Keeping your doors well maintained

As winners of the Consumer Protection Association’s Customer Care Award, we manufacture our doors to a high standard, which means that they don’t take too much looking after. Here are some simple tips that will help you keep your doors looking good without upsetting your lifestyle.

uPVC and aluminium doors

Doors naturally get dirty as they’re exposed to rain, pollution and wind. Dirt on its own shouldn’t damage your doors, but you can keep them looking good by following our guidelines.

Depending on where you live, you may need to clean your doors more often. In towns and cities such as Nottingham they may need cleaning every three months or so, but in more rural areas every six months will be enough, so cleaning won’t interfere with your lifestyle.

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French entrance doors
golden oak composite doors

Everyday cleaning

  • Use water with washing-up liquid or soap and a soft cloth to carry out general cleaning
  • Avoid getting glass cleaner on the frames
  • Avoid using kitchen or bathroom cleaners, as they can be abrasive
  • f there are greasy marks, use neat washing-up liquid and then rinse off with clean water

Tougher stains

  • If your uPVC has been neglected and not cleaned for a while, you can use a specialist uPVC cream cleaner
  • For aluminium that’s been neglected, use washing-up liquid with little water or neat; use a scrubbing brush with stiff fibres and then rinse using clean water

Don’t use

Some methods and products can damage your doors and should always be avoided:

  • Pan scourers or wire wool
  • Cleaning agents containing ammonia or caustic substances
  • Abrasive cleaners such as scouring powder
  • Any other chemical cleaning agent

Timber doors

We use carefully chosen seasoned wood for our timber frames. Though this has natural properties to help it stand up to the elements, in our factory it gets a colour harmonising preservative finish followed by a protective paint or stain with a micro-porous finish.

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Chartwell Green Timber French Door
grey timber sliding patio doors

Normal cleaning – to be done twice a year

  • For everyday cleaning, use water with soap or washing-up liquid and a soft cloth
  • Avoid getting glass cleaner on the frames
  • Avoid using kitchen or bathroom cleaners, as they can be abrasive
  • If there are greasy marks, use neat washing-up liquid and then rinse off with clean water
  • Wood doesn’t last forever. Maintaining the coated finish is important, as this will keep the door looking good, and with the proper maintenance your doors ought to last even longer than their guarantee period.


We do recommend that the surface coating gets an annual inspection and if necessary the wood should be re-coated using a micro-porous stain or paint.

How to do it:

  • Clean the door using the recommendations above and wait for it to dry
  • Lightly rub down the existing paint or stain finish using a fine grade of silicon carbide wet and dry abrasive paper (try not to rub all the way through the existing finish; this is just to remove any grease and dirt that’s present and provide a smooth surface)
  • After sanding, wipe off any dust and debris with a wet cloth, taking care not to inhale the dust
  • Wait until thoroughly dry
  • Using a brush, apply the new micro-porous finish; take care not to overload the brush and avoid getting the finish on the seals or gaskets
  • Avoid using non-micro-porous finishes such as yacht varnish, as they will need stripping and renewing more often. Stick to micro-porous products and follow the instructions on the container
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Cream uPVC french doors
white French doors

Dealing with chips and scratches:

  • Re-paint or re-stain damaged timber as soon as possible
  • Prepare the damaged area first by removing any surface damage using a light abrasive; follow the line of the wood grain
  • Using a wet cloth, remove all the dust and debris; be careful not to inhale the dust
  • You can use a timber filler where needed to repair any damage and provide a smooth surface for reapplying the finish
  • Apply the finish to the damaged area using the techniques described above
  • Not treating scratches and chips will invalidate your product guarantee.

Movement, grain and knots

Because wood is a natural product, you’re bound to get knots and differences in the appearance of the grain. These are part of the natural beauty of a timber product rather than faults. Since it’s a natural product, a certain degree of movement in terms of expansion or contraction of the wood can be expected too.

Maintaining hardwood entrance doors

A hardwood entrance door with a stain finish has to be correctly looked after. Each year the stain finish on the door needs to be inspected, and if the finish appears to be worn or damaged, then apply a further coat of stain. More frequent inspections may be needed in certain locations or conditions – for example, in coastal areas or for south-facing doors. Call our customer services team for advice if you’re in doubt.

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chartwell green composite door
white timber bifold door interior

Standard glazing

Everyday cleaning

For day-to-day cleaning, use water with soap or washing-up liquid added and a soft cloth

Removing tough stains

  • Use one of the commercially available window-cleaning solutions or creams
  • Follow the instructions on the cleaning product
  • Be careful to keep the cleaning product away from the frame
  • Rinse away any residue using clean water

What not to do

  • Don’t employ creams which contain abrasive ingredients
  • Don’t use wire wool or razor blades to remove stubborn marks

Caring for leaded glass

After a while, the lead part of this glass naturally becomes weathered, but any oxidisation will be of a uniform colour. The time this takes to happen will vary between installations and even between doors; it depends on how much exposure it gets to the elements and whether the installation is located in an urban or rural area. You need to be patient and let the natural weathering process run its course

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aluminium patio doors
A closed white aluminium bifold door

Letter boxes and door furniture

Everyday cleaning

  • For day-to-day cleaning, use water with soap or washing-up liquid added and a soft cloth
  • On stainless-brass letterboxes you can remove surface dirt by dusting using a soft cloth.
  • Remove stubborn stains using white spirit or a good-quality non-abrasive wax car polish

Don’t use

These methods and products can lead to damage or corrosion to your products:

  • Metal cleaners or aerosol products
  • Any ammonia- or caustic-based cleaning agents
  • Abrasive cleaners or scouring powder
  • Wire wool or pan scrub pads
  • Any other cleaning agents


  • Use a light machine oil to lubricate locks
  • Don’t use any other type of other oil, grease or aerosol lubricant


  • Make sure you have a spare key available – maybe one left with a neighbour
  • We can cut extra keys for you if required – call us for more information
  • Note that if a lock needs to be removed from a door, it can’t be done without a key/
  • If you have an access or security emergency, call our out-of-hours number: XXXXX XXXXXX
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Black aluminium French doors
Close up of silver sliding patio door handles

Door Hinges


  • Employ a light machine oil to lubricate catches, restrictors and window hinges as required
  • Don’t use other types of oil or grease
  • Don’t use any other type of lubricant/
  • You don’t need to lubricate plastic moving parts, as these are self-lubricating
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Visit our Ilkeston show-site to see windows, doors & conservatories on display in PVCu, aluminium & timber

If you’d like to find out more about Lifestyle Windows, come along to our Ilkeston showroom and conservatory village. We provide on-site parking and are open six days a week during normal working hours. You can even book an appointment with one of our friendly advisors for an evening or Sunday visit to our stylish showroom. Browse our extensive range of high quality products and speak to our knowledgeable team about the best solutions for your home improvements.

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