It’s Spring and Time to Remove, Clean and Store Your Inserts!

With warmer days and nights on the horizon, you might want to open your windows to let in the fresh air! That means it’s time to remove, clean and store your insulating window inserts. We want your inserts to last a long time so they can keep you warm and help you save money on your heating bills, for many years to come.

Take a look at the information and tips we provide on how to remove, clean and store your inserts and have a wonderful spring and summer!

Removing Inserts

To remove your inserts, gently pull on the pull tab at the bottom of your inserts. If your inserts do not have pull tabs, you can use a stiff spatula or a paint can opener to remove your inserts. Slip the spatula between the insert and the window at one of the lower corners to break the seal and gently pull towards you. Once one corner is out, you can gently pull the rest of the insert out with your hands and carefully remove it. When you remove your inserts, be careful not to bump the plastic on anything that might puncture it.

Cleaning Inserts 

The plastic on inserts can collect dust, so if you want to clean them quickly before you store them away, use a microfiber or very soft dust cloth. Do not use bath towels or paper towels because both can scratch the plastic. If the inserts need more than a dusting, you can use any spray window cleaner and a microfiber or very soft cloth to gently wipe the plastic clean. Gentle, even pressure on the plastic is not harmful. 

Storing Inserts

There are many places in your home that can be good storage areas for your inserts. The goal is to store them in a place where they will be well protected so that they will be ready to use when the weather turns cold again in the fall. Choose a storage area away from foot traffic – a place where they won’t be moved or bumped. Make sure there are no sharp objects or things that could catch and rip or puncture the plastic when choosing a storage area. 

Important Storage Tips:
  • Inserts can be stored in the back of a coat closet, behind a bureau or bookcase that has been pulled back from the wall, in a dry basement, or under a bed. If storing them laying flat, we recommend placing pieces of cardboard in between them and on top of them to protect the film.
  • Store the standing inserts out of direct sunlight on a flat, dry surface that will not dent the foam.
  • Do not store the inserts in closed plastic bags. You want air to be able to move around the inserts to prevent mold or mildew.
  • Do not store inserts in an attic – these spaces may get very hot and cause damage to the wood and plastic of the inserts.
  • Cover your inserts with an old sheet or cloth to help protect them and keep them clean.
  • If you are storing your inserts vertically, consider storing inserts upside-down from how they are placed in the windows. When inserts are installed, the foam on the bottom gets compressed more than the other foam edges due to gravity. Storing inserts upside-down will give the bottom foam a chance to “rest” and expand during the off season and will prolong the life of the bottom foam.
  • Consider leaving some inserts in place during the summer months if you do not plan to open the window. However, do NOT leave inserts in skylights or south-facing windows exposed to direct summer sun. Excessive heat trapped between the window and the insert can damage its film.


  • Charles L. Hudson
    Posted May 4, 2022 12:58 pm 0Likes

    I don’t bother to dust or clean my window inserts when I put them into storage, but wait until I put them up again in the fall. That way , you can be sure that the inserts are as clean as possible when they go back into use. The inserts could pick up dust or dirt in storage or while they are being moved around.

  • David Gagnon
    Posted April 18, 2023 5:29 pm 0Likes

    I used strapping to build sort of a hanging shelf from the ceiling in my garage. Three horizontals to support the inserts and 20″ long verticals to hang the horizontals from the rafters. Covered the bottom and top with old tablecloths to keep dust out. I’ll also clean them in the fall.

    • Window Dressers
      Posted April 20, 2023 7:55 am 0Likes

      Hi David,
      Thank you for sharing this excellent and creative approach to storing inserts!
      Jessica Williams
      Executive Director, WindowDressers

      • Dianne
        Posted May 17, 2023 9:34 pm 0Likes

        My inserts are the older ones without a pull tab- so the very 1st year I used them I inserted one into the window and pondered how I was going to remove it.

        I took it out of the window and laid it flat on the kitchen table. Using packing tape, I taped a thick gray cord along the bottom of the exterior side of the insert leaving 3-4” of cord on each side. Then when inserting the insert into the window I kept the side cords on the interior room side.

        The side cords were then used to pull and remove the inserts in the Springtime. Made it much simpler for me.

  • Mary Orear
    Posted April 19, 2023 8:59 am 0Likes

    Does anyone have some suggestions for reusing in-excellent-shape-but-no-longer-needed WindowDressers inserts?
    Seems a shame to just dismantle the inserts and dispose of the material.
    Creative ideas welcome!

    • Window Dressers
      Posted April 20, 2023 7:53 am 0Likes

      Hi Mary, thanks for getting in touch and I’m sorry to hear that you no longer need your inserts. Since these are custom made inserts it is hard for us to pass them along to others. Would you mind sharing why you no longer need your inserts?

      Jessica Williams
      Executive Director

  • Jen C
    Posted May 17, 2023 2:31 pm 0Likes

    I have a closet that’s as deep as the window is wide. There’s only two windows in my home that have inserts as the others don’t have the sill space needed. Anyways, the inserts lean against the wall and are covered by a thick beach towel that is loose on the sides. The smaller one has a pillow case draped over it so it doesn’t break the plastic wrap around the other one. I’ve only had them two seasons, and only noticed the dustiness on them this spring. I will clean them in the autumn when putting them back into their spots. I only noticed the pull tabs when I removed them last spring, so they were easier to remove this year by a bit. Thanks for your blogs about them.

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