How to clean an apartment balcony

Outdoor living here we come

Balcony with table and plants
(Image credit: Samantha Gades / Unsplash)

Warmer weather is arriving and that means your apartment balcony will be open for business again. That’s certainly good news if your balcony is where you like to spend your time during the spring and summer, but is it ready for friends to join you outside? After being so exposed to winter weather, it might not be in the best shape.

If your outdoor space is littered with leaves, strewn with cobwebs, or dusted with dirt and debris then it’s time to give it some attention. It might seem silly to put time into sprucing up an area that’s outside of your apartment, but cleaning your small balcony will make your time spent on it so much more pleasing. 

We spoke with Val Oliveira, CEO of Val’s Services, a Chicago-based cleaning company, to create this step-by-step guide on how to clean your balcony. Plus, we have tips for giving the space a refresh before outdoor living season. Now you can enjoy the season in a more polished way.

Good to know

Sprucing up your apartment balcony will be a breeze with these simple steps recommended by Oliveira. Remember to wear gloves, especially when using cleaning products. Following these steps should help you effectively clean your apartment balcony and keep it looking its best!

How to clean an apartment balcony

  • Start by cleaning the space: Remove any furniture, rugs, or plants from your balcony. This will give you more space to work and will allow you to deep clean every part of the balcony.
  • Sweep or vacuum: Depending on the floor type, use a broom or vacuum cleaner to remove any loose debris, dust, cobwebs, or dirt from the surface. Pay particular attention to corners and tight spaces where debris can accumulate.
  • Wash the balcony floor: Fill a bucket with hot water and add a small amount of soap — Oliveira recommends Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap. Mop the floor with the soapy water, paying particular attention to any areas with stains or stubborn dirt. Rinse the balcony with a hose or a bucket of clean water. Clean the balcony railing Use a separate sponge or cloth to clean the balcony railing, which may accumulate dirt, dust, and grime over time. You can use the same soapy water mixture or a specialized cleaner, depending on the material of the railing.
  • Clean the windows: Use a window cleaner and a microfiber cloth to clean the balcony windows. Make sure to clean both the inside and outside of the windows. Clean the glass from left to right for better outcomes and avoid circular motion cleaning, which can cause streaks. Rinse the balcony with clean water Use a hose or a bucket of clean water to rinse off the soap and any remaining dirt or debris. Beforehand, Oliveira says it’s important to check in with the building management and request their permission to wash it. Some buildings do not allow it and will charge a fee. In the case that the building does not grant you permission, use a mop instead of dumping water on the floor.
  • Let the balcony dry: When the balcony is dry enough, place your furniture back in its place.

How to clean a balcony without a hose

If you’re renting and you don’t have access to a hose, you can still clean your apartment balcony by using the following methods: 

  • Use a bucket of water
    Fill a bucket with water and use a sponge or mop to clean the balcony surface. Oliveira recommends rinsing the sponge or mop frequently in the bucket to avoid spreading dirt and debris around.
  • Use a wet/dry vacuum
    Depending on the floor type and if you have a wet/dry vacuum, you can use it to clean your balcony. Use the wet setting to spray water onto the balcony surface and then switch to the dry setting to suck up the dirty water.
  • Hire a professional company
    If you don’t have access to any of the above methods (or maybe you just want to outsource some help), consider hiring a cleaning company to handle the job. It’s a quick and easy way to ensure your outdoor space will be lounge-ready. 

How often to clean your apartment balcony

You just put some major work into cleaning your balcony and you might be wondering “when do I have to do this again?” Oliveira says the frequency depends on several factors, including the location of the apartment, the weather conditions, the level of use, and personal preference.

Oliveira recommends that renters clean their apartment balconies at least once a month or on a seasonal basis. Depending on how often you use your balcony for activities like grilling or gardening, you may need to clean it more often. On the other hand, if you live in an area with mild weather and you don’t use your balcony often, you may be able to clean it less frequently.

Apart from this, it’s crucial that you regularly clean your balcony for a handful of reasons:

  • Aesthetics: Regular cleaning can keep your balcony looking clean and tidy, which can enhance the overall appearance of your home 
  • Health: A dirty balcony can harbor dust, dirt, and other allergens that can be harmful to your health. Cleaning it can help to reduce the risk of allergies and other health problems. 
  • Safety: A dirty balcony can be slippery and hazardous, especially during wet or icy weather. By keeping it tidy, you can help to prevent slips and fall 
  • Maintenance: Dirt and debris can accumulate on the surface of the balcony and cause damage over time. Routine cleaning can help to prolong the lifespan of your balcony.
  • Pest control: A dirty balcony can attract pests like rodents and insects, which can cause damage to your home. Regular cleaning can help to prevent pests from taking up residence on your balcony. 

By making time to clean your balcony routinely you’ll dramatically improve its appearance and ensure that it remains a pleasant place to spend time. Here’s to more days of relaxation in your outdoor living space.

Kara Thompson

About me: 

Kara Thompson is a Denver-based journalist with over five years of experience writing lifestyle content. She has written for a variety of publications, including,,, and Parents, where she covered all things home, food, fashion, travel, and holidays. During her time on staff at Parents, Kara launched her own home decor and organization column named Save My Space. In 2022, she left her full-time job as an editor and started her own writing, editing, and social media firm, Kara Thompson and Co.

Tennis, New York City, bourbon cocktails, and her sister's German Shepherd are a few of her favorite things.