Double-glazed windows are a great way to make your home more energy-efficient. They help to reduce condensation and mold and block out noise. However, they are an expensive investment and you want to keep them in the best condition by cleaning them regularly. But what is the best way to clean inside double-glazed windows?
In this article, we share with you a step-by-step guide on how to clean double-glazed windows as well as other helpful tips to keep your windows looking great and in top condition for many years.
What Are Double-Glazed Windows?
Double-glazed windows have two panes of glass. The two panes are separated with a layer of gas or air and then sealed airtight. They provide a better barrier than single-glazed windows to outside temperatures because of the two glass layers and the buffer layer of air or gas.
Many types of glass are used for double-glazing. However, Low Emissivity glass is the most common. The high-performance glass comes with a coating that can be adapted to different climates. During the manufacturing process, the windows are sealed airtight to improve insulation and eliminate condensation between the window panes.
Having double-glazed windows in your home can increase its value. You can also lower your energy bills because they will keep your home warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer. They are easy to maintain and the extra layer of glass can improve the security of your home by adding an extra intruder barrier.
How to Clean Double-Glazed Windows
Cleaning double-glazed windows takes a little more time than cleaning single-glazed windows, but it is worth doing it properly. Proper maintenance will keep your windows looking great and in good condition so they last as long as possible.
Here is what you will need to perform a thorough cleaning on your windows:
- A vacuum cleaner with an attachment to clean inside the frame
- Warm soapy water with added vinegar for cleaning the glass
- A soft sponge
- A soft cloth, microfiber if possible
- Optional: window cleaner
Step One: Removing The Debris From Inside The Frame
Over time, your double-glazed windows will collect dust and debris inside the frame as well as on the opening mechanism and the hinges. If dirt is allowed to build up, it may stop the windows from working properly. Locks and handles that are not functioning correctly can compromise the security of your home so clean the grime away regularly.
To clean between the windows, you need to open the windows first. Then you can use your vacuum with an attachment to remove the collected dust and debris. Ensure you get into all the corners with your vacuum attachment.
Step Two: Wiping Down The Window Frames
Once you have vacuumed between the double panes, you need to clean the frame. For this, you need warm soapy water and a soft sponge. Avoid using sponges that have a scouring side because it can scratch the frame or the glass.
After you have wiped down all the sides of the frame, use a soft cloth to dry the frame thoroughly. A tea towel or a chamois leather will both work well. It is best to wipe the frames from top to bottom.
If your frames are UPVC, the soapy water should be enough to get all the marks off the frames. However, if you still notice marks after cleaning, you can try products designed for cleaning UPVC frames.
Step Three: Cleaning The Glass
When the frames are clean and dry, it is time to move on to cleaning the glass itself. You can continue to use the soapy water or opt for a cleaning product designed for cleaning windows. If you are using soapy water, adding a small cup of white vinegar to your soap and water mix can prevent streaking when cleaning your windows.
To clean the glass, pour the vinegar, soap, and water mix into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture directly onto the window and leave for approximately ten minutes. This gives the vinegar mixture time to remove grit and dirt.
After the ten minutes is up, use a soft cloth to wipe the windows clean. A microfiber cloth will work the best, but other soft cloths will be fine, too. If you notice any stuck grime in the crevices, for example, in the corners of the window, you can use a small soft toothbrush to clean it away.
Finish cleaning the glass by drying it thoroughly. You can use a squeegee or a bit of newspaper to dry the glass for a smooth, streak-free finish.
Cleaning The Rubber Seals
To help the seals on your windows last as long as possible, you will need to clean them, too. You should not use any harsh chemicals on the window seals as they can damage the material. For example, they can cause the seal to peel or discolor.
The best way to keep the seals clean is to use warm soapy water and a soft cloth. Simply dip your cloth in the warm soapy water and wipe the seals clean from top to bottom and use a circular motion on any marks.
For tough stains, you may need to use more elbow grease. Even if you have tough stains, you should never use scouring brushes or wire wool to clean them as the rough materials will damage the seal.
There are some products and equipment that you should avoid when cleaning your double-glazed windows. The items on the list can damage the glass, the frames, or the seal.
- Cream cleaners
- Nail varnish remover
- White spirit
How Often Should You Clean Your Windows?
How often your windows should be cleaned depends on where you live. If you live in a rural area with very little traffic, then you only need to clean them twice a year. People who live in urban areas with a lot of pollution should clean their windows more often. Every three months is the minimum recommendation.
How to Avoid Mold?
Even though double-glazed windows are less prone to mold than single-glazed windows, if you get regular condensation inside of the window, it can still lead to mold growth. To prevent mold from growing on your double-glazed windows, wipe any condensation away with a soft cloth as soon as possible.
You can reduce condensation on your windows by not having furniture pushed too close to your walls or windows. Having furniture right against the walls will trap moisture and this results in more condensation. Another reason for excess moisture build-up that can encourage mold growth is poor insulation around the house.
To reduce condensation in rooms with high humidity, such as your bathroom or kitchen, open your windows when having a shower or when cooking. This will allow moisture to escape rather than condensate on the windows. You can also use a dehumidifier to clear excess moisture in the room.
How to Clear Condensation From Double-Glazed Windows?
Windows with double panes have an airtight seal which is designed to keep out dirt and moisture. The seal can wear out over time and when this happens, it will let in dirt and condensation.
You can prevent condensation between the panes by drilling small holes in the windows. Note that you should only attempt this yourself if you are confident using a drill. Otherwise, call in a professional. Drilling holes allows you to insert a moisture absorber between the panes that removes excess moisture to keep your windows clear.
To learn more about condensation on double-glazed windows, you can watch this video.
How to Remove Scratches From Windows?
If you notice any scratches on your window glass while cleaning, you may want to remove them. While minor scratches are relatively easy to remove yourself, bigger scratches should be handled by a professional to avoid further damage that may lead you to need replacement windows.
To remove small scratches from the windows use non-abrasive solutions such as cerium oxide or iron oxide. Pour some solution onto a soft clean cloth and keep wiping the scratch until it has disappeared.
Cleaning double-pane windows can be a little time-consuming as there are more surfaces to deal with compared to single-pane windows. However, cleaning them two to four times per year depending on where you live, will not only keep your windows looking great but also help them to last longer.
When cleaning your windows, avoid using harsh chemicals or rough materials as they can damage the windows, frames, and seals. Soapy warm water works best with vinegar added for cleaning the glass. You can also take measures such as drilling holes in the windows to prevent condensation and mold.
Hopefully, these instructions have helped you to clean inside your double-glazed windows and to reduce condensation. If there is anything you would like to ask about the topic, write your questions in the comments box.