Ready to spruce up your home? If the weather is fine and you fancy getting down to it, you could clean your windows and doors. The first thing you need to know before you get started is how to clean uPVC. You will likely come across this commonly-used material when getting things into shape. Don’t panic.
The truth is that it’s not particularly hard to clean this material. This guide will cover everything you need to know about how to clean uPVC and some common mistakes to avoid.
What is uPVC?
First up, let’s talk about what uPVC is. You might not be familiar with the term. Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. The acronym stands for unplasticized polyvinyl chloride, and the material is most easily described as a hard and enduring type of plastic.
Cost-effective and easy-to-clean, uPVC is a plastic-like material that many builders use when fitting windows and doors. So rather than having comparatively expensive hardwood timber and aluminium for doors and windows, you might find that you have this material. The material is also used in plumbing and drainage these days.
If you have a modern home, you can find uPVC somewhere in it. For example, your window frames may be made of this material. Equally, if you have any exterior doors, you may find that they consist of uPVC. One of the things that worries many people is how to clean this material. So, what cleaning products can you use when you get started?
For tips on how to clean aluminium, check out our other article.
How to clean uPVC
Ready to grab your sponge and get to work? You might want to use different approaches depending on the type of uPVC you’re cleaning. As we have already covered, you can find this stuff in various places around your home. If you want to get rid of any dullness and make this material sparkle, there are plenty of ways to get it right. Here are our top tricks:
1. How to clean uPVC window frames
Perhaps one of the most common places you will see uPVC used is on window frames. When cleaning your windows, you can also give the exterior frames a new lease of life. This whole activity will take you no longer than 10 minutes. Give it a go.
What you will need:
- Soft sponge
- Warm water
- Cool water
- Cleaner/soap (The Pink Stuff works well!)
- Kitchen roll/old newspaper
Step 1: Make your cleaning solution
When you have gathered everything that you need, start by pouring the warm water into a bucket. You can then add some soap or cleaner. We’ve found that the Pink Stuff works exceptionally well here, as it removes any stains you may have on your uPVC. You should mix whatever cleaner you use with the warm water and ensure it’s all dissolved.
Step 2: Lather up the uPVC window frames
Next, put the sponge into the mixture and then ring it out. You can use the sponge directly on your uPVC window frames. Scrub well here and put some elbow grease into it. The fact that you are using a soft sponge means that you are unlikely to scratch the uPVC.
Step 3: Wait for around 4-5 minutes
When you have lathered up the area, you can leave it to soak for around 4-5 minutes. Doing so will help the cleaner to work its magic. The longer you leave it, the more likely it is to make a difference to the condition of the uPVC. So give it a while to work!
Step 4: Rinse and dry the uPVC window frames
After that, the final step is to rinse the uPVC as thoroughly as possible. You can use some cool water to get the job done. Finally, get some kitchen roll or old newspaper and dry the area. The firmer you are when doing this step, the more it will shine!
Top tip! Clean around the frames: When you’re cleaning your uPVC, ensure you get into the hinges too. You can use a soft bristle toothbrush to get the job done. You can use a white wine vinegar and water solution if the hinges are metal. Dip the toothbrush into the solution, and then work it onto the hinges. You don’t need to be too hard with it.
2. How to clean uPVC doors
Do you have uPVC doors in your home? If you do, you can also clean these with relative ease. You don’t need to be Mrs Hinch to get the job done quickly and easily. Before you get started, you will need to gather some simple cleaning products.
What you will need:
- Soft brush
- Soapy warm water
- Soft sponge
- Cold water
- Vacuum cleaner
- Dry cloth
Step 1: Sweep away the dirt and grime
You might find that your uPVC doors have dirt and grime on them. So, before cleaning them, use a soft brush to eliminate most grubbiness. You can sweep the brush across the base of the door and even get into the cracks at the side. You don’t want to put too much pressure on the brush as you don’t need scratches on the door.
Step 2: Vacuum up any of the excess
You should use the vacuum cleaner when you have most of the dirt off the door. Yes, you read that correctly. Take the nozzle out of the cleaner — depending on which type you have — and then use it to suck up any excess. You can move the nozzle near the crack of the door and the hinges. You should find that this removes the dirt.
Step 3: Use the soapy water solution
Once you’ve done all the above, you can get that soapy water — again, you might want to use the Pink Stuff here — and get to work. You should clean your uPVC doors in much the same way that you approached the windows. Use the soft sponge to clean the affected area here. When you have lathered it up, leave it for around 4-5 minutes.
Step 4: Rinse and dry the uPVC doors
The last step is to clean the soapy solution away. Once again, you can use some cool water to rinse the area. When you have done that, take a dry cloth and go over the door several times. This gives you an excellent chance to eliminate any excess dirt or marks.
Mistakes to avoid when cleaning uPVC
Now that you know how to clean uPVC windows and doors, let’s discuss some mistakes you should avoid. While this material is easy to clean (when you know how!), there are some silly ways you can damage it. Here are the mistakes you should avoid:
- Using too much pressure (you might scratch it!)
- Cleaning uPVC with a stiff-bristled brush
- Using WD40, nail varnish remover, or white spirits
- Going in with a metal wool cleaning tool
- Using bleach or anything containing bleach
While the above approaches may seem natural, you may do more harm than good. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so you must avoid them at all costs.
And there you have it — cleaning your uPVC windows and doors doesn’t have to be challenging. So long as you follow our guide, you should find that they sparkle like new. We recommend cleaning this type of hardware at least once every couple of months.
Have we missed something? Don’t worry — we’ve got more for you. Take a look at these frequently asked questions for the answers you’ve been looking for.
Can you clean uPVC with white spirits?
No. White spirits are somewhat abrasive. That means that they may damage the surface of the uPVC. While this type of cleaning product can be helpful in other areas, it is best to avoid using it when dealing with anything uPVC based. Simple.
Can you clean uPVC with washing-up liquid?
The short answer is yes. Washing-up liquid tends to be relatively mild, so you can mix it with warm water to make your cleaning solution. However, remember that you can also use the Pink Stuff or general hand soap — if it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals.
Will sugar soap clean uPVC?
There is some anecdotal evidence that you can use sugar soap to clean uPVC. However, despite this advice, you can also use a warm, soapy solution to get the job done.
Will vinegar damage uPVC?
You should not use vinegar to clean the central area of your uPVC fittings. However, a diluted solution may be effective if you are cleaning the hinges of your windows or doors. Generally, avoid using too much vinegar on this type of hard plastic as it may damage it.
When was the last time you cleaned your uPVC? Let us know in the comments below.