How to Clean Sash Windows: A Step-by-Step Guide

Keep your sash windows looking their best with our comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to clean them.

If you have sash windows in your home, keeping them clean is essential to maintain their aesthetic appeal and functionality. Over time, dust, dirt, and grime can accumulate on the windows, making them look unsightly and reducing the amount of natural light that enters your home.

Fortunately, cleaning sash windows is a relatively simple task that can be completed with a few basic tools and some elbow grease. The process involves cleaning both the interior and exterior of the windows, as well as the window frames and sills.

In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to clean sash windows effectively. We’ll cover everything from the tools you’ll need to the best cleaning solutions to use, and we’ll provide you with some tips and tricks to make the process as easy and efficient as possible. By following our guide, you’ll be able to keep your sash windows looking clean and beautiful for years to come.

Tools and Materials Needed

Cleaning sash windows requires a few tools and materials to make the task easier and more efficient. Here are the things you’ll need:

  • Glass cleaner
  • Bucket of warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Squeegee
  • Microfiber cloth or chamois
  • Newspaper or paper towels
  • Masking tape
  • Soft-bristled brush

Make sure to choose a good quality glass cleaner that is safe to use on windows. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals that can damage the glass or the window frame. You’ll also need a bucket of warm water mixed with a small amount of dish soap to clean the frames and sills.

A squeegee is a must-have tool for cleaning windows. It helps to remove excess water and leave the glass streak-free. A microfiber cloth or chamois is also useful for wiping away any remaining water droplets. You can use newspaper or paper towels to dry the edges of the glass.

Masking tape can be used to protect the window frame from scratches or damage while cleaning. A soft-bristled brush can help to remove dirt and debris from hard-to-reach areas, such as the corners of the window frame.

Preparing to Clean Sash Windows

Before you begin cleaning your sash windows, it’s important to prepare yourself and your cleaning tools. Here are a few things you’ll need to consider:

  • Choose the right time: Pick a day when the weather is dry and sunny, as this will help your windows dry faster and prevent streaks.
  • Gather your cleaning tools: You’ll need a bucket, a sponge or microfibre cloth, a squeegee, a glass cleaner, and a ladder if you have high windows.
  • Protect your floors: Cover the area beneath your windows with a drop cloth or old towels to catch any drips or spills.

Once you have everything you need, it’s time to get started. Begin by removing any dust or debris from your windowsills and frames using a soft-bristled brush or vacuum cleaner. This will prevent dirt from getting inside your home when you open your windows.

Next, fill your bucket with warm water and add a small amount of glass cleaner. Avoid using too much cleaner, as this can leave streaks on your windows. Dip your sponge or microfibre cloth into the solution and wring out any excess water.

If you have two sashes, start by cleaning the top sash first. Slide it down and clean the outside face of the glass, making sure to remove any dirt or grime. Then, slide the top sash up and clean the inside face of the glass using the same method. Repeat this process for the bottom sash.

Finally, use your squeegee to remove any excess water from your windows. Start at the top of the glass and work your way down, wiping your squeegee blade after each stroke. Once you’ve finished, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe away any remaining water or streaks.

Cleaning the Sash Windows

Keeping your sash windows clean is essential to maintain their beauty and functionality. Here are some tips to help you clean your sash windows:

  • Start by removing any built-up dirt with a brush or vacuum.
  • For the inside, use a glass cleaner and a micro-fibre cloth to clean the glass.
  • For the outside, use a soft cloth or sponge and a mixture of dishwashing liquid and purified water to clean the glass.
  • When cleaning the outer face of the upper sash, slide both sashes right down and carefully reach out to remove any built-up dirt.
  • Make sure to clean the frames and sills as well.
  • Be careful not to damage the paint or wood when cleaning.

Regular cleaning can prevent dirt and grime from building up and causing damage to your windows. It is recommended to clean your sash windows at least twice a year, or more frequently if you live in an area with high pollution or dust levels.

By following these simple steps, you can keep your sash windows looking beautiful and functioning properly for years to come.

Tips and Tricks for Cleaning Sash Windows

Cleaning sash windows can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done easily and effectively. Here are some tips and tricks to help you clean your sash windows like a pro:

  • Use a glass cleaner and microfibre cloth to clean the inside of sash windows. This will help to remove any dirt or grime without leaving streaks or smudges.
  • Mix a small amount of mild detergent or vinegar in a bucket of warm water to clean the outside of the sash windows. Be careful not to use too much detergent, as this can leave residue on the glass.
  • Start by cleaning the upper sash first, as this will prevent any dirt or debris from falling onto the lower sash.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any dirt or debris from the sash frame and tracks.
  • For hard-to-reach areas, use a squeegee or extendable cleaning wand to clean the windows without having to climb a ladder.
  • Consider using a window cleaning solution that contains a water repellent, as this can help to prevent water spots and keep your windows looking clean for longer.

By following these tips and tricks, you can keep your sash windows looking clean and clear all year round. Remember to always use caution when cleaning windows, and never attempt to clean windows that are out of reach or in a dangerous location.


Cleaning sash windows can be a daunting task, but it is an essential part of maintaining your home’s appearance and functionality. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your sash windows are clean and well-maintained.

Remember to start by removing any dirt or debris from the window frame, sill, and sash using a soft-bristled brush or a vacuum cleaner. Then, use a cleaning solution and a soft cloth to clean the glass panes thoroughly. Be sure to rinse the glass with clean water and dry it with a lint-free cloth to avoid streaks.

If your sash windows have tilt sashes, cleaning them will be much easier. Simply tilt the sashes inward and follow the same cleaning process as above. If your windows do not have tilt sashes, you may need to remove the sashes entirely to clean them properly.

It’s important to note that some types of glass, such as Low-E glass, require special care when cleaning. Always check with the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a professional if you’re unsure how to clean your specific type of glass.

By taking the time to clean your sash windows regularly, you can improve your home’s curb appeal and increase its value. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of a clear view and improved energy efficiency.