How Long Should it Take For a Professional to Clean My Windows?

 Will I Have to Be Around All Day for the Window Cleaners?

With so much packed into the average person’s schedule, it is helpful for a contractor to give a homeowner a rough idea of how long the service will take. Besides that, giving a reasonably accurate arrival time can be helpful. With experience, window cleaners will gain a strong grasp on what time will be needed to complete a project. And, not surprisingly, the smaller the project, the easier it will be to estimate the necessary time requirements. What factors are there that help determine how long a cleaning professional will be at your home? Before going into a detailed discussion of what makes window cleaning take as long as it may take, the general  answer is half a day or less. That may be all you need to know. But why not read on about the variables which affect the answer?

Three Factors That Dictate How Long the Job Will Take

The most basic things that dictate the time required for a window cleaner to be at your house are

1. Project Size

2. Crew Size

3. Degree of Difficulty

1. The number of windows is a simple but effective basis to estimate how much time will be needed to get the job done. Along with window count, some other questions to consider are: will this include screens? Will both inside and outside of the glass be cleaned? Do my windows have removable grills that will add time and effort to the mix? Are the glass panes divided by muntin bars into smaller panes? Also, do any windows have additional storm windows added in? Another factor which often enters into project size is will there be other services done while there? This may include gutter cleaning, power washing, and roof cleaning in some combination. Back on the subject of cleaning inside in addition to outside, one may perhaps assume that outsides should take longer than insides. That is often not the case. There may actually be more moving of items and preparation involved in cleaning insides. Screens, ladder setups, furniture and personal items may all be factors which require time in addition to the actual cleaning of the window. Most outside windows, even 2nd or 3rd floor, can be accessed from the ground and cleaned very effectively with a good water purification system and high quality water fed pole.

2. As would be expected, the larger the crew, the shorter the time required to complete the tasks at hand. Home service teams do their best to develop an efficient way to ‘divide and conquer’ when it comes to window cleaning and other similar items. Be mindful that having two technicians on site won’t automatically cut the time required in half, and three won’t necessarily make a 6-hour solo job a 2-hour job. Efficiency can be fine-tuned, but there will be limits.

3. There are several factors in residential window cleaning that may seem trivial, but in actuality have a significant effect on the degree of difficulty. In turn, the degree of difficulty certainly has a bearing on the time required to properly and expertly clean your windows. Access issues stands out as a major variable. On the outside, there may be obstacles that need to be navigated safely and without causing damage to property. That can include trees, gardens, shrubs, and landscaping. Tree branches may be close enough to windows needing to be cleaned that a ‘direct shot’ with a ladder or pole is not possible. Of course, a professional will almost always figure out a way to get it done properly and safely, but extra time will be needed. The same general cautions and adapted approach may enter in when the other aforementioned obstacles exist. This type of situation is where using a water fed pole with a pure water cleaning system can be a game changer, since work can be done from the ground at a wide range of distances from the glass itself and even from an angle (not directly in front of the glass). Other access challenges can be skylights which can’t be cleaned from the ground, getting to decks without ground access, and solariums or conservatory glass. These and others not mentioned here can add to the time needed to clean windows properly.

How dirty are the windows? When several years go by, windows can become extremely dirty with a variety of contaminants that pile up. This may include pollen, dirt, smoke, insects, and other organic matter that settles on glass. There also may be spots of paint or wood stain on glass due to a homeowner or contractor not covering the glass while doing his thing. Dealing with such factors can sometimes double or triple the cleaning time.

Inside access issues can affect the time needed to do a proper clean. This may include the need to move furniture, cover or move sensitive personal items, and set up ladders. One other often overlooked factor can be simply the size of the panels. The top height of even standing-level glass can be such that short technicians will need a stepladder or pole to get to the highest areas. Repeat this drawn-out process 10,  or even 100 times if the house is large and that can greatly affect the time necessary to get the job done. Even the width of panes can make it challenging for taller technicians to speed through the process.

With the plethora of window manufacturers and their variety of models, some windows can be extra challenging while others can be a walk in the park. I won’t get into my most and least favorite manufacturers in this post. I probably never will!

What is the Typical Time Needed to Clean All Windows in a Home?

The answer truly depends on the typical homes in a certain region. Some areas include many ‘cookie cutter’ homes of somewhat modest size, perhaps well under 2000 square feet of living space. A solo window cleaner may be able to spend 2 hours or less at such locations while a crew of 2 or more may be in and out in 30 minutes or less. Other areas tend to have midsize or larger homes with 2 or three floors. A crew of 2 or 3 may need a few hours to complete all window cleaning. If multiple services are being rendered, 2/3 of a day or potentially all day may be needed.

Some regions of the United States may be known for Victorian Style homes. These often have a load of glass that is difficult to clean quickly. And older sections of towns may have large houses with old glass and/or storm windows which can require much longer cleaning times.

For my business which operates in northeastern PA and part of upstate NY, we commonly schedule 2 to 6 houses in one day when running full-steam with a crew or two. So, the general answer to how long you should expect it to take for my company to finish cleaning your windows is 1.5 to 2.5 hours. This is certainly not a rule, but an average. Averages don’t tell the whole story, but give us an idea of what is common. There are only a handful of houses we service in any given year that require a full day. They do exist, though.

What Can a Homeowner Do To Help the Window Cleaner?

One simple step a homeowner can take to avoid the need for excess time spent by the window cleaning crew is to provide clear access to interior windows. Many companies will ask or require you to move personal items away from your windows. Whether this is asked for or not, this is definitely a practical and helpful measure to expedite the process. A responsible window cleaning outfit will not carelessly or flippantly endanger a homeowner’s furniture, flooring, and sensitive personal items in the name of speed. How much more pleasant it is, though, when there is just a minimal amount of prep time needed to clean windows around homeowner’s belongings!

Another consideration is making a reasonable effort to allow the window cleaners free access to each room so as to avoid causing delays or interruptions in the game plan. This may not always be completely possible, depending on what the daily home routine is, but it can be very helpful to cut down on visit time.

My suggestion is to be on the same page with the service company which will be visiting your house- namely, be as accommodating as you can be and the professionals will be respectful and efficient as they can be. Everyone should be happy in that case!


If you have any questions or want to discuss this subject you can email me at
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