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vinyl_windows(MCT)—Q: My patio enclosure has vinyl windows instead of glass, and I’ve been told not to use harsh cleaners like ammonia or Windex on them or it could cause them to become yellow or brittle. I’m wondering if you could recommend a vinyl cleaner. I tried a brand that is recommended for boat vinyl, but it caused smearing.

A: It’s kind of funny, I guess, but the products recommended online for cleaning vinyl windows are for Jeeps. Two that seem to appear most often are Clear View Plastic & Glass Cleaner and Plexus Plastic Cleaner Protectant & Polish.

First, don’t use paper towels or household cleaners such as bleach or ammonia, as you have noted. Here’s what is recommended on most of these sites: Use a clean, soft terry cloth or cotton rag to wash your windows. Wipe the windows from left to right or right to left to clean them. Use a clean, soft terry towel or cotton rag to dry the entire surface after washing. Rinse thoroughly to completely remove whatever cleaning agent you’ve used. Apply a protectant.

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