How to Open Windows for Cleaning

Your home’s windows should be cleaned at least twice a year, and that means inside and out. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to clean the exterior side of your windows from the outside, especially windows on the 2nd or 3rd story. The difficulty leaves some homeowners trying to clean the exterior side of their windows from inside the home. Sometimes this is possible, and sometimes it isn’t. We’re going to do a quick overview of how to open windows for cleaning, when you should attempt to clean your windows from the inside, and when you shouldn’t. 

How to Open Different Types of Windows

There are many types of windows, but it’s helpful to know how to open the most common varieties. Learn how to open simple sliding and crank-style windows and you can get most windows open to clean them or to allow air in. 

Casement Windows and Awning Windows

Both casement and awning windows are crank operated. Turn the crank, and these windows tilt out and away from your home. Casement windows open up like a book, and awning windows tilt from the bottom up and out to form a little mini awning of glass. 

Double and Single Hung and Sliding

With each of these window types, you unhook a lock at the top, bottom, or side of the window frame. Once released, you slide the window up or down for the double and single-hung options, and sideways for sliding windows. 

How to Open Windows for Cleaning

Many windows open to give you access to the exterior glass in some way, but most windows don’t provide access in a way that’s convenient. For instance, many single-hung and double-hung windows slide up or down to give you partial or full access to the exterior glass. The opening you get is small, though, and would be difficult to reach through. Casement windows crank fully open, but reaching around the glass out your window to clean the other side is nearly impossible. This is why for most standard windows, you’ll need to clean them from the outside, or you can get a u-shaped telescopic pole that allows you to reach out and around the glass to clean the exterior. 

These specialized cleaning tools are awkward to use and will be difficult to get a good clean with, but it is possible. Many homeowners opt to pay for professionals to clean their windows. Others choose a magnetic window cleaner, but these tools don’t match a professional’s clean finish. 

Although this isn’t true for every type, there are windows that open inward for cleaning. If you have the option to select your home’s windows and you want easy access to their exteriors, consider investing in tilt windows. There are several different types of tilt-and-turn windows, but they all have one thing in common, they open inward. If you aren’t sure about tilt-in windows and how to open them, it’s simple. There are usually little release clips, levers, or slides on the windows. Unlock them, and the windows will tip in. Just be ready to catch them, because they can fall downward!

Tilt and turn windows either tilt down and in or turn into your home. Either way, you get easy access to the exterior of your windows whenever you want to clean them. If you don’t want to deal with ladders or extension poles, you can invest in tilt or turn windows to make cleaning simpler. 

The Best Way to Open Windows for Airflow

While cleaning the outside of your windows is a good reason to open them, the most common reason to open your windows is to create airflow in your home. According to science, the most effective way to encourage airflow through your window is to open the top and bottom of the window. With double-hung windows, you can open space above and below the window. For other windows, you can open multiple windows to create a similar effect. 

If you don’t have multiple windows to open, or windows that open in two places, just open your window as much as possible to encourage air to flow in. 

How to Open a Double-Hung Window

The most common window found on homes today is the double-hung variety. Double-hung windows are simple to operate and versatile. They offer excellent ventilation and are more affordable than some other window options. If you have double-hung windows, you’re likely wondering how to open double-hung windows from the inside and also how to open them for cleaning. 

How to Open Double-Hung Windows for Cleaning

To open a double-hung window, swivel the upper latch from the closed to the open position. You can now slide the upper window pane downward. Do the same for the lower latch, and you can slide the bottom window upward. 

Double-hung windows only create small open spaces when they’re slid open, making cleaning difficult. Some people rely on specialized magnetic cleaning tools to wash the outside of their windows, but it’s better to use u-shaped cleaning poles equipped with a scrubber and squeegee tool. These poles are difficult to operate, but with enough practice, you can clean double-hung windows using them. 

Do All Double Hung Windows Tilt in For Cleaning?

It’s a common misconception that all double-hung windows tilt in. This isn’t true. Many double-hung windows only slide up and down and don’t tilt. You can tell if your windows tilt in if you can spot a latch release near the top of the window frame. If slide releases are available, press them in an attempt to tilt your window inward. If no releases are available, you have double-hung windows without tilt latches. 

What Is the Best Way to Clean Windows?

Knowing how to open your windows to clean them from the inside isn’t enough to enable you to get a good clean, even if you get full access to the exterior side. You also need to understand how to effectively clean your windows. Fortunately, it’s not that complicated. 

To properly clean your windows inside and out, you need a good cleaning solution made from soap and water, a scrubber tool, and a squeegee tool. Dip the scrubber in the solution and vigorously scrub your window to loosen any dirt. Now, apply the squeegee starting at the top or bottom edge and moving across the window in an s-pattern to remove the cleaning solution and debris. If done properly you’ll achieve a streak-free clean. This is the best way to clean windows inside, though there is a better option for exterior windows. 

The other method is to clean your outside windows with a hose and water-fed pole tool, but this requires an expensive setup and a water filtration system. While this setup is something that some window-cleaning pros are willing to pay for, few homeowners invest in such systems. 

How S&K Building Services Can Help with Home Windows

With enough practice and high-quality tools, most homeowners can clean their interior window surfaces effectively. Exterior window surfaces are another story, though, and many homeowners are never comfortable cleaning hard-to-reach windows. S&K Building Services makes it easy to get your windows professionally cleaned inside and out. Call our reliable team and ask about window cleaning today

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How to open windows with latches?

To open windows with latches, spin the latch to the unlocked position. Now, slide the window pane sideways or vertically to create an opening. Double and single-hung windows slide vertically, and sliding windows slide horizontally. 

What do you call windows that tilt in for cleaning?

Windows that tilt in for cleaning are known as tilt-lock windows. Many varieties of windows are tilt-lock, but double-hung and single-hung windows are the most common. 

How do you open double-pane windows for cleaning?

Double pane windows come in many different types and styles, and the double pane designation means they have two panes of glass for increased insulation. Often, double pane windows have a space between the panes of glass, and they sometimes have a special gas blend added between the panes for improved insulation. 

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

You can clean outside windows you can’t reach in several ways. Professionals rely on a ladder, a telescopic pole or a lift to clean high windows. Some homeowners have tilt-lock windows that tilt inward for easy cleaning. If not, many use u-shaped poles, and some attempt to use magnetic cleaning tools. The best method is always to clean exterior windows from the outside when possible. 

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