High Window Cleaning Tools

Washing your windows is one of the easiest things you can do to brighten up your house---unless the windows are on the second story, in which case it can be a major project. Even if your windows are in such a configuration that you can reach out of one to wash the one next to it, it's a dangerous approach. There are some tools and even some special window designs to make it much easier to reach that exterior grime.

Extension Poles

One of the most direct ways of getting a sponge to that outside window is with an aluminum extension pole. The tool, available at hardware stores, is either a telescoping pole, or one that comes in pieces that you fit together, with a sponge at the end. It will reach 15 to 20 feet, which should be plenty for a second-story window. The best cleaner to use is a mixture of one part ammonia to four parts water---it dries quickly and minimizes streaking.

Hose Attachment

If you have good water pressure in your garden hose and good aim, consider buying a spray cleaning system that attaches to the hose. It's a bottle with an attachment on one side where you insert the hose and a spray nozzle on the other side. The bottle contains a concentrated anti-streak cleaner that mixes with the water from the hose as you spray it, sending the solution in a pressurized stream up at the window. Start by aiming at the top portion of each window, then work the stream downward in a back-and-forth pattern to rinse.

Drop-In Sashes

The best high-window cleaning tool you can get is the window itself. If you're considering installing new windows at any point, make sure that the upper-floor windows are double-hung (meaning both the top and bottom sashes move) and that the sashes are designed to drop inward on hinges for easy cleaning. All you do is squeeze a release lever to drop the windows inward, so the outside of the panes are facing inward, then wash with glass cleaner and paper towels.