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How to clean UPVC windows

UPVC is a type of toughened plastic resin used to make window frames and surrounds. UPVC windows are common in new houses and you'll also find them in many older buildings that have had double-glazing installed. Give your UPVC windows a thorough wash twice a year as part of a general maintenance routine. Between these major cleans, keep the glass sparkling with a spray liquid glass cleaner.

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  1. Remove any objects on the windowsill or overhanging vegetation.

  2. Lay down a plastic sheet around the window on the inside surface to protect your carpet or furnishings.

  3. Wipe off the worst of any marks or debris with a small brush, such as the brush supplied with a dustpan set.

  4. Fill the bucket with warm water and a squirt of washing-up liquid.

  5. Wash the outside of the window using a sponge, working from top to bottom. Make sure you get right into the corners to remove any hidden dirt lurking there. You may need a ladder to reach higher parts of the window. Empty the dirty water from your bucket every so often and refill it with clean water.

  6. Open the window once you’ve finished the outside surface and clean any remaining dirty surfaces. Pay particular attention to the points where the window frame meets the rubber seal as dirt can often accumulate in this area.

  7. Check that the window and its frames are clean. Any stubborn marks may need attention with a specialist UPVC cream cleaner, available from hardware shops. Do not use a general cream cleaner as its abrasive character could scratch your window frames.

  8. Close the window again and rinse the entire area with clean water from a hose or bucket. Dry the window and window frame with a soft cloth.

  9. Move inside and repeat the procedure on the inner surface of the window with a fresh bucket of warm, soapy water. Squeeze out the sponge until the water runs clear and use it to rinse any remaining soap bubbles off the window. Dry with a soft cloth.

  10. Tip

    If you’d prefer to take a more natural approach, try using a traditional vinegar-based solution. Add 30 ml (2 tbsp) of white vinegar to 4.5 litres (1 gallon) of warm water to make an effective homemade window cleaner.


    Don't use abrasive cleaning materials, ammonia or bleach to clean your windows as the harsh chemicals can damage the handles and metalwork.

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Things You'll Need

  • Plastic sheet
  • Small brush
  • Ladder
  • Bucket
  • Warm water
  • Washing-up liquid
  • Large sponge
  • Soft cloth

About the Author

Rita Kennedy

Rita Kennedy is a writer and researcher based in the United Kingdom. She began writing in 2002 and her work has appeared in several academic journals including "Memory Studies," the "Journal of Historical Geography" and the "Local Historian." She holds a Ph.D. in history and an honours degree in geography from the University of Ulster.

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