Sliding windows are beautiful additions to any home. However, they also require quite a bit of maintenance to keep looking their best through the years. While different types of windows don’t require such an intense cleaning schedule, sliding doors need a lot of attention and upkeep lest they become streaky and unmanageable. But figuring out how to keep your sliding windows from getting smudgy doesn’t have to be a daunting task. If you’re trying to find the best way to keep your replacement windows and sliding window frames from looking filthy, here are a few tips for maintenance.
Clean the Tracks
When you go to clean your windows, your first instinct might be to start with the window glass. But before you even think about tackling the glass itself, you’re going to have to get deep into those tracks if you want to start really making a difference. Your sliding window’s tracks accumulate a ton of gunk even over the span of a few days, let alone a few months. If you want to get really deep into the tracks and clear out any buildup, use a small tool like an old toothbrush and a bit of gentle cleaner to scrub away debris. Once you’ve scraped off a good amount of gunk, remove it with a paper towel and go back over the area with a sponge to pick up anything that’s left.
Clean the Glass
Now that you’ve tackled the tracks, you’re ready for the glass. Using window cleaner and a gentle sponge, work your way down in even strokes. Always start at the top to allow the water to drip downward, and try not to dry your window with any hard, scratchy material. Dry gently and don’t be stingy with the Windex. In fact, for the best possible clean, you might want to go through this process a few times, being careful to dry your window gently with each cycle.
Remove the Frame
Before cleaning your frame, you’ll want to make sure it’s properly and safely removed, sashes and all, from the casement. Be as gentle as you can when removing your frame, taking out the sashes and loosening the appropriate screws in order to get an easy grip on the framework. If your window sash is secured by caulking or other old weatherstripping material, take a moment to remove the excess with a scraper before proceeding.
Clean the Frame
After the glass is cleaned, the hard part begins. When it comes to cleaning your window’s frame, you don’t have to be quite so gentle. Using steel wool and an appropriate cleaner to scrub away any spatter or dirt will help restore your window’s frame to its original splendor. If you’re working with a sensitive material, be sure to use a gentler cleanser. For instance, don’t use wood soap with aluminum, and go easy on harsh chemical cleaners if you’re working with treated wood or other sensitive frameworks. When replacing the frame, be wary of smudging the glass, and make sure you tighten all the screws so that your frame is secured.