How to Clean Outside Windows You Can't Reach

How to Clean Outside Windows You Can’t Reach

Cleaning the windows around our homes is a relatively simple task for many of us however when it comes to external, hard-to-reach windows, this can make things a little trickier. You may find yourself cleaning the ones you can reach and just putting off the ones that are hard to get to until the next time you clean the windows.

Soon those neglected windows that were once as clear as the summer sky begin to look more like a muggy, cloudy day… and it’s not a good look, not to mention how much natural light will be getting blocked out.

Often in these moments of “I’ll get to it next time”, the problem isn’t that we don’t want them cleaned and it isn’t because of laziness. The problem is that these windows seem impossible to get to. Not anymore! We’ve put together this list of tips that will hopefully help you to maintain the neat and orderly appearance of your home inside AND out.

1. Use a Ladder

The first port of call for carrying out tasks that you can’t normally reach is finding the ladder. If you don’t have a ladder, borrow one from someone you know if this is an option and maybe even rope them into being your ladder holder – you’ve got to be safe after all.

In the event that you need to purchase a ladder and if you have minimal space to store one, telescopic ladders, like these ones from WolfWise, could be a great option.


  • Make sure that the ground around your windows is flat and safe to place the ladder on.
  • Ensure that your ladder can safely lean up against a wall without causing damage or making the ladder wobbly.
  • Get someone to hold the ladder for you as you climb.


2. Use a Magnetic Window Cleaner

These are ideal for those living in upper-level flats, as you don’t need to risk falling out of a window or dropping your squeegee 10 storeys onto some unexpectant passer-by!

Magnetic window cleaners use extremely strong magnets which keep indoor and outdoor parts together on either side of the glass. Microfibre cloths are attached to each half and then you can simply slide the magnet over the window to wipe away dirt. There is a safety rope which ensures that the outer part of the magnet does not drop too far if it happened to come apart during cleaning.

This method does require your ability to spray some form of glass cleaner on the external window.

Magnetic Window Cleaner

These contraptions can be quite pricey if you want a good one that holds through double or triple glazed windows, but if you’re a fan of clean windows and your block of flats doesn’t have a regular window cleaner visiting, then it could be a great investment.


3. Use a Swiffer Mop

Depending on how high your windows are, there are a number of relatively cheap mops that can be purchased to help you reach those windows. A Swiffer mop (or ones like it) is a very lightweight floor cleaning tool that you could clamp a cleaning cloth to the end of in order to scrub your windows. The flat head on most brands of floor mops swivels nicely which makes it ideal to run over windows in an S-shaped fashion.

It would be worthwhile measuring the distance that you would need to reach before purchasing one and risking it being too short.

The mop could be used from an upstairs position, with the mop being used to reach across to neighbouring windows, but only if this could be done without risking hanging out of your window too far!


4. Use Broom Handles

This is quite the makeshift option which may be one of your last resorts or the best option if you don’t have any budget to purchase something more practical.

Take your two broomsticks and duct tape and/or cable-tie them together. These two broom handles will usually provide you with a great reach of between 2-3 metres. On one end of the stick, you could fasten a cloth or sponge to clean those hard-to-reach windows with. Alternatively, you could attach one broom handle to your mop to increase the length of the handle.


5. Use a Window Cleaning Kit

This solution should prove to be much cheaper than hiring a professional or purchasing a ladder and the window cleaning kit will operate in a similar fashion as that of a mop or duct-taping two items firmly together – only much more practical and secure.

The window cleaning kit comes with a pole that you can extend and thereby increase your reach. This pole is intended for second-storey windows but it may not reach some of the windows on your home if you have a townhouse or attic windows. Getting an idea of the distances to your windows from the ground will be pretty important before making this purchase.

This window cleaning squeegee from AmazonBasics has a microfibre scrubber cloth side for stubborn dirt and a rubber blade to remove excess moisture – leaving you with smear-free windows. The telescopic aluminium handle reaches distances of up to 1.5 m.


6. Hire Professionals

If you have the funds to hire a professional window cleaner then that would be the ideal choice.

All houses are built in different ways and as a result, for some of us, our windows are more difficult to get to than others. Some windows may even be dangerous to try to get to with a ladder or at an awkward angle which just isn’t worth risking by yourself.

Oftentimes hiring a professional is the best way to get a job done. It may cost a little more than we were hoping but professionals will have all the equipment they need to do the job and do it right. You can choose the frequency at which your windows get cleaned when you organise a window cleaner to visit your property – once a week or once a fortnight is recommended for keeping your windows squeaky clean and clear.

Professional Window Cleaner


Final Thoughts

As with many tasks which have the option to hire a professional, this would probably be our most recommended solution. Cleaning upper windows can be difficult and maybe even dangerous if you don’t employ the correct safety measures, so it is best to leave it to someone who knows what they’re doing.

If you know you can stay safe, then an extendable squeegee would be our most highly recommended DIY window cleaning solution – they are lightweight and designed to clean windows effectively, so you can’t really go wrong.

If you are reaching out of upstairs windows to clean neighbouring panes, then please to exercise caution and perhaps have someone with you to make sure you don’t topple out of the window. It could be worth attaching a string to the cloth or squeegee and loop this over your wrist so if you drop the item, it will not fall to the ground.