How to Steam Clean a Window

Lisa Maloney

Steam is good for more than de-wrinkling drapes, de-wrinkling clothes or surreptitiously opening envelopes.

The humble steam cleaner is a highly effective cleaning machine.

A steam cleaner with a steam gun or nozzle attachment can be put to work cleaning almost any household surface and does particularly well with cleaning glass--so long as the glass is not cracked and as long as it is not very cold out. Try to avoid steam cleaning windows on cold days as the extreme temperature difference may crack the glass.

  1. Attach the steam gun or jet nozzle attachment to your steam cleaner, and turn the cleaner to a medium or low steam setting.

  2. Hold the nozzle of the steam gun about 6 inches away from the window’s surface, and move it slowly over the glass until you’ve steamed the entire window.

  3. Run a squeegee down the window, wipe the blade with a soft cloth and repeat a little further down the window. Continue with overlapping, downward strokes until you’ve squeegeed the entire window dry.

  4. Use the jet nozzle from a distance of about 6 inches to steam clean the window frame, latches, tracks and other parts of the window. Follow up with a brush attachment, if possible, to scrub loose any stubborn soil as you continue using the steam cleaner on a low-steam setting. If you don’t have a brush attachment for the cleaner, use a separate brush to scrub soil loose before returning with the steam.

  5. Drape a soft cloth over the steam cleaner’s nozzle attachment, and use this to wipe down the frame, track and latch surfaces you just cleaned.

  6. Tip

    You can also steam clean the window by draping a microfiber or other lint-free cloth over a squeegee attachment on the steam cleaner, setting the cleaner to low steam and wiping down the entire window surface as a pre-cleaning. Remove the towel from the squeegee and steam the entire window, squeegeeing down as described above.