and wiping, may result in a mess of streaks that catch the light.

It does not have to be that way. Cleaning glass, whether it is a window or a mirror or a coffee table, is more about the tools than the elbow grease. With the correct tools at your disposal you can get your glass streak-free.



This article has been contributed by Eve Coles. She writes several home improvement articles that published in deferent websites previously. She normally focus on the advice and tips on windows and doors maintenance, glass repair and cleaning in her articles.