Stanbrook & Nicholson guide to cleaning aluminium windows

This blog is all about sharing advice around how to clean aluminium windows and the correct cleaning and maintenance methods recommended to keep new or existing aluminium windows in great condition, or to help you restore ageing powder coated aluminium windows.

Aluminium window frames are a low maintenance product and are very durable and known to last for many decades without repair or re-finishing. A majority of new commercial buildings and also large installations in flats or apartments use powder coated aluminium windows for this reason, along with the structural qualities of aluminium. However some infrequent cleaning and maintenance will help to ensure that painted/powder coated aluminium windows remain looking clean, bright and complimentary to your home for a long time.

This blog advises on the cleaning/maintenance for modern polyester powder coated windows. High quality and painted aluminium windows are finished with a process called Electrostatic powder coating, whereby  the finish is sprayed electro-statically onto the window section (causing the paint powder to stick) and then baked onto the aluminium itself (at around 200°C – the heat of a conventional home oven!) This powder coating is very durable and achieves a hard coating, with good coverage and which is very tough and resistant to the elements. However no paint coating can be 100% maintenance free – and you can extend the lifespan of windows considerably by following some basic, infrequent maintenance/cleaning.

Here are some guidelines which we recommend for our aluminium windows:

 Environment and regularity of cleaning:

–  In areas with the influence of salt water (coastal houses or adjacent to a busy, gritted road) or nearby to other sources of heavy emissions (motorways, industrial areas) we recommend that windows should be cleaned at least every three months. In a cleaner environment cleaning every six months would be sufficient.

–  When carrying out external cleaning, internal surfaces are sometimes missed – over time tobacco, coal or wood smoke can discolour even hard powder coated windows. We recommend cleaning internally at least once a year in a smoke-free home.

 Recommended cleaning procedure for new aluminium windows with gloss coating:

-Wash window frames in warm water solution with a non-alkaline liquid detergent. This can be either a specific window frame cleaning detergent/soap or a normal household detergent/soap with a PH value of less than 7 (or a general PH neutral soap-based detergent available in most supermarkets.)

-Use a non abrasive cloth or sponge or a very soft bristle brush. Wash frames to remove grime and any deposits. Wash out all ridges, grooves and joints, where salt and dirt can collect – which prevents corrosion from occurring in the future.

-Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry using a soft cloth or chamois leather.

-For maximum protection and shine, a window specific or automotive/car wax product can be applied once a year, but be sure to test on an area of the frame before use.

 For older aluminium window frames / restoration (gloss coatings):

-For older window frames, if any reduction of the gloss/shine is observed or if “chalking” is evident, then a window renovating cream can be used. Which is a very mild abrasive and polish. Use caution to make sure the cream purchased is recommended for powder coated / polyester finishes. Automotive colour restoring creams can be used sparingly, but its important to use only “non abrasive.” automotive colour restoring products.  We advise caution and wherever possible, a specific window product should be used. Older style automotive colour restoring creams (such as basic T-Cut) may be too abrasive and could permanently damage the powder coated finish.

-If using a colour restoring product, which may have a mild abrasive action, take extra caution on any ridges or sharp corners (on beads for example) where the paint finish may be thinner more prone to wear from over-polishing. This procedure should not be carried out or required often, even on older powder coated window frames.

-Polish with a soft cloth

-For the utmost protection, an window specific or automotive wax product can be applied once a year.

Click here for more information on how to replace your ageing aluminium windows, with Stanbrook & Nicholson’s exclusive Heritage window range.

 Durability, Textured and Wood Grain Effect Finishes:

Stanbrook and Nicholson have recently started to supply aluminium windows with a range of thicker, matt and textured frame finishes. This range of finishes look great in both modern houses and restoration projects but are also highly resistant to corrosion, dirt build up and are very scratch resistant (like a household non-stick finish.)

Recently, very realistic wood grain finishes have also become available, which have similar hard wearing properties to our standard polyester powder coated finishes, but very accurately replicate the look of wooden windows.  Please click here for further information about any of our aluminium window products.

To underline the durability of modern powder coated aluminium windows. All aluminium windows supplied by Stanbrook and Nicholson are covered by a  paint finish guarantee against; peeling, powdering, blistering, corrosion, chalking, fading and loss of sheen. Demonstrating that aluminium windows can last and look good for a very long time if properly maintained!

Stanbrook & Nicholson Aluminium Joinery Aftercare Guide