How to Clean Vinyl Sliding

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You must have decided to install vinyl sliding probably after you heard about how maintenance-free they are (I’m pretty sure the sales pitch of a salesman selling vinyl sliding just has “maintenance-free” on repeat). 

But that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Dirt and animal hair can get stuck in the vinyl sliding—that’s not only gross but also affects the smooth sliding.

So as spring comes up and you decide to clean your home don’t forget to clean your vinyl sliding windows and doors too!

Materials Required for Cleaning Vinyl Sliding:

Things You Will Need:

  1. A lot of small clean rags (cut up a large one you have for spare)
  2. For windows, you can buy window wash or use a solution of vinegar and water
  3. Dishwashing liquid or a mild detergent for cleaning the tracks.
  4. Bristle brush
  5. Sponge
  6. Vacuum (with nozzle attachment)
  7. Butter knife
  8. Lubricants made for silicone

Solution You Need for Cleaning:

What to buy?

  • You can buy a glass cleaner to make sure that the glass is spotless.

What to make at home?

  • Dishwashing liquid and warm water solution. 
  • Baking soda and vinegar mixed in cold water (for stubborn gunk).

How to Clean and Maintain Vinyl Sliding Doors/Windows:

1. Look for cracks and molds. Inspect both tracks and windows before you start with your vacuum.

2. Remove the sashes and place them somewhere safe, especially if you have pets or children. This will make your job easier and much hassle-free since you won’t be interrupted by those sashes.

3. Removing curtains/screens also makes the cleaning easier (you wouldn’t want to get tangled in them now, would you?).

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4. Cleaning the tracks:

  • Step 1– Vacuum it all up, baby. Vacuum the tracks to remove any loose dust.
  • Step 2– Make a solution of dishwashing liquid and warm water for the corners.
  • Step 3– After you have poured the solution scrub the dirt away using an old toothbrush or a wire brush (you can also use a butter knife to scrape out any corner gunk).
  • Step 4– Now wipe the tracks with a piece of cloth. This should remove the remaining dirt (if it doesn’t don’t sweat because I got you covered).
  • Step 5– Do it for the whole track and this should be done at least once a week to keep your windows sliding smoothly.
  • Step 6– Now for persistent gunk that doesn’t go away with the old soap mixture, we need up our game. Pour baking soda on the tracks and vinegar on top of it (wait for it to fizz and then scrub). This should clean all the stubborn dirt that has made the tracks their home.
  • Step 7– Lubricate the tracks. Use a silicone lubricant to do this. Soak up any excess lubricant using paper towels. There is a small hole on the edge of your sliding door/windows, spray the lubricant into that hole. 
  • Step 8– Move the sliding back and forth to make sure they are working fine.

5. The frames – Remember the simple dishwashing liquid solution. Use it again to clean the frames and trim of your vinyl sliding. Wipe out with a sponge or a microfibre cloth.

6. Make the glass spotlessly clean – Use a glass cleaner and a soft fiber cloth to do this. Spray the glass cleaner on the glass and then wipe it out with the cloth.

7. Let’s give the screens some attention – Take the screens out to your backyard or bathroom and with very gentle water pressure wash out the dirt (make sure the stream of water is very low pressured).

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If that does not clean the screens, use the dishwashing solution again and scrub with a bristle brush gently (I cannot stress enough on the word gently). 

8. Reassemble the window

Things to Avoid While Cleaning:

  • Don’t use any harsh cleaner.
  • Make sure the pressure of water is not too strong.
  • The pressure of the vacuum cleaner should also not be kept on high.
  • Don’t use oil as lubricants.
  • Make sure you use only silicone lubricants for the lubrication of the tracks.
  • Do not use furniture polish.


Can I paint vinyl sliding?

The vinyl surface is not suitable for painting so it’s NOT recommended. The paint will start to flake and peel, and will also damage the surface.

Can I use rubbing alcohol to clean vinyl sliding?

You can use rubbing alcohol to remove stains but DO NOT apply it directly to the stain. Apply it to a towel or cloth, then test it on a small patch first. If all is okay, rub the cloth on the stains then wash it away with hot water. Let it dry.

So we’ve covered all the dos and don’ts in this article. I promise even though it looks tedious, it won’t take your whole weekend. So go and get your windows and doors ready for springtime too. After all, you are going to use them more often to enjoy the sun. 

Written by Pulkit D

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