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Care for Windows and Doors

Windows and doors.

Updated October 14, 2019

Brian G.

By Brian G.

Protecting the frames of your windows and doors is just as important as cleaning the glass. These suggestions help you protect and extend the life of your windows and patio doors.

Quick Tips for Window and Door Care

  • Vacuum soil and debris from the sill or track prior to washing.
  • Use a mixture of mild dish-soap and water to clean window and door frames. Rinse thoroughly with a soft, absorbent cloth.
  • Use a small bottle brush to clean weep holes if you suspect they're blocked, and keep the windowsill or track area clean of soil or debris to encourage proper draining.

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Never use abrasive or caustic soaps, cleaners or solvents as these may damage the finish of your windows and doors.

Special Considerations for Low-E and Other Glass

Low-E glass windows in a kitchen.

It's easy and very important to properly care for window glass systems today. Insulated glass systems and those with low-emissive (Low-E) or other heat-deterrent additives can be damaged or lose their effectiveness through improper care.

  • If possible, avoid washing windows in direct sunlight.
  • Use a mixture of mild dish-soap and water to clean the glass.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry with a soft, absorbent cloth to avoid spotting.
  • Remove the screens and wash them with a soft brush on a flat surface with mild dish-soap and water. Rinse, wipe dry and reinstall. 


  • Never use petroleum-based solvents or chemicals on the glass, as these may damage the insulating glass seal or component parts of the window.
  • Never use a high-pressure spray to wash the windows, as it may damage the insulating glass seal.
  • Never use sharp instruments or abrasive pads to clean the glass.
  • Never attach anything to the glass, such as masking tape, as heat or the sun may bake the adhesive into the glass.

Smooth and Easy Door and Window Operation

Window and patio door sashes require occasional lubrication to ensure smooth and easy operation. Make sure that the lubrication won’t damage the material used to build the window or door. 

  • Occasionally lubricate all moving parts, including rollers and tracks. Don't use silicone spray on plastic parts, as it may damage them. Use furniture polish spray instead.
  • Periodically check the weather stripping around all window and door sashes, and make sure that it seals around the entire perimeter.
  • Keep the track area clean on sliding windows and patio doors.
  • Keep the patio door roller adjusted to the proper height to ensure easy operation. Check the corners of the sliding door for a hole that gives you access to the roller adjustment screw. It may be covered with a plug that can be removed for adjustment and then replaced.
  • After adjusting the rollers, you may have to adjust the lock strike plate. You can adjust most lock strike plates by loosening the screws, moving the plate and tightening the screws. Allow for a limited amount of play between the strike plate and the latch lock.
  • Check the corners of the screen for access to the roller adjustment screw. Most rolling screens can be adjusted the same way as patio doors.

Watch our DIY Basics video: What's Wrong with My Door?

Interior Window Condensation

Condensation on the glass surface of a window occurs when high-interior moisture content meets low temperatures on the glass. This is a natural occurrence and a sign that excessive moisture is present in the home.

Don't be concerned about minor condensation, or fogging, that appears on the lower corners of windows. However, the lower the outside window temperature and the higher the interior humidity, the more condensation can occur. Continued or heavy condensation on windows means there's a lot of humidity inside. This can lead to interior damage and to other health-related concerns.

To reduce excess humidity:

  • Ventilate the interior of your home by opening windows and doors periodically so interior moisture can escape.
  • Use exhaust fans more frequently and for a longer period, particularly when showering.
  • Use ceiling fans to circulate the air.
  • Install a dehumidifier.
  • Open attic or basement crawl-space louvers.
  • Vent the clothes dryer and all gas burners to the outside.

Read more on controlling moisture and humidity in the home.

Care for Windows with Blinds Between Glass

Follow these simple instructions to ensure years of smooth, easy operation of your blinds:

• Allow the blinds to acclimate to their environment for optimum performance. Altitude, temperature and air pressure can lengthen the time required for acclimation. It may require up to 24 hours.

• Slide the operator up and down to position the blind to the desired height. The blinds have a separate tilt control; slide it up or down to tilt the slats to the desired angle.

• Ensure the glass surface is clean so the blinds will operate easily. Dirty glass can impede operator movement, requiring more force to operate the blinds. Raise the blinds with the tilt in the open position.

• The blind raises and lowers through use of magnets. If the raise and lower operator comes loose from the glass so that you can't operate the blind, it means the operator magnets have become disengaged. If your operator becomes disengaged, it’s easy to correct. Just slide the operator up until it stops (almost to the bottom of the tilt operator) to re-engage it.

• To re-engage, slide the operator past the half-engagement point. You’ll hear and feel one click.

• Continue sliding the operator until it stops. You’ll hear and feel a second click. The magnets are re-engaged after you hear the second click.

• If the raise / lower operator comes off the track, it should be reinstalled by holding the glass so the two legs can be reinserted under the track opening. Re-engage the magnets as described above.

• If the blind bottom rail becomes out-of-level, raise the blinds to the fully open position, and then fully lower them. Repeat if necessary. The blinds will adjust themselves back to level. Tilt the blind in both directions several times. A small gap may exist at the bottom of the blind.

• Don't attempt to operate the blind until the unit is positioned upright.

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