A sliding window is one that, rather than opening outward on a set of hinges like a casement window, is formed of glass panels which slide sideways (or up and down) atop one another.

How to Remove Sliding Windows for Cleaning

Most sliding windows are built so that they can be lifted all of the way out of their tracks, for ease of cleaning. If you’re cleaning an upper-floor window, this is really useful.

In most cases, there will be one mobile panel and one fixed one. You’re going to be removing the mobile panel by sliding it along until it moves beyond the blocks (those little obstacles built into the track). Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to lift the window up, and then down and out.

Lay the window on the floor on top of a soft surface. Old towels are ideal for this. You’re going to be cleaning the glass with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Mix a couple of tablespoons in with around half a litre of water. Apply the solution with a spray bottle and then use a scrubbing brush to remove any obvious bits of dirt and grime. You can then polish the surface using scrunched-up newspaper. It’s caustic enough to achieve a smooth finish, but not so caustic that it’ll damage the glass.

How to Clean Sliding Windows without Removing Them

In some cases, removing the entire window and cleaning it might be impractical. If it’s the middle of winter, for instance, you might not want to let that much cold air into your house. Thankfully, there are ways of cleaning the window that don’t involve disassembly.

Cleaning the outside of a window is probably best achieved with the help of an extendable mop and squeegee, preferably with a hose built-in. Remember to move from top to bottom to avoid unsightly drips. If you’re feeling brave, you might consider breaking out the stepladder – just be sure someone’s holding on to the bottom while you’re working.

If you’re looking for a short-term solution, you could always give the outside of your window a quick blast with a pressure-washer, or a pressurised garden hose – just be aware that this approach won’t achieve that sparkling finish.

How to Clean Sliding Window Tracks

If you’ve removed the windows, you might as well take the opportunity to clear out the tracks. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to loosen any trapped debris. Once you’re done, apply some wd40. You can work it into the track by simply moving the window back and forth. This will ensure that the sliding mechanisms remain clean and protected.