How to Clean Cloudy Double Pane Windows Properly

Double pane windows can be a blessing when it comes to energy efficiency, but they can also be a pain when cleaning them. Between the two panes of glass, dust and dirt can accumulate quickly, making it difficult to see out the window.

You’re not alone if you’ve ever struggled to clean your double pane windows. The wrong method can often lead to streaks and smudges on the glass, which can be frustrating. That’s why it’s essential to do it properly to avoid streaks and build-up.

In this article, we will walk you through all the steps necessary to clean your double pane windows quickly and easily.

So whether you’re a novice or an experienced window cleaner, this guide has something for everyone! We’ll start with the basics and work our way to more advanced techniques.

Clean Cloudy Double Pane Windows


There are some challenges you will face while cleaning double pane windows. The most crucial fact of cleaning a double pan window is identifying the type. And if you manage to clean it somehow, it’s almost impossible to keep it clean for a more extended period.

Besides, opening the window and resealing it is challenging. When cleaning, you must need to remove the sealing and clean windows separately where the seal is broken completely. And after cleaning you have to reseal it, which is doing at home alone is difficult. So, keeping all these things in mind, you have to think about cleaning these windows.

What is Double Pane Windows?

What is Double Pane Windows

A double pan window comprises two panes of glass separated by a spacer. The spacer holds the two panes together and contains a desiccant material to absorb any moisture that may be present.

The spacer also acts as a sealant to prevent air flow or water from entering the two panes of glass. This type of window saves on electricity bills by keeping the room cool in summer and warm in winter.

The most common type of double-pane window is the transparent glass variety. Still, there are also windows with tinted or Low-E (low emittance) coatings to help reduce heat loss in winter and solar gain in summer.

Why Do Double Pane Windows Need to Be Cleaned?

If you have ever looked at a dirty window, you know how difficult it can be to see through it. Dirt, dust, fingerprints, smudges, and even water spots can build up on the surface of the glass, making it difficult to see clearly. It is unsightly, but it can also be dangerous if you can’t see where you’re walking or what’s outside.

Double pane windows are especially prone to dirt and grime because they have two layers of glass. The space between the panes of glass can collect dust and debris, making it even more challenging to clean.

In addition, double pane windows are often located in hard-to-reach places, making them even more challenging to keep clean.

However, you can do a few things to make cleaning your double pane windows a little easier. With the right tools and techniques, you can get rid of all that dirt and grime and enjoy crystal clear windows.

Reasons for Cloudiness in Double Pane Windows

Double Pane Windows Need to Be Cleaned

There are so many reasons for cloudiness in double pane windows. But the most common one is condensation. It happens when the warm air from your house hits the cold glass of your windowpane and causes water droplets to form inside a double-pane window. It usually happens in winters when you have your heaters on full blast.

However, dampness can also be a considerable reason for cloudiness inside double pane windows. If there’s too much moisture trapped inside, it can settle onto your windows and cause them to become foggy or cloudy.

Now that we know all about why our window panes get cloudy let’s move on to how we can clean them and make them look as good as new again.

How to Open Pane Windows for Cleaning

Opening a double pane window is not that difficult. But, most people don’t know how to do it and end up breaking the window.

So, before starting with the cleaning process, let’s see how you can open these windows for cleaning.

To open a double pane window, you first need to identify the opening mechanism. There are two types of mechanisms used in double pane windows.

  • Tilt latch and
  • Cam lock.

If your window has a tilt latch, you can easily open it by pushing the latch downward. On the other hand, if your window has a cam lock, you need to insert a small screwdriver or an Allen wrench into the hole provided on the cam lock. Once you have inserted the tool into the hole, turn it clockwise. It will release the lock, and you can now open your window.

So, this is how you can open a double pane window for cleaning. Now let’s move on to the next step, deep cleaning the glass panes.

Proper Ways to Clean Cloudy Double Pane Windows

The main reason people have double pane windows is to improve their home’s energy efficiency. Still, these windows can be difficult to clean. The good news is that there are ways to clean double pane windows without causing damage.

The first and most important step of cleaning is identifying what type of window you have. There are three main types of double hung windows:

  • Sealed windows
  • Removable windows
  • Tilt windows

Sealed Windows: Sealed windows are the most common type of double-pane window. They’re also the easiest to clean because the two glass window panes are permanently sealed together, so there’s no need to remove them. 

Removable Windows: Removable windows are less common than sealed windows, but they’re not difficult to clean. The double panes of glass are held together by a window frame that can be removed. So you can access the inside of the window for cleaning.

Tilt Windows: Tilt windows are the least common type of double pane window, but they’re also the easiest to clean. The two panes of glass are held together by a frame that allows them to tilt inward, so you can easily reach the inside of the window for cleaning.

Once you know what type of double-pane window you have, you can proceed with cleaning it using one of the following methods:

Method 1: Drilling Holes

This method requires some skill as there is a risk of breaking the window if not done correctly. It’s also important to note that this method is only suitable for sealed windows.

To clean a sealed double-pane window using this method, you’ll need to drill two tiny holes in the outer pane of glass. The holes should be big enough to fit a straw or pipe cleaner.

Next, insert a straw or pipe cleaner into each small hole and move it around to absorb moisture and clean condensation inside. Once you’re finished, use a sealant to fill the holes and prevent moisture build up.

Alternatively, you can turn a fan on and keep it close to the drilled holes to improve air circulation and fix condensation. It works as a moisture absorber.

You can also use a drain snake wrapped in a pantyhose inside the window pane. It will help to reduce condensation and clean the fogged windows easily.

Method 2: Using a Dehumidifier

If you feel the drilling method is risky, you can use a dehumidifier. Just turn it on and place it close to the window. The dehumidifier will help to remove moisture from the air, which will prevent condensation on the windows.

This method is suitable for all types of double-pane windows.

Method 3: Lifesaving Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is another effective cleaning solution for double pane windows. Just pour a few drops of rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol into a clean spray bottle and mist the solution onto the inside pane of the window.

Next, use a clean cloth to wipe away the dirt and grime. You can also use a toothbrush to reach any difficult-to-clean areas.

Method 4: Removing the Window

This method is suitable for both removable and tilts windows. To remove a double-pane window, start by opening the window and removing the screws that hold the frame in place. Once the frame is removed, you can lift out the inner pane of glass for cleaning.

Be sure to clean both sides of the glass before putting the window back together.

When to Hire a Professional

Hire a Professional

Some people find it so difficult to clean the double pane windows that they hire a professional for the job. And we also recommend hiring a professional if you have no idea about cleaning paned windows.

So, if you want to take this route, then there are certain things that you need to keep in mind.

  • The first thing is that you should only hire a professional who has experience cleaning double pane windows.
  • Secondly, you should ensure that the person or company is insured and bonded. It will protect you in case anything goes wrong during the cleaning process.
  • And lastly, you should get a written estimate from the professional before they start working. It will give you an idea of how much the whole process will cost you.

Note: If you decide to clean the windows yourself, then there are certain things that you need to keep in mind.

  • The first thing is that you should never use harsh chemicals on the windows. It can damage the glass and lead to costly repairs.
  • Secondly, you should always use a soft cloth when cleaning the windows. It will prevent scratches on the glass.
  • Thirdly, you should never use a power washer to clean the windows. It can also damage the glass.

If you follow these tips, you will be able to clean your double pane windows without any problems. So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can Cloudy Double Pane Windows be Repaired?

You can quickly repair a cloudy double-pane window. For this, you need to use a window sealant.

First of all, you need to clean the surface of the window with soapy water and then apply the window sealant.

Let it dry for some time, and your double pane window will be as good as new!

You may also replace a single sealed window unit for less than the cost of the entire window replacement. You can either do it yourself or hire a local glass professional to complete the work for you.

Q: Can You Clean the Inside of Double Pane Windows?

Airtight double-pane windows have two panes of glass that an airtight seal joins. This seal is intended to keep the air in and act as an insulator. If water or debris accumulates between the panes, it indicates that the seal has been broken. The fracture can be as little as a pinhole wide.

So, you need to clean the inside of the windows. That’s why you have to first separate the two parts. But the seal would be broken if the windows were taken apart completely to clean between the two pieces of glass.

It’s not possible to reseal the window without help from a professional. Unfortunately, this implies that it’s impossible to clean between the two panes without damaging the window.

However, if you clean in this way, you must reseal it. And if your window’s seal is destroyed and dirt/moisture is beginning to show, it is excellent practice to have it replaced.

Q: How Do You Fix Cloudy Double Glazing?

There are a few ways to fix cloudy double-glazed windows, but the most common is simply cleaning the windows. You can use various methods to clean your double-paned windows, but the most important thing is to be careful not to damage the glass.

We have already mentioned how to clean the double pane windows safely and some safe methods. So, follow them properly and fix the cloudy problem.

Q: Will a Hair Dryer Remove Condensation Between Glass Panes?

A double paned window is made with two panes of glass. There is a space between the two panes that are sealed and typically filled with air or argon gas.

These windows are more energy-efficient than single pane windows because they create an extra insulation layer. The sealed airspace also reduces condensation on the window surface. 

But if any condensation build up around glass panes, you can use a hair dryer to remove them. And it’s only a short-term solution. If you keep this for longer, dampness or mold growth will eventually occur.

So, you have to take proper steps to solve this permanently.

Wrap Up

So there you have it, the A to Z of cleaning double pane windows. As you can see, there are several ways to clean double pane windows, so there’s no need to put up with foggy windows any longer.

Cleaning pane windows don’t have to be complicated. Just choose the method that best suits your needs and get started on giving your windows a streak-free shine.

We hope this guide was helpful and that you feel more confident about tackling those pesky windows. Happy cleaning!

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Melia Karneva

This is Melia Karneva, a mother of two young gentlemen. A stay-at-home mom, she loves nothing more than cleaning and cooking for her family. Her true passion, is writing, which she pursues with great zeal. She loves putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) in her spare time. Karneva thinks of herself as a Renaissance woman - she can do many things but doesn't like to brag about them.

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