You know that lively Sixties’ song by the Hollies: “Look through any window, yeah, what do you see?”

Well, if all you can see when you look out your window is dirt and grime, that’s a problem. And if you can’t climb up the side of your house like a squirrel or float in thin air like a bird, how are you ever going to get the outside of those windows clean, especially the ones upstairs?

Every homeowner knows that cleaning windows can be a real pain—if you can’t reach the pane, that is. And that’s why we’ve got a helpful house-cleaning tip from Doug Cornwell, Alure Home Improvements Chief Operating Officer, courtesy of “Alure’s 60-Second Fix: How to Clean Vinyl Tilt Windows.”

Now before you begin, you’ll want to make sure you have all your cleaning supplies on hand. The pros recommend having a cloth strip applicator, a squeegee and a squirt of dishwashing liquid in a bucket of warm water, but a hand full of paper towels, a sponge and a spray bottle of glass cleaner certainly will suffice.

So, say you start in the upstairs bedroom. You don’t need to climb a ladder to clean the outside of your vinyl windows. All you have to do is learn how to tilt the windows inside so you can easily access the outside surface. First, you want to make sure that you have enough space in front of you so when you tilt the window toward you, you won’t be too crammed to do the job. That also means drawing the curtains or raising the blinds so they’re not in the way.

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The typical vinyl window has two parts: an upper sash and a lower sash. The lower sash has the sash lock located in the middle of its top frame. Flanking the central lock are two little button contraptions, one at each end of the sash. Slide them both toward the center to release the sash from the window frame. Grip the window sash, pull the top toward you and lower the sash until it is horizontal. It can rest on the windowsill while you clean it or against the interior wall of the room.

“Wipe off the dirt, give it a good cleaning and then you’re done!” says Doug Cornwell.

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Once you’re satisfied you can see clearly now, tilt the sash back straight up and make sure it’s lined up properly so it will slide inside the window frame. Push it until you hear it click. Then you know it’s securely snug in its upright position.

Repeat the steps with the top sash.

Soon enough you’ll be singing along with Van Morrison: “I’m happy cleaning windows!”


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