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Exterior window cleaning: A complete residential guide for homeowners

residential window cleaning

How to Wash Outside Windows: A Practical Guide for Homeowners


Still struggling with streaks after your window wash?

It seems to take a miracle to avoid them, doesn’t it?

Or simply a perfect alignment of the stars for dirt-free windows. No direct sunlight, the right amount of product, impeccable technique, a grandmother’s technique or two…

Successful cleaning requires not only the right technique, but also an understanding of environmental factors and the right products. Learn everything there is to know about window washing in our guide for homeowners.

What tools should I use for effective window cleaning?

Prop Lavage | Lavage de vitres Québec

4 steps tostreak-free window cleaning

  1. Preparation: Start by removing dust and debris from windows and frames with the first dry cloth.
  2. Cleaning: Use 3 parts warm water, 1 part white vinegar and a drop of dishwashing soap for effective cleaning. Apply the solution with a sprayer to the glass and leave for a few seconds.
  3. Wiping: Use a rubber squeegee to remove the cleaner, starting from the top of the glass and working your way down. For corners and edges, use a cloth and your finger.
  4. Drying: Dry windows with a clean microfiber cloth to avoid streaking.

6 Professional tips and techniques for efficient window cleaning

  1. Timing: Avoid sunny days for cleaning, as the sun can dry the product too quickly and leave marks.
  2. Start on the outside: Clean the outside before the inside, using the same left-to-right or top-to-bottom motion to avoid going over the same washed surface twice.
  3. Avoid streaks: Use microfiber cloths or rubber squeegees instead of paper towels and rags, which can spread streaks.
  4. Using newspaper (grandma’s trick!) : To remove stubborn marks on your windows, use crumpled newspaper in a circular motion. The ink and texture of the paper are effective for cleaning and polishing glass. (Avoid using this technique on your window frames, as some inks may leave stains).
  5. Prevent fogging: Apply a few drops of glycerine to a microfiber cloth to clean windows and prevent fogging.
  6. Solution for tough stains: For tough stains, use a mixture of 2 cups water, a quarter cup liquid dish soap and a quarter cup rubbing alcohol. You can also use a blade or scraper to remove stubborn stains.

Work quickly and make sure your tools are clean, for best results. Don’t hesitate to change the cloth or wash your squeegee between each window you clean.

How do Iclean high windows?

To wash windows safely and efficiently at height, we recommend the use of a telescopic pole. This method makes it possible to reach high areas without having to climb a stepladder or ladder, thus considerably reducing the risk of falling.

However, if you’re not comfortable or if the task seems too complex, it’s advisable to call in the professionals.

To do business with the Prop Lavage team of professionals, click here

Safety precautions

Washing windows at height involves a number of risks. Falls are one of the main causes of workplace accidents in Quebec. According to a CNESST report, in 2022, 15 Quebec workers lost their lives as a result of falls from heights.

In Canada, over 50,000 falls were reported in 2022, demonstrating the importance of taking all necessary precautions when working at height.

Prop Lavage reminds you to always put your safety first, and to call on our team of professionals for your window cleaning needs.

window washing with a telescopic boom by a Prop Lavage employee

Natural solutions for clean windows

A popular, eco-friendly option is to mix one part white vinegar with three parts lukewarm water. This simple yet effective mixture leaves your windows sparkling without the use of harsh chemicals. White vinegar, baking soda and rubbing alcohol are excellent eco-friendly alternatives for window cleaning. Not only are they effective, they’re also gentle on the environment and your wallet.

Homemade recipes:

  • Vinegar and water: Mix one part white vinegar with three parts water for a natural cleaner that effectively dissolves dirt without leaving a residue. (add a drop of liquid dish soap to remove grease stains).
  • Rubbing alcohol and vinegar: Mix one part rubbing alcohol with one part white vinegar for streak-free winter window cleaning.
  • Water and baking sod a: mix ½ tbsp baking soda with a liter of hot water for stubborn stains.

Well-known brands such as Windex and Bon ami offer equally effective window cleaners. They are formulated to minimize streaks and streaks, but also contain substances harmful to aquatic ecosystems such as ammonia and phosphates, and often rely on single-use plastic containers.

Learn more about our pure water technology

Why is it essential to wash exterior windows?

Improves glass durability

You may not know it, but accumulated dirt and debris can erode your windows over time. Regular window washing helps to prolong the life of the glass and prevent sudden breakage.

Impact on the aesthetics and value of your home

The New York Times says clean, shiny windows should be a priority in your sales process. Think of your windows as the mirror of your home. They reflect not only the outside world, but also the image you project of your living space.

Improves air quality and well-being

Clean windows let in more natural light, which is essential for your health and mood. What’s more, by eliminating dust and allergens trapped in your windows and screens, you create a healthier environment for you and your family.

Howoften should I wash my windows?

Good practice is to carry out a thorough cleaning at least twice a year. However, if you live in an area exposed to more dirt, such as near a freeway, you may need to increase this frequency each season.

When to call in a professional?

Calling in a professional window washer is recommended when the windows are inaccessible or located at height, requiring special equipment for safety reasons.

A professional is also advisable for large windows or windows with special coatings that require special treatment, or simply if you lack the time or experience and want impeccable results.

How much does window cleaning cost?

At Prop Lavage, the cost of a window wash for a 1-2 storey home in Quebec is $129 + taxes. For a semi-detached or duplex, the cost is $199 + tax, regardless of the number of windows!

Find out more about unlimited window washing.


In short, regular window cleaning is not just a matter of aesthetics; it’s also crucial to the durability and value of your home, and to your well-being. With the right tools, the right techniques and a little effort, you too can enjoy sparkling windows all year round.

And remember, if the task seems too daunting, there are always professionals ready to help and keep you safe.


  1. How many times a year should I wash my outside windows? In general, a thorough cleaning at least twice a year is recommended. However, this may vary depending on your environment.
  2. Can I wash my windows in direct sunlight? It’s best to avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause streaks as the cleaner dries quickly.
  3. What’s the best solution for environmentally-friendly window cleaning? A mixture of water and white vinegar is an effective and environmentally-friendly solution.
  4. How to avoid streaks when drying? Use a quality squeegee and microfiber cloths for fast, streak-free drying.
  5. Is it worth hiring a professional window cleaner? Yes, hiring a professional window cleaning team can be very cost-effective. Professionals use specialized equipment to ensure thorough, streak-free cleaning, which can sometimes be difficult to achieve on one’s own. What’s more, it saves you time and ensures safety, especially for windows at height or difficult to access.
  6. How to clean windows in winter? To clean windows in winter, choose a relatively warm day and use a cleaning solution that won’t freeze, such as a mixture of warm water and rubbing alcohol. Wear gloves to protect you from the cold and the products, and work quickly to avoid the solution freezing on the glass. Dry immediately with a microfiber cloth to prevent streaking.
  7. Do you offer other residential and commercial maintenance services?
    Yes, in addition to window cleaning, we offer siding and gutter cleaning for all establishments and residences.