How to Clean Aluminum Windows Frames: Comprehensive Guide

Fatima Buzdar

October 13, 2023

A person cleaning an aluminum window frame with a yellow rag

Aluminum windows are highly durable and low maintenance, but that doesn’t mean their maintenance is completely hands—off! These windows endure all kinds of elements that can make them dirty and unsightly. Excessive dirtiness can also hinder their functioning, and cause issues like them being hard to open or close.

It’s crucial to regularly clean and maintain windows to keep them looking and working sharp. However, you’ve to make sure you clean your windows the right way. For instance, you should choose the right cleaner for aluminum window frames or you can risk damaging them.

In this guide, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about cleaning aluminum window frames. With these routine measures, you can ensure your windows keep their shine and smoothness!

Why Regular Cleaning & Maintaining of Windows Is Important

Excessive dirt, grime, and pollutants can corrode the aluminum frames over time, affecting their longevity. Additionally, dirty or streaky windows can obstruct your view and reduce the amount of natural light entering your home. When these buildups are ignored for long, then it can become more challenging to clean them off as well.

How Often Should You Clean Aluminum Windows?

The rule of thumb is to clean the windows at least once or twice a year. However, other factors can influence the frequency. If you live near the ocean, the salt in the air can accelerate corrosion, so consider cleaning more frequently. Heavy pollution, strong winds, or frequent rain might necessitate more frequent cleaning.

What to Use to Clean Aluminum Frames?

It’s important to choose an appropriate cleaner for aluminum window frames that can effectively and safely clean them. Here are some of the best options:

  1. Warm Soapy Water: Create a solution by mixing a few drops of mild dish soap or liquid detergent with warm water. This gentle solution effectively removes most buildups without causing harm to the frames.

  2. White Vinegar: A 1:1 solution of white vinegar and water can be used to remove stubborn stains from aluminum surfaces.

  3. Baking Soda: Make a paste with 2—3 tablespoons of baking soda and some water to scrub away tough stains on aluminum window frames. Rinse thoroughly after scrubbing.

  4. Lemon Juice: The acidity of lemon juice can cut through grease and grime. Mix lemon juice with water in a 1:1 ratio to wipe down the window frames, or combine it with white vinegar or baking soda for extra cleaning power.

  5. Commercial Cleaners: You can use non—alkaline and non—abrasive cleaners to clean the frames. Ensure to never use harsh chemicals with over pH level of over 7, or this can damage the windows. There are specific commercial oxidation aluminum cleaners available in the market, so look into them if possible!

A person wiping the window glass with a squeegee

How to Clean Aluminum Window Frames: Step—by—Step Guide

Here’s your step—by—step guide to cleaning aluminum window frames, as well as other procedures to maintain the windows afterward. 

Step 1. Clean With Soapy Warm Water

Start by giving your windows a quick hose rinse from the outside to remove loose dirt and grime. Inside, you can utilize a nylon scrub brush.

Then, prepare a solution of warm water and mild, non—abrasive detergent. Dip a microfiber cloth or sponge into this solution and scrub both the window glass and frame, both inside and outside. 

Work from the highest point, gradually moving downwards to prevent dirt from upper areas from falling onto cleaned surfaces. Pay attention to every nook and cranny, including areas that become visible when the window is open.

Step 2. Remove Persistent Stains With a Cleaner

While the initial cleaning process can be sufficient to get the window frames clean, sometimes stubborn stains may persist due to weathering and oxidation.

In such cases, consider using a homemade cleaner for aluminum window frames, such as solutions from baking soda, lemon juice, or white vinegar. Apply the chosen solution to the surface, allowing it to sit for a while before scrubbing it away with a damp rag or brush. 

Alternatively, you may utilize suitable commercial cleaners. Be sure to follow label instructions when using these solutions!

Step 3. Dry Off the Windows

After scrubbing your windows to a pristine condition, use paper towels or a soft, dry cloth to remove any moisture, paying particular attention to hinges, locks, and seals.

Step 4. Polish the Windows

If your aluminum window frames still look rather dull, you can brighten them up more by rubbing them with fine steel wool and water. The finer the steel wool, the better!

But if that doesn’t work, then the culprit may be anodizing. Anodizing is when a layer of a material called oxide forms on the aluminum, which can make the frames look dull. You may need to call a professional to fix the oxidized aluminum window frames.

Step 5. Lubricate the Windows

Don’t forget that regular lubrication is an integral part of maintaining windows to ensure their smooth functioning. After cleaning, the window components can become dry and may require lubrication.

Once the windows are completely dry, you can lubricate the window tracks, hinges, and other components with products such as graphite lubricant or silicone spray. Avoid using oil—based solutions like WD—40, as they can attract dirt and grime. 

A person spraying the window glass and wiping it with a pink rag and yellow gloves

Let Us Brighten Up Your Aluminum Frame Windows!

Maintaining and cleaning aluminum window frames is crucial for their longevity and your home’s aesthetic appeal. Regular cleaning with the right cleaners is key to keeping your windows looking and functioning at their best. Whether you’re using warm soapy water, white vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, or commercial cleaners, the choice is yours, but always remember to choose options that are safe for your aluminum frames.

So, don’t wait until your windows become a daunting cleaning task. Stick to a cleaning schedule, tackle persistent stains with care, and finish the job with proper drying, polishing, and lubrication.

However, there are times when your windows might be too resilient to your cleaning efforts, especially if they’ve been neglected for an extended period or if rust and mold have developed. In such cases, it might be time to seek professional assistance.

Our team of experts boasts extensive experience in window repair, ensuring they look as good as new, or if necessary, we can install the finest window replacements. Don’t hesitate to reach out to uswe’re here to help!

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