Boy cleaning window

How to Clean uPVC Window Frames

One of the major advantages of a uPVC window frame over timber is that it’s robust and long-lasting and requires minimal maintenance. While wood is naturally porous, uPVC is slippery at a molecular level. Consequently, it doesn’t require regular treatment with sandpaper and a pot of glossy finish. What uPVC windows do require, however, is occasional cleaning. Happily, this doesn’t take long, and will make a major difference to the way the windows ultimately look.

The Wrong Way to Clean uPVC Window Frames

uPVC is inherently vulnerable to certain sorts of mistreatment. It’s therefore worth pausing to think about what we shouldn’t be doing under any circumstances.

The surface of a plastic window frame is glossy and smooth, but scratch beneath the surface and the material is really dull. You can’t put uPVC back on once you’ve rubbed it off, and as such caustic cleaning agents and harsh scrubbing brushes are to be avoided. Even paper towels can be abrasive if used repeatedly.

Bleach should never be used on uPVC window frames, as it’ll discolour them. Unless you’d like your pristine white frames to turn an unsightly shade of brown, avoid it. Even small doses will cause a chemical reaction with the glossy surface of the plastic, creating a dull matt effect that can never be undone. Cellulose thinners are another item to avoid – they melt plastic, and will ruin your window almost instantly.

The Right Way to Clean uPVC Window Frames

The right approach is a gentler one. Ordinary soap and water, applied with a sponge or a soft cloth, will be enough to shift most stains. If you’re pressed for time, you might give the sill a once-over with a wet-wipe.

Alternatively, you can use a homemade solution, or a specialist chemical solution that has been formulated just to tackle uPVC.

Natural uPVC Cleaner

If you’d rather not spend your money on washing powder and wet-wipes, then why not consider a natural alternative? By mixing one-part vinegar with one-part hot water, you’ll create an acidic solution that can be applied easily using a spray bottle. You won’t need much to get the job done, and the acids won’t react with the uPVC in the same way that bleach will – just spray on a little bit and allow the solution to lift the stains away from the plastic. This will take around ten minutes.

After 10 minutes, wipe it clean – the dirt should lift off instantly. Don’t allow the moisture to sit there, or you’ll attract mildew. Once you’re done, you should be looking at a sparkling clean uPVC window frame.

Ready to replace your windows? Shop for sliding sashcasement, or made to measure windows.

mouldy window frame

Mould on Windows: Causes and Solutions

Mould is a variety of fungus that flourishes in damp, dark environments. During winter, airborne droplets of water can come into contact with the cold, glass surface of your windows and settle. This provides mould spores with the habitat they need to flourish. This is terrible news for your windows, and it isn’t good for your health, either.

Can Mould on Windows Make You Sick?

If mould is allowed to accumulate, it will undoubtedly look pretty revolting – but does that necessarily mean it’s unhygienic, or even dangerous?

For asthmatics and those suffering from allergies, the answer is a definite yes. Mould reproduces by releasing microscopic spores into the air. If there’s enough mould on your window sill from condensation, then you’ll have a problem.

Even for those of us who aren’t affected by asthma, exposure to mould can lead to irritation of the eyes, skin, and lungs. The impact of prolonged exposure to mould is even more severe. For this reason, use a mask and gloves while you’re cleaning it up, and ensure that the area is well-ventilated. On that note, let’s look at how to clean mould off window frames and sills.

How to Get Mould off uPVC Windows

Cleaning uPVC requires a gentle approach. An abrasive cleaner can permanently (and quite easily) discolour the plastic.

Great results can be achieved with a combination of water and vinegar, at a ratio of around 4:1. Load the solution into a spray can and douse the affected area before wiping dry. The acids present in the vinegar will break apart the mould, allowing it to be easily scrubbed away.

How to Get Mould off Timber Windows

Now let’s look at how to remove mould from wooden window frames. Timber will react to moisture slightly differently to synthetic materials. Rather than sitting on the timber, those tiny water molecules will seep in between the fibres – which is why regularly treating your timber windows is so crucial.

You’ll want a different cleaning solution depending on whether your window is finished or unfinished. In the latter case, vinegar, baking soda, or a mixture of household detergent and water will do the trick. Unfinished wood might require a more caustic solution, since the mould may have penetrated into the grain. Rubbing alcohol is usually a good place to start.

How to Get Mould off Aluminium Windows

Since aluminium conducts heat better than timber or uPVC, it will get colder. This means more condensation, and consequently, more mould. However unlike uPVC, you can safely clean aluminium windows with bleach.

It’s easy to remove mould from aluminium window frames using a combination of bleach and water, at a ratio of around 1:10. Spray onto the affected area and wait for the bleach to break apart the mould before rinsing. When you’re done, dry the window quickly to prevent the mould from returning.

Ready to replace your windows? Shop for sliding sash, casement, or made to measure windows.