How to clean windows with a pressure washer? Cleaning windows is a necessary chore for many households, but it can be tedious and time-consuming. With a pressure washer you can speed up the process and give your windows a shine that’s not achievable by hand.
You do however need to be careful when using a pressure washer to clean windows. In this article we’ll share some tips on how to clean windows with a pressure washer the right way.
How to Clean Windows with a Pressure Washer
It can be broken down into 5 steps.
1) Inspect your windows closely to ensure no issues
Start by checking the state of the windows themselves, the glazing, the paint condition, the pane, and caulking. Make sure everything is in good condition, including the paint (which should not be chipping). If any fixes are required, you will want them done before washing your windows.
2) Using a garden hose, water the soil as well as any plants underneath your windows
Since you will be using soap on the windows, you want to make sure that it gets diluted before the plants and soil have a chance to absorb it as it runs off. Watering beforehand helps accomplish this.
Watering plants beneath your windows can help protect them from soap
3. Go ahead and fill the soap reservoir as well as adjust how much pressure you are using
Using a soap that is formulated for pressure washers (which is stated on the label), fill up the soap reservoir of your pressure washer. Also, ensure that you choose a tip with a wide spray pattern and turn the pressure to a low setting (ideally 1500 PSI, but 2000 PSI will work also). Always start with the lowest possible pressure.
4. Apply soap to your windows using a soap tip, usually included with your pressure washer
Find your soap tip, attach and apply your soap. This special tip and comes standard with most pressure washers, specifically designed for applying degreasers and soaps.
5. Once you apply the soap, leave it 60 seconds, then rinse it off your windows before it has a chance to dry
Make sure you apply it by holding the wand at a 45-degree angle to the window as this will soften the stream whilst still be effective at removing dirt.
Considerations When Buying a Pressure Washer for Cleaning Windows
While something as simple as cleaning windows may be self-explanatory, there are still some things to keep in mind when buying a pressure washer. Here is what we have come to find as the best way to ensure the best pick possible for homeowners.
Electric is the most suitable for washing windows, but you can use a gas pressure washer.
The reason for this is that electric pressure washers usually are less powerful than gas models and when washing windows, you are dealing with a fragile material.
At the same time if you want to use your washer for tough jobs you will probably want to go with a gas-powered power washer that boasts a higher level of power than what electric versions can produce.
Gas pressure washers can be used to clean windows, but you must be very careful.
You will want to have a soap reservoir, as it is not only a convenience but a necessity
While it is rare to see a pressure washer being sold without a tank for soap, it is still possible. You will want to have a soap reservoir because it speeds up the process and saves a ton of work you would have to do by hand.
Tips for Cleaning Your Windows with a Pressure Washer
Here are a few of the tips that we have embraced at our own homes and felt would benefit our readers who were looking into using a pressure washer to clean their windows.
- Always start spraying at a lower pressure and wider angle, then adjust it as needed – You can always increase the pressure as you go but you will not be able to rewind the damage once it has been caused. Think of it like this, it is better to be safe than it is to be sorry.
- If caulking appears to be aged or not sealing properly, do yourself a favor and caulk it before washing your windows with a pressure washer. Simply remove the old caulk and run a new bead where you see that it is not sealing properly or showing signs of ageing.
- You can use dish soap, but the best results are from cleaners that claim they can be used for windows and are deemed to be safe for pressure washers. You will see these attributes listed on the label when applicable.
What Pressure Washer Nozzle Should You Use to Clean Windows?
The 40-degree tip seems to perform the best when it comes to washing windows because it delivers the stream of water with less force than other pressure washer tips. Any lower on the number means you will be spraying it on with more force which could damage your windows.
What PSI Is Best When Cleaning Windows with a Pressure Washer?
1,200 PSI to 2,000 PSI is the golden spot for pressure washers intended for cleaning windows. Glass breaks easily, and wood does not take much to become damaged.
You can use the higher-powered pressure washers, but you will have to be more cautious while using it to ensure that it serves as an advantage, not a mistake.
Just to make sure everything gets done safely and properly, there are some things to keep in mind when you clean your windows with a pressure washer. After all, it does operate with a high amount of pressure and certain mistakes could be costly.
- Always know what a safe distance is from the surface being sprayed. This can be done by choosing a test area that is not noticeable to most. You can always start further away and move closer just to see what the best distance is. However, if you start too close the damage could be irreversible.
- Do not ignore the user manual, it is worth the little bit of extra time to read. Every power washer is different, but they each come with a user manual. This will tell you everything you need to know about operation, warranty, and maintenance. If you want your pressure washer to last and not have problems when you use it, get educated from the start.
- Do not use ladders if you can avoid it, think safety! There are telescopic wand attachments that you can use to reach high areas without your feet having to leave the ground. Since pressure washers do kick back, and ladders are risky as it is, you will want to eliminate them from the situation if at all possible to do so.
- Electric pressure washers always need to be plugged into a ground GFCI outlet. Since they pull quite a bit of electricity, this is mandatory. You want it to trip before it has a chance to fry the wiring in your house and you need it to have a ground as well.
- Ensure the nozzle is secure, or it could fly off and potentially cause damage/injury. Do this by making sure it is attached properly and doing a test spray before taking on the windows. If it is a tight fit and can not come off by pulling on it, you should be ok.
- Keep children and pets away when a pressure washer is in use. You are working with a piece of equipment that could cause injuries, even because of a sporadic event occurring that comes with no warning. Make sure your little ones and pets are away from the area while spraying so that no unnecessary risks are being taken.
- Wear safety glasses (and gloves if needed) to ensure you remain protected. Since you are using a power washer, and there is a chance of debris flying at you, wear safety glasses at the minimum. Gloves and waterproof clothing can also make the job much more comfortable.
Is It Safe to Clean Windows with a Pressure Washer?
This depends on the state of your windows, and the frames that hold them in. If everything is in great shape, you most likely will not uncover any issues. However, if any part of the windows are damaged or missing caulk, you could cause further damage to your home.