How to Clean Skylights?

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Last updated: August 18, 2023
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Nothing can light up your world more beautifully than skylights – quite literally! Skylights are a stylish and elegant addition to the house. They allow natural light to flow indoors, bringing life to every corner and enhancing the appeal of your rooms. This is an aesthetic addition to bring a natural view of day and night to the house and make even a tiny room look bigger and spacious.

However, without maintenance, skylights can become dirty and cloudy, blocking the daylight. This asks for a labor-intensive and tiresome cleaning process. Fortunately, our detailed step-by-step guide shows you how to clean skylights, so they look as good as new. This guide will also help to make your job a lot easier so you can enjoy your dazzling skylight window.

We will walk you through the process and shed light on the pain points, providing tips for maximum efficiency in the process. We will also share links to the products and articles that worked for us, so you could give them a try as well!

Skylights Require a Different Approach than Windows

How to Clean Skylights?Unlike regular windows, skylights are made of acrylic, polycarbonate, laminated safety glass or different types of plastics. One has to be extremely careful while cleaning them. They require different cleaning products and techniques than the rest of the windows of your house. The use of ammonia, alcohol, or petroleum-based glass cleaners can irreversibly damage the surface of skylights.

What Solution to Use?

It is recommended that only mild soapy water or vinegar with water is used for cleaning the surface of skylights. If your house has hard running water, preferably use distilled water to avoid mineral deposits on the surface.

Ensure Your Safety

Skylights are usually installed on elevated spaces like rooftops that are out of reach. Taking safety precautions is vital because cleaning and inspecting skylights can be dangerous. It requires you to continuously look upwards while working, which increases the risk of you losing balance and falling.

Here are some tips on how to ensure your safety:

  • Try to use an extension rod to reach the surface;
  • If the skylight is still too high, use a wide and stable elevated surface to firmly stand on. Using a ladder is highly discouraged as it is not safe and can lead to serious injuries;
  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to know what are the things you should avoid while cleaning the glass;
  • Use fall protection if required;
  • Make sure that you are within your safe working limits all the time.

Step-by-Step Skylights Cleaning Guide

Step 1: Gather the Cleaning Materials

The process will be easier when you have assembled all the items beforehand. You will require a one-gallon bucket of warm water, clean rags or cloths, dish soap or white vinegar, and most importantly, cellulose sponges. Sponges from ARCLIBER are found to be sturdier than average sponges and clean tough specks of dirt without leaving scratches.

If you plan on using a long pole for cleaning, you can tie a rag at the end of it with a rope. However, it will be easier, safer, and more efficient to use a long mop. You can check out DocaPole Cleaning Kit for an extension rod mop to have an adjustable length required to reach the top.

Step 2: Prepare the Workspace

Cover all the furniture and carpet under the skylight with a large cloth or plastic tarp to avoid damage and stains. Move the small items to another room.

Step 3: Remove Dust

Start by removing loose dust, debris, and cobwebs by the long dry mop. Once all the excess dirt and debris is swiped away, move on to step 4.

If you are doing the spring-cleaning, it might be a great idea to clean other furniture pieces in your house. For instance, you can check our selection of the best vacuums under $500 that will impress you with their performance.

How to Clean Skylights?Step 4: Gentle Wash

Fill a bucket of water with warm water. You can either add a mild dish soap until the water becomes foamy or a few drops of vinegar. For tough dirt and grease stains, especially in kitchen skylights, vinegar works better.

  • Soak your cellulose sponge in the soapy solution and wring out the extra water;
  • You can wipe the windows with the sponge either by hand or using the long mop;
  • Use a combination of side by side, up and down, and circular motions;
  • Ensure all tough stains and dirt are thoroughly cleaned;
  • Start by the top of the skylight and move your way to the bottom;
  • Be extra careful and avoid spillage and slipping;
  • Make sure that you wring out the sponge properly to avoid soap solution dripping on yourself;
  • If you are looking for more information on vinegar solutions, you are in  luck Trusted Source Hints From Heloise: Vinegar: The cleaning solution - The Washington Post Dear Readers: Do you open your bathroom and kitchen cabinets only to find a lot of cleaners, scrubs and cleaning chemicals there? For a better, green solution that is cheap and friendly to the environment, use VINEGAR! !

Step 5: Replace with Fresh Water

After you have made sure all the tough grime is cleaned, throw away the soapy water, rinse the bucket and fill it with clean, cool water. You can wash the same cellulose sponge and use it again or soak a new one in the water. Wring it out and wipe the soap off the surface of the skylight. You can do it by hand or with the help of a long mop. You might need to repeat this process a few times to ensure the surface is free of any soapy residue.

Step 6: Dry the Skylight

Use a clean, dry long mop or a clean towel secured at the end of a long rod to rub against the surface and absorb all the water. This process may be repeated until the skylight surface is perfectly dry.

Make sure that you use a clean, unused mop. Otherwise, the surface will become dirtier.

What to Do With the Exterior?

How to Clean Skylights?Once you have cleaned the interior, you have to make sure no dirt or stains show through from the outside. The exteriors are usually cleaned by rain, but if they require some effort, follow the below steps:

  • Access the roof through the safest way;
  • The easiest method is to use a pressure washer to clean the skylight;
  • You can also use a cellulose sponge, soak it in soap solution and wipe the exterior using the same technique used for the interior;
  • Now replace the soap water with clean water and rinse the surface making sure no soapy residue is left behind;
  • The exterior does not require steps to dry as the daylight and heat will evaporate all the water leaving the surface clean and shining.

Extra Tips

  1. Choose a time of day for cleaning when it is not too hot or too sunny;
  2. Apply a thin layer of wax to the interior and exterior surface using a clean cloth after the cleaning process for added protection;
  3. Keep someone near you for assistance and to avoid any serious accidents;
  4. If the suggested process does not clean any stubborn stains, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to find out if any chemical is recommended for cleaning.

Final Thoughts

There you go! Now you know the safest and the most effective method of cleaning skylights like a champ. It is true that cleaning the skylights is not a job for the timid, but the good news is that skylights don’t require regular maintenance!

You can follow our guide and tips on how to clean acrylic skylights to clean yours once or twice a year, and you are good to go. We have equipped you with the secret sauce of achieving that perfect unobstructed view of skylights, so you have nothing to fear!

Be sure to share your thoughts with us, and comment on what worked for you.

If you liked this article and are searching for cleaning methods for polyester couches, fabric office chairs, you’re in the right place


Hints From Heloise: Vinegar: The cleaning solution - The Washington Post
Dear Readers: Do you open your bathroom and kitchen cabinets only to find a lot of cleaners, scrubs and cleaning chemicals there? For a better, green solution that is cheap and friendly to the environment, use VINEGAR!

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