How to clean VELUX windows: A step-by-step guide

velux rooflights in modern bedroom
(Image credit: VELUX)

Finding out how to clean VELUX windows or similar rooflights in the right way will save you time and effort when it comes to this simple task. 

These types of windows can seem awkward considering they're positioned in the roof, but if you're able to reach them, the act of cleaning them is really very simple. 

The guide below can also be applied to other types and brands of rooflights, but you may need to check for specific advice on cleaning agent, detergents and manoeuvrability. 

How do you clean VELUX windows?

The great thing about the modern window design of VELUX rooflights is that they're designed to rotate 180º for easy front and back cleaning. Before you begin, it's best to be completely sure of the brand of your rooflight — you don't want to try push it too far and cause damage while cleaning. 

To clean VELUX roof windows, you will need: 

  • A step or stool to ensure comfortable reaching distance
  • A few clean, soft cloths, like microfibres (a SPONTEX pack of 32 can be bought for £4.95 from Amazon)
  • A non-abrasive sponge
  • A squeegee or window vac
  • Clean lukewarm water, ideally in two buckets
  • A gentle window cleaner
  • A mat or newspaper on the floor to protect from drips and spillages

VELUX advise on their website that soft water is best for cleaning windows and if you live in an area with hard water, adding a small amount of detergent to soften the water is preferred.

Try to choose a dry day, but not one which is too hot — too much sun too quickly will leave you with streaky windows as the water dries. 

This process is the same for double glazed units as it is for triple glazed windows and while VELUX models are timber windows, if a different brand or material has been installed you may need to check recommended or ill-advised products. 

Cleaning VELUX windows: A step-by-step guide

1. First, open the window and use a step or stool to reach outside. Remove leaves, moss and other debris from the flashing. Only do this if you have sure there is no risk of falling — otherwise ask a window cleaner. 

2. To clean the outside of the window, rotate the window so the outer pane is facing inside and fix it into place using the sliding bolts at the bottom. While some electric roof windows may do this for you, most VELUX models are manual.  

3. Remove the air filter from its rail and clean with soapy water or replace with a new filter. 

4. Using one bucket of water (a soap can be used here, but be careful to not have too many suds/bubbles) and non-abrasive sponge, remove the dirt from the windows and rinse clean. 

5. Using the second bucket of water and a soft cloth, give the pane another wipe. Use a window cleaner here if you prefer. 

6. Use the squeegee or window vac to remove the excess water and leave the window streak-free. 

7. Next, to clean the inside window, spin the window around and once again fix in place. Clean around the frame and window handle type with the the damp, soft cloth, or the sponge if they're particularly stubborn. 

8. For the pane, use the soft cloth (and spray, if using) and wipe in a S shape to stop any drips in their path. 

9. Use the squeegee or window vac as you did for the outside pane. A window vac can also be used to remove condensation; Deputy Editor Michelle Guy says hers was more than worth the money for this use. 

Can VELUX windows be cleaned from inside? 

Unlike fixed picture windows, VELUX windows can be cleaned from inside as well as outside (although if they are positioned in a high place, it is best to leave professional window cleaners to the outer panes). 

You should clean your windows at least twice a year, but many homeowners choose every six to eight weeks to keep marks at bay and the light shining in. VELUX windows on the roof can be prone to dirt or moss just like the rest of the roof, so if you spot something that shouldn't be there, it is best to give everything a good clean. 

woman cleaning wooden rooflight

Not all rooflights can be rotated like VELUX windows — check with your supplier/manufacturer or instructions before you try.  (Image credit: Getty Images)

Should you wash inside or outside windows first? 

When cleaning VELUX windows, clean the outside pane first — if you started from the inside side it would then have to be rotated to the outside and potentially get dirtier. 

Amy Reeves

Assistant Editor Amy began working for Homebuilding & Renovating in 2018. She has an interest in sustainable building methods and always has her eye on the latest design ideas. Amy has interviewed countless self builders, renovators and extenders about their experiences for Homebuilding & Renovating magazine. She is currently renovating a mid-century home, together with her partner, on a DIY basis, and has recently fitted her own kitchen.