State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500385
Cleaning Aluminum Window Frames
If painted, use a solution of mild detergent and water, or a mild
commercial cleaner whose label says it is safe for painted surfaces.
Always rinse off solution. Wipe off excess water with a dry cloth. Do
not use strong cleaners or scouring powder as these will damage the
paint. If you plan to clean window frames, do it before cleaning window
glass so solution does not spot glass panes.
Clear or colored anodized aluminum resists weathering, and can be
washed with mild detergent and water like painted frames. Solvent
cleaners can be used to remove grease spots from anodized frames. Never
use abrasives on either anodized or painted surfaces as they will
Bare, unfinished aluminum gradually weathers and turns gray. It forms
its own oxide coating which protects it. (A coat of clear lacquer will
prevent this.) In early stages of weathering, washing with soap and
water will restore brightness. If you want to restore brightness when
it has weathered more, stronger cleaners or mild abrasives will be
needed. Test any new cleaner on a hidden spot to be sure it will work
Do not clean aluminum if it is too hot to touch, or if temperature is
below 50 F. Always remove all traces of cleaner thoroughly, with
water-rinsing, or, if a solvent/wax type by wiping. Avoid excessive use
of abrasives which leaves permanent scratches. Badly- weathered window
frames may be washed with soap and water, rinsed thoroughly, and
This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus,
with references from the Aluminum Association.
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not mentioned. This information becomes public property upon
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status. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and
June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Thomas G. Coon, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing,MI 48824. This
information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial
products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or
bias against those not mentioned.
information.was reviewed as
of June 2008. For more information about the contents please
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