Today we will show you an ultimate guide on how to clean high windows from outside that you should check out!
Those upper windows only need to be cleaned once or twice a year, but if you neglect them, they will certainly make your house seem darker and more gloomy.
So instead of ignoring those tall windows for another year, you should check out our detailed guide on cleaning high windows from outside. We have included all the tips and techniques that are the most helpful to you.
Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Table of Contents
How To Clean High Windows From Outside
Step 1: Schedule Ahead
Cleaning high windows is not something you can spontaneously decide to do. On the other hand, it must be carefully planned ahead of time.
Since you are going to work outside, a rainy day is not ideal. It would be best if you also avoided days with high temperatures outside as it makes the cleaning process even harder.
On a hot day, the sun will quickly warm up your windows and lead to it getting streaked by the cleaner that you cannot wash off fast enough.
You don’t want to spend all your time and effort only to have partly clean, partly streaked windows. Since streaks are created by cleaning detergent, you will not get rid of them by more scrubbing.
Therefore, choose a day when the temperature is not forecasted to go over 70 degrees. That is an ideal temperature to clean your high windows from outside.
Step 2: Choose Your Method
Cleaning high windows is a dangerous task. You will have to carefully consider what the safest and most convenient method for your particular situation is.
In the case of tall windows, there are several options that you can choose. You can build temporary scaffolding, use hydraulic raising platforms. It’s advisable to use a 16-foot ladder, a squeegee with a long handle, or a combination of a squeegee and a tall ladder.
It would be best if you base on the situation to adopt the best method. If you need a ladder, a stepladder or an extension ladder will work wonderfully.
Step 3: Gather Your Supply
No matter what method you choose, there are some specific supplies to clean high windows from outside that you will need. So gather them all together before you start cleaning.
- Two buckets ( one for cleaning detergent and the other for rinsing)
- Mild liquid dishwashing solution, all-purpose cleaner (without ammonia) or white vinegar
- Squeegees with extension poles and microfiber sponges
- Rubber gloves
- Soft and lint-free cloths such as chamois, microfiber fabrics, or old t-shirts
However, you don’t need to have all of these items on hand. If you plan to use a squeegee, then you will not need any fabric for drying. And if you do not prefer commercial cleaning liquid, you can easily make your homemade solution from white vinegar.
If you get an old t-shirt for drying, make sure you haven’t washed it with fabric softener because softener will leave streaks behind. And avoid using paper towels at all costs. They will leave lint on your window.
Step 4: Prepare The Window
Take out some time prepping your windows before you start spraying anything.
Nobody has got time to clean windows every day, so they have plenty of dirt accumulated on the surface. The outside of the windows might even have additional leaves, cobwebs, and bugs on it. You will want to remove as many big pieces of debris as you can.
Use a miniature broom to dust off any leaves and insects. Or, more ideally, a small portable vacuum cleaner will speed up this task. Then you take an old rag soaked in soapy water to thoroughly clean off the frame and the window sill.
Step 5: Safety First
No rushing when it comes to cleaning high windows from outside! There are some safety guidelines that you ought to carry out.
If using ladders is your final choice, make sure you perform a ladder test to see if it is at the right angle. Stretch your arms out while standing with your toes touching the feet of the ladder. The correct angle is where your fingertips can touch the rungs of the ladder. If not, adjust the ladder until you can feel the rungs.
Moreover, it would be best if you stuck to the belt buckle rule, which means keeping the belt buckle area inside the range of the ladder’s boundaries all the time. Stretching too far outside of the ladder’s limit could cause you to lose equilibrium and fall.
It would help if you also stayed away from the top step. Your position should only have a 4 feet height distance to the top of the ladder, and you will want to plant your knees firmly on the ladder.
If you are using scaffolding, make sure to have someone on the ground to hold it for you. Scaffold towers usually come with swivel wheels rather than a sturdy base, so you will need a partner to help you move around if needed.
Step 6: Clean The Glass
After you pick a day, collect all the necessary equipment, it’s finally time to do what you set out to do! So, let’s go outside, play some music, and start the cleaning process.
Mix the cleaning solution of half water and half white vinegar in the first bucket. Dishwashing liquid will work as well, but just a few drops to a bucket of water. More than that and you will get very soapy water. Next, fill the second bucket with only water for rinsing later.
Apply the cleaning solution to all the window’s surface using an extension pole attached with a strip washer. Try to reach every corner and nook, scrub the whole window down thoroughly to loosen up all the dirts. Move the strip washer in the direction of the bottom corner to the upward corner of the window.
Once you have finished applying the cleaning solution to the window’s whole surface, use a squeegee to remove all the suds and debris. Make sure you wet the squeegee with only water first; otherwise, it won’t create traction.
Move the squeegee vertically down from top to bottom with a straight stroke, starting from the right upper corner of the windows. Then use a clean sponge or a microfiber cloth to wipe down the squeegee’s rubber edge.
Repeat the same process again. Apply even pressure to every stroke, and the next stroke should overlap the previous stroke a bit. Use the squeegee until you have cleaned off any traces of water.
Use a wet cloth and all-purpose cleaner to wipe the frame. Then use a dry cloth to remove any excess water immediately as it can damage the wood.
If something scorched into the window’s surface, you will have to spray the spot with cleaning detergents and wait a bit for it to disintegrate before washing it off.
Let the windows air dry. If you spot any missed dirty mark later, you can wash it off using the same technique with a squeegee and a strip washer.
Additional Tips On How To Clean High Windows From Outside
Even though all the steps on how to clean high windows are relatively straightforward, we want to add a few more tips that we have gathered to give you further assistance.
- Clean your windows with a garden hose. You might think this is the easiest and fastest way to clean high windows. Just spray water directly to the windows, and it will get cleaned. The truth is this method does more damage than good. If your home water supply happens to be hard water, it will cause hard water stains to build upon your windows. It will seem like nothing happens at first, but eventually, these stains will get more and more distinct, and you will notice your windows have become foggy permanently. At that point, only with a highly specialized cleaning solution can you get rid of the fogginess. And trust me, it is a tedious and expensive cleaning process to wash off hard water stains.
- Use only glass cleaner and a rag. This method will result in your window getting smeary and streaky after only a few days.
That is the end of it! We have just shown you a complete and ultimate guide on how to clean high windows from outside. Easy right? You will notice right away that your house is looking much cleaner and brighter with those tall windows cleaned.
Nonetheless, safety must be your priority rather than the cleaning quality when doing these jobs.
I hope this article will be of great help to you and provide you the satisfaction of knowing your yearly spring cleaning on those high windows is finished.