How To Clean Jalousie Windows: The Best Way vs. The Easiest Way

Jalousie windows have long endured because they have some unique features that make them well suited to life in Hawaii (or Florida or any other semi-tropical place). They allow full ventilation even in stormy driving rains, they create some architectural interest with their strong divisions of light, and generally they create an iconic ambience in any sunroom they grace. However, their one drawback is that they are a serious bummer to clean!

Tip: Never Clean Jalousie Windows in Place!

Each jalousie window is like a complicated mess of tiny sliver windows, so if you try to spray them with windex and wipe them down in place, you’ll end up pushing all the gunk over to the edges where it will get lodged into the clasping mechanism, and over time the edges will get funkier and funkier and funkier.

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Removing the panes is the trick…I’ve lived with jalousies for almost 2 decades and I honestly don’t think anyone has a better way to clean jalousie windows than my way. I say this is the “best” way, but it’s not the easiest. For the easiest way to clean jalousie windows, see my zinger at the end of this blog post.

The Best Way to Clean Jalousie Windows

Now for the heinous time-consuming process fun part of cleaning the windows!

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 bathtub or shower
  • 1 dollop dishwasher detergent
  • 2 large towels laid out on the floor beside the bathtub
  • Assorted clean cotton rags (Don’t use paper towels, which are a waste, and leave skanky little fibers all over the place)
  • 1 portable speaker playing your favorite tunes
  • Coffee or some other pleasurable thing to sip on


  1. Carefully remove jalousie glass from the window – I like to remove and wash 5 at a time.
  2. Place the 5 panes in a bathtub filled with warm water and a generous few squirts of dishwashing liquid and soak them.
  3. Wipe each piece down with a soft rag or cloth in the water
  4. Rinse each pane underwater and lay out on a towel on the floor beside you.
  5. When you have all 5 cleaned and on the floor, wipe each one down on both sides with a clean cotton towel and lay it against a piece of furniture for it to further air dry.
  6. Carefully pop them back into their holders and voila!

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Variations in Technique

  • If you don’t have access to a bathtub, I’ve done this successfully in the shower
  • Do the technique as above, but do it naked
  • Practice mindfulness and concentrate on your breath as the debilitating soul deadening drudgery joy of cleaning passes the time


The Easiest Way to Clean Jalousie Windows

Okay, so the above technique is definitely the best. For the easiest, find a hard working cleaner and show them this blog post and hire them to do the work for you.

What? You Don’t Have Any Jalousie Windows?

That’s a tragedy, please call me and I will help you purchase or sell a Maui house with jalousie windows.  

Liam S. Ball, R(B)

Here are some interesting houses that feature jalousie windows:

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Cindy Delo

July 20, 2017

I’m going to be cleaning jalousie Windows tomorrow and I will try your method. I will post how it goes. Thank you Liam.


July 21, 2017

> wow! Yeah please let us know how it goes.

Andrew Danish

July 23, 2017

Is that pic above with the grey rectangle in Sarasota?


July 24, 2017

> yes! It’s Paul Rudolph’s Umbrella house.


January 12, 2019

Hi Liam,
I live in Carriacou, Grenada. No tub just a shower. At first I hated these windows (I clean them every January), but now I have come to appreciate them. Clean like you but lay them on the rise at the shower’s edge. I do 5 or 6 at a time. The rest of my process is like yours.
The main reason I am writing to you is because I learned something today. The real name of these windows. I always called them slatted windows, for lack of a better term. But I think jalousie sounds cute. Thanks for your tips.


May 14, 2021

That is the best freaking article I have read in a very long time and I can’t wait to get a bottle of wine and I have one to 345-6758 windows to clean

Zachary Albrecht

June 16, 2021

Ok, I’ve been living in this guest/Ohana house, where I took care of my grandmother as she progressively lost the battle with Alzheimer’s.

She had a good life in this house, I think, but it was purchased along with the main house, in a desperate rush, as it became clear her previous living situation was untenable. I quit my job in Oregon to come over and take care of her. East Hawai’i took some getting used to, for sure. Love it now though, and, sorry, am dismayed by the surge of building/development I’m seeing. Anyway, whatever. Change is the only constant.

So, I managed to get wildly off topic, and feel free to delete. I don’t know why I relayed that info, but it felt good, and I’m leaving it.

What I intended to comment: prior to coming to Hawaii, I’m not sure I’d ever seen jalousies before. Maybe wasn’t paying attention, maybe just so much apartment living, unsure. At any rate, I found myself in a house with the things *everywhere*. No idea when or if they’ve been cleaned. While I do kind of appreciate the privacy aspect of the grime, it’s been bothering me for quite a while. Didn’t have time or energy to approach the issue while my grandmother was alive, but now I want to deal with this maintenance. I’m not a home repair guy, and I really appreciate the clear and actually funny guide you’ve put together here. Let’s just say you’ve probably saved me from something between a major headache and a complete disaster.



June 16, 2021

Zachary! Thanks for sharing. Sorry you had to deal with Alzeheimers. I’m sure your grandmother was blessed beyond belief to have you there with her. Stock up on some patience and hit it! You will be glad with the results. Take care – aloha – Liam>

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