How to Clean Double-Pane Windows

Ruth de Jauregui

On a bright, sunny day, if the curtains are open but the sunlight seems dim, it may be past time to clean your windows. After a long, hard winter or a dry, dusty summer, windows become magnets for dust and dirt.

Arm yourself with a window washing solution, squeegee and clean rags to quickly and efficiently clean any glass window. Single, double or even triple pane, it doesn't matter. Windows require regular cleaning on both the inside and outside to let the sun shine in.

Inside of the House

  1. Vacuum the window glass, surrounding frame and windowsill thoroughly to remove dust and dirt. The brush attachment for upholstery helps dislodge dust, debris and spider webs on and around the window.

  2. Put on gloves and safety goggles before mixing and using window washing solution.

  3. Mix 1 tablespoon of household-strength vinegar with 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. If the windows are extremely dirty, add 1/2 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to the solution. Shake well to mix the ingredients.

  4. Place a towel on the windowsill to protect the paint from the window washing solution. Spray the window thoroughly, starting at the top and working your way down.

  5. Remove the solution with a squeegee, pulling it from the top down to remove the fluid. Wipe the squeegee with a rag between each downward stroke.

  6. Dry any remaining wet spots on the window glass with a clean, soft rag.

  7. Dry around the window with a clean rag and remove the towel from the windowsill. Wipe the windowsill if necessary to remove any remaining window washing solution.

Cleaning the Outside

  1. Hose the window and the surrounding trim with water to remove any loose dirt and spider webs.

  2. Spray the window thoroughly with window washing solution, working from the top down.

  3. Move the squeegee horizontally to remove the solution from the glass, starting at the top left corner and working from left to right. Wipe the squeegee with a clean rag between each stroke to remove the dirty solution.

  4. Wipe around the trim and edges of the window to remove any remaining solution. Dry any damp spots with a clean, soft rag.

  5. Go back inside and look out the window. If there are any streaks, you can identify if they're on the inside or outside by the direction. Vertical streaks are inside, and horizontal streaks are outside.

  6. Repeat the cleaning process to remove any remaining dirt or streaks on the window.

  7. Check the weep holes at the bottom of the window and ensure that they aren't clogged with debris. Brush out any dirt with an old soft toothbrush.

  8. Tip

    Find squeegees at home improvement centers and janitorial supply stores, and pick up extensions so you don't have to get on a ladder. Rags, hard paper towels or crumpled newspapers may be used instead of a squeegee to dry windows; however, the newsprint may irritate your hands and lungs.


    Keep window washing solution and ingredients away from children and pets. Use caution if you need a step stool or ladder to reach the windows. Have a helper hold the ladder for you and hand you tools. Double pane windows can't be cleaned between the two panes. If they are foggy inside, the seal is broken. The window panes must replaced by a professional window installer to resolve the problem. Alternately, you can install new replacement windows.