No Pane, No Gain: A Homeowner’s Guide to Keeping Your Exterior Windows Clean

A Homeowner's Guide to Keeping Your Exterior Windows Clean

Washing windows isn’t a chore you think about unless it’s necessary. That usually means when you spot fingerprints, dirt, water spots, or even pet smudges on the glass, then it’s time to bring out the window cleaner.

Cleaning inside windows is a straightforward chore, but what about the exterior windows? How do we show those windows some TLC, and is it any different than cleaning the inside?

In this article, you’ll learn how to become an expert exterior window cleaner so you can enjoy your windows all year round. 

Why Wash My Outside Windows Anyway?

While some people might think that exterior window washing isn’t necessary, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

When we ignore cleaning our windows from the outside, the light cannot penetrate and warm our home. Besides, this keeps your windows in pristine condition so they can work properly. Dirty windows do nothing to enhance your home’s curb appeal and present a run-down aesthetic of your home. 

When is the Best Time of Year to Clean Exterior Windows?

Any season is a good time to clean your windows, but autumn and spring are the prime times. In the spring, it’s best to remove all the grime and the gunk that’s accumulated on the glass and windowpanes. If you have allergies, summer cleaning is beneficial to remove excess pollen.

In the fall, it might be a good idea to clean them if you live in an environment with colder winters. This way, you can inspect your windows for leaks and breaks, which gives you time for repairs before the winter comes. 

Avoid cleaning the windows outside during freezing temperatures because the water freezes. 

What Do I Need to Clean Windows?

Contrary to popular methods, clothes, newspapers, and paper towels are not the most effective ways to get your windows sparkling. These tools take the dirt and grime and move it around from one place to another. They also allow the dirt and dust to continue shining into your house. 

The best tool for the job is a scrubber, squeegee, warm soapy water, and a microfiber cloth to blot damp places in crevices. For the scrubber and the squeegee, it’s helpful if they have a handle, especially if you have higher windows. 

For an extra cleaning boost, add a bit of vinegar to your water. If you prefer, you can use a window cleaner designed to clean window glass in place of soap and water. 

How to Wash Exterior Windows: Seven Steps

Exterior window cleaning is easy and effective. Here are seven steps to get your exterior windows clean and streak-free. 

1. Gather your cleaning items: a scrubber, squeegee, a bucket filled with warm soapy water, and a microfiber cloth. Make sure you have extra squeegee blades if yours becomes polluted with build-up and follow the directions for changing the edge thoroughly if needed. 

2. Before scrubbing, inspect the window for chips of paint, stickers, or anything else that cannot come off with soap and water alone. A glass-safe scraper is appropriate, but always wet the glass before removing anything with a scraper. You don’t want to scratch or break the glass. 

3. Using your scrubber, dip in the warm soapy water and begin scrubbing the glass. Get all corners and crevices of the window. Pay careful attention to spots that might require more attention, such as stuck-on mud or grime. 

4. Once you’ve scrubbed the entire window, take your squeegee and starting in a top corner, drag the squeegee down to the bottom, creating a thin, clear line. This line is your starting point for when you squeegee the entire window. 

5. Now you’re ready to remove all the soap! Taking your squeegee, start at the corner where you made the line and drag your squeegee from one corner, horizontally, to the next. Before you start your next path, wipe the excess water and soap off on the cloth.

Make sure you’re overlapping the next stroke to avoid squeegee lines. This is key for achieving streak-free windows.

6. Continue in this pattern, but a diagonal fashion instead of horizontal, until you reach the bottom of the window. Stroking, in a diagonal way, causes the water to run down the window. Remember to wipe your squeegee off after every stroke to keep it clean.

7. After the entire window is cleaned, take your cloth and begin blotting and wiping small areas when water might have pooled. Start at the top and gently run your towel around the perimeter of the glass. 

You’re done!

This method is also acceptable and preferred by professionals for cleaning inside windows as well.

Safety Concerns with Cleaning Windows

For a home that has higher windows, your concern might be how you can safely clean the windows without inflicting injury. 

If you feel safe, using an extension ladder is fine, as long as you’re safely secured. 

Also, using a scrubber and a squeegee with an extension handle is beneficial to help clean hard-to-reach windows. 

If you feel completely uncomfortable washing any high outside windows, call a professional to get a quote or to take over the job for you. 

Exterior Window Cleaner: Clean Like A Pro

When it comes to exterior window cleaner, it’s a simple chore that gives excellent, lasting results when done correctly. Clean, gleaming windows provide your home with a beautiful element, allowing light to come through well, and last for years to come. 

Are you looking for a professional window cleaner? Visit our page today and get a free estimate for the services you need!