Clear View Window Cleaning

How to Clean Outside Windows: Everything You Need To Know

woman cleaning windows in her home

No one wants to look at the world through dirty windows. The dirt, grime, smudges, and buildup won’t do you any favors, and they’re especially common on exterior windows. They may block some of the sunlight, dim your indoor space, and even impact your overall mood. So, learning how to clean outside windows is crucial.

At Clearview Window Cleaning, we offer professional window washing services that’ll give you the streak-free shine you want. Fill out our online form to get a free quote!

But that isn’t all. We’ll use our expertise to give you the ins and outs of cleaning outside windows. Once you learn our hacks, you won’t stop gushing over your squeaky clean windows!

4 Simple Steps on How to Clean Outside Windows

Here are four easy steps to follow that’ll result in squeaky-clean windows:

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

How to Clean Outside Windows - yellow cleaning bucket with cleaning products and gloves is on table by window.

Unsure which tools, equipment, and glass cleaner to use? Here’s a list of the main supplies you need for cleaning windows:

  • Squeegee
  • A soft sponge or scrubber
  • Bucket
  • Broom
  • Mop
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • White vinegar
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Ladder
  • Ladder stabilizer
  • Robot window cleaner
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Magnetic window cleaner
  • Extendable window squeegee
  • Telescopic pole
  • Water fed poles

Step 2: Prep Your Outside Windows

To prepare your exterior windows for your chosen window cleaning solution and specialized tools:

Firstly, you should close all the windows, remove the window screens, and take them outside. You want to wash them separately. Use a mixture of dish soap and hot water. 

Dip a sponge in it before scrubbing the screens gently. Then, turn a garden hose on to remove the soapy water.

But what if you don’t have an outdoor area? In that case, wipe the dust off the window screens with a soft microfiber cloth or disposable dust cloth. 

Use a brush attachment to vacuum the screen. Then, use a solution of one part water and one part vinegar to spray the screen. Wipe it with a rag right after.

You can even take it a step further and put your screens in the bathtub or shower one by one to rinse them. After you’ve cleaned your windows and your screens have had enough time to dry, you can take them to their respective windows and secure them in place again.

Secondly, fetch a broom. Look for cobwebs and sticks along the window frame, and use the broom to get rid of them.

Lastly, use a garden hose, an option that cleaning outside windows comes with (unlike inside windows). So, rinse the glass surfaces with the garden hose under gentle pressure. Otherwise, you can use a cloth to remove any big chunks of debris and dirt. This way, you don’t have to waste cleaning solution on buildup that you can easily remove with water.

Step 3: Fetch a Cleaning Solution, or Make One

You can use a store-bought glass cleaner or make your own. One of the most effective and common DIY window cleaning solutions is a mixture of water and a few drops of liquid dish soap. A white vinegar and water solution is also another option. Pour it into a spray bottle, and you’re good to go!

If your windows feature stubborn dirt and stains, such as bird droppings, apply the vinegar solution, and let it sit for a few minutes before drying it. Also, you can scrub it with a soft sponge. Don’t use steel wool and harsh scrubbing cloths, as they’ll scratch your hard-to-clean windows.

Step 4: Use Your Cleaning Tools of Choice

Window cleaner squeegee, microfiber squeegee and scrubber. Long Handle Professional Squeegee for outdoor or indoor high windows. Mop for home window cleaner with wiper

There are several ways to clean exterior windows involving different tools. Choose whichever tool you find available to get streak-free windows.


For one, a mop is surely an item you have, and it can prove helpful in accessing hard-to-reach windows and window spots. Fix a mop head or a clean microfiber cloth to the mop handle. 

And plunge the mop into a bucket with equal parts water and white vinegar. You can, otherwise, use a commercial cleaning solution. Then, wipe down the outside window with it.

When you’re done, run a clean, rubber squeegee in straight lines from the top corner to the bottom one. Dry it off before each row with a clean, dry towel to avoid streaks. Another option is to use a lint-free towel. We don’t recommend newspapers because newer inks can bleed through the pages onto your window.

U-shaped Telescopic Poles

If your window isn’t reachable even with a mop, try using a U-shaped telescopic pole. This handy tool comes with two attachments, which are a circular sponge with two cleaning cloths and a squeegee. It also rotates and extends to reach second-floor windows. It enables you to clean your windows outside from the inside.

To use it, drape a dry rug over the circular sponge, and use it to dry-brush the windows. This step removes some dust so that it doesn’t turn into mud when you add water later on. 

Then, spray the glass with a strong window cleaner generously to remove crud and grease. And put a clean rag over the circular sponge to wipe the windows again. Remember to clean the window tracks to make your glass surface streak-free.

Magnetic Window Cleaners

Another way to clean the outer side of your window from the inside is the magnetic window cleaner. It’s a lifesaver if your windows don’t unlatch and lower into the room or if they’re hard to reach. Its main perk is that it cleans both sides of a window simultaneously, so it’s convenient and fast.

Start by applying a liquid cleaning solution using a microfiber cloth. Then, move around the magnetic window cleaner, and the outer part will glide with it, removing the applied liquid cleaning product. Just make sure you don’t move it quickly, or the magnets will disconnect.

Robot Window Cleaners

A robot window cleaner. Robot vacuum cleaner cleans a dirty window. Smart robots for cleaning windows, an assistant for the house.

Like robot vacuums, robot window cleaners remove dirt and debris from your surfaces mechanically. And various companies use them.

If you want to, put the safety pad and harness attached to the machine on your window’s inside. This ensures that the device doesn’t fall. Then, fix the cleaning pad, and apply a cleaning solution. 

Place the robot cleaner on your window outside, and turn on the switch. It’ll scan your glass surface to determine the best route. Once it’s done, it’ll return to its original place.

Window Squeegees

Last but not least, a window squeegee is one of the common ways to clean windows from the outside. Look for an extendable window squeegee or a water-fed pole that can stretch for several meters so that you can access high windows without needing a ladder.

Before anything, dampen its pad or advanced microfiber. Then, run the squeegee on your window to remove dirt. Finally, use a flat and smooth rubber brush to get rid of any residue.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should You Clean Windows?

As a rule, you should wash the outside of your window two to three times a year. Commercial settings, such as shops and restaurants, need more frequent window cleaning (once a month).

What Is the Key to Streak-Free Windows?

The key is to use any tool (like a squeegee) horizontally and vertically; avoid circular motion. And if streaks remain, wipe them with a damp cloth.

Can You Use a Lint-Creating Towel to Clean Windows?

No, these towels will leave lint residue on your glass windows. Instead, a lint-free microfiber clean towel is more suitable.

What Do Professional Window Cleaners Use to Clean Windows?

You can get many of what professional window cleaners use. A professional window cleaner typically climbs ladders with square buckets for their hand equipment. They carry long expendable poles to reach heights, scrub brushes, microfiber cloths, plush T-bar window cleaning cloths, a squeegee, and a water-fed pole.

Can You Clean Windows With Just Water?

Yes, water can remove dust, dirt, grease, organic impurities, and water-based pollutants if it’s purified or distilled. For that reason, pressure-washing windows work. However, tap water is high in minerals, such as sodium, calcium, and copper. So, don’t wash windows with tap water if you don’t want watermarks.

Final Verdict

Ultimately, washing windows is a necessary cleaning measure that enables your window panes to permit direct sunlight and illuminate your indoor spaces. It’s simple enough, and you can use any of the methods we’ve mentioned depending on the tools available to you. You should also consider how high your windows are and whether you can unlatch them or not.

What if you can’t put in the work for any reason? Maybe you’re worried you can’t safely clean your windows from a ladder. Either way, our expert cleaners at Clearview Window Cleaning are here to help. Contact us to receive a free quote and get your windows clean at no effort from you!