Never use a hose or pressure washer to clean your windows.
Many homeowners or commercial building owners has had the not-so-brilliant idea of washing their windows with a hose or pressure washer. Why not (they argue)? Think of the benefits. You don’t have to get up on a ladder, pressure washers are cheap to rent, and it takes almost no time.
Unfortunately, there are a couple of major problems with this approach. For one, pressure washers and hoses don’t clean the windows. On the contrary, they usually make the windows dirtier, by leaving streaks and dirt. Almost worse, the high intensity streams easily can damage the window frames, causing dry rot and leaky casements.
Like all solutions that seem too good to be true, this one is!
The right way to clean a window
Whether cleaning windows in your home or business, the right way involves using:
- Ladders that protect siding
- Scrubbers that remove paint or tough stains without scratching the glass
- Window cleaning solutions that don’t leave residue
- Squeegees, then cloth to remove any water
The result is a clean, streak-free window. There are no shortcuts.
The biggest reason to use a professional window washer instead of tackling the project yourself, particularly if you have windows above a first floor, is to avoid injury. Each year, there are more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries and 300 deaths in the U.S. that are caused by falls from ladders. Most ladder deaths are from falls of 10 feet or less. Personal injury ranges from broken bones to spinal injury, traumatic brain injury and shock, and death.
Add to this the many other significant dangers for do-it-yourself window washers: electrical shock from a window near a power line, insect bites, especially from hidden nests, and damage to windows, siding or awnings from ladders.
For sparkling windows, we repeat, never use a hose or pressure washer to clean your windows. Cleaning must be done right and safely, preferably by professionals.
The benefits of hiring professionals to clean windows
Professional window cleaners have the right cleaning compounds, ladders and professional tools to do the job right.
How do you pick a window cleaning vendor? Look for window cleaners who:
- Handle all types of glass cleaning, such as doors, mirrors, skylights, fireplaces and light fixtures.
- Use their own specialty equipment, such as ladders with spacers that keep the ladders from indenting siding or awnings, scraping the windows or bending gutters.
- Use squeegees, leaving no streaks like those that can be made by dry rags.
- Use eco-friendly cleaning products.
- Wash windows inside and out if desired.
Professional window cleaners also offer additional optional services, like:
- Screen cleaning (removing the screen, wiping it down with rag, and replacing the screen)
- Jamb cleaning – cleaning “tracks” inside of windows
- Hard water stain removal – using chemical treatment
- Construction cleaning – remove stickers and construction dust from windows
- Light fixture cleaning – disassembling, cleaning out bugs, cleaning glass, and re-assembling
- Chandelier cleaning
- Skylight cleaning
- Cobweb removal
- Deck railing glass cleaning
- Jalousie window cleaning
- Mirror cleaning
- Fireplace glass cleaning
Companies that offer companion services, like house cleaning, carpet cleaning and gutter cleaning are preferred. This consolidated approach simplifies maintenance, allows the company to take a personal interest in the overall well-being of your home, and enables you to become a priority customer. Many “one call does it all” companies also offer multiple-service discounts.
Look for third-party endorsements for window cleaning companies from Angi, Better Business Bureau and Home Advisor.
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