Maintaining Vinyl Window and Door Frames

The true beauty of vinyl windows and doors is that they come closer to being maintenance-free than most exterior building products.

Although rain usually does a satisfactory job removing dirt from vinyl window and door frames, follow these simple instructions if necessary to keep them clean and looking as good as new.

Normal Maintenance Tips

  • Use a soft cloth or long-handled soft-bristle brush to wash frames.
  • If necessary, use a mild abrasive cleaner such as SoftScrub®, Ajax®, BonAmi®, etc. (Note: the use of any abrasive material could have a detrimental effect on the surface of glass and window or door frames.)
  • Do not use cleaners containing aggressive organic solvents (such as chlorine bleach; liquid grease remover; strong soaps and detergents containing organic solvents) because they could damage the surface appearance of the vinyl.
  • Use the readily available household cleaners listed below for tough dirt and stains such as top soil, caulking, rust or mold and mildew. Please refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on use of cleaners.
  • Avoid washing windows with high pressure spray.

Cleaners to Remove Stains from Vinyl and Wood Door Frames*

Bubble gum Fantastik®; Murphy Oil Soap®; Solution of 30% vinegar and 70% water; Windex®
Crayon Lestoil®
DAP (oil-based caulk) Fantastik®
Felt-tip Pen Fantastik®; water-based cleaners
Grass Fantastik®; Lysol®; Murphy Oil Soap®; Windex®
Lipstick Fantastik®; Murphy Oil Soap®
Lithium Grease Fantastik®; Lestoil®; Murphy Oil Soap®; Windex®
Mold and Mildew Fantastik®; Solution of 30% vinegar and 70% water; Windex®
Motor Oil Fantastik®; Lysol®; Murphy Oil Soap®; Windex®
Oil SoftScrub®
Paint Brillo® Pad; SoftScrub®
Pencil SoftScrub®
Rust Fantastik®; Murphy Oil Soap®; Windex®
Tar SoftScrub®
Top Soil Fantastik®; Lestoil®; Murphy Oil Soap®


  1. North Star does not endorse proprietary products or processes and makes no warranties for the products referenced herein. Reference to proprietary names is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to imply that there are not equally effective alternatives.
  2. These tips are based on a study conducted by the Vinyl Window and Door Institute on the efficiency of cleaning agents and their effects on the appearance of vinyl window frames after two years of outdoor exposure.

Maintaining Self-Cleaning Glass

North Star windows and patio doors are available with optional Pilkington Activ™ Self-Cleaning Glass, which features a thin, clear, permanent, coating on one of its surfaces. The coating makes raindrops spread out, or sheet, across the surface to wash away dirt particles. It also acts as a catalyst, when activated by sunlight, to break down organic dirt into water vapor and CO2 gas.

Because self-cleaning glass needs a slightly different cleaning procedure, please refer to Pilkington Activ™ Self-cleaning Glass cleaning instructions