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Can Pressure Washing Damage Your Windows?

A man pressure washing towards the windows

Pressure washing is a powerful cleaning technique that can quickly and effectively remove dirt, grime, and other debris from a variety of surfaces. However, when it comes to a home’s windows, many people are hesitant to use pressure washing for fear of damaging the glass. But before you start pressure washing, it’s important to use caution and take certain precautions to avoid causing damage. In this blog, we’ll explore if power washing can damage your windows and provide some helpful tips and guidelines to help you safely and effectively clean your windows.

What Is Pressure Washing and How Does It Work?

Pressure washing is a cleaning technique that involves using a high pressure streams of water to remove dirt, grime, and other stubborn stains from surfaces. This technique is commonly used for cleaning buildings, driveways, decks, and other outdoor surfaces.

Pressure washers work by using a motor or engine to pump water through a high-pressure hose and nozzle. The water is typically heated to increase its cleaning power. The water pressure can be adjusted to meet the needs of the specific cleaning task.

When the high-pressure stream of water is directed at a surface, it can easily blast away dirt and grime, as well as any loose paint or other coatings. The force of the water can also help to remove stubborn stains and buildup, such as mold growth, mildew, and algae.

Most homeowners use a pressure washer to clean outdoor surfaces, as it can save time and effort compared to traditional cleaning methods. However, it’s important to use caution and follow safety guidelines when operating a pressure washer, as the high-pressure stream of water can cause injury or damage if not used properly.

Can You Clean Windows With a Pressure Washer?

While it is technically possible to clean windows with a pressure washer, you should never pressure wash windows. Here are a few reasons why:

Potential damage: Pressure washers can deliver an extremely powerful stream of water, which can easily damage delicate surfaces like window glass or exposed wood. Even if you use a low pressure setting, there is still a risk of cracking or chipping the glass.

Safety concerns: Using a pressure washer on a ladder can be extremely dangerous, as it increases the risk of falls and injuries. Even using a pressure washer with lower pressure from the ground can pose safety risks, as the force of the water can cause the nozzle to recoil or kick back unexpectedly.

Inefficient cleaning: While pressure washers are great for removing dirt and grime from hard surfaces, they are not as effective at removing streaks or water spots from windows. In fact, the high-pressure stream of water can actually spread dirt and grime around on the glass, making it harder to clean.

For these reasons, pressure washing windows is not recommended and it may be best to stick to traditional window cleaning methods, such as using a squeegee, bucket, and soapy water.

The Best Way To Clean Windows

Cleaning windows may seem like a simple task, but if you want to achieve a streak-free shine, there are a few key steps to follow. Here is a detailed explanation of the best way to clean windows:

Gather your supplies

You will need a few basic supplies to clean your windows, including safety glasses, a squeegee, a garden hose, a bucket of soapy water, a soft cloth or chamois, and a window cleaning solution. Avoid using paper towels or newspaper, as these can leave behind streaks or lint.

Prepare the windows

Before you start cleaning, remove any dirt, dust, or cobwebs from the window frame and sill. If there are any stickers or adhesive residue on the glass, use a scraper or razor blade to gently remove them. If there are any stickers or adhesive residue on the glass, use a scraper or razor blade to gently remove them. Be careful not to scratch the glass or damage the frame.

Apply the soap or cleaning solution

Fill a bucket with warm water and add a small amount of window cleaning solution. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label to avoid using too much or too little. Use a microfiber cloth or sponge to apply the solution to the glass, starting at the top and working your way down. Be sure to cover the entire surface of the glass with the solution, but avoid getting it on the frame or sill.

Squeegee the glass

Using a squeegee, start at the top corner of the window and pull the blade down in a straight line. Wipe the blade clean with a microfiber cloth or chamois after each pass. Repeat this process until you’ve squeegeed the entire window, being careful not to leave any streaks or smudges.

If you’re cleaning a large window, you may need to use a ladder to reach the top. Be sure to follow ladder safety guidelines, and have someone hold the ladder for added stability.

Dry and polish

Once you have removed all of all the dirt and cleaning solution from the glass, use a clean microfiber cloth or chamois to dry and polish the surface. Start at the top corner and work your way down, using a circular motion to remove any remaining streaks or smudges.

Clean the frame and sill

Finally, use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe down the window frame and sill, removing any remaining dirt or grime. Dry with a towel or paper towel if necessary.

Additional Tips

  • If you’re cleaning windows on a sunny day, avoid cleaning the windows in direct sunlight. The heat can cause the cleaning solution to dry too quickly, leaving streaks on the glass.
  • If you’re using a new squeegee, be sure to remove any protective coating or packaging before using it.
  • If you have hard water stains on your windows, you may need to use a specialized cleaning solution or a vinegar and water mixture to remove them.
  • For exterior windows, consider using a pressure washer to remove any stubborn dirt or grime before cleaning them with a squeegee.

Cleaning your windows can be a time-consuming task, but following these steps can help you achieve a streak-free shine that will make your home or office look brighter and more inviting.

When Is the Best Time to Call in a Professional Window Washer?

While it is possible to clean your windows on your own, there are certain situations when it’s best to call in a professional window washer. Here are a few instances when it might be best to hire a professional:

  1. The window is too high or large – If you have windows that are high up or in hard-to-reach places, it’s best to call in a professional. They will have the proper equipment and training to safely clean these windows without putting themselves or your property at risk.
  2. Commercial or large-scale windows: If you have a commercial property or large-scale windows, it’s best to hire a professional window cleaning service. They will have the necessary tools and expertise to clean these windows quickly and efficiently.
  3. Time constraints: If you’re short on time and need your windows cleaned quickly, it’s best to call in a professional. They will be able to clean your windows in a timely manner, without sacrificing quality.
  4. Specialized cleaning needs: If your windows have hard water stains, mineral deposits, or other specialized cleaning needs, it’s best to hire a professional. They will have the knowledge and equipment to remove these stains and restore your windows to their original condition.
  5. Lack of experience: If you’ve never cleaned windows before or don’t have the proper tools or training, it’s best to call in a professional. Cleaning windows can be dangerous, and a professional will have the necessary expertise to safely and effectively clean your windows.


Pressure washing is a powerful cleaning technique that is great to remove debris and grime from a variety of outdoor surfaces. However, when it comes to windows, too much pressure can cause serious damage to your windows. By following the steps outlined in this blog, you can achieve streak-free and sparkling clean windows without risking damage. Remember to take your time, follow safety guidelines, and gather all the necessary supplies before starting the cleaning process. With a little patience and effort, you can enjoy crystal-clear windows that will enhance the appearance of your home.