How to Remove a Tilt Out Window Sash

Michael Kozlowski

For most homeowners, the days of climbing ladders to clean windows is long past. These days, almost all replacement windows offer a tilt-in feature to allow the homeowner to clean the sash from inside the home. You may wish to remove the sash completely, either for a more thorough cleaning or for repair.

This can be done in a few simple steps.

  1. Open the lower sash of the window. Sashes will not be able to tilt if they are in the closed position. For upper sashes, you will need to lower them to access the releases, but this can only be done after removing the lower sash.

  2. Locate the releases. These are usually located on the top of the sash. There should be one on each side. Activate the release, generally by sliding it inward, and pull the top of the sash toward you.

  3. With the sash leaning into the home, grip either side toward the bottom of the sash. Keep one side of the sash steady and raise the other side. The sash will slide on the balancers that operate the sash.

  4. Pull the sash free as it reaches the point of release. The sash is held into the balancers by metal or plastic pins. It will come free of these as the sash is tipped.

  5. To reinstall the sashes, perform the previous steps in reverse order.

  6. Tip

    A screwdriver may be needed to properly align the receivers on the balancers when reinstalling the sashes.


    Window sashes can be quite heavy. For large windows you may need someone to assist you to make sure you do not drop the sash or injure yourself.