How To Steam Clean Windows? The 5-Step Guide

Keeping windows perfectly clean and streak-free requires a lot of work. Never fear, with a steam cleaner, you can easily clean your windows quickly and with little fuss. Forget the sprays and detergents, steam cleaning your widows is simple, easy and affordable!

Today I’ll be sharing with you my five-step guide on how to steam clean your windows. Let’s start by understanding what you need to steam clean windows.

What is the best Steam cleaner for windows?

For cleaning windows using a steam cleaner you’ll need a steam cleaner that comes with a squeegee handle OR a portable steam cleaner and a stand-alone squeegee.

It doesn’t matter if you use a portable steam cleaning machine or use a larger machine with the squeegee attachment. If you buy a full-size machine make sure to look for machines that support wand attachments and comes with the squeegee wand in the kit like this one.


The easiest way to steam clean windows is with the steam cleaner with a squeegee attachment. With this, you’ll only need the steam cleaning machine with the appropriate squeegee attachment, and a dry clean microfiber cloth or cleaning rags. Here are my recommendations for the best steam cleaners for windows.

How To Steam Clean Windows? The 5-Step Guide

Using a steam cleaner to clean your windows is so much easier than people expect. Here are the four simple steps to steam clean your windows.

Step 1 – Prepare The Window Area And Steam Cleaner 

Prepare the work area by placing a small towel or rag under the window on the sill to capture any runoff water. Don’t skip this step! You will end up with water everywhere and you might even potentially stain your carpet or walls where any excess water drips down.

Fill your steam cleaning machine with enough water according to the instructions of the machine’s manufacturer.

There’s usually a mark that specifies the level of water you need to reach. After that, plug in the cleaner and turn it on to let the water heat up. Once the water turns into vapor steam, you’re ready to clean your windows.

Steam Cleaner Pro Tip:

For beautiful streak-free results when steam cleaning windows, be sure to use distilled water in your steam cleaner. Tap water makes it a little harder to get perfect results due to impurities. Let’s face it we are all perfectionists at heart 💓.

Step 2 – Heat The Surface And Loosen The Grit

If it is cold, first give the window a quick blast from a distance to heat up the window uniformly otherwise your window might crack due to thermal stress. If it is very very cold, avoid steam cleaning your windows on these days. (see tip on cold climates)

Loosen the grit and heat the oils by applying a first blast of steam. Apply the steam to the window use vertical strokes going from top to bottom.

Apply steam over the glass surface to cover the whole window.

Step 3 – Squeegee The Water

Using the squeegee, wipe the window to remove the vapor that condensed into the water on the surface. This water contains all the dirt, oils and grime.

Use continuous horizontal motion from left to right, wiping the window starting from the top and working down.

Steam Cleaner Pro Tip:

Don’t wait too long for this step as the oils cool back down after some time which makes it harder to budge them. If the vapor cools apply some more steam to the surface before using the squeegee.

Step 4 – Wipe The Frames

Wipe all the accumulated water from the window sill and from around the frames using a clean cloth. The towel you laid down in step one should have captured all the excess water keeping your walls and floors clean

Steam Cleaner Pro Tip:

In addition to making the window panes crystal clear, you can easily use the steam to clean the window frames. If the frames or your windows are particularly dirty, give them a blast of steam and a wipe with a cloth before Step 3.

These parts are known to accumulate tons of dust and debris, especially in the little cracks and crevices of wooden frames. Using the steam would penetrate these tiny places and wash away all the dirt.

Step 5 – Wipe the Last Drops And Streaks

By now most of the water is gone but there are often few drops of water left or a streak or two on the glass.

Streak Free Microfiber Cloth Clean Any Surface with Just...

Wipe all water from the window using the dry microfiber cloth or cloth. For best results wipe in a circular motion until all the liquid is absorbed.

Caution For Cold Climates!

If you live in a cold climate be careful when steam cleaning your windows! In cold temperatures, if the surface is heated unevenly and quickly, the glass can crack.

This occurs when a cold window is hit by a blast of hot steam from close range on a small area. The area heated expands rapidly while the other parts remain cool. This puts lots of stress on the window, and the window cracks.

To avoid cracked windows, blast the window from a distance with a spray that covers the whole window in the one spray. This will heat the glass evenly and prevent cracks occurring.

My Bonus Tips For Steam Cleaning Windows

Here are my tips and recommendations to reach perfect results and stay safe at the same time:

  • Make sure all attachments and accessories are firmly secured to the machine.
  • Don’t use any detergents, oils, cleaning products or any other kind of chemicals. The steam cleaning machines are made to work only with water. Hot water is enough to sanitize the glass and get rid of most of the germs.
  • The heat could cause severe burns to the skin. It’s safer to wear protective goggles and clothes. Don’t direct the water vapor stream at any living creature like plants or animals. Don’t expose your hands and arms to it as well.
  • Unplug the machine before trying to empty it, refill it with water or remove any attachments AND LET IT COOL DOWN FIRST
  • Glass is susceptible to cracking caused by abrupt and extreme changes in temperature. For this reason, you should avoid steam cleaning glass windows on very cold days.
  • To eliminate the risk of cracking start by steaming the surface from a distance. This procedure allows the cold glass to gradually get warmed up and be prepared for the high-temperature steam.
  • If your windows are very dirty, use a vacuum cleaner to quickly remove large amounts of dust and debris and wipe the window with a dry cloth before using the steam cleaner. This initial step will make the steam cleaning smoother.
  • While cleaning, put a small towel beneath the window to prevent water drops from dripping down the floor.
  • Always use continuous streaks from top to bottom for your cleaning motion.
  • When using the squeegee, periodically wipe it off using a dry, clean cloth to remove excess water and prevent it from staining the glass all over again.
  • As soon as the microfibre cloth becomes too damp, replace it with a clean and dry one.
  • After you finish cleaning, make sure to release all the steam remaining in the cleaner to avoid any accidental release of steam that could hurt anyone.
  • Make sure to empty the cleaner of all the water and dry it to prevent any creation of mold inside the machine.

Why Is Steam Cleaning Good For Cleaning Windows?

Steam cleaning is effective, quick, and has several benefits. Steam cleaning uses only water without any kind of chemicals or artificial products so it is environmentally friendly and safe for children, animals or any person with allergies.

The steam cleaning machine heats the water to very high temperatures until it turns into vapor steam. The power of the steam isn’t only effective in completely removing even the most stubborn of dirt, but it also helps sanitize the surface you’re cleaning and kill all sorts of germs and bacteria.

It usually costs more to get set up with a steam cleaner, but in the long run, you save lots of money. Is only uses water, so there won’t be any more overhead cost spent on cleaning supplies and chemicals.

Another great benefit is the versatility of steam cleaning. You can use the machine to work on different kinds of surfaces and fabrics all over your home with the same efficiency and cleanness as other cleaning devices.

Wrap Up

Getting a good steam cleaning machine could save you all the headache that comes with having to clean all the windows at your place.

It’s fast, easy, and effective. In just five simple steps, you’ll be able to achieve the crystal clear windows you’ve always hoped for.

Did you try this guide?

I hope you loved this article so please le me know how it went for you! I always love to hear from our readers. Share your little tricks and tips for steam cleaning your windows and we e  might even put it in our guide for future readers, or even just drop us a comment to say hi!

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