Keeping your double glazed windows clean helps you maintain a clean and appealing home. In some ways, keeping your windows clean can even enhance their energy efficiency, whilst maintaining their longevity and minimising damage. Sometimes, however, harsh cleaning materials and chemicals can have the opposite effect. Accidentally damaging areas of your windows by cleaning can lead to irreversible faults that can mean your double glazing is no longer in working order, and it does happen!
Some quick key tips for an effective double glazing cleaning routine include:
- Avoiding abrasive materials and tools.
Any rough textures used on your windows can lead to damage, which may leave you with less effective double glazing. They can also have an unwanted impact on the appearance of your windows.
- Avoiding the use of harsh chemicals.
Cleaning products can contain very strong chemicals that may break down the finish and integrity of almost every surface in your home, and this also applies to windows. To get the most out of your double glazing, clean using natural chemicals. Avoid products containing bleach and ammonia.
- Not using pressure washers.
It might seem like a good idea to use a pressure washer to remove more stubborn marks or dirt around your windows. However, it is difficult to predict exactly which level of pressure could damage your windows or seals, especially over time. We wouldn’t recommend using them. Instead, opt for a normal garden hose on a low pressure if you do need to rinse larger areas at a time.
It’s also important to recognise you may want to take a slightly different approach when it comes to cleaning the different areas of your double glazed windows, too. For example, it’s often recommended that you use different cleaning products and tools on your window panes than you would use on your frames.
Here is our guide on how to keep your double glazing clean, with a few tips on how you can take care of your windows to keep them in top condition for longer.
Cleaning Double Glazed Window Panes
Cleaning window panes can be tricky, as you have to be careful not to scratch or damage the glass. This can lead to unsightly marks on your windows (often even worse than the marks you were trying to remove in the first place) and can even reduce the security of your windows. As well as this, any damage to the panes will also reduce the effectiveness of your double glazing, and you may end up with condensated windows or higher energy bills as a result.
To clean double glazed window panes properly, follow this guide.
- Wipe down the glass – Gently wipe away any loose dirt from the window using a soft, clean cloth or a very soft-bristled brush.
- Make sure anything abrasive is removed – Dirt can be made up of a mixture of abrasive materials, such as small stones and sand. Even bird droppings can also include hard seeds; so make sure your windows are brushed clean first. It’s important to avoid spreading these across the glass so you don’t end up accidentally scratching the surface.
- Apply window cleaner – Apply your own mixture of window cleaner made from warm water and detergent, or spray on a shop-bought brand. Read the label first to avoid using harsher chemicals that may drip down to the seal. Each product or brand can offer slightly different qualities you might prefer. For example, Method is great for eco-friendly, plant-based cleaning products with no harsh chemicals. Their products are also non-toxic; another benefit if you have pets or children in the house.
- Wipe your window panes, focusing on stubborn marks – You can apply more cleaner to the more difficult to clean areas. Again, don’t use any abrasive materials to wipe the surface – a soft cloth should work.
- Dry and squeegee – Dry your windows using a soft dry cloth or a squeegee.
Cleaning Double Glazing Frames
While the most common type of window frames in the UK are made from uPVC, there are a range of other materials that can be used. Each type of frame material can have even slightly different cleaning recommendations when it comes to avoiding damage to your double glazing. Ultimately, it’s important to follow the recommendations offered by your window frame manufacturers – though we will offer a few of our own general tips for cleaning different frame materials below.
Wooden window frames are often found in older homes, but have become more popular recently for their aesthetic impact. If you have wooden frames, you likely already know they need a bit of extra TLC. The same applies when you are cleaning them. To prevent damage to the wood, follow these tips:
- Keep your frames as dry as possible – Avoid excess water, as this can warp the wood or lead to mould growth. Do not soak the frames using a hose – stick to using a damp cloth. Make sure frames are completely dry after cleaning.
- Apply a protective finish – Look into applying a wooden frame protector or preservative for further maintenance. These can come in the form of wax oils, wood stains, or varnish-based finishes. Many of these offer UV-resistant qualities that can also enhance the appearance of your windows. They can also protect against insects and wood rot, keeping your wooden frames healthier for longer.
- Exterior finishes – Make sure you use finishes designed for exterior use and consider the drying time before applying any protection, as you will want to avoid rainy weather!
uPVC window frames are a popular choice in the UK due to their durability and relatively easy-to-maintain qualities. They are easy to clean, so shouldn’t need any additional care. Wipe away debris before cleaning with a sponge or cloth, then apply a mixture of water and detergent or soap to clean.
You can also buy special uPVC restorers, made from cleaning materials that are designed to maintain the appearance of your frames without compromising the materials. Note that any ‘whitening’ uPVC cleaners will likely include hydrogen peroxide. If you do use these cleaners, avoid getting them anywhere near the window seals. You can mark off areas using tape to make sure the cleaner is only applied to the specific areas needed.
Aluminium window frames are an increasingly popular option as they are durable and can enhance the appearance of modern homes. Most frames will come with a protective powder coating applied to protect against corrosion and rust. Don’t use abrasive cloths or tools, as this can rub away the special coating. Aluminium frames can easily be cleaned with a soft cloth, some washing-up liquid, and warm water.
Cleaning the Seals on Double Glazed Windows
While cleaning the seals on your double glazed windows, you should take extra care not to damage the material. Cleaning the seals is important, as dirt and dust can collect around these areas. When a lot of dirt or grime builds up, it can begin to seep into the seal – compromising quality and letting unwanted air in through your double glazing. You might be tempted to use something a bit more abrasive to clean your seals effectively, such as a toothbrush. Don’t! Even minor friction against a rougher surface can reduce the integrity of your window seals, as they are most likely made from rubber or silicone.
Cleaning your window seals is a great opportunity to check for any potential areas in your double glazing that need repairing. Look for:
- Visible gaps or snags
- Condensation on or inside your windows
- Reduced noise insulation
Each of these are a sign that the double glazing seal on your windows needs replacing or repairing. If you also notice mould or damp on your window seals, there are a few things to consider. Mould is a clear sign your double glazing is compromised. This may be due to ineffective seals, or other areas of your windows that need repairing. It may seem like an easy fix to spray some mould or damp remover on any seals that have mildew on them. Many of these cleaners, however, are made using very harsh chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide. Make your own natural cleaner instead, using a mixture of white vinegar and warm water. You can also use a mixture of warm water and disinfecting or sterilising fluid, such as Milton. Rub with a soft cloth until the mould is removed. Rinse with clean water and make sure the seals are completely dry after cleaning.
If you have noticed any problems in your double glazing or window seals while cleaning, get in touch with a specialist to discuss having your windows repaired. It’s best to do this as soon as you can to avoid further damage to your windows and home.
Keep Your Double Glazing in Top Condition with Cloudy2Clear
If you have accidentally damaged your double glazing by cleaning your windows, or noticed something is amiss whilst you have been cleaning, we can help. At Cloudy2Clear, we’re proud to work throughout over 35 areas in the UK, helping homeowners keep their windows and doors in top working order for longer.
We are experts in dealing with all kinds of damage to double glazed windows and will advise you on the best possible way to repair or replace while minimising the costs involved. Our 25-year double glazing guarantee ensures our clients that our work is of the best quality possible, as we replace or repair any faults that occur after we’ve worked on your windows!
To book a free, no-obligation consultation with our specialist engineers, call us now on 0800 61 21 119. You can also complete our handy online contact form if you’d like us to arrange for your local Cloudy2Clear team to call you back.