As a company that specializes in window and door replacement, we know a thing or two about the best ways to keep windows clean and performing at their best. After every installation, our crews of Certified Master Installers clean the windows and work area to ensure the only thing our homeowners notice is how great their new windows look. While it’s easy to keep brand new windows looking and operating perfectly, there are things you can do to help your existing windows last as long and look as great as possible. Here are our pro tips and useful product suggestions. Please note, we have no affiliation with any of the brands listed below nor are we being compensated in any way for these endorsements. These products just work, and that’s why we’re happy to share!
Products Used: Norwex Glass Cloth
Our showroom in Kaukauna has more than 50 pieces of glass in more than 20 showcase pieces, and that doesn’t include the displays our Project Consultants carry or the items we bring to events. Our Renewal by Andersen windows and doors have a protective coating on the exterior that helps shed water and dirt which makes exterior cleaning a breeze so this article will focus on the interior. The good news is that we’ve got cleaning glass down to a science. The bad news? We have yet to figure out how to prevent fingerprints and smudge marks entirely.
In our showroom and on the jobsite, we use Norwex glass cleaning cloths. This reusable product requires no chemicals, is machine washable, and contains BacLock, a micro silver agent in the cloth that helps to keep it cleaner for longer. Because we clean our displays almost daily (and our new windows come with a protective film to keep them clean during installation), we rarely need to use even water to remove fingerprints and smudges.
Products Used: Swiffer Dry Sweeper
We discovered the best way to clean window screens the way many great discoveries are made, through a combination of necessity and luck. At a particularly dusty home show, our window displays became covered in fine, sandy grime from a patio builder who was near us. While their display came out great and most of our windows stayed clean, the window screens were filthy! Fortunately, we had a box of Swiffer Sweeper Dry cloths. These disposable cloths are amazing! They allow you to really clean your window screens (and sills!) by trapping dirt and dust, rather than just moving it around. We use these for cleaning screens for all our windows and doors, as well as general dusting.
Products Used: Baking Soda, Distilled White Vinegar, Toothbrush, Wet Vac (optional)
In the spirit of full disclosure, we don’t deep clean our windows in the showroom. They are very new and consistently wiped down, washed, and cleaned so there really is no reason for us to do this. That said, we’ve seen the effects of not maintaining windows patio doors. What starts off as a bit of dirt and grime can lead to blacked sills (the bottom part where the moving part of the window sits) and hard operation for patio doors and certain styles of windows. To clean this area, we suggest sprinkling baking soda on the dirt then pouring white distilled vinegar on it. Warning: This will foam up so make sure you’re prepared and don’t use too much! It’s best to do this in smaller sections. After the foaming has mostly subsided, use a toothbrush to dislodge any stuck-on gunk. If you have a wet vac, you can use this to easily clean up the mess that remains (our preferred method), but mopping it up with paper towel or cloths will work as well.
Make it Last
Products Used: Pyroil Silicone Lubricant
Once you have a clean slate, we suggest using a Dry Silicone spray on all moving metal parts. This is especially important on casement or awning (crank out) windows. This spray allows parts to move with less friction meaning less wear-and-tear and a longer life. This is also a great way to keep sliding patio doors gliding along smoothly.
Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are a favorite at our company whether we use them in the showroom, at events, or in a home. These sponge-like items make light colors brighter, remove any scuff, friction, or grease marks and generally are a workhorse of cleaning power. They’ve stood up to almost any challenge we’ve thrown at them, but we don’t suggest using them on dark colors as they tend to leave an almost hazy appearance. These can be used indoor or outdoor and while they’re designed to be disposable, we often get a few uses out of them before they need to be tossed.
Have a window or door cleaning question? Want to share your favorite tips on how you maintain your windows and doors? Let us know on our Facebook page!