timber window

How to Clean Wooden Window Frames

There are no substitutes for traditional wooden windows and doors, they are a real asset to a home. Particularly popular for those wanting to retain the traditional look to a period property or to those who want to add a modern touch by installing trendy dark grey or anthracite windows. Maybe it is the reassuring feel of a heavy hardwood front door, or the style and character of sliding sash windows; timber is the only natural choice to consider.

Timber is a unique quality material, often custom and hand finished. Modern methods mean you get the natural beauty and style of bespoke handcrafted wood with the very latest in technological innovation to insulate and secure your property.

During our manufacturing process we ensure we do everything we can to ensure your windows will last the test of time.  The wood we use has natural properties and oils that will help withstand the elements meaning you get maximum protection but minimal maintenance. That being said, you will still need to give them a little attention to ensure they keep looking fabulous for the test of time.

As with anything that gets constant exposure to weather conditions (Especially in Yorkshire!) your windows will need a good clean.

how to clean Wooden windows

Our Basic Step by Step Guide to Cleaning Your Windows:

Before washing the outside of your windows, make sure you’ve chosen a cloudy day as direct sunlight can dry your windows too quickly and leave streaky marks.

STEP ONE: Create your cleaning solution using warm water and washing up liquid.

STEP TWO: Start at the top or bottom of the window, lowering or lifting the frame until it’s at a comfortable height. Then use a dry cloth to remove any visible dust and dirt marks.

STEP THREE: Take the sponge and cleaning solution and scrub gently on both the window panes and the wooden frames.

STEP FOUR: Take your squeegee, and work horizontally across the glass, directing the water down the window. If you have multi-pane windows, make sure you choose a smaller squeegee and pull it down in one single stroke per pane.

STEP FIVE: Wipe up any excess water at the bottom of your windows with your rag, then use your rag and finger to remove any remaining soap suds.

STEP SIX: What is the best way to clean windows without streaking? Mix warm water and a small amount of distilled vinegar to achieve sparkling streak-free windows!

The instructions can vary depending on the type of windows and treatment your windows have, we explain the do’s and don’ts for the following specific finishes and hardware.

wooden windows

Painted Finish Windows

All of our windows are factory painted prior to assembly, providing complete protection from moisture absorption and maximising longevity. Every product receives a base coat of timber preservative, then a primer coat, followed by two coats of micro-porous paint. When cleaning your painted timber windows:

DO – Use soap or washing up liquid with warm water

DO – Rinse thoroughly, using soft cloths

DO – Use microfiber cloths, sponges, soft cloths and lint-free rags

DO – Re-paint if the paintwork needs revitalising, prepare by using a soft brush to remove any dirt and debris, a light sand and then add a new lick of paint. See our decoration guide here

DON’T – Use harsh chemicals such as household bleach

DON’T – Use a hard-bristled brush

Stained and Varnished Windows

The finish on stained and varnished windows doesn’t last as long as painted windows, however a simple re-fresh and clean will get them looking great again. If you have stained or varnished windows:

DO – Use a dilute solution of washing up liquid with warm water

DO – Remove stubborn dirt with a soft brush

DO – Re-stain every five years to ensure ongoing wood protection

DON’T – Use harsh chemicals such as household bleach – especially as it will dry out the wood

DON’T – Use a high-pressured washer – it could damage the wood and weaken frames 

Waxed or Oiled Windows

The care for waxed or oiled windows is similar to stained and varnished but requires more regular attention. You want to be as gentle as possible to ensure you do not interfere with the wood treatment.

DO – Use a diluted solution of washing up liquid with warm water

DO – Remove stubborn dirt with a soft brush

DO – Re-apply the wax and oil regularly to allow the treatment to soak back in after cleaning

DON’T – Soak the window in a lot of water, try to use as little as possible

DON’T – Use a hard bristle brush or cloth, these could scratch the surface


wooden windows clean

Window hardware is not only for aesthetics but is integral to the structure and movement of the window panes, and can often be forgotten about when carrying out obvious maintenance checks and cleaning. However, when looking over the elements you should check over hinges, pivots and cords.

Hinges should be checked to make sure there are no loose screws and it should be lubricated at yearly intervals – more if the window is commonly left open. It’s a good idea to incorporate checks into your cleaning schedule. If they have seized up then use some WD40 or similar and gently work them free. If you have a sash window, you’ll also need to check the cords are sturdy and secure.

The lifetime of timber windows can extend to over fifty years, but for them to truly last, annual inspections and cleaning should be carried out. This allows you to identify any problems and will keep your windows looking stunning for longer.

There you have it! Our guide on how to keep your windows sparkling and clean, using simple household ingredients.

Thinking about replacing your old and tired windows? Download our inspirations brochure for ideas, or speak with one of our specialists below who will talk you through the best solution for your home.

Timber Windows Harewood Contact Form

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