How to Clean High Rise Windows? Get Them Clean Like a Pro

how to clean high rise windows

Last Updated on February 1, 2023

When your windows are too high to reach, it’s time for a daring window-cleaning mission. High-rise projects require special equipment and finesse to ensure a safe, thorough job.

After all, keeping high-rise windows clean isn’t just about keeping them looking good, it also reduces the potential for accidents caused by dirt and debris buildup on window panes. Fortunately, there are several safe techniques for cleaning those seemingly unreachable windows.

From using extendable water-fed poles with scrubbing brushes to cutting-edge robotic window cleaners and beyond, there’s an appropriate solution for almost any situation. With skilled knowledge of safe working at high altitudes, tackling this difficult yet important job becomes much easier.

And above all else, safety must be at the forefront of every decision to tackle this difficult task. Let’s find out the best way to tackle high-rise window cleaning and how you can be sure your work will be done to the highest standard.

How to Clean High Rise Windows: Step-by-Step In-Depth Discussion

1. Assess the situation

Before starting a high-rise window cleaning job, it’s essential to assess the situation and plan out exactly what needs to be done. Identify any areas that need extra attention or special equipment, including window frames that may require more than just cleaning glass surfaces.

2. Utilize the right equipment

The right equipment is essential for the job. Water-fed poles are often used for high-rise cleaning, as they provide a safe way of reaching windows from ground level.

For more stubborn dirt and grime, brushes, such as soft nylon bristles or microfiber pads, may be required.

3. Make sure to use the right safety equipment

Make sure to utilize proper safety gear while cleaning high-rise windows. It’s also important to ensure that all necessary fall prevention measures are taken before starting work, such as using anchor points or platforms.

4. Choose the right products

There are different types of window cleaning products available, and it’s important to choose the right one for the job. For general glass cleaning, a simple soap and water solution is often sufficient.

However, for more stubborn dirt or grime, specialized products such as ammonia-free cleaners may be needed.

5. Take your time

High-rise window cleaning can take time; remember to take a few breaks if needed and always follow safety guidelines closely.

Supplies and Safety Tools You’ll Need:

Supplies and Safety Tools You’ll Need

High-rise window cleaning is incredibly complicated, requiring the right supplies, proper training, and a lot of patience. It involves navigating around tricky surfaces, all while suspended in the air with no real way to get back down if something goes wrong.

To create the perfect clean for such windows, certain steps should be followed. 

  • Buckets
  • Glass Scraper
  • Sponge or T-bar wand: Both tools are great at removing dirt while also providing a safe way to reach hard-to-reach places without having to risk your safety while maneuvering around materials like scaffolding bars. 
  • Squeegee: Use a professional and heavy-duty window and glass squeegee.
  • Rags or Towels: Gather some lint-free clothes or old t-shirts and cut them into useable rags.
  • Tool Belt: This piece of equipment strapped on allows easy access and storage of necessary items such as cleaners, scrapers, towels, etc., saving valuable time spent searching for them throughout each job session while at heights. This also ensures extra safety points are met due to hands being free from carrying heavy objects whilst climbing ladders.
  • Mirrors: Mirrors can sometimes prove useful when attempting areas that are difficult to reach; such as those situated behind hanging banners/shutters etc. These provide an extra viewing option for workers when attempting hard-to-see spots; allowing cleaner results overall.
  • Safety Tools: When working with heights, you must invest in safety measures to ensure you don’t risk your life while cleaning windows. Depending on the building and the height of your windows, you may need to use suspended scaffolding or an aerial lift. 

Invest in safety harnesses and ropes as well as other protective gear like gloves and eye protection for extra security. Protective gloves and eyewear should always be worn when using high-pressure hoses and squeegees. 

Rain and snow make window cleaning even messier, so wearing protective gloves is a good idea. Wet hands can quickly freeze in the winter, and cold hands can cause frostbite. 

So protective gloves are essential, as they can make the job much easier and more comfortable.

How to Clean High Rise Windows Using a Ladder?

How to Clean High Rise Windows Using a Ladder?

Safety is the highest priority when it comes to cleaning high-rise windows. A ladder is necessary for cleaning windows at height, which must be secured correctly and firmly.

Some ladders come with an adjustable foot stand, allowing them to reach higher windows without requiring extra support. Other ladders offer a wider range of movement, making cleaning windows in difficult-to-reach places easier. 

Telescopic ladders are highly versatile and convenient for window-cleaning from heights. They are lightweight yet strong and offer improved stability and safety compared to standard ladders due to their triangle stabilizer.

Before starting your project, you should also wear a safety harness or protective clothing such as a hard hat, steel-toed boots, and long pants to protect yourself in case of an accident. Make sure your ladder is long enough so you don’t have to stand on the top rung or reach too far out.

If possible, have a friend or co-worker hold the ladder’s base while you ascend and descend it.

Cleaning Process: 

Once you’ve gathered all your tools and put on your safety gear, it’s time to start cleaning.

  • The process begins with making a mild solution of warm water and soap. Next, use a sponge or T-bar wand to scrub the dirt from each window surface. If there is caked-on dirt, use a scraper with care to scrape it off without damaging the window frames.
  • Use a squeegee in vertical strokes starting from the top of the window pane and working your way down. This will allow the solution to flow down, removing smudges and dirt from the window surface.
  • Wipe down any smudges with paper towels or cloths.
  • Use your squeegee to dry off the remaining water droplets after wiping down the window surface.
  • Finally, inspect your work carefully to make sure there are no streaks left behind before climbing back down the ladder safely.

How to Clean High Rise Windows without Using a Ladder?

Ladders might work for home windows located high up, but they’re useless for apartment buildings with high ceilings. In these cases, you must invest in some specialized equipment to clean high-rise windows safely.

Here are some of the available options:

What’s the Best Way to Clean High-rise Windows from the Inside?

A. Invest in High Tech Cleaning Devices 

Investing in high-tech cleaning devices is one of the most efficient ways to clean high-rise windows without a ladder. The two most popular high-tech cleaning devices are magnetic and robot window cleaners.

  • Magnetic window cleaners are designed with two connected magnets that adhere to the window from both sides. Safely clean hard-to-reach spots on both sides simultaneously from the inside.

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so it’s not an issue if you have a bigger or smaller window than usual; you can always find one that fits perfectly. And, because of their design, magnetic window cleaners are also ideal for bay windows and conservatories where other cleaning equipment may struggle to reach.

Magnetic window cleaner

Magnetic window cleaners are also cost-effective, as there’s no need for costly replacement parts or difficult installation processes. You have to stick them onto the glass surface, and you’re ready to start cleaning.

  • On the other hand, robot window cleaners are more expensive but offer a complete solution for your window cleaning needs. These autonomous machines use high-tech sensors and powerful vacuums to clean windows without human intervention.
Robot window cleaner

Instead, these robots have a vacuum-like suction system that attaches itself to the window and travels across it. Most models have advanced features such as multiple cleaning modes, adjustable speed settings, and remote control operation.

What’s more, these advanced robots are designed for long-lasting performance and can clean large window areas in a matter of minutes. For added convenience, some models also come with built-in safety sensors to detect obstacles and prevent damage to the windows.

These advanced machines can do all the hard work while you relax and watch from afar.

B. Bring the Windows to You:

Bringing the windows down to ground level is another option for those looking to tackle their high-rise window cleaning project without a ladder. Many modern windows are designed to be taken apart so they can be brought down and cleaned without having to climb up a ladder or step onto scaffolding or other elevated surfaces.

This involves removing any bolts or screws used to keep the frame in place before removing it from the building using a rope, pulley system, or crane. Once removed, they can then be thoroughly cleaned either indoors or outdoors, whichever you prefer.

This can be a bit risky and time-consuming, so it’s best to have a professional handle the job if you are uncomfortable doing it yourself.

Finally, finish up the job by wiping down the window frame with a damp cloth and removing any standing water droplets that remain after wiping down the window surface with towels.

Make sure to inspect your work carefully to ensure no streaks remain after restoring the frame to its original position. securely re-attaching the frame in its original place.

C. Using the Extension Poles and Brushes 

Extension poles are also a practical option when cleaning high-rise windows without a ladder, as they enable you to reach difficult spots from ground level. They come in various sizes and shapes, so finding one that fits your needs shouldn’t be too difficult.

Using the Extension Poles and Brushes

When using an extension pole, make sure you attach appropriate brushes that suit your specific application, as this will help ensure better results that last longer over time. Examples of appropriate brushes include soft bristle brushes, squeegees, scrubbing pads, microfiber cloths, etc., all adapted for use on different materials, including wood, plastic, and glass surfaces.

Vacuums and brooms can also be used with extension poles to reach hard-to-access spots.

D. Long-handled Mops for Hard-to-Reach Areas 

Long-handled mops come equipped with extendable handles that easily fit into tight corners and crevices, making them perfect for those tricky spots that aren’t safe enough for ladders. Also, long-handled mops often have adjustable heads meaning you can get into those hard-to-reach spots quickly while still achieving good results.

Long-handled Mops for Hard-to-Reach Areas

What’s more, some long-handled mop models even have swiveling heads, which make cleaning yet easier.

To prevent damage to the floor, lay down a large sheet on the floor before you begin cleaning your windows at height with any of the above methods. Wipe the glass pane with a clean cloth and lukewarm water, and dry off the window using chamois or lint-free cloth to remove marks without scratches or streaks.

Make sure you work your way across the window in a ‘W’ pattern and use upward strokes to prevent streaks. Spray some glass cleaner on a clean cloth and give it a shine.

Finally, take a step back when you’re done and admire your hard work.

How do You Clean High-rise Windows from the Outside?

Cleaning high-rise windows is no easy feat. From towering skyscrapers to hotels and apartment buildings, it takes expert skill and bravery to tackle these dizzying heights.

Consider the perfect option for you amongst the following:

A. Hose Spray Window Cleaner:

When cleaning high-rise windows from the outside, hose sprays are one of the most efficient and safest ways to get the job done without having to climb ladders or risk slips and falls. These powerful sprayers provide a wide range of adjustable pressure levels to ensure that delicate glass and frames are not damaged as you tackle dirt, grime, cobwebs, and bird droppings.

Hose Spray Window Cleaner

And because they attach directly to your garden hose, they’re incredibly easy to use, with no complicated setup or advanced skills required. Also, these handy clean-up tools offer great value for money since they can be used repeatedly.

So not only will you save time with their hassle-free operation, but you’ll also save money in the long run by avoiding costly ladder rentals or window cleaning services. Plus, their lightweight construction means you can easily transport them around your property without struggling too much with bulky equipment. 

B. Water Fed Pole System: 

These handy tools are perfect for high rises, letting you spray your windows from afar without using ladders or other dangerous equipment. A telescoping pole connects to a water line, typically a garden hose, allowing you to wash your windows without manual labor.

Water Fed Pole System

Connect your garden hose securely to the pole, extend it until you reach the desired height, and turn on the powerful stream of water to make those dirty windows sparkle in no time. Adding just a drop of dish soap to lukewarm water before cleaning windows with the telescopic pole will make it easier for you to dry them off and prevent any running streaks from appearing after.

C. Garden Hose: 

Safely prep for window cleaning with a garden hose by putting on protective gloves and harnesses first. Having someone else hold the end of your hose or securely attach it to an outside faucet is ideal, then just turn up the tap pressure, and point towards windows from afar.

Garden Hose

For best results, try aiming at an angle downwards towards your target surface, as this will help reduce splatter onto nearby objects below.

D. The Suspension Systems or Climbing Tools:

When faced with exceptionally tall buildings where regular methods won’t suffice, such as professional skyscraper cleaners hired by large businesses. Climbers must be equipped with specialized climbing tools or suspension systems to reach their destination safely while efficiently cleaning away stubborn dirt build-up on high-rise windows.

Let’s take a look at what these tools are and how to use them:

Climbing Tools: 

Climbing tools such as safety harnesses, ropes and lanyards, carabiners, camming devices, ascenders, and descenders are all necessary for high-rise window cleaners to rappel safely down from their point of origin.

Rappelling requires the use of a rope and harness attached to the building structure, wherein climbers descend by slowly releasing tension from the rope as they go down.

Suspension Systems:

Suspension systems are scaffolds with pulleys and tracks that are affixed to the building so window cleaners can work from them. The suspension systems feature a couple of cables or ropes with attachments that connect to harnesses worn by the window washers, allowing them to move up and down the side of the building easily while securely suspended in mid-air.

Movable Platforms:

Movable platforms are often used for cleaning high-rise windows. These allow the worker access to both sides of the window without having to reposition themselves continually, and they keep them suspended in midair while working.

Movable Platforms

The platform is secured with cables, screws, or other fastening devices, then maneuver into place using ropes and pulleys, which are attached to an anchor point on the roof or top of the building. The platforms can be made from either aluminum or steel, depending on the weight requirements of each individual job, and should be fitted with guardrails for extra safety.

Direct-To-Anchor Suspension Systems:

These systems employ steel cable suspension lines that are secured around structural beams inside a building or onto an anchor point on its outside wall. The system allows workers complete freedom of movement around their targeted window while maintaining full control over their positioning relative to it at all times.

Two people usually operate the system: one controls the brake line, and another operates a winch to adjust the height around your desired area. This type of system is ideal for situations where there isn’t sufficient space available for setting up traditional scaffolding structures. 

Cradles/Mounted Platforms:

Cradles/mounted platforms provide an incredibly secure way of reaching even the most difficult-to-reach upper floors when carrying out window cleaning activities. These cradles secure workers in place with harnesses that allow them full use of their hands whilst conducting necessary maintenance tasks such as polishing glass panes or wiping away grime from frames or ledges beneath them using squeegees, cloths, or brushes, etc.

CradlesMounted Platforms

For extra security, these mounting systems also come equipped with brakes that are manually operated by pulley handles. 

Bosun’s Chairs:

Bosun’s chairs are similar in many ways to mounted platforms but instead use ropes rather than steel cables so that they may be hung off existing anchor points already on tall buildings (such as gantries). They consist of two components; a seat harness attached via ropes onto existing anchor points plus foot straps so that users may maintain secure footing while swinging left and right between different areas needing cleaning across large expanse glass panes or stone facades etc.

Bosun's chair

This method is especially useful when working around tight corners or negotiating awkward angles such as those found regularly at parapets, cornices, etc.

Even though these are viable options for cleaning high-rise windows, they may not produce a pristine finish. It’s worth calling the experts for guaranteed results.

How to Clean High Interior Windows?

Cleaning interior windows can be a tricky job, especially when those windows are located at high levels. Here are some tips for safely and effectively cleaning interior windows that are difficult to reach:

• Use the correct tools and equipment; this includes ladders, safety harnesses, telescoping poles, and microfiber cloths.

• Make sure all tools and equipment are properly secured before use.

• Wear suitable clothing, such as safety goggles and gloves, to protect yourself against dust.

• If necessary, use a spotter to help monitor your movements while you work.

• Use a vacuum to remove dirt or debris from the frame and edges of the window.

• Working from the top down, clean the windows one pane at a time, focusing on the edges first.

• Use a mild detergent or soap solution to break down any dirt or debris before wiping with a damp cloth.

• Finish cleaning each window pane by buffing it dry with a lint-free cloth or squeegee.

• If the pane is removable, take it out for a more thorough cleaning.

• Ladders are not always sufficient for cleaning high interior windows. If necessary, use a suspension system for added safety.

• Finally, be sure to take proper care of your windows after they have been cleaned. This may include waxing or applying protective coatings if needed.

Tips for Safely Using High-Rise Window Cleaning Tools and Equipment

Safety is always the first priority when using any high-rise window cleaning tools or equipment. Here are some tips for staying safe:

  1. Always read through instructions before attempting to set up or use any equipment.
  2. Make sure you have an appropriate harness and use it correctly at all times.
  3. Check that all tools, equipment, and lines are firmly secured before using them.
  4. Be aware of wind conditions and how this can affect your movements while suspended in midair.
  5. Make sure someone else is present to provide support or assistance if required.
  6. Regularly inspect the equipment and platforms for any signs of wear or damage.
  7. Don’t attempt to work in bad weather conditions such as high winds, rain, or snow.
  8. Use spotters to monitor your movements around the building if needed.
  9. Use clean towels each time you complete an area so as not to risk spreading dust particles back on recently cleaned areas when using dirty rags/towels previously used elsewhere within the building premises.
  10. When using a suspension system, it is important to make sure that you check both sides of the window before beginning to clean. This is done by carefully assessing both the inside and outside of the window before starting your job.
  11. Also, workers should make sure that their cable system is firmly secured in place and that no loose ends remain untied before beginning any work on the high-rise window. 
  12. Whichever method is chosen, it’s important to ensure that proper safety measures are taken while working at height. From using the correct safety equipment to having a rescue plan in place if an emergency arises, keeping yourself and those around you safe should always be your number one priority.
  13. Once the windows are clean, it’s also important to take proper care of them. This includes using the right products and techniques to ensure they don’t deteriorate from exposure to sunlight or harsh weather conditions.

By following the above guidelines, you can be confident that your next window cleaning job will succeed.

Why are Window Cleaners Using Ladders Less Now?

Window cleaners are increasingly using alternatives to ladders for their work. This is becoming a more popular trend due to the inherent safety risks associated with traditional ladder use, as well as the potential time savings and increased efficiency associated with some of the newer technologies.

For instance, water-fed poles allow window cleaners to access heights of up to 60 feet without needing an additional ladder. Some cleaning companies are beginning to utilize sophisticated robotic systems that can clean windows autonomously, eliminating the need for any personnel to be present atop a ladder.

As technology continues to advance and become more prevalent in this industry, it’s likely that ladders will become less common in professional window cleaning services.

Choosing the Best Option For Your House/Building

High-Rise Window Cleaning can be a great experience if you have the right devices and take safety seriously. Invest in quality tools to make sure your job is secure and effortless, resulting in satisfying results with minimal hassle.

Regarding window cleaning, your option should depend on your budget and the type of frames. For those with a limited budget, an extendable pole or hose spray are great options for up to 3 stories high.

But if intricate windows need covering and money isn’t an issue, consider investing in robotic technology. They’re becoming increasingly popular due to their speed and efficiency. No matter the chosen solution, proper preparation will ensure safe access while providing rewarding results.

How to Clean High Rise Windows? Get Them Clean Like a Pro

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top