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How to Clean Aluminum Window Frames

By Carrie Dixon, Blog Editor

Aluminum Window Frames - How to CleanAluminum window frames may not be something you often think about cleaning. However, over time these frames can become dingy and dirty, which requires a good cleaning to alleviate. This is a great chore to tackle when the weather is nice, especially if you intend to clean the outside frames. We will address what it takes to clean these frames and bring them back to former glory.

Outside Window Frames

When you are cleaning outdoor frames, you will want to start by dousing the frames in water. Using a garden hose is an excellent option, but if you do not have access to one, you can also use buckets of water to clean off the outer layer of dirt on the window and frame.

Your next step will be removing any grease spots on the frames. You can get a solvent-based cleaner online or at a local hardware store. Check the label to ensure it is safe for use on aluminum. You should also likely do a test spot before jumping into the process. You’ll want to follow the instructions on the bottle, which may ask you to apply the cleaner and then allow it to sit for a while before being removed. Safety equipment may also be suggested.

Next, you will use a commercial cleaner for any stains that are noticeable. Again, this just requires following the directions and using any safety equipment that the product suggests. You can clean the entire frame or merely use lots of elbow grease on stains that are large and prominent.

After these steps, and rinsing, you’ll want to make a paste that consists of lemon juice and baking soda. These two combined ingredients work together to clean off grime and leave a shine on the aluminum frame. Mix about a half cup of lemon juice with a quarter cup of baking soda. Scrub the entire frame with this mixture.

Once the paste is rubbed in using a cloth or sponge, you do not want to rinse it. Leave the paste on the frame until it is completely dry. This is a good time to check that you’ve hit every crack in the frame. You can use a toothbrush or other tool for tight spaces that are hard to reach.

After it’s dry, use a damp cloth or sponge to remove the paste. You can then rinse off to get rid of any traces of the substances you have used. Rinse the frame until the water comes out clean, as residue can make your windows appear spotty and dirty.

Inside Window Frames

When you’re cleaning inside aluminum frames, you’ll need to wipe them down with a damp cloth. This will loosen some debris and make the entire cleaning process more efficient. Use your toothbrush to get into hard to reach areas as you did with the outside frames.

You can use the same cleaners inside as you did on the outside unless the commercial cleaner you use states otherwise. The solvent-based cleaner, as well as the baking soda and lemon mixture, are fine for use indoors. These can be done in the same sequence as outside. Use a scouring pad to get to really stuck on stains.

From there, you can rinse the frames with a sponge and then use a dry cloth to dry them. These frames will not dry as well on their own as the ones outside, so you will have to be an active participant in the drying process.

So, there you have it, the best process for cleaning your aluminum window frames. If you want a bigger shine, you can also consider using a polishing agent once all the other steps are done. You’ll have frames that are beautiful and shiny, rather than dingy and dirty as they started.