The Best Time To Clean Windows
“What’s the best time of year to clean my windows?”
I hear this question from time to time, and the simple answer is, “Whenever you want them to be clean”.
But I understand that’s not what the customer is asking. What they’re asking me is, “When can I wash my windows so they will stay clean the longest? When can I get the most bang for my buck?”.
I get that question. And while I may not be able to give you a completely definitive answer, I can share with you some of the trends I see and observations I’ve made. If you just want the summary instructions, skip down to the “summary” section at the end of this article.
One of the most common, and I think traditional, trends that I see is spring cleaning. Winter is passing, people have been cooped up for a long time, and now they are ready to let in the fresh air and sunshine. That’s when our phone starts to ring off the hook.
Another big cause for people wanting to get their windows cleaned is graduation parties and wedding receptions, as well as birthday parties or formal entertaining. While wedding receptions, birthdays, and entertaining can happen at any time of year, graduation parties tend to happen late spring or early summer.
Summertime tends to slow down a little bit. That may be because people are on vacation or otherwise busy outside of the home.
We usually can count on things ramping up once school starts back up for the Fall session. People begin to look at their windows and notice that they have gotten dirty again, and they want them to be cleaned before the holidays and before the winter. For these reasons, we are usually quite busy right up until Christmas time.
January through mid-March is usually a slow time as well. I imagine this is because people think that we can’t clean windows in the wintertime, or because they believe their windows will get dirtier in the wintertime than any other time of year.
Now I will walk through the seasons and make my observations about each one as it relates to window cleaning.
Spring, as I stated above, is the most popular time to clean the windows. All in all, it’s not a bad time to have it done, because the weather tends to be pleasant overall and the benefits of having your windows cleaned are much appreciated. There can be a fair amount of rain, but surprisingly that usually doesn’t put us behind schedule very much.
“Will the rain mess up my newly cleaned windows?” It can if the rain happens to be very dirty (a light, wind-driven rain after a long dry spell). But generally, clean rain won’t put too much dirt back on your windows.
Summer can be a great time to get your windows cleaned. We tent to be less busy, so getting your job scheduled on short notice is usually easier. Also, there is less chance of rain right after having your windows cleaned than there is in the springtime. And if you have double-pane Pella windows that need to be disassembled and cleaned in between the panes, summer is the best time to clean that style of window.
“Is it impossible to clean the hot glass in the direct sunlight in the summertime?” While it certainly can be more challenging, it isn’t impossible. We have a technique that we use which allows us to wet the glass and squeegee it dry all at the same time. This usually gives us great results even in direct sunlight on the hottest days.
Fall is a fantastic time to clean windows. When it isn’t a rainy Fall, it can actually be the best time to have windows cleaned. This last year, for example, we cleaned some windows in the early Fall, and then three months later when we went back to clean them again, they were still in quite good condition. This isn’t usually the case.
“How long after cleaning will my windows look great?” We don’t make any guarantees about how long they’ll stay clean, because there are times when a dirty rain comes along shortly after we cleaned them. But as a normal guideline, I tell people that the average time a window cleaning lasts is about three months. Usually, after three months, the windows are ready to be cleaned again.
Winter is usually everyone’s least popular time of year when it comes to window cleaning. Many homeowners are under the impression that window cleaning can’t be done in the winter. And we window cleaners are spoiled by the great temperatures we experience all the rest of the year, and so it takes us a while to adapt to the cold weather.
Our most common customers in the wintertime are people preparing their homes for sale, builders finishing up homes for delivery, our residential clients on a quarterly cleaning schedule, and our commercial clients on a monthly cleaning routine.
While rescheduling jobs happens more in the winter because of excessively cold spells or strong winds, there are actually a surprising number of very nice days as well. I wrote a complete article about winter window cleaning pros and cons that you can read here.
So, in summary, what’s the best time to have your windows cleaned? It depends on the reason for cleaning as well as the frequency.
- Event cleaning — Have them done as close to the event as possible. To be on the safe side, call for your estimate and get on the schedule a couple of months in advance. If you haven’t done that, we’ll still do everything we can to make your job fit in our schedule, but it may not be possible, especially if it’s a busy time of year.
- Occasional or annual cleaning — If weather were the only factor in choosing when to have my windows cleaned once a year and I wanted them to stay clean as long as possible, I would choose August or September, unless I lived next to a field of crops. In that case, I would have them done after the dust of harvest had settled.
- Semi-annual cleaning — While there is nothing wrong with having your windows cleaned Winter and Summer, Spring and Fall work better of you want screens washed more than once a year. Also, Spring and Fall work better for having freshly cleaned, sparkling windows for your favorite holiday (unless that happens to be July 4th).
- Quarterly cleaning — If you would rather have clean looking windows all year long, this is the (almost) best way to go. Normally, we only clean the exterior quarterly, while the inside gets cleaned once or twice a year.
- Monthly cleaning — This is the very best as far as sparkling windows goes, and we give the most competitive rates to monthly customers. This is mostly used for commercial locations with lots of customer traffic, though it’s not unheard of for residential customers to sign up.