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How To Clean A Casement Window

Dirty casement windows can make your home look old and unsightly. However, these types of windows pose a bit of a challenge to clean due to their ability to open. So, what's the best way to clean them? We've done the research to bring you the answer.

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Here are the steps to clean casement windows:

  1. Make sure the windows are completely closed.
  2. Create a cleaning solution (optional).
  3. Clean the inside of the windows.
  4. Clean the exterior of the windows.
  5. Dry off the window frame.

The method to clean your casement windows may vary slightly depending on the type of accessories that you have attached to your windows. For example, if you have insect screens on the windows, you may need to unhook them first and set them to the side. Without further ado, let's take a closer look at the casement window cleaning process.

White casement windows with a Christmas wreath hanged on the middle, How To Clean A Casement Window

Steps To Clean Casement Windows

If you are cleaning your casement windows for the first time, don't forget to inspect the inside of the window sill for condensation cracks, leaks, or dead insects. Any of these can be a sign of insufficient insulation, leading to other issues down the line.

A panoramic white framed window with a view of the garden and pool

If there are cracks or crevices in the sill, try filling them with foam insulation or silicone exterior caulk. This will prevent potential condensation and temperature regulation issues.

Things you'll need:

  • Paper towels
  • Long-handled squeegee
  • White vinegar
  • Handheld vacuum cleaner
  • 2-gallon bucket
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Window cleaner
  • Lint-free cleaning cloths

1. Make sure the windows are completely closed

Before doing anything, it's essential to make sure that the casement windows are completely closed. If not, you may find the inside floor of your rooms wet from the cleaning.

If your windows are tall, place a dry towel or dropcloth on the floor to avoid getting the area beneath the window wet during the cleaning process.

2. Create a cleaning solution (optional)

You can create a DIY window cleaner or simply use a commercial cleaner such as Windex. However, if you're cleaning the outside of the window, a vinegar solution may work best to clean both the windowpane and the surrounding frame.

To make the vinegar solution, simply fill your bucket with an equal amount of vinegar and water. You can also use dish soap to clean the window frame. 

3. Clean the inside of the windows

Take your window cleaner and spray it on the windows, wiping it off with a lint-free rag. If you use a soap solution, be sure to wipe the windows with just water to avoid leaving any soap scum behind. Next, clean the frame of the windows to remove any dirt, debris, or dust that may have accumulated.

If needed, take a handheld vacuum or one with an attachment hose and vacuum any debris on the inside of the window sill. Often, these are areas where house bugs, spiderwebs, dust, leaves, and other debris accumulate if they are left open—especially if they don't have a screen.

4. Clean the exterior of the windows

Open the casement windows by lifting the lock handle and then cranking the window until it's at about a 90-degree angle, or as far as it can open.

First, clean the casement window frame to remove any dead bugs, insects, or dust. Be sure to wipe around the edges and get in between the crevices of the window frame.

Next, spray your cleaning rag with window cleaner and then reach outside the window to clean the exterior. If the window is too far for you to reach, crank the handle back to bring the window in a bit.

Or, you can use the squeegee and run it horizontally across the window, bringing it towards you as you clean. If it still poses a challenge, close the window completely and use a ladder to clean the window from the outside of your home.

Find this squeegee on Amazon.

5. Dry off the window frame

After cleaning the window and frame, take a dry microfiber cloth to remove any remaining debris or cleaner left behind. Pay special attention to the area beneath the window where the cleaner has likely dripped.

Can casement windows be cleaned from the outside?

A white casement window with white shutters and a gray concrete wall

Yes, casement windows can be cleaned from the outside, though you will need a telescopic ladder to clean higher stories.

The process for cleaning the windows will typically be the same as cleaning the inside except for the fact that you won't need to crank the windows open to clean them. You can leave them closed and wipe them down to clean the glass pane and the frame.

How do you clean casement window frames?

You can use an all-purpose cleaning solution to clean the casement window frames. However, you should stay away from abrasive cleaners such as those containing bleach or ammonia. You can also create your own homemade cleaner.

To make the solution, just mix one and a half cups of white vinegar with a gallon of lukewarm water. You can also add a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice to help mask the vinegar smell, though it will dissipate once the solution dries.

You can also mix a tablespoon of mild dishwashing detergent and mix it with a gallon and a half of warm water in a bucket. If you're cleaning the inside of the frames, be sure to place a tarp or a large towel on the area beneath the window to avoid getting water on the floor.

If you're cleaning the outside of the window frame, it may be best to use paper towels to get rid of all the dirt, debris, or dead insects that may have accumulated on the window frame—especially if the frame is located on the second floor of the home.

And if you're using a soapy cleaner such as dishwashing liquid, be sure to wipe the windows down with just water to avoid leaving soap scum on them. Then, either squeegee the windows or dry them using a lint-free cloth.

How do you clean a second-story casement window?

Interior of a study room with white framed window

The quickest way to clean a second-story casement window is to simply clean it from the inside. This involves opening the window via the handle and using a squeegee to clean the exterior side of the window.

However, if the window is too large to reach by hand or the task seems too cumbersome, you can use a telescopic ladder to clean the windows from the outside. If using a telescopic ladder, be sure to clear the ground area around the ladder ahead of time to ensure that it's level before you climb it.

You may also want to place a tarp or plastic cover on any surrounding shrubs or bushes to prevent them from being sprayed with the window cleaner.

How frequently should you clean casement windows?

A bay window with succulents and cacti on the window

The frequency at which you clean the windows depends on how dirty they get. Generally, windows may need to be cleaned every few weeks or so. However, if your casement windows are more prone to dead bugs, insects, and leaves, cleaning them every 3-4 months may be a good idea, especially in the spring and fall seasons.

One of the easiest ways to clean the windows is to simply wipe them down with window cleaning cloths or window cleaner and a microfiber cloth. When opening the windows, try using a handheld vacuum to clean the window sill area, as it's prone to dirt and dust.

If you prefer not to clean your windows and have a professional do it, twice a year should suffice.

Also, when you clean your windows, always inspect them for cracks and condensation. Casement windows are especially prone to this because of their horizontal opening.

For example, if you notice your windows having a small area of condensation on their bottom during the fall or winter seasons, you may want to reach out to an HVAC technician or window expert to see if you have a moisture issue. If there is one, it may be due to bad insulation or a subpar window installation job.

Wrapping Things Up

White casement windows with a Christmas wreath hanged on the middle

We hope this post has helped illustrate how to clean casement windows efficiently and safely. Remember, if you aren't able to reach the exterior of the window from the inside, you can always use a ladder to clean the exterior of the windows from the outside.

Before you go, be sure to check out these other posts:

Should You Replace Windows Or Siding First?

What Color Siding Goes With Black Windows?