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How to Clean the Inside of a Double Pane Window

By March 15, 2021Home Maintenance
How to clean the inside of a double pane window

Many people have double pane windows in their home.  They are aesthetically pleasing but also are energy savers.  A single pane window can be cleaned with glass cleaner, but how do you clean the inside of a double pane window? Well, if there is dirt or moisture then that means the seal broke in the window. 

Other than replacing it or having a professional reseal it, there are some DIY things you can try to do.  These are drill holes, point a fan on the holes, use a dehumidifier, use a water snake, or buy new windows.  Let’s take a look at why this is important, what a double pane window is, signs the seals are broken, ways to clean it by drilling holes or not drilling holes, replacing the window and maintenance.

Why This is Important

Double pane windows are in many homes. The outside layer of the window can get dirty from sweet children’s handprints or mouth prints or by simply touching the window. However, if the inside of the window is dirty, this means the seal is broken and you can clean it, but the window may need replacing..

What is a Double Pane Window

A double pane window has two pieces of glass and an empty space in the middle, which is an air-tight seal.  This seal also acts as an insulator and keeps the house warm in winter and cool in summer and saves money on the energy bill.  This is because it does not allow any of the air to escape the home or come in. 

Signs the seals are broken on a double pane window

Signs the Seals are Broken on a Double Pane Window

When the seals are broken, unfortunately, a professional can possibly reseal them or you will be replacing the window.  Below are indicators that this has happened. 

  1. Condensation between the two panes of glass because moisture now can get in
  2. Rust will start to build-up
  3. Foggy and milky look on the panes of glass
  4. Dirt and grime appear

Drill Holes to Clean the Inside of a Double Pane Window

If the seals are broken, there are some ways to buy you extra time before replacing the windows.  One of those is to drill holes. 

Keep in mind that drilling holes in the windows could lead to damaging the glass and ruining the efficiency of the window, so it should be done as a last resort. Also, if you drill into the glass, you should use a special bit. You can drill one or two small holes ¼ inch into the seal of the window and 2 inches from the corner. When you have done this, take a small desiccate packet and place it inside to get the moisture out. 

Another idea is put a sock on the end of a wire and duct tape the sock on.  You will use this like a duster.  Put it in the hole you made and try to clean the window.  The hole must be big enough though to do this and that is where this is tricky. 

Point a Fan on the Holes

This is another idea and may help in drying out the inside of the window.  It will get the air flowing and help the water evaporate, but won’t work for dirt. If you do drill holes, do not reseal them when you are done. Leaving them open will allow you to clean the window again and also won’t lock in the moisture. 

Clean the Inside of a Double Pane Window Without Drilling Holes

Clean the Inside of a Double Pane Window Without Drilling Holes

  1. Put a dehumidifier near the window and this might pull the moisture out.  This will also help prevent mold.
  2. Purchase a water snake moisture absorber and lay this next to the window.  It has multiple uses and can also be used for water on the windowsill and drafts in doorways. 

Replacing the Window

Remember that once the seal breaks, all the ideas above will buy you more time but not fix the issue.  Ultimately, you will need to replace the window. Check out this video for when you need to replace a double pane window. :

Maintenance of Windows

When doing spring cleaning, it is a good idea to check out all of the windows. If you have a window ac unit in your windows, this is a good time to either leave it in the window to clean or take it out of the window and replace the filter and clean the coils, fins and wash the pans.

Also check the window sash of the window by making sure it slides up and down easily and can lock for safety.

When to Call a Professional

Call a professional if you are having issues with your double pane window. They can help with proper diagnosis and window replacement if needed. It can be difficult to replace on your own so call on someone who is trained in that area.


You want to make sure that the moisture build-up isn’t because of high humidity in the home or a setting on your thermostat so consulting with a professional is a good idea before you replace the window.  We will inspect your windows during our home inspections in Olympia, Washington. Questions about your double pane windows or are you in need of our services? Comment below.

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