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How To Clean Skylights

By February 1, 2022Home Maintenance
Cleaning your skylight windows

One of the many projects that never get considered around your home is the skylights. We enjoy the sun coming through every day and how the skylights can keep our home warmer or cooler every day. Projects that are typically out of sight are always out of mind. We don’t think that our skylight windows need cleaning. How to clean skylights? Like anything else, soap and water can get the job done. Use rags and a telescoping pole to reach the skylights.

Let’s take a look at what is needed to successfully clean your skylights.

Pressure washing skylight windows and roof.
Pressure washing skylight windows and roof.

What You Will Need

Just like any cleaning project, you will need various pieces of equipment and cleaning supplies so let’s take a look at the basic list.

  • Clean rags or paper towels-paper towels for each to reach places and cloth rags for the hard to reach places.
  • Twine or rope-tie your cloth rags to the end of your telescoping pole for hard to reach places.
  • Long handled mop or skylight cleaning pole-allows you to extend your cloth rags out and get a good swipe on the windows.
  • Warm water and dish soap-need to add to your bucket for cleaning the window.
  • 1 gallon bucket-allows you to mix a cleaning solution to clean dirt and grime from your skylights.
  • White vinegar-helps cut the residue and grime build up off your windows.
  • Sponge-great for scrubbing.
  • Hose-Spray your windows from a distance to rinse off the soap and vinegar.

What Is The Process

When looking to clean your skylights on the inside you should consider following these steps.

  1. Gather your materials. Make a list of what you will need and get those pieces of equipment together so that the job is ready when you have what you need. Items you will need are listed above.
  2. Prep the area and get your supplies ready. Anything that is under the skylights will need to be moved. Also, furniture or light fixtures should be relocated and a tarp should be placed on the floor directly underneath the skylights. Then, prep your supplies with a bucket and add dish soap and warm water. Use vinegar for the areas of the window that have grease and grime built up.
  3. Sweep the window. Sweep away cobwebs and dust and debris.
  4. Gently wash. Using a fresh cloth, attach it to the telescoping pole so that you can move the cloth back and forth to clean the entire window. If there are deeper spots, use a circular motion to scrub the window.
  5. Rinse thoroughly. Repeat the last step with a new cloth rag to ensure that you got all of the dirt and grime off the window.
  6. Allow the window to dry to minimize streaking. Using a dry cloth rag, complete the same motions as you did with the wet rag. This will ensure that you have dried the windows properly.
Closed skylight windows.
Closed skylight windows.

Exterior Steps

Understand that the steps to clean the outside of the window will be different than cleaning the inside part of the window. Let’s take a look at the steps for the exterior.

  1. Do not use any abrasive cleaners or items that can scratch the surface of the window or window framing.
  2. Follow the same steps as for the interior if you have a reaching telescoping pole.
  3. Get on the roof if you can for easier window cleaning.
  4. Remember that the rain will keep most dirt and grime off of the exterior surfaces.
  5. Use soap and water from a bucket and apply to the window exterior.
  6. Then rinse well with clean water.

How Much Does It Cost

The cost of cleaning skylight windows will vary based on the number of windows and the difficulty of reaching them. Jobs can range from $80 to $220 for cleanings and the materials and labor fees are calculated in that price range. Lastly, the costs can vary based on where you live and the going rate for those local contractors.

Other Recommended Maintenance

While you are having your skylights cleaned, this is a great time to check the skylights for leaking. While your contractor is on the roof, they can double-check all seals and roofing materials in and around the skylights to make sure that they are not leaking.

Additionally, you will want to check your ridge vent on the roof. Once the snow has melted and the warm weather has come back, you are in the spring cleaning mood. Check out the roof and all of its working parts. You won’t want to be up on the roof too many times as you could damage the shingles, so it is best to do the roof inspection checklist all at once.

Lastly, a good cleaning might be for your roof. So, as excited as you might be about cleaning the skylights, also consider cleaning the entire roof. This can save you time and money if the projects can be done all at once. Additionally, moss has been known to grow on roofs, and getting the moss removed is a priority.

East to clean when low on the pitch
Easy to clean when low on the pitch.

When Do I Call A Professional

You will want to call on a professionally licensed contractor to come in and assist with cleaning your skylights. Make sure that are willing to get up on the roof, depending on the pitch of your roof. Cleaning the outside, just like they would clean the inside is very important.

You can also contact your local home inspection team to conduct a roof inspection when they do a complete home inspection. This is a great idea for you to ensure that the skylights don’t need resealing or there is any damage to the roof around the skylights.


The best time of year to consider cleaning your skylight windows is springtime. Once the weather has warmed up and you feel comfortable getting someone on your roof to clean the skylights on the outside and getting the same contractor to clean the inside.

Obviously, this varies depending on where the skylights are located. Some are closer to the flooring and others are very high up in your elevated ceilings. Hiring a professionally licensed contractor to clean your skylights is a great idea.

Call your local home inspection team to see if you have other roofing project needs and to get a referral for a reputable professionally licensed contractor at that time. Call on Boggs Inspection Services to get your yearly home inspection completed in the Lacey, WA, and surrounding areas.

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