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How Do You Clean a Skylight?

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You want all the natural light you can get in your home – and skylights are great for that! But skylights are on your roof…how do you clean them? When cleaning your skylight, you’ll need to care for both sides of the product: inside and outside your home. Thankfully, most skylights require minimal cleaning and maintenance, but there are a few things you should consider.

The Exterior: Cleaning the Side on Your Roof

Our first recommendation before you start cleaning any outside part of your skylight is to practice good ladder safety, especially if your skylight is up high on your roof. And second, do not clean your skylight at the hottest part of the day (the glass will dry too quickly and cause streaking). 

  • Wash your skylight with a water and soap solution to loosen and remove direct and debris from the glass and metal sides. 
  • Use a mild (non-abrasive) glass cleaner and a soft brush to scrub the glass. You’ll want to ensure it is non-abrasive to not cause any unwanted scratches. 
  • Wash the window with water and use a lint-free cloth to dry any excess water off the pane. 

Do not use any metal scrapers or blades to clean large areas of the glass; these can cause damage to the glass pane. If you have hard to remove spots on the glass, you can use a small 1” razor blade. A good tip is to scrape with the razor blade in one direction. Scraping back and forth can cause scratches. 

 The Interior: Cleaning the Side Inside Your Home

Most skylight brands offer either pre-painted white frames or unfinished wood frames but can be cleaned in a similar way.

  • Use a damp cloth with just water and mild (non-abrasive) soap solution to wash the frame of your skylight
  • Use a non-abrasive glass cleaner and a dry lint-free cloth to clean the inside pane of the window – you’ll want to do this part when it’s cooler, so your window solution does not dry too quickly and cause streaking. 

You’ll want to inspect your skylight annually to make sure paint is not chipping or cracking on your skylight frame. Every four years, you’ll want to either apply a coat of paint to the pre-finished wood frame or a coat of water-based acrylic varnish to unfinished wood. This will ensure your skylight stays looking good its entire lifespan. 

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