Many people don’t even consider cleaning windows until they become so dirty that you no longer have natural light in your home. But, routine home maintenance includes having your windows cleaned properly, which means professionally if you want to avoid scratches, smears, and unsightly marks.
The cost of cleaning a window varies considerably across the UK. Anything from £10 to £150/dwelling is possible, depending on the number of windows, storeys and other factors, but average window cleaning prices are around £40. Generally, a window cleaner’s rate ranges from £20-£50/hr.
This rate might sound expensive, but a professional window cleaner knows how to make your glass sparkle and keep the frames and window tracks clean and free from dirt. It might seem easy for anyone to clean a ground floor window, but upstairs window cleaning is another ballgame entirely. It must be done safely to prevent injury or even a fatality, and a professional has the training.
This guide will show the average cost of window cleaning, say a bit about the different methods available and help you budget when hiring a window cleaner.
How Much Does Window Cleaning Cost?*
Prices of cleaning windows vary across the UK. The table below outlines some typical costs. Later, we consider the factors that influence window cleaning quotes.
|House Size||No. of Windows||Estimated Cost|
|Three Bed Bungalow||6||£30|
|Three Bed Terraced property||7||£40|
|Four Bed Semi-Detached||8||£45|
|Five Bedroom Detached||10||£50|
*We compiled this information from various sources, including actual window cleaning companies. Every property is different, so use the table to compare your property. However, always ask a professional window cleaning company for accurate quotes.
Why Have Windows Cleaned Regularly?
You might wonder why it’s worth having your windows cleaned regularly.
- Keeping the windows clean prolongs their life and ensures your home looks tidy.
- The glass contains tiny cracks and imperfections, collecting dirt and grime over time. This makes it very difficult to clean, so a one-off window clean is often more expensive than a regular contract.
- The glass becomes brittle and easily broken, and the accumulated dirt prevents natural light from entering your house. Regular cleaning might seem an extravagance, but it’s worth the money over time.
Can You Do It Yourself?
You can personally clean your windows, as you don’t require any special skills. However, if you intend to use ladders to access upper storeys, it’s a good idea to have appropriate training or hire a professional who has the necessary experience and knowledge.
The UK Health and Safety Executive has a web page describing the steps employees who clean windows must take to be within the law. Window cleaning comes under the Working at Height Regulations 2005. Although these are specifically for employees working at height, it makes sense for everyone to follow the advice and guidance. This includes:
- Working conditions.
- Having the right skills.
- Use suitable access equipment for the job, and have appropriate training.
- Wear protective equipment.
- And the procedures for emergency evacuation and rescue.
Window cleaning companies have specialist insurance against potential employees’ accidents and damage to your property. This is far better than cleaning your windows and hoping your household insurance policy covers any damage you might cause.
Although we recommend that you hire a professional every time, you can rent access equipment from local tool rental shops or buy specialist window cleaning equipment and chemicals from large DIY stores.
- A high-end multipurpose ladder costs from £50 to £100.
- Large sponges cost 70p to £2.00 each.
- Microfibre cloths retail at around £2.00.
- Window cleaning chemicals from £1.50 to £5 for 750ml. However, you can use cheaper cleaning materials such as washing up liquid, although this can cause smears and streaks.
Window Cleaning Price Factors
The amount you pay for a thorough window clean depends on various factors, which a reputable window cleaning company will itemise when issuing a quote. For example, if your windows are hard to reach, you will be asked to pay extra.
The most significant factors include:
If your property has windows above a single storey, you will pay extra. The additional charge depends on how many floors you have. Furthermore, if any are particularly difficult to reach, the price increases further.
Size and type of property
As most rooms have at least one window, the number of rooms, and therefore, windows, is relevant. Also, whether your property is a bungalow, semi-detached, detached, terraced or block of flats affects the price.
Commercial properties cost more to clean usually because their windows are harder to access and have more members of the public nearby. These factors delay the work and provide a higher insurance risk.
If you can, ask the contractor to visit your home or business premises to assess the site before agreeing on a quote.
Non-Standard Window Cleaning
Conservatory roofs, skylights and greenhouses have specialised windows that are hard to access or too easily damaged to make cleaning profitable. Therefore, many window cleaners either won’t touch them or charge more for these non-standard windows. This additional charge covers higher insurance costs, difficult access, and longer duration.
Windows in London and the southeast tend to be more expensive to clean than elsewhere in the country, partly because of the higher cost of living and higher air pollution. In contrast, window cleaners in rural areas are in less demand so will charge less, even though they might have to travel farther to each job.
The accessibility of the windows affect the length of time needed to complete the job and add to the access equipment costs. Sometimes cleaners need higher ladders, scaffolding or powered access platforms.
Many window cleaning companies offer additional gutters, fascias, and window frame cleaning services. These will usually be a one-off task quoted separately from a regular window cleaning service.
Internal vs External Cleaning
Generally, washing both sides of a window costs twice the price of one side. However, many companies offer a discount if they clean both sides on the same visit.
Window Cleaning Methods & Techniques
Although many people have a go at cleaning the ground floor windows, we advise you to hire a professional window cleaner. They can clean windows on every storey, own their access equipment, and train to work at height. They also have the correct cleaning tools, cleaning chemicals and liability insurance for property damage and injury. And will do the job much quicker than you can do.
Window cleaners use several techniques depending on the height of the building and window accessibility. However, the method will usually be one of the following:
Water-Fed Pole Window Cleaning
This method, also known as WFP, uses a telescopic pole with an attached brush and water jets supplying purified water. The brush scrubs the window to loosen the grime while the purified water washes it away without causing a smear. The glass then dries naturally and doesn’t need manual drying or polishing. It’s also good for the environment because it doesn’t use chemicals that pollute the ground.
Sometimes, this system uses ordinary tapwater rather than pure. In this method, the operative adds cleaning chemicals. Then, the window needs manual drying and polishing.
As you’d expect, the purified water method doesn’t need a ladder to access upstairs, is less labour intensive, and is quicker than other techniques.
When windows are hard to reach or very high such as with highrise buildings, the highly-trained window cleaner might abseil from the roof. This might sound extreme, but sometimes it’s the only way to clean windows.
If the windows are too high or have difficult access, sometimes the only feasible method is to use mobile platforms. These mechanical lifting systems can reach up to 60m and carry the operative in a cradle, where the controls are. Alternatively, some tower blocks have a platform on a winch, permanently suspended from the roof.
Traditional Window Cleaning
This method is probably what most people imagine for window cleaning. It’s also what most amateurs use. Cleaners use a sponge, squeegees, scrapers, cleaning chemicals, a ladder and a microfibre cloth.
Operatives use the following procedure:
- Remove dust using a soft rag to prevent scratches to the glass.
- Use a sponge to apply the cleaning solution.
- Remove excess liquid using a squeegee starting at the top, working downwards.
- Finally, use a microfibre cloth to polish the glass and remove smears.
If you have a pressure washer that you use for cleaning the driveway, don’t be tempted to use it on the windows.
Yes, it’s quick, but you might have water-spotting or streaking, which must be polished by hand anyway. Furthermore, the water pressure might be high enough to crack the glass!
If you decide to go ahead with this method, against our advice, you can buy them for £60 upwards, depending on the model. Stand well back from the window, ensure the pressure is at its lowest setting, and use a wide spread nozzle.
Internal Window Cleaning
Many houses suffer from condensation in windows, which causes black mould and rotten wooden window frames. To prevent this, keep your windows clean and dry inside as well as outside.
This method is entirely different from the other cleaning methods. You stand indoors so that you won’t need a ladder or mobile platform. Probably the only access equipment you need will be a pair of stepladders or a step-up stool. Also, you don’t want excess water splashing everywhere, so forget about water-fed poles or pressure washers. Instead, the only feasible way is the traditional window cleaning method.
Remove curtains and blinds for easier access and take the opportunity to clean them. Then, have the glass and window frames cleaned with your chosen window cleaning solution, followed by a clean water rinser. Next, wipe a squeegee horizontally across the glass, starting at the top. Finally, polish with a microfibre cloth.
Window Cleaning Process & Timelines
Although every property is different, there is a recommended sequence for cleaning window glass. The following sequence covers the general method. You can adapt it to suit the various techniques explained previously in this guide.
- Ensure you can reach the entire window without stretching. If necessary, use a ladder or one of the other access platforms mentioned earlier. If using one of these aids, ensure you have training in its use, and the platform is stable.
- Traditional cleaning method – Wipe the glass with a soft cloth to remove dust and grit. If you don’t remove these particles, they can scratch the glass.
- Load the soft sponge with cleaning solution and wipe horizontally across the glass, starting at the top.
- Use a squeegee to remove the excess liquid. Remove the liquid by pulling the squeegee horizontally across the glass in one direction only. This allows the excess liquid to run down one side of the glass.
- Wipe up the excess liquid at the bottom of the window using a dry sponge or cloth.
- Polish the glass using a microfibre cloth to remove smears and water spots.
- Water-fed pole method – place the brush and water jet at the top of the window. The running water will flush all loose particles to the bottom.
- Use the integral brush to remove hard-to-shift stains while the water jet continually flushes the solids away.
- Work from side to side, and from top to bottom.
- Leave the purified water to dry naturally.
The time taken to clean a property’s windows depends on the following:
- Size of house.
- The number of windows.
- How dirty they are.
- The cleaning method.
- Property height and how many storeys.
- Ease of accessibility.
Generally, a three-bedroom bungalow, semi-detached or terraced house takes one to two hours to complete using the traditional window cleaning method. In comparison, a detached home might take two hours or more.
If you want an accurate estimate of duration, speak to a professional window cleaner who can take all the variables into account.
Window Cleaning Cost Calculator
To calculate the cost of cleaning your property’s windows, you must know whether the professional charges per window or for the size of your house. They may also charge extra, usually 50% more, for cleaning upstairs windows.
As you’d expect, it isn’t easy to calculate the exact price for cleaning your windows unless you know what your cleaner charges. The following will help you decide on the overall cost. However, the best way is to ask a window cleaner for a definitive price. Either use a local person with a good reputation or complete the form on this page to get some quotes.
Count the windows
Each type of window has a special rate. Some, like bay windows, cost more to clean than simple casement windows. Your window cleaner will have a definitive list.
Determine the size
Window washing prices vary with size. Large windows cost more than small ones. Once again, ask the window cleaner for the price.
Height of property
Ground floor windows are the baseline. Any windows higher than this will be extra to cover the cost of access equipment and the additional time needed. Upstairs windows generally cost 50% more than those on the ground floor.
Many window cleaners charge a call-out fee if they’re making a special trip. However, if you’re happy to wait, the cleaner will have a specific day when they clean the windows in your area. This will cost less than a special call-out.
Some window cleaners charge from £1 to £5 per pane of glass, and often a window consists of two or three panes, while others charge up to £45 or more per house. However, some companies offer discounts for a regular wash. Moreover, if you want a one-off clean, expect to pay double the cost of a regular contract. Having said that, the average window cleaner charges around £20-£50/hr and will adjust their rates per pane accordingly.
If you can determine all these factors, it’s a simple matter to add them together. Remember, it’s easier to ask a local window cleaner for a quote.
How often should windows be cleaned?
To keep your windows looking good, have them cleaned monthly. However, many rural window cleaners wash once every two to six months.
Generally, the frequency of cleaning your windows depends on your location. Properties in high pollution areas such as large cities will require more frequent cleaning than rural locations.
Do window cleaners do inside and out?
Some window cleaners will only clean outside, while others clean inside too. Remember, if they usually wash with the water-fed pole method, this isn’t suitable for indoor cleaning. Therefore, ask your window cleaner if they clean inside and what method they use.
What is the best time of year to wash windows?
The best time of year to wash windows is spring or autumn. Generally, winter is too cold or wet.
Intense cold will freeze the water on the glass and make it difficult to clean. Similarly, the glass will have permanent streaks from water spots and pollution carried in the raindrops if the weather is wet.
On the other hand, intense sunlight dries cleaning solutions too quickly, causing streaks. Furthermore, sun glare makes it difficult to see missed patches.
Generally, you want a cloudy day, that isn’t too hot or cold.
What do professionals wash windows with?
Most professionals use a water-fed pole to clean windows, using purified water from tanks in their van. Therefore, they don’t need to buy cleaning solutions, and take less time to clean.
Do you live in an area where window glass has a thin layer of greasy dirt? Do you suffer from less daylight coming into your home? If so, consider using a professional window cleaner.
Many professional companies specialise in domestic window cleaning in your area. So, complete the form on this page, and you’ll receive up to four window cleaning quotes.