How to clean UPVC window frames Suffolk & Essex

Mr Misty, the Ipswich-based Window Doctor, shares a few tips, tricks, dos and don’ts for cleaning uPVC window frames.

Carrying out double glazing repairs at homes and businesses throughout Suffolk and Essex, Mr Misty understands how uPVC window frames of all ages stand up to the wear and tear, spotting, staining and weathering of daily life. Over recent months, we’ve noticed how the use of disinfectant or hand-sanitiser sprays have affected uPVC door and window frames and finishes too.

If you live by the Suffolk coast, how will your windows survive the salt spray? In the Suffolk countryside? What about dust from combine harvesters? In towns, traffic emissions can leave window frames looking greasy, grimy and discoloured and wherever you are, birds’ ‘blessings’ might leave an unsightly mark.

Indoors, your uPVC window frames might need a bit of TLC too, especially if you’ve been doing a spot of decorating – or the kids have been doing it for you! From paint spots or plaster to wax crayon, felt tip pen or pencil, you’ll want any clean-up to be quick and effective - but, above all, you’ll want to be sure that you’re not going to cause any damage to your super-smart double glazing  investment.

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How often should I clean my uPVC window frames and should I do it all myself?

A bit of regular maintenance can go a long way. Twice a year for cleaning uPVC window frames is about right for most properties in Suffolk and Essex, but if your home is by a busy road, close to trees or in an exposed area, it’s worth checking on things a little more often.

There’s a certain amount of uPVC window frame cleaning which can be undertaken easily and quickly with a few basic household tools, like a soft brush, soft cloths and bucket of soapy water, but when it comes to moving parts and fixings such as the locking mechanism, face plates and sliding bars, friction stays and hinges, it can be worth getting a bit of expert help to ensure that damage is not caused to the uPVC frames, especially if windows are stiff, not closing properly or misaligned in any way.

Stiff window handles? Faulty locks? Poorly adjusted hinges? Let Mr Misty Ipswich give you a helping hand »

Cleaning uPVC window frames – Tips from Mr Misty, The Window Doctor for Suffolk and Essex

This simple procedure should shift most grime from your uPVC windows.

  1. Use a soft brush to loosen built up dirt. Hoover it up.
  2. Remove initial dirt by gently wiping down internal and external uPVC window frame surfaces with warm water. Dry off using a soft cloth (see below).
  3. Using a soft cloth and warm, soapy (use washing-up liquid) water, give attention to persistent marks or spotting left by insects such as spiders or ladybirds. Be sure to wipe off detergent before drying with a clean soft cloth.

Wax crayon, woodstain and plaster should be removable with warm soapy water.

Finding that soapy water won’t shift it? Add a mix of one part clear vinegar/ washing up liquid to four parts water. This should also work for removing pencil, felt-tip and ballpoint pen marks, grease, soot and rust from uPVC window frames.

Cleaning uPVC window frames Ipswich, Suffolk and Essex – Dos & Don’ts

UPVCS window frames are robust,but scratching at stains or spots with implements or the use of abrasive cleaning products can cause irreversible damage. Some standard household cleaning products will discolour or dull your uPVC window frames. Best keep thing is simple and don’t take any risks!

Cleaning cloths

OK to use

  • cotton works well
  • white cotton rags


  • avoid cloths with synthetic fibres
  • avoid brightly coloured rags
  • avoid scourers – even ones intended for non-stick pans


Cleaning solutions

OK to use

  • warm, mild, soapy water
  • very dilute washing up liquid / vinegar and water solutions


  • kitchen or bathroom cream cleaners
  • nail varnish remover
  • WD-40
  • white spirits
  • methylated spirits
  • bleach


Other cleaning methods / products


  • pressure washing – this can damage window seals / gaskets
  • steam cleaners
  • specialist UPVC solvent frame cleaners – best used by professionals (see below)


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So how do I shift cement or paint off uPVC window frames?

There’s a real chance of scratching and damaging your uPVC window frames here. There are products on the market to dissolve cement, but removing residue needs to be done with caution to avoid irreversible damage. Even if specialist UPVC solvent frame cleaners are applied to soften paint, removal can still be an issue which requires careful scrubbing with non-abrasive materials.

If I can’t use bleach or white spirit, how do I get rid of mould?

Mould spores can be dangerous and cause skin irritation or breathing issues. Care needs to be taken not to inhale spores or spread them further around the house when attempting to clean them from uPVC window frames.

Mould issues on windows can be caused by a number of different factors. If the glass is not energy efficient, then there may be a build-up of condensation on the internal glass side of the window. This will result in water dripping down onto the window sill which can cause a build-up of mildew and mould. To avoid this amount of condensation, it is worth upgrading the glass by installing energy efficient double glazed units. This will dramatically reduce - if not completely eradicate - the condensation issues.

Also if the reveals around your windows are showing damp and mould, this is may not be the windows themselves causing the issue. A lack of insulation inside the cavity walls up to where the wall meets the window frame can result in damp and mould. One way of combatting this is to fill the edges completely with insulation. The same applies for damp issues appearing below the window sill - this could be an area without enough insulation.

It is worth considering the potential cause of any mould and taking action to eradicate it. To remove it - if only in the short term - hot soapy water is the way to start.

Next try applying the very dilute washing up liquid / vinegar and water solution, leaving it on the affected area for up to 15 minutes. Apply a sprinkle of baking soda to a damp cloth and gently rub the affected area. Wipe clean with a damp soapy cloth and dry thoroughly.

Black mould or mildew on your uPVC window frames is however not just unsightly, it is unhealthy too. Mould needs to be eradicated and can be a symptom of a more significant ventilation issue in your property. If you have mould in your uPVC window frames in your Suffolk or Essex property, get it checked out by The Ipswich Window Doctor, Mr Misty who can advise on integral ventilation solutions or repair or replace failing window glazing with double glazed panels.

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