Window and Screen Cleaning Costs: Your Complete Guide

A clean home is a happy home, inside and out. Give your home a quick-fix face lift with crystal-clear windows and sanitized screens. Find out how much you should plan to spend on window and screen cleaning this season.

Let the light shine in your home with spotless, sparkling windows that bring the outdoors in. Dirty, grimy windows leave house guests with a bad first impression, but a thorough cleaning can make all the difference for your indoor and outdoor space. Whether your windows need a simple wipe-on and wipe-off or a powerful pressure washer for those hard-to-reach places, here's what you need to know.

Window Cleaning Costs: What to Expect

From the number and size of windows to the condition of screens and sills, many factors impact the overall cost of window cleaning. Depending on weather and wear, most homeowners need to have their windows washed two or three times a year: once in the spring after the harsh winter and again in late fall to prepare for the holidays. You can expect to spend between $150 and $300 for a window-cleaning crew, but your end cost will vary based on the desired level of service. Be aware that special window treatments can also tack on an extra cost for removing stubborn stains and sediments.

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Common Window Cleaning Factors

Are your windows foggy, spotty, or covered in curious fingerprints? Clean windows not only improve the appearance of your home, but they also allow more light into your space and open up the room. Before you get started, consider what you want cleaned, the amount of buildup on your windows, and your personal safety.

Dirt Accumulation

A regular window cleaning appointment won't be the same price as a long-overdue window cleaning. Dirtier glass requires more tools, equipment, and time to achieve that spotless shine. Thick buildup can cost as much as $400 to remove because it demands more manual labor and additional equipment to get rid of the grime. Hard-to-remove messes, such as mineral deposits, paint, and water stains, are better suited for a professional cleaner to avoid damaging the glass, surrounding areas, or yourself.

Inside, Outside, or Both

When considering a window cleaning service, think long term. Although choosing an interior-only or exterior-only service will save you money now, it is a better deal to bundle services together for an overall lower price. Opting for one service over the other can result in seemingly dirty windows, even after a good scrub, because both sides aren't spotlessly sparkling.

Number of Windows

One of the biggest cost factors of window cleaning is the number of windows in your house. It is common for window cleaning services to charge by the number of panes that need cleaning. Other services may use the square footage of your home to determine price. As a general rule, the more windows you have, the higher the cost is to have professional-grade gleaming windows.

Ease of Access

Don't risk your health or safety  trying to reach upper-level windows. Leave the ladder climbing and heavy scrubbing for practiced professionals. From a cost perspective, windows on a first and second floor are the same rate, but windows on the third floor and higher are generally more expensive  to clean. Not all companies abide by this policy, but it's something to look out for when purchasing a window cleaning service.

Screens, Sills, and Tracks

While you're cleaning your windows, consider dusting off your screens as well. Many window cleaning services will take care of your screens as they're cleaning your windows, however it may increase the average cost per window. Not only will cleaning the screens remove any apparent debris, it will also enhance the appearance of your newly cleaned windows.

Don't neglect your window sills and tracks! Splurging on a complete window cleaning treatment will ensure a thorough clean that includes all elements of your windows. Some companies will scrub the sills and tracks as part of the initial price, but others may add an additional fee for the service. Be aware of what services you are paying for beforehand so you don't discover any unwanted costs when you see your final bill.

Ways to Clean Your Windows

Window cleaning can range from a simple rub down to more advanced cleaning methods, like pressure washing and de-ionized water cleaning. The type of windows you have can help determine which methods will work best for your home. Before cleaning, take note of the various window locations and types around your home to help decide what services you need.

Simple Cleaning Methods

A squeegee or strip applicator with a soap-and-water solution works best on large picture windows. These tools will cover more surface area than a sponge or brush. Although a sponge or brush is ideal for smaller multi-pane windows, they shouldn't be used on picture windows because they simply move dirt around instead of removing it. Many window cleaners use these tools as well, but their cleaning techniques are what leave your windows streak-free and sparkling.

Advanced Cleaning Methods

Other window services are more complicated and are best left to experienced window cleaners to ensure personal safety. A window cleaner can perform a pressure washing service that will blast away dust, dirt, and debris on windows with excessive buildup in just a few quick motions. This method should only be used for exterior cleaning.. De-ionized water cleaning is another advanced method that dissolves tough solids like salt and mineral deposits. Both methods are suitable for high windows and clean hard-to-reach areas. The cost of pressure washing is comparable to that of standard squeegee services, but de-ionized water cleaning is more expensive due to the sophisticated tools used.

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Solution

Going green? There are window cleaning options that avoid the use of toxic chemicals and wasteful paper towels. Try making an environmentally friendly window cleaning solution by mixing vinegar and water to cut through grime and avoid pesky water spots. Use a reusable microfiber cloth in place of paper towels to buff out rough spots and reduce your carbon footprint. Before having your windows professionally cleaned, be sure to ask if your local service has eco-friendly cleaning solutions available.

More Window Advice

Select the Right Window Cleaning Method

When it comes to window cleaning, the type of glass determines what method is best for you. If you're doing the job yourself, it's important to know what type of glass you're working with so you don't create any unfixable scratches. Annealed glass is the most commonly used type of glass in homes and is generally the easiest to clean. Heat-strengthened glass is popular in locations with extreme temperatures. Both annealed and heat-strengthened glass should be cleaned with water, dish soap, a squeegee, and microfiber cloth. Glass cleaner can also be used for these windows.

Tempered glass, also known as safety glass, scratches easily and should be wiped carefully with a quality window cleaning solution and microfiber towel. Low-E glass prevents ultraviolet rays from entering your home, keeping it at a comfortable, cool temperature. When cleaning Low-E glass windows, use an ammonia-free solution and avoid scrubbing or using an abrasive material. If you hire a window cleaning service, they can help determine the proper method to clean the glass in your home.

How to Clean Your Windows

When you decide to clean your windows, avoid choosing a hot, sunny day, and opt for cloudy weather instead to avoid streaks. You don't want those hours of scrubbing to go to waste! For interior washing, prep the area around the window prior to cleaning. This includes removing any nearby furniture and covering the walls and floors with a sheet or drop cloth. If a ladder is needed to reach your windows, it's best to hire a professional window cleaner. Considering the cost of buying all the tools (cleansers, squeegees, towels, and ladders), and the potential safety risks involved, hiring a cleaning company is often the most convenient option for window washing.

How to Clean Your Screens

For pristine screens, remove each screen from its window and lay it on a drop cloth to protect the floor. Unlike cleaning windows, it's better to clean screens on a sunny day to reduce drying time. Rinse the screen with a low-pressure garden hose, then scrub the surface with warm water and ammonia, making small circles from top to bottom. Rinse the screen a final time and wipe it down with a towel. The process of cleaning screens can be time consuming, so plan on setting aside a large chunk of your day for this project, or hire someone to free up your schedule.

Keep Your Windows Clean Longer

After all that work, you'll want to keep those spotless windows in tip-top condition. Invest in or request a glass surface-protectant treatment that shields your windows from additional buildup and stains. A window cleaning company can apply this treatment for sparkling windows that won't lose their shine.

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