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how to clean second story windows
Picture of Alejandra Zelaya

Alejandra Zelaya

The Best Strategies for Cleaning Second Story Windows

Cleaning second story windows can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t have the right tools or techniques. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here, we’ll outline the most effective methods and tips on how to clean second story windows without a ladder and the right way to clean outside second story windows. Say goodbye to grime and hello to sparkling clean windows!

The Challenge of High Windows

Why It’s Important to Clean Your Second Story Windows

Second story windows can accumulate a lot of dirt, dust, and grime, just like ground-level windows. Neglecting these windows can result in obstructed views and reduced sunlight. More importantly, consistently dirty windows can degrade quicker, leading to costly replacements.

how to clean second story windows

Safety First

Before diving into the cleaning process, safety should be your top priority. Cleaning high windows without the right precautions can be risky. Always ensure the area beneath your windows is clear of hazards like brush, stones, or holes. If you’re using any equipment, make sure it’s in good condition and used correctly.

Effective Methods for Cleaning Second Story Windows

Using a Telescoping Pole

One of the safest and most effective ways to clean second story windows is by using a telescoping pole. This method allows you to keep both feet on the ground, significantly reducing the risk of accidents.

Equipment You’ll Need:

  • telescoping pole with attachable cleaning heads such as brushes, sponges, and squeegees.
  • A bucket with a water and cleaning solution mix.
  • Hose (optional, for rinsing).


  1. Check Surroundings: Ensure that your pole won’t touch any electrical wiring and that the area beneath the window is clear.
  2. Prepare the Solution: Fill a bucket with water and add several squirts of liquid dish detergent and vinegar.
  3. Cleaning: Dip the sponge or microfiber head in the solution and scrub the windows, starting from the top. Rinse and squeeze out the water periodically.
  4. Squeegee: Attach the squeegee head and, starting at a top corner, drag it down to the bottom of the pane. Wipe the squeegee after each swipe to minimize drip marks.
how to clean second story windows

Using a Garden Hose and Extension Pole

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly solution, a garden hose with a stream sprayer attachment and an extension pole can do wonders.


  1. Spray Down: Use your garden hose to spray down the window, removing loose dirt and grime.
  2. Scrub: Dip a brush or sponge attached to the extension pole into the cleaning solution and scrub the window from top to bottom.
  3. Rinse: Use the hose again to rinse off the cleaning solution.
  4. Squeegee: Finally, use the squeegee to remove excess water, giving your window a polished look.

Using a Pressure Washer

For those who have a pressure washer at home, this can be an effective way to clean second story windows. However, this method requires some caution to avoid damaging the windows.


  1. Adjust Pressure: Set your pressure washer to the lowest psi available.
  2. Wide Spray Nozzle: Use a wide spray nozzle to distribute the water gently.
  3. Angle Spray: Spray the windows at an angle to prevent direct pressure that could damage the glass.
  4. Ensure Windows Are Closed: Make sure all windows are tightly closed to avoid water getting inside.

Magnetic Window Cleaners

If you live in an apartment and need to clean the outside of your windows, a magnetic window cleaner could be your best bet. These devices use strong magnets to hold cleaning heads together on either side of the glass.


  1. Attach Cleaner: Place the magnetic cleaner on either side of the glass.
  2. Move Slowly: Wipe slowly to keep the magnetic components from separating.
  3. Use a String: Attach a string to the cleaning head inside your home to retrieve it easily if it falls.

Additional Tips for Sparkling Clean Windows

Wait for a Cloudy Day

Cleaning windows on a sunny day might seem ideal, but direct sunlight can cause the cleaning solution to evaporate too quickly, leaving streaks. Cloudy days provide the perfect conditions for streak-free cleaning.

how to clean second story windows

Check Manufacturer Instructions

If you know your window brand, check the manufacturer’s website for specific cleaning instructions. Using the wrong cleaner can sometimes stain or damage certain types of windows.

Maintain Regular Cleaning

Consistency is key to keeping your windows clean. Make window cleaning a regular part of your home maintenance routine. This will ensure your windows stay functional, clean, and bright.

By following these strategies, you can ensure your second story windows are as clean and clear as the ground-level ones, enhancing the overall appearance of your home and letting in more natural light.

Fresh Home Cleaning Services

Need a little extra help keeping your home in tip-top shape? Look no further than Fresh Home Cleaning. With over 15 years of experience servicing Maryland, we offer custom cleaning solutions tailored to your needs. From our Deluxe Clean to our Classic Clean, and even move-in/move-out services, we have you covered. Contact Fresh Home Cleaning today for a consultation.

Contact us today! CALL FOR AN ESTIMATE (301) 519-8035


How to clean second story windows without a ladder?

You can use a telescoping pole with attachable cleaning heads or a garden hose with an extension pole. Both methods allow you to clean from the ground safely.

How to clean outside second story windows?

Consider using a telescoping pole, a pressure washer on a gentle setting, or a magnetic window cleaner if you live in an apartment.

What is the best cleaning solution for high windows?

A mix of water, liquid dish detergent, and vinegar works well. Always avoid ammonia-based solutions as they can leave streaks or film on the glass.

Why should I clean windows on a cloudy day?

Direct sunlight can cause the cleaning solution to evaporate too quickly, leaving streaks. Cloudy days provide the ideal conditions for streak-free cleaning.

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