House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Can You Power Wash Windows? Pros, Cons, & Tips

Power washing. House wall vinyl siding cleaning with high pressure water jet

Cleaning windows is a job no one really wants to tackle. This is especially true if you have multiple stories in your home. Still, no matter how annoying they are, our windows must be cleaned regularly to keep our home looking great. This leaves homeowners constantly looking for ways to make this job easier while still doing a great job. One solution many have pondered, or even tried, is power washing. Yes, power washers come in handy around the house, but are they safe to use on windows? The answer to that question depends on who you ask.

Many window professionals feel it’s best to stick to the old-fashioned way of cleaning your windows. They say this is the safer, cleaner method. Others feel if done right, power washing is the way to go. Let’s take a look at both the good and the bad of power washing windows so you can decide whether you want to use this method or stick to using elbow grease, cleaner, and a cloth.

house divider

The Pros of Power Washing Windows

As we already mentioned, there are both pros and cons to using a pressure washer to clean your windows. We’ll take a look at the positives first.

Makes Your Job Easier

Of course, the biggest pro for using a power washer on your home’s windows is the ease of the job. While it may take a few moments to get the pressure washer out and ready, you won’t need to do each window by hand. This is especially helpful for older homeowners or those suffering from certain medical conditions that may make scrubbing so many windows more difficult.

Photo Credit By: BigTunaOnline, Shutterstock

Using Soap

Many power washers are designed with a compartment where you can add soap. This makes the power washer the only tool you need to get the job done. You won’t need to wash down each window with a soap mixture.

Takes Less Time

When using a power washer to do your window, time is on your side. Thanks to the speed and power of the pressure washer, this tedious chore can be done much quicker than if you were doing each window by hand. You can have things cleaned and packed away in no time so you can spend the rest of your day enjoying the fruits of your labor.

house divider

The Cons of Power Washing Windows

Now onto the cons involved with using a power washer on your home’s windows. Knowing both sides of the situation can help you determine whether this method is right for you and your home.

Shattering Your Glass

Many of the cons involved with power washing your home’s windows come from the power your machine has and inexperience. Of course, one of the worst things that can happen is the shattering of your windows. If you use a power washer with too much PSI or shoot a full spray directly on your window, this can easily happen. Replacing windows isn’t cheap so keep this in mind if you consider power washing your windows.

broken window glass
Photo Credit By: Sergio Sergo, Shutterstock

Damaging Your Home

Power washers are known for their speed, accuracy, and especially their power. Not every type of home can stand up to that power. Sure, washing your windows may be your goal, but that high-powered beam of water is going to come into contact with your home. This opens your home to the potential of water seeping into your walls. When this happens, insulation and flooring can get wet. This leads to potential mold issues, crumbling plaster, or even rotted walls and wood.

Lead Paint

This is a potential issue, especially in older homes. If lead paint has been used the blast from your power washer can chip the paint. This can send hard-to-see lead paint chips into your home and around your property. This type of paint is very dangerous if ingested.

house divider

Tips for Power Washing Windows

If you feel comfortable tackling the DIY project of power washing your windows, here are a few tips that can make the process safer for you and your home.

No Ladders

Climbing with a power washer can be dangerous. Instead of pulling out the ladder to get your higher windows, rely on an extension wand or buy a power washer with additional nozzles intended for higher areas.

Check Windows First

Before you apply the water from your power washer, do a thorough inspection of your windows. The weather stripping and frame caulking need to be in good shape before you apply the water.

Remove Screens

If your windows have screens, take those off before you start the job. This will allow your window to get a better clean. You can even wash off the screens and leave them to air dry while you have your power washer out.

close up of a window screen
Photo Credit By: Kwangmoozaa, Shutterstock

Use an Adjustable Power Washer

As we already mentioned, a lot of PSI can damage windows, especially older or weak ones. Using a pressure washer that allows you to adjust for the job is your best bet. Avoid using more than 2,000 PSI or you could have windows shattering around your home.

Understand Spray Patterns

Spraying directly on one spot of your window can weaken the glass or potentially shatter it. Instead of focusing on one spot, use a pattern to get the job done. Start at the top and work your way down to help avoid too much pressure and remove dirt and grime more accurately.

Spray at an Angle

Even with a lower PSI, spraying head-on can damage your windows. Instead of doing this, hold your nozzle at an angle. A 40-degree angle works well and can help avoid potential damage from the power of the stream.

house divider

Final Thoughts

Yes, you can easily pull out your power washer to clean your windows. The real question is, should you? That is completely your decision. For some homes, like wood-framed homes, it can be hazardous. Other homes shouldn’t have any issues. Each situation is different. By having both the pros and the cons of using your power washer you can decide what’s best for you, your windows, and your home. Good luck, and as with any project you take on around the house, make safety your first priority.

Featured Image Credit:


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools