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A large factor in choosing aluminium doors and windows in the first place is the fact that they are low maintenance. Modern powder coated paint finishes are usually guaranteed for 15 to 20+ years but even so, upkeep and maintenance are important if you want to get the most out of your investment.

How you clean your frames may depend on the age of them. As we mentioned above, modern frames are specially coated to last for at least a couple of decades or so. Older aluminium windows and doors may not have this finish and therefore are more exposed to the elements. Over time this exposure can stain the aluminium, but funnily enough, the anodisation that occurs will actually form a thin layer of oxide that helps prevent further corrosion, but it dulls the frames!

Overall, aluminium frames have a distinct advantage over wooden frames because they will not rot, they will not rust because they contain no steel or iron, and they do not mark or scratch as easily as UPVc.

However, aluminium windows and doors will still get dirty and need a good clean just like any other type of fitting.
It’s good practice to clean your windows once a month. We would suggest cleaning your aluminium frames once every two months.

What Is the Best Thing to Use to Clean Aluminium Door and Window Frames?

Commercial Aluminium Cleaner

First tackle tougher stains with a special aluminium cleaner:

  1. Remove excess dirt from the frame with a nylon scrub brush – try not to use anything too abrasive or it will damage the finish.
  2. Take note of the cleaning instructions on the back of the cleaner – wear protective clothes/gloves and protect your eyes.
  3. Apply some of the cleaner to a soft cloth or an old rag. Always test the cleaner on a small inconspicuous area first. You may be instructed to leave the cleaner on for a while before wiping it off.
  4. Scrub the frame in circular motions with the cloth or rag until the stains start to come away.
  5. Rinse off the window frame with clean water and dry it with a rag.

Citrus Cleaner

Using a household citrus cleaner:

  1. Remove excess dirt and grime from the frame with a nylon scrub brush – try not to use anything too abrasive or it will damage the finish.
  2. Wet the frame with warm water.
  3. Apply the cleaner to a cloth and work into the frame in circular motions to remove stains.
  4. Rinse thoroughly to avoid any residue.

White Vinegar

Using white vinegar to clean oxidation spots from aluminium frames:

  1. Remove excess dirt from the frame with a nylon scrub brush – try not to use anything too abrasive or it will damage the finish.
  2. Pour equal parts white vinegar and water into a bucket.
  3. Use the scrub brush to work the vinegar solution into the frames until the white, powdery spots from the oxidation disappear.
  4. If the oxidation still remains, you can use fine steel wool to brush the window frames.
  5. To get rid of any dirty water rinse the window frame with clean water and use a rag to dry the surface.

Baking Soda

Use baking soda solution to bring out the sparkle in aluminium frames:

  1. Make a paste using 1 part baking soda : 2 parts lemon juice.
  2. Apply the paste to the frames and leave until dry.
  3. Use an old soft toothbrush to work into smaller areas and cracks.
  4. Once dry, use a damp sponge to remove the paste and rinse with warm water to remove any residue – residue left over long periods could damage the finish.

How Do You Clean Aluminium Door and Window Frames?

Using either of the cleaning methods we’ve outlined previously, keeping on top of cleaning your aluminium frames is the main aim. A light clean with a wet sponge is usually sufficient for the inside of the frames – especially if they are windows that rarely get opened.

Exterior frames will benefit from a regular hosing down and twice a month giving them a good clean with one of the suggested solutions. The baking soda, white vinegar or citrus cleaner solutions should be enough for regular cleaning, whilst the commercial cleaner can be used on frames that have been neglected for a while, or that face harsher/wetter climate conditions.

Always dry the frames after cleaning as this will minimise the opportunity for anodisation to occur.

Polishing the Aluminium Frames

Finally, if you want a nice shiny finish to your now spotless frames, use a fine wire wool and water to polish in a circular motion. DO NOT apply too much pressure as this may take off some of the finish and expose the frames to weather wear. Polishing the frames is time consuming, but if done intermittently, can prolong the life of your aluminium frames. If you suspect a build-up of oxides and simple polishing is not enough, contact a professional to treat them.

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