Silverlight Windows & Eaves

How to Clean High Windows: Tips for a Spotless Shine

High Window Cleaning

Let’s face it, cleaning high windows and second-story windows is no one’s idea of a good time. But with a few simple tricks and the right tools, like a trusty telescopic pole, you can get the job done quickly and easily. We’ll show you how to tackle those hard-to-reach spots like a pro, and even share some insider tips for getting a streak-free shine that’ll make your windows sparkle. So, whether you’re a seasoned window washer or a first-timer, get ready to learn the best methods for cleaning high windows – no sweat required!

Table Of Contents:

Gather the Right Tools and Supplies

Before you start your window cleaning adventure, you need to make sure you have the right tools and supplies. Trust me, I’ve learned this the hard way.

Choose a Suitable Cleaning Solution

First up, choose a suitable cleaning solution. You can either go with a store-bought window cleaner or make your own using equal parts water and white vinegar. I prefer the DIY route – it’s cheaper and just as effective.

Prepare a Spray Bottle

Next, grab a spray bottle and fill it with your cleaning solution. This will make it easy to apply the cleaner to your windows without making a mess. Pro tip: invest in a good quality spray bottle that won’t leak or break halfway through your cleaning session.

Use a Microfiber Cloth or Squeegee

Now, let’s talk about the actual cleaning tools. A microfiber cloth is my go-to for wiping down windows. They’re super absorbent and won’t leave any streaks or lint behind. If you’re dealing with really grimy windows, a squeegee can also work wonders. Just make sure to wipe the blade with a clean cloth after each pass.

Have Paper Towels or a Clean Cloth Ready

Finally, make sure you have some paper towels or a clean cloth on hand. You’ll need these to wipe down the window frames and sills after you’ve finished cleaning the glass. And if you’re using a squeegee, you’ll want to wipe the blade clean between each pass.

Prepare the Area for Cleaning

Before you start spraying and wiping, take a few minutes to prepare the area around your windows. This will make the actual cleaning process much easier and more efficient.

Remove Any Obstacles or Decorations

First, remove any obstacles or decorations that might be in your way. This includes curtains, blinds, and window sills. If you have any potted plants or knick-knacks on the window sill, move them out of the way too. You don’t want to accidentally knock them over while you’re cleaning.

Lay Down a Drop Cloth or Towel

Next, lay down a drop cloth or towel on the floor beneath the window. This will catch any drips or spills and protect your flooring from getting wet. If you’re cleaning windows on an upper floor, make sure to put a towel down on the window sill too.

Protect the Window Frame

Finally, take a moment to protect the window frame. If you’re using a cleaning solution that contains vinegar or other harsh chemicals, it can damage the finish on wooden frames. To prevent this, use painter’s tape to cover the frame before you start cleaning. This will also help you get a nice, clean edge when you’re wiping down the glass.

Clean the Windows Using a Telescopic Pole

If you have high windows that are out of reach, a telescopic pole is your best friend. These handy tools allow you to clean windows up to 20 feet or more without ever leaving the ground. Here’s how to use one:

Attach a Squeegee or Microfiber Cloth to the Pole

First, attach either a squeegee or a microfiber cloth to the end of your telescopic pole. Most poles come with attachments that make this easy. If you’re using a squeegee, make sure the blade is securely fastened and at the right angle for your windows.

Adjust the Pole to the Desired Length

Next, adjust the pole to the desired length. Most telescopic poles have several sections that you can extend or collapse as needed. Start with the pole at its shortest length and gradually extend it until you can comfortably reach the top of your window.

Start Cleaning from the Top and Work Your Way Down

Now you’re ready to start cleaning. Begin at the top of the window and work your way down, using smooth, even strokes. If you’re using a squeegee, start in the top corner and pull the blade straight down. Then, wipe the blade clean with a cloth and repeat, slightly overlapping each pass.

Rinse the Squeegee or Cloth Frequently

As you’re cleaning, make sure to rinse your squeegee or cloth frequently in a bucket of clean water. This will prevent dirt and grime from building up and leaving streaks on your windows. If you’re using a microfiber cloth, you may need to switch to a clean one halfway through.

Tackle Hard-to-Reach Windows with a Ladder

For windows that are too high for a telescopic pole, you may need to break out the ladder. I know, ladders can be intimidating. But with the right safety precautions, they’re a great tool for cleaning those hard-to-reach windows.

Choose a Sturdy Ladder

First, choose a sturdy ladder that’s appropriate for the height of your windows. A step ladder is fine for most first-floor windows, but you may need an extension ladder for anything higher. Make sure the ladder is in good condition and free of any damage or defects.

Position the Ladder Securely

Next, position the ladder securely on a level surface. The feet should be firmly planted and the ladder should be at a slight angle away from the wall. Avoid placing the ladder on wet or slippery surfaces, and never lean it against a window or glass door.

Maintain Three Points of Contact

When climbing the ladder, always maintain three points of contact. This means keeping both feet and one hand on the ladder at all times, or both hands and one foot if you need to reach for something. Never lean too far to one side or try to overextend your reach.

Work with a Partner for Added Safety

If possible, work with a partner when using a ladder to clean windows. They can hold the ladder steady and pass you tools or supplies as needed. Plus, it’s always good to have someone nearby in case of an emergency.

Clean Sliding Windows and Tracks

Sliding windows can be a bit trickier to clean than regular windows, but with the right technique, you can get them sparkling clean in no time.

Remove the Sliding Window from the Frame

First, remove the sliding window from the frame. Most sliding windows can be lifted up and out of the track for easy cleaning. If your window has a removable screen, take that out too and set it aside.

Clean the Glass and Frame Separately

Next, clean the glass and frame separately. Use your chosen cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth or squeegee to wipe down both sides of the glass. Then, use a small brush or toothbrush to scrub any dirt or grime from the frame and tracks.

Vacuum or Brush the Tracks

If the tracks are really dirty, you may need to vacuum them out first. Use the crevice attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove any loose dirt or debris. Then, use a small brush or toothbrush to scrub away any remaining grime.

Lubricate the Tracks Before Reassembling

Before you reassemble the window, take a moment to lubricate the tracks. A small amount of silicone spray or wax can help the window slide smoothly and prevent sticking. Just be sure to wipe away any excess lubricant before putting the window back in place.

Dry and Polish the Windows

You’re almost done. The final step is to dry and polish your windows for a streak-free shine.

Use a Squeegee for a Streak-Free Finish

If you used a squeegee to clean your windows, you’re already halfway there. Use a clean, dry squeegee to remove any remaining water or cleaning solution from the glass. Start at the top of the window and work your way down, wiping the blade with a clean cloth after each pass.

Wipe the Edges with a Clean, Dry Cloth

Once you’ve squeegeed the main part of the window, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe down the edges and corners. This will remove any remaining moisture and prevent drips or streaks.

Check for Any Missed Spots or Smudges

Finally, give your windows a final once-over to check for any missed spots or smudges. If you notice any, simply wipe them away with a clean cloth or squeegee. And voila – you’ve got sparkling clean windows that would make any professional window cleaner proud.


Cleaning high windows doesn’t have to be a dreaded chore. By gathering the right tools, preparing the area, and using the proper techniques, you can achieve a spotless shine on even the tallest windows. Remember to work safely when using a ladder, and don’t forget to clean those tricky sliding windows and tracks.

With a little elbow grease and these expert tips, your high windows will be sparkling in no time.

Or better yet, why not leave it to the professionals and hire our team at Silverlight Windows and Eaves to clean your windows for you, so you don’t have to spend time, energy and effort on something you don’t want to be doing! We have hundreds of 5-star reviews and work across the Greater Toronto Area!

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