One of the benefits of installing vinyl windows is their low maintenance requirements. However, you can't totally neglect them, or dirt and grime will build up and cause your frames to look dull and dirty. Just like you want to clean the glass regularly, you should also clean the frames periodically to keep them bright and fresh. This is how you go about it.
Choose The Right Cleaner
A detergent based cleaner, such as dish soap, should be all you need to clean the vinyl frames. Avoid using cleaners that have abrasive grit in them, because these can scratch the surface. If the frame has a stain, from bird droppings for example, you can use a brush with soft bristles and a little elbow grease to clean it off rather than resort to harsh cleaners. For removing general dirt and grime, soapy water and a soft cloth should do the job. For unusual stains, such as crayon or rust, look for a cleaner at the store that says on the label it is safe for vinyl.
After you wash all the dirt off the frames, you want to rinse them thoroughly. If you don't, the soap may leave behind a film that shows streaks or looks dull. Rinse the frames with clean water from a sponge, or water from a hose with a gentle spray attachment. Don't use a power washer or a garden hose with a strong spray nozzle on your windows. This might force water into the seals and give you problems later on. After washing and rinsing, dry the frames thoroughly with a soft towel.
Complete The Job
If you're going to drag your cleaning supplies outside and wash the frames, you might as well wash the glass and tracks too. You can use glass cleaner or water and a squeegee on the glass. Soapy water works well on the tracks, but you may need to dig out bit of leaves, dirt, and twigs before you start cleaning. After you clean out the tracks, be sure to dry them as well as you can before you close the window.
Clean Before Painting Too
If you keep up with your windows, so dirt doesn't permanently harm the vinyl, you should never have to paint your windows. However, if you want a change of color, and decide to paint the windows, you can follow the cleaning procedure above before you proceed. The paint will stick much better and look much smoother if the frames are free of dust and dirt when you apply the paint.
If you decide to paint your windows, be sure to check with the manufacturer's instructions for the best type of paint to use, so it adheres well. You should also check that you won't void your warranty if you paint over the vinyl. For further assistance, contact professionals, such as those from Fas Windows and Doors.