<iframe title="Google Tag Manager" src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-WGSBCJ" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden"></iframe>
Skip to Content

How to Clean and Care for Double-Hung Windows


on May 10, 2018

Woman with cleaning bucket and supplies

Cleaning isn’t just about keeping up appearances; it’s about keeping your windows in good shape. Proper cleaning and maintenance helps your windows work well and can help prevent normal wear and tear from turning into bigger problems.

A clean window is a healthy window. And some windows are easier to clean than others. Double-hung windows are a popular window style, and are preferred by homeowners in part because they’re so easy to clean.

Cleaning a double-hung window

A couple squirts of glass cleaner and a few swipes of a paper towel or cloth wipe the grime away from the inside of your window. You know that much already. But there are more parts of the window that need regular attention.

Exterior of the glass

To make cleaning the exterior of the glass easier, Pella double-hung windows tilt in. You can clean the outside of your window from inside your home. Here’s how to safely tilt your Pella double-hung windows with a compression jamb liner (some of Pella's other product lines have a tilt latch for this process) to clean the outside of the glass:

  1. Unlock and raise the lower sash three inches.
  2. Tilt it in by pressing on one side of the jambliner and pulling that corner of the sash toward you — and then do the same for the other side.
  3. Tilt the lower sash toward you at a 90 degree angle.
  4. Slide the upper sash down until the top of it is within reach.
  5. Place one hand on the top of the upper sash and, with the other hand, press one side of the jambliner and pull the corner of the sash toward you. Then do the same on the other side.
  6. Tilt the upper sash out and clean the outside of your window with the other hand.
  7. Lift and rotate the upper sash upright and push it back into its normal position by applying pressure on both corners of the upper sash in one quick movement.
  8. Clean the exterior of the lower sash.
  9. Place the lower sash back into its normal position just as you did the upper sash.
  10. Close and lock the window.

Window track

Dirt and debris may get caught in the track, making it harder to open and close your window. This is one way windows can get stuck. For smoother operation, clean the track regularly with a dry brush. Use soap and water if you can’t get the gunk out with the dry method.

Window sill and frame

Your window sill can collect as much dirt and dust as your track. You can use the brush attachment on your vacuum to suck up the debris.

Without regular cleaning, stains and deposits can develop on your window frame. Stay away from anything abrasive or scraping tools that can damage the frame. Warm, soapy water is typically enough to clean your window frame inside and out. Try applying mineral spirits to a dry cloth or towel for tougher stains.

Weep holes

Weep holes help to provide water drainage when water accumulates in the sill and track. If water doesn’t appear to be draining, you may consider cleaning the weep holes to clear away debris. Use a small, soft brush to clear the opening on both the outside and inside weep holes.

Maintaining a double-hung window

Regular cleaning of the different parts of your double-hung window is an important part of window maintenance. Cleaner windows can make an impact on the life of your window.

Regular inspection of your windows can help to prevent minor issues from becoming major problems. Your annual window inspection should check for:

  • Leaks and improper drainage
  • Cracked or chipped paint
  • Cracks or breaks in the sealant
  • Problems sliding the sashes

If your inspection turns up issues, take the time to address them where appropriate. Repair the leaks or clean out the weep holes to improve drainage. For more serious window problems, schedule service with your local Pella window professional.

Double-hung windows can help make cleaning and annual maintenance easier. So take advantage of the benefits of this window style. With regular and correct care, you can enjoy the clear views and versatile ventilation of double-hung windows for years to come.

Schedule a free consultation to find windows and doors for your home.