When you own a home that has some of those original vinyl windows, it’s hard to justify the expense of replacing those windows when they get looking old and gross because they are still pretty energy efficient.
Why would someone be considering replacing their windows if they are vinyl you may be asking? Sometimes those white window frames can get in pretty rough shape due to things like careless (no use of masking tape) paint jobs through the years, or if someone has burned candles in the home they may be covered in soot and look black.
Most of which you can’t get off with normal/basic cleaning techniques so I wanted to share with you all what my solution was when I ran into this problem.
Please note that as much as I hate to use chemicals, sometimes it is necessary. I just make sure to store them in the garage, so there isn’t any chemical leaching going on inside the main part of the house (also use gloves and ventilate/use a respirator if necessary).
Before I show you guys what I did, here are some links to some of my other cleaning/DIY tips…most are chemical-free/natural:
- How To Refresh Dark Wood In Minutes
- The Easiest Way Remove Hard Water From Glass/Windows
- How To Clean A Stainless Steel Sink Like A Pro
- How To Make Your Slow Cooker Clean Itself
- How To Clean A Toilet Without Chemicals
Anyway, back to my mini tutorial. My window frames were absolutely disgusting! If you saw that first picture on this post, you know what I mean…and that was AFTER I had tried washing them with Windex.
I had one of those Ah ha moments and realized that since most of my grief on those window frames were caused by paint that had been sloshed on by a careless previous owner… that I just needed to figure out what would work to remove the paint.
I decided to give straight Acetone a try and it worked like a charm!
It worked even better than I had anticipated because it got all the soot off the window frames too.
How exactly did I do it? I got gloves on, and at first tried to use cotton balls that were soaked in the Acetone. That was taking FOREVER though because my windows were so bad so I switched over to using some old rags. You can make your own rags by ripping up an old towel, or you could buy some painters rags that are meant to be discarded after use.
Using the rags with the Acetone was much faster, my only caution to using the rags, instead of cotton balls, is that if you aren’t about to repaint around your windows, you are going to want to tape off around the window frames so that you don’t accidentally remove the paint on the walls surrounding the window. I was just about to refinish the room, when I did mine, so I didn’t need to be careful.
Tip: The Acetone does evaporate fairly quickly, especially if you’re ventilating properly the way that you should be, so make sure to work fast.
Deep cleaning your windows this way is SO MUCH CHEAPER than replacing all of your windows.
This is a handy little tip to know whether you just want your home to look as clean as possible, or if you’re a house flipper (it could save you a ton of dough in not having to replace windows), or if you just bought an older home that has had many a poorly executed DIY paint jobs.
I would feel comfortable doing this on both vinyl and metal window frames, but just use your best judgement/ or try it out on an inconspicuous area first.
If your window frames are not nearly as bad as mine were, you may be able to get by just using rubbing alcohol. The acetone is definitely necessary if the windows are really bad though.
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Here are some linked pics to some of my other posts that you may like too:
*Reposts: Please note that this idea/post was originally posted to this website on 06/19/15 but it was in great need of a refresh so it now is more user friendly/shareable.