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Illustration for article titled How to Clean the Outside of Your Apartment Windows, Because It's Gross Out There

Photo: New Africa (Shutterstock)

Cleaning the outside of your windows can be a fairly easy job, provided you can actually reach them—just grab a hose and a squeegee and rinse and wipe the glass. But cleaning your windows inside and out is not as easily achieved if you live in a fifth-floor walk-up apartment, let alone a high-rise. But looking out a dirty, grimy window is no fun whatever floor you’re on, so what’s to be done? Aside from contorting your body to reach out and scrub from under the half-closed window, there are some clever ways to clean your apartment windows without needing to bug your landlord to hire a professional.

Pop-out your windows

I know this sounds scary—breaking your windows will definitely mean kissing that security deposit goodbye. But there’s a very good chance your apartment windows tilt inward for easy cleaning. Look at the top of the lower half of your window (where the lock is located). If you see small latches, buttons, or screws on the right and left sides, pushing them will give you the ability to pop your window our of the frame and fold it inwards for cleaning.

If that all sounded confusing, the video below from Anders Fishing demonstrates it perfectly.

Not every window has the ability to tilt down for easy cleaning—some can be completely removed from the frame and replaced after cleaning. Check the sides of your window frame for latches that can be flipped up, allowing you to remove the window entirely. Pull out those latches and slide the window all the way up. The latches will dislodge the window from the frame so you can clean them and replace. The instructional video below, from Betenbough Homes, outlines this cleaning option.

Use magnetic tools

If your windows can’t be tilted in or removed outright, there are some really fun tools can help you clean both sides without breaking the bank (or your back). The Spruce highlights one of them, a two-piece magnetic cleaning tool that clings together through the widow, with the surface of the glass in-between the two halves.

One half of the tool sticks to the outside of the window, while you control the piece on the inside. Using the inside end, you glide the cleaner across your window, cleaning the inside and outside at the same time. A safety string wrapped around your finger keep the outside piece from falling to the ground. There are different types and shapes of this tool, some with an attached sponge and others that require you to apply cleaning solution directly to the window.  

A sponge mop with curved attachment

Since hanging outside of your window 50 feet in the air is not a safe option, you can hang a mop outside instead. A sponge mop with a u-shaped attachment can easily reach under an open window and up to the outer side of the glass. You can add the cleaner to the mop or directly to the window then, after cleaning, attach a microfiber towel to the mop to remove any streaks.



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