Cleaning window gaskets

At last, being able to see outside again clearly – that's usually the purpose of clean windows. But we don’t clean windows purely for aesthetic reasons. After all, they are not just there so that we can look at nature, the sky or the neighbourhood. Windows protect house and flat owners against cold, heat, moisture, dirt and the weather. However, this requires an effective window gasket, which is often ignored when the windows are being cleaned.
The joints ensure that heat remains in the living areas and that, as a result, the occupants save heating energy, while also keeping dust and dirt outside. But this means that they are constantly exposed to environmental impacts. Cleaning the rubber gaskets on windows prevents inadequate protection and the resulting higher energy costs and also stops dust, pollen and moisture entering the indoor spaces. Factors that can result in mould, allergies and other negative effects on health. Please observe the following points when you clean window gaskets:  

  • Keep gaskets dry (also dry condensation in winter)
  • Clean gaskets regularly
  • Use care products, such as silicone spray, deer tallow or graphite so that the gasket remains elastic and to delay signs of ageing
  • Do not use any aggressive chemical detergents (it’s best if you check that the product is suitable for gaskets)
  • Remove all types of dirt from the gaskets
  • Use a soft cloth and do not use sharp objects that may damage the gasket

You will find more information about cleaning and caring for windows here.

Maintaining window gaskets – silicone spray, deer tallow or graphite

Window gaskets are exposed to the weather and other natural environmental elements. And, like every other material, they are also subject to the normal ageing process. However, occupants of houses and flats who clean and maintain the gaskets regularly can counteract this process. But to do this, you need the right cleaning product.
Regardless of whether you have a soft, rubber-like or bulge-like gasket, a hard gasket or a gasket with several fins, caution is always necessary. If the gasket is cleaned too often with an aggressive product, this can cause a chemical reaction that may damage the gasket.   
However, it is not only important to use the right cleaning product, it is also vital to use a suitable product to maintain the gasket. Silicone spray for window gaskets is suitable only for hard PVC, such as fin gaskets. When using this product, cover the window sill and any greenery outside the window with newspaper or cardboard, since silicone spray is very difficult to remove.    
Graphite is quite effective for rubber-like window gaskets, but it can turn black, which is not very attractive on white and painted surfaces. On the other hand, deer tallow or Vaseline are tried and tested maintenance products that are not aggressive, do not discolour and are used effectively for car gaskets.   


When should window gaskets be replaced?

If they are well looked after, window gaskets will last for between 10 and 15 years. But as soon as they no longer perform their task – in other words, start to leak – it makes sense to replace the gaskets. Their effect is reduced automatically over time, through frequently opening and closing the window and also because of weathering and UV radiation. At the latest, when you notice that you are no longer able to heat one or more rooms properly, it’s time to replace the gaskets


But you can also carry out a few tests beforehand so that things don’t get so bad. Occasionally, deformations can be seen on the gaskets themselves – even with the naked eye. A flickering candle on the window sill is an indication of ineffective protection. Draughts can enter the room even when the window is closed. On the other hand, if you are able to slide a piece of paper between the sash and the frame easily, this is a sign that the contact pressure is too weak. This means that draughts will get into the living areas and the heat can get out. Here, too, it’s time to replace the gaskets.