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  • Person with gloves cleaning window

    How to Clean Double Glazed Windows

September 2018

What can you do if dirt, dust or moisture works its way inside the panes of your double glazed windows? We’ve provided some tips on how to look after the double glazed windows in your home.

Double glazed windows are a proven energy-efficient addition to any home, helping to reduce heat loss or gain by up to 30% when compared to single-glazed aluminium windows. 1They get a great wrap and for great reason.

As well as their excellent thermal efficiency, double glazed windows also help to reduce noise, condensation and mould. They do cost a fair amount more than a single pane of glass, which is why, if you’ve installed double glazed windows in your home, you’ll want to look after them, right?

Question is, does a double glazed window need any special treatment or care compared to single glazing? It can depend on the condition of the windows and what the problem seems to be.

Everyday cleaning of double glazed windows

As we described in our article on double glazed windows, they are made using two pieces of glass which are separated by an air gap of at least 12mm. 2The gap is sealed and acts as a break between the inside and outside pieces of glass.

If your double glazed windows are performing as they should, you won’t see any marks or condensation on the insides of the two panes of glass. The seal is tight; no dust, dirt or moisture can make its way between the two panes.

In this case, cleaning is easy – similar to how you’d clean any other window:

  • Gently vacuum around the window frame and/or use a damp cloth to wipe away any dirt or grime
  • Use a solution of four parts warm water and one part white vinegar (some people like to add a dash of dishwashing liquid) and wash the glass with a soft cloth
  • Use a soft toothbrush or similar to get into the corners
  • For a streak-free finish, buff the windows with newspaper or use a squeegee with a window-cleaning strip

Dealing with condensation between double glazed windows

If the seal between the two panes of glass is broken – even by just a little bit – then you will soon start to notice the windows getting dirty on the inside. Dust, dirt, moisture, even spiders and their webs can turn your beautiful double glazing into a bit of a mess.

Unfortunately, it’s pretty much impossible for you to clean the insides of each pane with a cloth unless you pull the window apart, which is neither ideal or recommended. So what can you do?

As your first step, you should contact your glazier to get their advice. They may be able to provide you with a quote to fix the problem or replace the window.

Then, there are DIY options that will affect the integrity of the window but could be a good interim solution while you’re waiting to get it fixed properly. You could try:

  • Drilling holes in the glass to insert a desiccant, which is a moisture-absorbing material like silica gel (you can find moisture absorbers at your local hardware store)
  • Threading something like panty-hose through a hole to try and wipe the area clean
  • Drilling a few holes and blowing a fan on the window

If you go down any of these routes, you will have to replace the glass eventually – with holes in the glass, the thermal benefits of double glazing go out the window.

The final word

It’s important to care for your double glazed windows – not only because they come at a high price but because once that seal is broken the benefits of double glazing diminish.

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