How to Clean Aluminum Windows

October 11, 2010

The benefits of aluminum windows are well-documented: strength, durability and enhanced sound proofing. And while painted aluminum window frames are easy to care for, unpainted frames can take on scratches, pits and a hazy patina that can make them tough to clean. Here's how:

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1. Wash the frames with warm soapy water to remove most of the surface and excess soil. Then rinse and dry your aluminum windows with a soft cloth. This prewash will make detailing the windows easier.

2. Use a solvent cleaner suited specifically for aluminum to remove stubborn grease spots.

TIP: Always test the cleaner you intend to use on a hidden spot to prevent damage or discolor to your aluminum windows.

3. Combine one-half cup of lemon juice and one-half cup of baking soda to make a thick paste. Apply it to the aluminum windows and let them sit for several minutes. Remove the paste with a damp sponge and dry the aluminum windows with a soft towel.

4. In another bottle, combine one-half cup of baking soda, one-half cup of vinegar and 2 cups of water. Use this solution to clean the tracks of your aluminum windows. Rinse and dry the frame thoroughly.

WARNING: Avoid using industrial strength cleaners or scouring powders on painted aluminum windows.

5. To remove any leftover grit, use a damp soft bristle pad and gently rub it over the aluminum. Rinse and dry the frame again to remove leftover chemical agents.

6. For stubborn stains, dip a fine steel wool in paint thinner or aluminum jelly and scrub gently. You can find aluminum jelly at any home improvement or hardware store.

TIP: Wash the glass after you've washed the frames to avoid streaking or spotting.

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