How to clean a sash window

Sash windows provide a charming, traditional look to a house and continue to be popular to this day, but they can be tricky to clean. Regularly cleaning your sash windows is essential for maintaining their appearance and functionality in the long-term.

Read on for our guide on the best way to clean your sash windows thoroughly.

Safety Measures

When you are washing windows, safety is paramount. You should be especially cautious since glass and heavy timber structures are involved. If the windows are high up, do not attempt to clean them without proper safety equipment and gear designed to make the job easier.

Both feet should be securely planted to the floor — so do not stand on a chair or other unstable structure to wash your windows. If a window is too high to reach or you don’t have the necessary equipment, consider calling a professional window cleaner. You should not have to reach further than the length of your arm.

What should I use to clean my windows?

Firstly, you may choose to use a brush or a vacuum for eliminating any built-up dirt before you start.

To clean the inside of sash windows, you will need a glass cleaner and a microfibre cloth to prevent smudges and smears.

If you’re looking for a more natural, less harsh alternative, a solution of vinegar or essential oil mixed with water can provide the same results without the harsh chemical odour.

For the outside, some dishwasher liquid mixed with water is the best solution to not only help break down stubborn grime but reduce the likelihood of smears as well.

To make sure there are no smears, smudges, or water marks — and to remove excess water to help speed up the drying process — a squeegee or a chamois can be used to remove excess liquid.

Steps for cleaning sash windows

Here are seven easy steps for shiny sashes:

· Use a brush or vacuum to remove any excess dirt around the window frame before you start for easier cleaning.

· Using a microfibre cloth, window cleaner or a homemade natural solution, clean the outside face of the upper sash first. Slide both sashes fully down, then carefully wipe down the upper sash.

· Position the inner/bottom sash halfway up and wipe down the top half.

· Raise both sashes all the way up and clean the underneath of the upper sash.

· Position the inner/bottom sash halfway down and clean the lower half of it.

· Remove all extra dirt and grime from the timber frames with a wet, soapy cloth. Make sure the frames are dry by rubbing them down with a squeegee or chamois.

· Check out your reflection!

Check for damage

Washing your windows is the best time to inspect all the parts for signs of damage like fraying cords, or rotting timber. Dealing with these problems sooner rather than later will save you plenty of money and hassle in the long run.

Timber vs UPVC windows

Traditional double-hung timber windows retain the traditional style and quality that many UPVC windows in the double-glazing industry can’t match. While they do require regular cleaning and upkeep, it is worth it for their stylish appearance.

Compared to wooden alternatives, UPVC windows can become discoloured or ruptured by hot temperatures — with proper treatment and care, timber windows can long outlast their UPVC counterparts. While modern UPVC options have useful opening mechanisms, the individual parts of these windows are tricky to replace.

That’s why at Core Sash Windows, we only specialise in the finest timber casements, windows and doors. Enquire today to get a free, no-obligation measuring and quote.

Tips for washing your sash windows

Here are some final window-washing top tips:

· Pick the right day — It’s best to avoid cleaning windows on a sunny day because the window may dry too quickly, leading to unappealing water streaks. Try to clean in cloudy weather or early in the morning.

· Choose the right cleaner — Do not use solvent-based chemicals, abrasive materials, or hard cleaners like spirits or bleach. These can permanently damage the glass and the timber frame.

· Remove all curtains and blinds — It’s much easier to access the windows, handles and frames when you remove any curtains or blinds — letting you get in all the nooks and crannies of a window.

· Make sure you use a microfibre cloth — Although it may seem easier and more convenient to use paper towels or even tissue paper, it can leave debris or lint on the glass. A microfibre cloth helps to remove grime and prevent streaks and water marks.

· Wipe in a figure of eight — The circular motion of a microfibre cloth helps eliminate streaks and smears that can often appear with long, vertical wipes.


Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How do you clean outside windows you can’t reach?

If you’re trying to reach higher windows on the upper storeys, you’ll need the proper equipment to reach them — like an extendable brush or squeegee.

Safety always comes first. You must not stand on a stool or chair because both feet need to be planted firmly on the floor. If you do not own the proper equipment, it’s best to call a professional.

Why do windows look smeared after cleaning?

If you’re experiencing streaks or water marks on your windows, the soapy water or cleaning solution has probably dried too quickly.

To avoid this, clean on a cloudy day or early morning rather than in direct sunlight.

Enjoy being warm and comfortable!

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