How to Clean Double Hung Windows
Who doesn’t like the look of fresh, brand new windows? Though windows may not look brand new forever, the ability to clean and maintain them regularly can go a long way in presenting their best appearance.
As a result, many homeowners spend each spring cleaning their windows and getting them ready for the warm season when you start to open up the sashes. It is especially true of double hung windows, which are one of the most popular window styles in the 21st century yet need to get cleaned regularly considering both sashes open.
Cleaning Double Hung Windows
Double-hung windows are growing in popularity. There are countless homeowners that appreciate the ability to open not one sash (like a single hung window) yet two sashes.
Since double-hung windows feature a top and bottom sash that open and close independently – they are considered easier to clean and maintain compared to single hung windows.
However, that doesn’t make the process effortless. You still need to reserve a proper amount of time and energy to get the job done correctly. It helps to have the proper tools on hand to get started.
Window Cleaning Tools & Accessories
In order to effectively and correctly clean a double hung window, you’ll need the following tools and accessories:
- Window cleaner (i.e. Windex)
- Magic eraser (for vinyl windows)
- Wood polish and dust cloths (for wood windows)
- Vacuum with extension hose
- 5 gallon bucket of warm water
- window squeegee
- Extra towels or lint-free cloths
Step One: Window Prep
Before you get to the finer details of the window you need to prep it first like any good cleaning job.
First, remove the screens from the windows. You need to do so in order to reach the exterior glass so you might as well start by removing all the screens. During the window prep you can examine each window in order to determine if any other repairs are needed while you’re at it.
We recommend that you first vacuum out the bottom sill of the window. The sill collects a ton of dust and you can make the cleaning easier and less messy simply by vacuuming up all the dust first. In order to do so unlock and raise the lower sash a few inches. Then remove as much debris as you can with an extension hose.
Step Two: Clean the Interior Window
There is no golden rule that you need to clean the interior side first, or vice versa. It is a matter of personal preference. However, we have found that cleaning the interior side first can present a cleaner look of what dirt and grime exists on the exterior side.
If you have any removable interior grilles remove them. Then, clean the windows with a standard cleaner like Windex. Typically the interior side is not nearly as dirty as the exterior side so the process shouldn’t take quite as much time.
Step Three: Clean the Exterior Window
One advantage of double hung windows over single hung is they are much easier to clean the exterior from the inside of your home. It helps on second and third story windows where you would have to access exterior glass from a ladder.
As a result, we assume that you will want to clean the double hung window exterior from the inside. In order to do so raise the bottom sash up six to eight inches. Then, locate the tilt hatches on the window’s bottom sash and pull inwards.
Slowly tilt the window towards the interior of the home. The window should reach an almost flat 90-degree angle. However, if you tilt the window too far, it could damage the frame. So exercise caution and take your time.*
After you reach the parts of glass you can get with the new window angle, it is time to focus on the top sash. Bring it down six to eight inches. Once again locate the tilt hatches on the top sash. Pull inwards like the hatches are meeting in the middle.
Once again the goal is to tilt the window forward and into the interior. It should nearly reach a 90-degree flat angle. You can also break the top sash so try not to put more strain on the tilt than it wants to support.
*Some homeowners elect to use a chair or stool to support the window while it is tilted to the interior of the home.
Step Four: Hard to Remove Cleaning
Some windows, especially on the exterior, are filthy. It’s especially true if the windows hadn’t been cleaned in a while. As a result, you may find it more useful to create a more potent cleaning solution.
Some homeowners like to mix a solution of two to three tablespoons of vinegar with a gallon of water. Mild detergent also works well on the frame and jambliner.
Additionally, if you want that professional look, you should also invest in a squeegee. It does the best job of cleaning windows with a spot-free appearance. However, you do need to replace the blade on a squeegee often in order to maintain a clean sweep. Regardless, squeegees are very affordable and a series of replacement blades cost less than $10.
Step Five: Restoring Windows to Natural Placement
After you have attended to the glass and frame, allow some time for the windows to dry properly. You don’t want to rush putting them back before all the material has dried and cured. It helps to clean windows on a mild, dry day if possible.
Once you’re ready to lock double hung windows back in place, you’ll want to carefully lift and rotate the upper sash until it clicks into place. Depending on the window you may need to push the tilt lashes in as you complete the first step.
It’s important that you don’t use too much force or you could end up forcing the sash past its original position and potentially damaging the window.
Exercise Caution When You Clean Double Hung Windows
Cleaning double hung windows is relatively straightforward. They are technically much easier to clean compared to single hung windows. You just need to exercise caution when changing the tilt of the top or bottom sash in order not to damage it.
To get the best cleaning experience, your double hung windows should tilt forward with ease. If you have a hard time using the sashes and tilting the windows then your windows need to be replaced. Most homeowners overlook their windows as part of the problem for their expensive energy costs. The fact that your windows will not operate properly is a signal that your windows are old.
At Feldco, we have high quality double-hung windows that will significantly improve your home’s energy efficiency and curb appeal. On top of that, we value customer service and that’s why over 400,000 customers chose us because we help homeowners every step of the way.
Lastly, our installers have the experience and training to ensure that the installation goes smoothly as possible. We simply have the best products, service and installation. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.