The Easy Way to Wash and Clean Your Windows

There are many ways to clean your windows, and if you’ve found a great method that works perfectly to your standards, then by all means, keep doing what you’re doing.

But if you’re finding that the technique you’ve grown accustomed to just isn’t getting the job done, then take note of some of these tips and get your windows looking clean, clear and beautiful again.

In or Out?

Many of these practices apply when you’re cleaning both the interior and exterior part of your windows. However, some steps can get a bit messy if you’re not careful, so use your discretion.

For example, when working on the exterior, it is a good idea to give your windows a quick rinse with a hose. But you’re not going to be doing that from the inside, right? (Also, double-check to make sure your windows are in fact fully closed before getting started.)

Best Way to Wash Outside Windows

Gather a plastic bucket, dishwashing liquid, a sponge or scrubber, and a squeegee. Squeeze a small amount of soap into the bucket and fill it with water.

Start by rinsing the windows with a hose. Modern day windows and window glass can stand up to a decent spray-down, but don’t get carried away with the water pressure and a sharp flow control setting. The last thing you want to do is damage your window.

Once this is done, get working on each window one at a time. Dunk your sponge into the water, squeeze some of the excess liquid out of it, and scrub every inch of the window glass. Then grab your squeegee, and work from side to side or top to bottom until the soapy water is removed. (You should occasionally be wiping the squeegee blade on a clean towel to remove any dirt you may have picked up.)

Whether you’re squeegeeing vertically or horizontally, it’s best to start at the top of the window and work your way to the bottom—gravity will be dragging the excess water and soap down throughout the process.

Wipe down the frame of your window with a rag, and if you have a microfiber towel available, carefully run it along the very edge of the glass to remove the remainder of excess water and soap that you may not have gotten with the squeegee.

On the Inside

This process (minus the hose-down), can be repeated on the inside of the window. However, be extra careful to not make a mess. Lay towels across the bottom of the window and/or wall to protect the interior of your house from soapy water.

If you don’t feel comfortable with the sponge and squeegee method inside, there are many professional glass cleaners available that can do the trick. These can be applied directly to the glass and wiped clean with paper towels. Ask a representative at your local hardware store for recommendations.

Keep in Mind

Some windows have functions that allow you to clean the outside of your windows from the inside. You may have a clip or tab on the frame that releases the window unit down and toward you. If you’re unsure, it’s best to have a helper assist in bringing down the window. They can also hold it up at the proper angle while you clean.

Do What Works For You

These are tried-and-true methods to cleaning windows, but there are many other techniques out there that homeowners swear by. One of these is to give the glass a quick wipe-down with water and soap. Then, mix a small amount of vinegar with water into a spray bottle and wipe the glass dry. This can also be done on the exterior, but with a hose-rinse at the beginning and a squeegee during the drying phases.

Don’t Forget the Screens

What good is a clean window if the screen in front of it is filthy? Remove the screens from your windows, give them a good hose-down, scrub them with the soap-and-water mix we described above, and rinse once more before putting them back in.

Safety First

The above methods assume you have direct physical access to the window. If you must use a ladder, be extremely careful and always have someone with you to help. We do not recommend cleaning windows from the roof and advise you to seek a professional if this is necessary.

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© 2019 Inc. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without expressed written permission. Questions? Contact attempts to provide accurate information but cannot be held liable for any information provided or omitted.  You should always work with a licensed, insured and reputable glass shop that can assess your specific needs and local building codes and offer professional services. Never attempt to cut, install, or otherwise work with glass yourself. All content is provided on an informational basis only.


By Nick St. Denis

Nick St. Denis currently serves as the director of research for Key Media & Research and is formerly the editor of USGlass Magazine. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the State University of New York where he studied journalism and is currently working on earning his Master’s Degree in survey research.

Nick has a passion for sports including football, hockey, and golf. He enjoys playing ice hockey in a local men’s league and cheers on the New York Islanders when not on the ice himself. He was actually a sports reporter for a New York newspaper and also worked at a country club in Virginia. Most notably, Nick is husband to his wife Tammy, and father to his son Carter.

One response to “The Easy Way to Wash and Clean Your Windows”

  1. I really appreciate your tip to rinse your windows first to get any big grime off of it. My wife and I have been thinking of getting a new house that has a big window on the front, and we want to make sure that the windows look good for our neighbors to be impressed. I will be sure to tell my wife that we should try and wash the windows with a hose to make them look good!

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