Cleaners reveal why you shouldn't clean windows in hot weather – and what to do instead

Cleaning experts share the reasons why you shouldn't clean windows in hot weather and what to do instead

Cleaning a window with a squeegee
(Image credit: Kinga Krzeminska via Getty Images)

Many homeowners decide to clean windows on a hot day due to misconceptions about the benefits of sunlight in the drying process. However, while cleaning windows on a scorching hot day might seem like the perfect time to get it done, it's a recipe for disaster. Here's why: 

Why you should never clean windows on a hot day 

Firstly, when you clean windows on a hot day, the cleaning solution tends to evaporate too quickly. When temperatures soar above 70°F, the evaporation rate can double, making it nearly impossible to avoid cleaning windows without streaks

 ‘Imagine trying to give your floor the perfect shine, but the wax dries faster than you can buff it,’ says Michelle Hansen, a cleaning and organizing expert and owner of Practical Perfection.  ‘The same principle applies to window cleaning; quick drying impedes achieving a streak-free finish as the residue doesn't get wiped off in time.’ 

Secondly, the intense heat from direct sunlight can make the glass expand, creating the potential for cracking or stress fractures when cold cleaning solutions are applied. This thermal shock, also known as "thermal stress," is akin to pouring cold water on a hot glass dish; there's a high risk of breakage. This is particularly a concern in regions with a hot climate, where window glass routinely experiences high temperatures.

Additionally, working with any cleaning solutions on a hot day can be physically taxing. There are safety concerns associated with working in hot temperatures, including the risk of dehydration and heat exhaustion, especially when working outdoors. These conditions can compromise your ability to clean effectively and safely. 

Michelle Hansen
Michelle Hansen

Michelle is the owner of Practical Perfection, a website dedicated to providing you cleaning and organization tips and tricks so that you can have more peace and contentment in your home and life. 

FAQs

When should you clean your windows?

'I recommend cleaning windows during the cooler parts of the day or on milder, cloudier days,' says Alicia Johnson, a cleaning expert from Cleaning Green LLC. 'The optimal cleaning temperatures for windows are between 50°F and 70°F.' 

Not only does this prevent the cleaner from evaporating too quickly but also reduces the risk of damaging the windows from thermal stress. Moreover, it's much more comfortable for the cleaning personnel, which minimizes the rush and potential for mistakes.

How often should you clean your windows?

For residential windows, you should look to fully clean them between 2 and 3 times per year. However, if you live in an area with many trees and pollen, it may be wise to clean more regularly to prevent build-up. 

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Remember, a little bit of planning can go a long way when it comes to window cleaning. Don't let the heat get the best of you – tackle those windows like a pro, but do it when the weather is on your side. 

Seraphina Di Mizzurati
Contributing Editor

Seraphina is a contributing editor at Homes & Gardens, writing Solved features on organizing and storage. She loves to decorate and also grow her own produce from her home in London. Her previous experience includes working at Women's Health and Fabulous Magazine.