Wooden window frames are a classic choice for many homeowners. They are typical mostly for old buildings, but even nowadays, some people choose them because of their special appeal.
But what many people don’t consider is the fact that cleaning such windows is not as easy as it seems.
For instance, most window cleaning products which are being sold on the market are not suitable for cleaning wooden window frames or sills.
Most wooden window frames are painted, and the glass cleaner can damage or even completely remove the paint.
Therefore, you will need a gentle cleaning solution to clean these parts of your windows. Here are some tips to help you out.
How to Clean Wooden Window Frames
Clean the interior and exterior of the window frame with a clean, dry cloth to remove dirt, dust, and debris.
Due to their relative acidity, soot and dirt can severely damage a wood’s finish.
By wiping them clean, you will reveal any issues hidden underneath and help prevent others from arising.
After that, use a soft-bristled brush, mild soap and warm water to clean the wood window frame.
Any neutral soap will work, or you can choose one specially formulated for wood.
You should not use a pressure washer or hose to wash down the wood; instead, apply minimal liquid and avoid soaking it.
A teaspoon of baking soda in your soapy water might help clean exceptionally grimy window frames.
In addition, you can quickly remove stains from white window frames by applying diluted bleach.
Bleach should never be applied to window frames that have been stained, varnished, waxed, or oiled to avoid discolouration.
The Most Common Problems With Wood Window Frames
By cleaning and checking your wood window frames twice a year and performing any necessary maintenance, you can detect any changes in the wood. Checking for damage is just as critical as regular window cleaning. Here are some things to watch out for!
- Mould or Mildew – As moisture builds up inside or outside your home, mould and mildew may collect on wood window frames. Consider investing in a dehumidifier if you notice these problems on the interior of the frames, as it will proactively remove excess moisture from inside your home.
- Cracks – When the seasons change, cracks can appear out of nowhere as wood expands and contracts. Whenever a crack forms, clean it out, then fill it with exterior wood filler. Sand the spot smooth once it has dried, and refinish the entire window frame to seal it.
- Loose or cracked caulking – Occasionally, you’ll need to touch up the caulking around your window frames. If your caulking is cracked, broken, or loose, it’s time to trim it and re-seal it with a heavy-duty exterior caulk.
- Froggy glass – Foggy or frosted windows often indicate that the seal on the window is broken and moisture has entered. Check with a professional to determine if a whole window replacement is necessary or if just one pane can be replaced and re-sealed.
- Rotting spots – If you don’t see any, gently press the frames so you can feel if there is any difference between areas. To the touch, wooden frames should feel hard and sturdy.
- Mitre joints – You will find these joints at the corners of your internal casing. Look for a gap between them. Compare the bottom and the top. When there is damage and it is not repaired, it will lead to drywall damage that may result in electrical problems.
- Scratches and holes – If you have cats or dogs, ensure you take care of their scratching needs, so they don’t damage the window frames. Keep an eye out for scuffs and cavities on a regular basis.
Removing Mould and Mildew From Your Wooden Window Frames
Using bleach is the most effective way to get rid of mould and mildew, but it’s not recommended to use it on wooden frames, as it will destroy the colour and texture of the wood.
Instead, use diluted white vinegar to treat the affected areas. Follow these steps:
- Mix four parts water and 1 part white vinegar in a spray bottle
- Soak the mould stains with the mixture
- Leave it to work for a couple of minutes
- Wipe away and dry the wooden surface
If the problem persists during the cold months, consider investing in better insulation or at least a dehumidifier to capture the moisture and prevent regular condensation in the house.
Avoid Pressure Washing the Window Frame
Pressure washing has become a very popular window cleaning method lately. However, it’s completely detrimental to the health of your wooden frames. Even though pressure washers speed the process of cleaning, they are too harsh on porous surfaces. If you’re not careful, they can even cause the window glass to break, so definitely not worth the risk.
Use small amounts of liquids
Last but not least, using big amounts of water on wooden window frames is a big no-no. Even treated wood can expand when soaked in water. This will displace the window seals over time, causing drafts and extensive damage to the extent where your windows no longer serve their purpose and need replacing.
Lastly, give your wooden window frames some touch-up painting every now and then. Talk to a specialist about whether you need to re-wax or oil every so often. Regularly clean your window frames, and they will look as good as new for many years to come.