Caring for Window & Door Hardware

Window and door hardware is expected to give trouble free operation throughout the life of the window or patio door it is mounted on. We have gone to great lengths to ensure the hardware we provide will withstand the tests of time. All of the hardware is protected or enhanced by special coatings and lubricants. These protective coatings and lubricants can be damaged or removed by common household products. If the hardware is properly cared for, it will provide you with years of trouble free service.

The following information concerns the proper care of window hardware.

Due to the wide range of environments hardware is used in, some cleaning may be required. Windblown dust and dirt can cause the windows and doors to be more difficult to operate, as well as cause the hardware to wear or corrode faster.

We recommend the hardware be inspected once a year (more if necessary) and cleared of dirt and grime build up. Particular attention should be given to cleaning dirt from slides in window hinges and from the track where the patio door rollers glide.

Clean water should be used when possible to flush the hardware clean. A mild (hand wash) dish soap and water mixture can be used to loosen stubborn dirt. Always rinse the hardware with clean water. Allow the hardware to dry completely before lubricating.

Cleaners to AVOID
Vinegar Based Cleaners
Citrus Based Cleaners (Lemon, etc.)
Industrial Strength Cleaners
Abrasive Cleaners

These types of cleaners will not only remove the lubricants from the hardware, they can also remove the corrosion resistant coatings.

Warning: Glass cleaners and brick/siding washes, with the above ingredients, must not come in contact with the hardware for the reasons listed above.

After the hardware is clean and dried it must be lubricated to restore the smooth operation, and in some cases corrosion resistance. There are a number of commercially available products that can be used. It is recommended that the replacement lubricant be similar to what was removed. (If the gears were coated with grease before you cleaned them, re-lubricate only with grease, not a spray such as WD40, etc.)

The following list of products will help you know where each should be used.

Lithium Grease: Use on all gear drives; such as operators and locks. This is the best choice due to waterproofness.

WD40 or CD2: Use on all sliding or rotating joints; such as rollers, hinges and chains. This doesn't last as long as oil.

Automotive Grease or Petroleum Jelly: Will work in same areas as White Grease, but is not as waterproof and it will attract dust. Be careful when applying grease because it will stain any wood it contacts.

Light Oil, Such as 3 in 1 Oil: Can be used on sliding or rotating joints. Care must be used when applying due to possible staining of wood parts.

Graphite: Can be used on sliding and rotating joints. Also works well on cam locks and hinges.

Warning: Avoid the use of silicone based sprays or lubricants. Silicone can cause some plastic parts to become brittle.

There are many other products that can be used to produce equal results. Care must be used when applying any lubricant to avoid staining and/or damage to window parts. Since lubricants only work if present, periodic checks should be done to ensure the function of the hardware.

If the above steps are followed, the hardware on your windows and patio doors should give years of dependable service. If you have questions on cleaning or lubrication please call Customer Service at 1-800-475-5061.