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Window Washing vs. Window Cleaning — What's the Difference?

By Maham Liaqat & Urooj Arif — Published on March 13, 2024
Window Washing involves using water and cleaning solutions to remove dirt and grime. Window Cleaning is a broader term, including washing, drying, and removing streaks for clear views.
Window Washing vs. Window Cleaning — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Window Washing and Window Cleaning


Key Differences

Window Washing is a specific task that focuses on the use of water and cleaning agents to remove surface dirt, dust, and other debris from the glass. It's often part of regular maintenance to ensure windows remain clear and free from build-up. On the other hand, Window Cleaning encompasses washing but also includes drying and the removal of streaks or spots to ensure the glass is not only clean but also clear and streak-free.
The process of Window Washing typically involves applying a soapy solution to the glass, followed by scrubbing to loosen dirt, and then rinsing with water. While this method effectively removes the majority of surface contaminants, it might not always address water spots or streaks left after drying. In contrast, Window Cleaning includes careful drying techniques, often with squeegees or microfiber cloths, to prevent streaks, and may also involve the use of specialized cleaning products to enhance clarity and reduce future soiling.
Professionals offering Window Washing services might focus on the act of cleaning the glass surfaces with less emphasis on the finishing touches that eliminate streaks and spots. Window Cleaning services, however, are likely to provide a comprehensive cleaning that ensures the windows are not only washed but also dried and polished to a streak-free finish, offering a more thorough and aesthetically pleasing result.
The choice between Window Washing and Window Cleaning may depend on the specific needs and preferences of the customer. If the primary concern is removing dirt and dust, a simple wash might suffice. However, for those desiring clear, unblemished views through their windows, a full cleaning service that includes meticulous drying and polishing might be more appropriate.
Equipment and techniques can also vary between the two, with Window Washing often requiring basic tools like a bucket, soap, and a scrubber or brush. Window Cleaning, aiming for a spotless finish, might use more specialized tools such as squeegees, high-quality microfiber cloths, and professional-grade window cleaning solutions that reduce streaking and spotting.

Comparison Chart


Removing surface dirt and grime
Comprehensive cleaning for clarity and aesthetics


Involves scrubbing and rinsing with water
Includes washing, drying, and polishing


To clean the glass surface
To ensure windows are clear, streak-free, and clean


Basic, with use of soapy water
More detailed, often using specialized tools


Bucket, soap, scrubber
Squeegees, microfiber cloths, professional solutions

Compare with Definitions

Window Washing

Focuses on the glass surface.
Regular window washing maintains a clear view.

Window Cleaning

Often includes frame and sill cleaning.
Window cleaning services may also clean frames and sills for a complete look.

Window Washing

May leave some streaks.
Improper drying after washing can leave streaks.

Window Cleaning

Comprehensive cleaning approach.
Window cleaning involves meticulous attention to detail.

Window Washing

Primarily uses water and soap.
Window washing effectively removes dust and pollen.

Window Cleaning

Aims for streak-free results.
Proper window cleaning leaves the glass crystal clear.

Window Washing

Suitable for routine maintenance.
Monthly window washing keeps dirt accumulation at bay.

Window Cleaning

Utilizes specialized tools.
High-quality squeegees and microfiber cloths are used in window cleaning.

Window Washing

Basic equipment and techniques.
A squeegee and soapy water are essential for window washing.

Window Cleaning

Ideal for enhanced aesthetics.
Professional window cleaning enhances the home's curb appeal.

Window Washing

The activity of washing windows

Common Curiosities

What's the difference between window washing and cleaning?

Window washing is a part of window cleaning, focusing on removing surface dirt, while window cleaning includes additional steps for a clear, streak-free finish.

How often should I have my windows cleaned?

The frequency can vary based on location, weather, and personal preference, but a general recommendation is 1-2 times per year for cleaning, with washing as needed.

Do professional services offer both washing and cleaning?

Many professionals offer comprehensive window cleaning services that include washing, drying, and polishing for optimal clarity.

Can I just wash my windows instead of cleaning them?

Yes, washing can be sufficient for routine maintenance, but cleaning provides a more thorough and aesthetically pleasing result.

Can window washing remove hard water stains?

Simple washing might not remove hard water stains, which may require specialized cleaning agents and techniques included in window cleaning services.

Can window cleaning extend the life of my windows?

Regular cleaning can prevent damage from dirt and environmental contaminants, potentially extending the life of your windows.

Is window cleaning more expensive than washing?

Typically, full window cleaning services may cost more due to the additional steps and specialized equipment used to ensure streak-free results.

Can window cleaning prevent future dirt build-up?

Some window cleaning solutions contain additives that repel dust and water, helping to keep windows cleaner for longer.

What tools do I need for basic window washing?

Basic tools include a bucket, soap, water, a scrubber, or a brush, and potentially a squeegee for drying.

Why do my windows look streaky after washing?

Streaks can result from improper drying techniques or residue from cleaning solutions, which is why detailed drying is part of window cleaning.

Is there an eco-friendly option for window cleaning?

Yes, many services offer eco-friendly cleaning solutions that are effective and safe for the environment.

Is it better to hire professionals for window cleaning?

Professional cleaners have the experience, tools, and solutions to efficiently clean windows with optimal results, especially for high or hard-to-reach windows.

How do I choose between window washing and cleaning services?

Consider your main goals: if it's simply about removing dirt, washing might suffice; for clarity and aesthetics, opt for full cleaning services.

Should I clean the window frames and sills too?

Yes, cleaning frames and sills not only improves aesthetics but also prevents dirt from the frame transferring to the glass.

What's the best time of year to clean windows?

Spring and fall are popular times for window cleaning, avoiding extreme temperatures and preparing for clearer views in the coming months.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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