Best Way to Clean Your Skylights

Looking up at a skylight in a roof

A dirty skylight lets less light into the home than a clean skylight. Find out the best way to clean skylights so you can enjoy a well-lit home.

Know Safety Basics

Since skylights are installed out of reach, you’ll need a ladder to reach them. Take care when working from heights and use safety equipment to reduce the risk.

Before cleaning, read the instructions on any cleaning products you use, as well as any safety instructions for other equipment.

Skylight Cleaning Procedure

Avoid cleaning skylights during the hottest part of the day because the cleaning solution can dry before you’re finished cleaning the glass. Start at the highest level and work down to lower levels. To loosen stuck-on dirt, wet the skylight and apply a soapy solution. Scrub the glass with a soft sponge, soft brush or other gentle material. Rinse the skylight and move on to the next one.

If trees overhang the roof, skylights may get sap residue stuck on the glass. The best way to remove sap and other challenging residue is by gently scraping with a razor blade.

Once you finish cleaning the outside of the glass, it’s time to move inside. Instead of soap and water, use a non-abrasive glass cleaner and lint-free rag or window squeegee. A damp rag will usually suffice for cleaning the skylight frame, which is made of plastic or painted wood.

Never use anything abrasive on the skylight, as the glass could become scratched.

If your skylights have screens, remove them from the inside. Then spray the screen with a hose and allow it to air dry. When screens are dry, replace them.

Address Problems

Some skylight problems cannot be solved by cleaning alone. Skylights with wood frames should be inspected each year, and the wood may need to be repainted or refinished.

If your skylight shows signs of condensation, or looks milky instead of clear, this is an indicator that the seal may be broken. In this case, hold off on cleaning and have the skylights inspected. The technician may be able to repair the ruptured seal or replace the skylight with a quality product that will perform as intended.

Brandstetter’s KangaRoof offers high-quality VELUX skylights. We can install new skylights or replace faulty ones that don’t allow in clear light. To learn more about our skylights or schedule an appointment, contact us.