Windows are an expensive investment, and pressure washing them can be intimidating. Nobody wants to damage their windows by pressure washing them and having something go wrong.
Here is how to pressure wash windows and not damage them:
- Make sure the windows are in good condition with no cracks.
- Prepare yourself and the surrounding area.
- Set the pressure washer machine to the lowest pressure setting.
- Mix the water with a cleaning solution meant for windows.
- Use a wide spray nozzle of 40 to 60-degrees to reach a larger area.
- Spray back and forth until all windows are clean.
Knowing that pressure washing windows was a safe option, I wanted to learn more details about what steps needed to be taken to ensure that the process would go smoothly.
How to Properly Pressure Wash Windows
Pressure washing can be a dangerous activity if not careful, so it is essential to practice good technique. In addition, this will help your windows shine the best they can and avoid any damage to them.
Checking Your Windows
Windows should be in good condition before any pressure washing is started. Problems in windows can show up in many forms. It is vital to look out for:
- Cracks in the glass
- Bubbles or tears in the caulking around the window
- Rotting wood in the window frame
- Spacing or wobbling of the window in the frame
- Chipped or missing paint
Any of these problems will be exacerbated by power washing the window and possibly cause expensive problems down the line.
If you notice any issues with your windows, be sure to deal with those before pressure washing!
Preparing the Area
Pressure washing can be dangerous if not properly set up. It’s important to prepare both yourself and the area around the windows before starting to pressure wash. This way, you won’t accidentally damage something that was near the window.
The first step to using a pressure washer is putting on proper safety equipment. This includes protective eyewear and earplugs if the machine is particularly loud.
Preparation can come in many forms, but some of the more needed tasks are removing screens from the windows, as they can easily be torn, testing your pressure washer in an open space, and covering or turning off outdoor electrical outlets nearby.
Setting the Pressure on Your Machine
Your pressure washing machine must be suitable for windows. This means that it has to either be a low-pressure machine or have a low-pressure option so as not to break the glass and damage any of the surrounding parts of the window.
Pressure washers are either gas-powered or electric-powered. Most electric-powered models are lower pressure and thus more suitable, although it’s essential to check your machine. A psi of 2,000 or lower is recommended due to how easy it is to shatter glass using higher pressures.
To start, make sure your machine is working as intended. Spray into an open area and confirm that the pressure feels right.
Mix Cleaning Solution
Using a window cleaner like water and vinegar or Windex is the best way to promise a good clean. So, ensure that the mix of cleaner and water is correct so that the window is truly getting cleaned, as well. Most cleaners have suggested water to cleaner ratios on the bottle.
Check Your Spray Nozzle
To avoid breaking your windows while power washing, look for a wide spray nozzle to attach to your machine. This will help disperse the water, preventing the pressure from hitting one spot too hard.
A spray of 40 to 60-degrees is best. Spray nozzles for pressure washing machines are color-coded for easy use. You will want to use a white nozzle for pressure washing windows.
Spraying Your Windows
Stand about 10 feet back from the window and start spraying. Slowly walk forward until you’re 5 to 3 feet away from the window, as this is an effective range for the machine. Walking forward in this manner will help ensure that no damage occurs and help you get a handle on the pressure washer’s power.
While washing, you need to angle the nozzle and not spray directly into the window. Any angle that feels comfortable will work, and moving around to achieve different ways of getting underneath dirt and grime is a great option. Remember to not leave the pressure washer in one place for too long!
Once the windows have been cleared of any dirt and the pressure washing is complete, the windows will still be covered in some of the soapy mixture. To clean this off, rinse the windows with just water, whether from the pressure washer or a simple hose. Your windows will sparkle!
How Likely Will a Pressure Washer Break The Windows of My House
Pressure washing your windows is not likely to cause any damage to them with proper preparation and care. If some factors are ignored, however, there is a fairly high chance of breaking your windows or at least damaging certain areas. Some of the major factors that must be looked out for include:
- Preparation of the surrounding area
- The condition of the windows
- The pressure of the pressure washing machine
- The spray nozzle on the machine
By paying attention to these factors, you can easily pressure wash your windows without any damage.
Why Should I Use a Pressure Washer to Wash Windows?
Choosing to use a pressure washer on windows can be a big decision. The possibility of damaging your windows combined with the cost of renting or buying a pressure washer can turn some people away. There are three major times when it is a good idea to pressure wash your windows:
- When they are particularly dirty
- When you need to wash high up windows
- For reaching nooks and crannies with windows
Pressure washers are great for when there is a lot of dirt and buildup on a window, and you don’t want to deal with the hassle of trying to rinse it all off by hand. It can convert a job that would take a whole weekend to just one afternoon, and it’s satisfying to watch the grime come right off of your windows.
Pressure washing is also a fantastic option for second story or above windows that need to be cleaned. Because the tools have so much power behind them, they can easily reach upper floors and clean them effectively without having to set up ladders or scaffolding. It can be much safer, too!
Finally, pressure washing is the best option for washing hard to reach corners and areas of windows in your home. The water has such a wide spread that it can really seep into nooks and crannies and clean areas that have been long forgotten.
When to Pressure Wash Your Windows
To be sure that your windows will look as good as possible when you are done pressure washing them, it is a good idea to wait for optimal weather conditions. Preferably, pressure washing is an activity done on cloudy or overcast days with very little wind.
Pressure washing windows in direct sunlight or on particularly windy days can dry out the cleaning solutions before it is rinsed off. This can cause streaks and sunspots, ruining the hard work put into cleaning them in the first place, so waiting for the best weather and letting yourself have time to wipe them down afterward is a good decision.
Temperature matters little, although it is also important to make sure it is not raining or snowing while cleaning your windows as similar problems can occur.
When pressure washing high up windows that you will not be able to later dry off with a rag, it is especially important that the weather be overcast. This will allow the windows to dry off evenly and avoid as many new streaks as possible.
Pressure washing in the late spring as the weather is getting warmer and rain is subsiding is a good option for the time of year.
By following the steps above, you will be able to have clean, streak-free windows in just a few hours. Remember to check for any cracks or scratches ahead of time that may have weakened your windows. Once you’re sure that they are in good shape, wash away!