How To Lubricate Hard To Open Windows

No matter what type of windows you have in your home, be it sliders, casement, single or double hung, chances are the older they get, the more difficult it might become to open them. This can be due to any number of reasons but, in most cases, your windows probably need a little bit of lubricant to get things moving smoothly once again.

That’s why proper routine care and maintenance is so important for maintaining your windows in good working condition. If you practice good upkeep with consistency, you can be sure that your windows will last for as long as you own them.

But even windows that are otherwise well-cared for will experience some occasional problems from time to time. So you might need to give them a little lubricant so you can open and shut them properly again. It all depends on the type of window you’re dealing with and how it operates.

If the window runs on a track you’ll need to turn your attention to that to ensure unimpeded operation. Some windows use hinges instead and you’ll have to give those a good examination and some additional lubrication to make them work correctly.

Windows are going to run into problems every so often, but before you walk into Raleigh’s Renewal by Andersen location seeking affordable window replacement options, try troubleshooting your current issues with these tips for lubricating those hard to open windows.

Diagnosing the Problem

Depending on the type of windows that are installed in the home, you may need to investigate a variety of different components in order to determine why it’s gotten so tough to open them. If it’s a casement window you might be inclined to guess that it’s the crank operator that has failed.

But this is not always the case, and in fact, the main reason why crank mechanisms fail on these types of windows is because the gears become stripped as you attempt to crank open a window that is having some kind of operational failure.

With other window types your hands are the main operational mechanism that opens and shuts the window and you find yourself struggling to lift or shift it in either direction. Those windows that are on hinges can also prove difficult when they creak or don’t swing properly.

In just about every case, additional lubrication can be the solution to your problems. So first do a full examination of your window to see if everything appears to be intact and in its proper place. Sometimes an errant screw or an accumulation of dirt or other debris inside of a track can stop the window from working as it’s supposed to.

Therefore, be sure that the core problem of your window’s failure to open or shut is actually a lubrication issue and not a component of a larger matter. That’s because you can lubricate all of the working components of the window as much as you want, it’ll likely be all for naught.

Lubricating Your Windows on Tracks


Now that you’ve confirmed that the problems with your window are a simple lubrication issue, you can start to address the problem. For those windows that rely on tracks to operate, you first need to reach the tracks.

With horizontal windows, you just need to lift them off at the base in order to disengage the lock springs as you remove the window. For single or double-hung windows, you just need to tilt them in or for those of you with casement windows, slide them open so you can reach at least some portion of the track or the part of the frame where the sash slides.

Wipe the tracks and the frame with a dry cloth to eliminate any dust and debris that might have gotten caught up inside of them over time. For those of you who have particularly dirty tracks, a vacuum should help you eradicate everything.

Take a clean cloth and spray some silicone lubricant onto it (don’t spray it directly onto the track). Carefully wipe the lubricant across the track and the jamb where the sash opens and shuts.

Lubricating Your Windows on Hinges


Do the same thing in terms of preparation in cleaning the hinges. Clean away dirt, grime, and other buildup that might be preventing the hinge from working correctly.

Next, check to see if there is any damage to the hinge. If everything looks okay, then spray the hinge thoroughly. Let it sit for a minute or two, then wipe away the excess and swing the hinge open and shut a few times to help get the lubricant into it.

Wipe up any extra lubricant that might still be visible.