How to Clean Outside Windows

By: Architectural Visions

Marvin Modern Windows and Doors


One of the most satisfying home cleaning projects is having clean and clear windows. Clean windows sparkle from the inside out and can even make your home appear brighter. Regularly cleaning your home’s windows will help your home’s exterior and interior feel crisp, light, and glowing. Read on for ways to clean outside windows.

Key takeaways of cleaning outdoor windows

  • The best time to clean windows is on a cloudy or cool day to help prevent streaks.
  • Before wiping down the windows, it’s best to brush away any dirt and debris.
  • Liberally spray the windows with a cleaning solution to help avoid streaks.
  • Wipe the inside windows and outside windows in different directions to help determine where streaks are originating.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to dry the windows

Best time to  clean outside windows

Many window professionals will tell you that the best time to clean outside windows is on a cloudy or cool day. If you wash the exterior windows on a day when the sun is shining bright, the sun’s heat will dry the cleaning solution, resulting in streaks. Saving your window cleaning for an overcast day will help to reduce the streaks on the windows.

Preferred cleaning methods

While cleaning your windows is a relatively straightforward task, some tried-and-true tips can make the process more successful. When you’re cleaning the outside windows, the job may require a ladder. Or, you can clean the outside of the windows from inside if you have tilt-sash or casement windows.

  • Step 1: Before cleaning the windows with a cleaning solution, it’s important to brush away or vacuum the dirt, dust, and debris from the windows. If you spray the cleaning solution directly on the dirt, you’ll end up with muddy windows, which will be even more challenging to clean. When you’re cleaning your interior windows, use this opportunity to clean the window treatments. If you have removable curtains, take them down to wash them, and avoid using the dryer so you don’t shrink them. If they are non-removable, vacuum and steam the drapery panels and Roman shades. If you have plantation shutters, wipe them down to remove dust and dirt.
  • Step 2: If you have screens on your windows, remove the screens and wash them with hot, soapy water, scrub any debris and dirt, then allow them to dry as you clean the windows.
  • Step 3: Use a hose to spray down outside windows to help loosen any remaining dirt. Then, liberally spray store-bought or homemade window cleaner on the exterior windows. Generous sprays will help to dissolve the dirt, making it easier to wipe away. If you don’t use enough cleaning solution, you risk streaks when you brush away the cleaner. A sponge, thick, lint-free paper towels, or a microfiber cloth are good options for removing the streaks. When you’re cleaning the exterior windows, it’s best to avoid cleaning the windows with a squeegee, as the water can pool at the bottom, creating a mess, streaks, and leaving excess water.
  • Step 4: Clean room by room to ensure each window is cleaned. Since window cleaning is a task that needs to be completed only several times a year, it’s worth spending the time to clean each window in each room thoroughly. One way to help eliminate streaks is to wipe the exterior windows horizontally and vertically wipe the interior windows (or vice versa). If streaks appear, you can easily identify if you need to reclean the inside or outside windows.
  • Step 5: Dry the window panes with microfiber cloths, which are the most absorbent option, and leave the glass streak-free. Lint-free towels are another option to dry the windows.
  • Step 6: Put the screams back in the window and reassemble any window treatments you removed. If you’re amazed by the amount of natural light that is flooding through your home, take the opportunity to rearrange any furniture or items that may be blocking the windows and preventing the sunlight from shining in.

For stubborn stains, allow a vinegar and water mixture or commercial cleaner to soak on the spot for a few minutes, then wipe away with the same soft cloth you used to clean the rest of the windows.

If you’re looking to replace your windows, consult the professionals for expert window design advice and installation. Contact the experts at AVI to explore all types of windows, with in-person and online service options. Please don’t hesitate to contact us online or come by one of our locations and let us help you!