Vinyl windows are great for your home—they’re durable, energy-efficient, and low maintenance. But even the best quality vinyl windows will eventually become dirty and need a little TLC.
As landlords for more than 20 years, we have plenty of experience cleaning vinyl windows that have turned yellow. We have had some especially gross experiences with tenants that smoked (even though they weren’t allowed to) and tenants that often fried foods.
In this blog post, we’ll share some tips and tricks to clean your vinyl windows and make them look new again.
Table of Contents
Why Do Vinyl Windows Turn Yellow?
Vinyl windows can become discolored and turn yellow over time due to a variety of factors.
One of the primary reasons is prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, which can cause the vinyl material to degrade and lose its original color.
The process of oxidation also plays a role in this discoloration, as the vinyl reacts with oxygen in the air, leading to a change in its appearance.
In addition, environmental pollutants and contaminants can contribute to the yellowing of vinyl windows.
Dirt, grime, and chemicals from vehicle emissions, industrial activities, or even household cleaning products can accumulate on the surface of the windows and cause staining.
Furthermore, nicotine from cigarette smoke can leave a yellowish residue on vinyl surfaces, especially in indoor environments with poor ventilation.
Cleaning Yellowed Vinyl Windows Due to Pollutants
If your vinyl windows are turning yellow due to grime, nicotine, or just a lack of cleaning, then follow the steps in this section.
As parents of 3 little kids, Force of Nature is our go-to all purpose cleaner. It's nontoxic but is EPA approved for use against Covid-19.
We love vinegar, but we use Force of Nature every day.
If they are yellowing because of prolonged UV exposure, then jump to the next section.
How do you know what the cause is? If the steps in this section do not work, then the vinyl is yellow due to Ultra Violet rays.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
Before cleaning your vinyl windows, ensure you have everything you need.
In addition to Krud Kutter, you’ll need a bucket, a sponge or soft-bristled brush, and some clean water.
You may also want a dry towel or rag nearby to wipe away excess water and suds.
Step 2: Apply Krud Kutter to the window and clean
Using a spray bottle, spray Krud Kutter directly onto the vinyl windows. Spray starting at the top and work around and down the window.
Be careful not to let the Krud Kutter dry on the window, as it can leave streaks and residue.
Use your sponge or brush to gently scrub the window, focusing on any areas with stubborn dirt or stains.
Avoid using too much pressure, as this can scratch the vinyl surface. Instead, let the Krud Kutter do the work for you.
If you’re cleaning the outside of the window, use a ladder or other sturdy support to reach high areas safely.
You may want to rinse your sponge or brush as you clean to ensure your not just pushing around dirt.
Step 3: Rinse Thoroughly
Once you’ve scrubbed the window, rinse it thoroughly with clean water. Use a hose to clean the outside of the window, or use a bucket of water and a clean sponge to clean the inside.
This will help to remove any remaining dirt, suds, or residue.
Step 4: Dry and admire your clean windows
After rinsing, use a dry towel or rag to remove excess water and suds. Then step back and admire your clean vinyl windows!
Is Krud Kutter Safe?
As you can see in the pictures, I am not wearing gloves. I probably should have!
Krud Kutter Kitchen Degreaser All-Purpose Cleaner incorporates technology that’s tougher on grease than other cleaners, non-toxic. It breaks down tough grease & grime without using bleach, ammonia and other harsh chemicals.
But degreasers also break down the natural oils on our skin. I didn’t use it enough to dry my skin, but I should have worn gloves.
Cleaning Yellowed Vinyl Windows Due to UV Damage
Cleaning yellowed vinyl windows due to UV damage can be a daunting task. But with the right tools, cleaning products and techniques, you can restore your vinyl windows back to their original condition.
Here are some tips on how to effectively clean yellowed vinyl windows due to UV damage:
Step 1: Assess the Damage
The first step in cleaning yellowed vinyl windows is assessing the severity of the damage.
Depending on how long the windows have been exposed to UV rays, you may need to use more aggressive cleaning methods.
If the damage is severe, it’s best to call a professional window cleaner for assistance.
Step 2: Gather Your Supplies
Once you’ve assessed the damage, it’s time to gather your supplies. You’ll need a soft microfiber cloth or sponge, mild dish soap or vinegar mixed with water, and a vacuum for debris on the window frames.
For tougher stains or dirt buildup, you may also want to use a commercial vinyl window cleaner or a solution of three parts distilled white vinegar and seven parts water.
Step 3: Start Cleaning
Now that you have all your supplies ready, it’s time to start cleaning! Begin by wiping down the window frames with a damp cloth using either mild dish soap or vinegar mixed with water.
For tougher stains or dirt buildup, spray the vinyl with a commercial vinyl window cleaner and wipe clean using a microfiber cloth or lint-free cloth.
Once you’re done wiping down each window frame, use a vacuum cleaner attachment to remove any remaining debris from the corners and crevices of each frame.
Step 4: Dry Off Windows
Once all of your windows are wiped down and vacuumed off, it’s time to dry them off! Use another dry microfiber cloth or lint-free cloth and gently wipe down each frame until they are completely dry.
This will help prevent streaks from forming as well as minimize future dust buildup on your windows.
How To Prevent Vinyl Windows From Turning Yellow
Finally, remember that proper maintenance is key when it comes to keeping your vinyl windows looking like new!
To minimize future damage from UV rays, consider installing sun shades over your windows or applying protective coatings such as waxes and sealants that can help protect against fading and discoloration caused by sunlight exposure.
Regularly clean your windows with mild soap solutions and avoid using harsh chemicals that can harm both your health and environment.
To prevent and clean yellow grime from vinyl windows, it’s essential to use appropriate cleaning techniques and products specifically designed for vinyl surfaces.
Regular cleaning and maintenance can help minimize discoloration and extend the lifespan of your vinyl windows.
Protecting windows from excessive sun exposure is also beneficial by using shades, blinds, or UV-resistant window films.
Kut The Krud
By following these simple tips and tricks, you can make the most of this powerful cleaning product and ensure that your vinyl windows stay clean and low maintenance for many years to come.
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Erin is the mother of identical twin girls and their slightly older brother. She is a domestic engineer, and previously had a career leading customer service teams for a major HVAC company. Cleaning without harsh chemicals, and cooking easy and usually healthy meals are part of Erin's daily life. She volunteers with youth leaders, and genuinely wants to help others win. Erin has a degree in Communications, with a focus on Broadcast Journalism.