When I added washing windows to our cleaning portfolio I thought it would be a breeze. Wet window then wipe clean!
I had good reason to think that. After all, whenever I saw professional window washers working they made it look so easy.
But for some reason when I went out and tried cleaning windows they didn’t come out so good. The widows didn’t get completely clean AND they had streaks. Needless to say, it was depressing!
Best window washing techniques
Luckily for me I stumbled across an old-timer who was cleaning a bunch of plate-glass and asked him for some advice. What he told me forever changed my approach, and in the process made it much easier. The first thing he told me was to make sure I was using the RIGHT TOOLS.
He basically said professional grade tools lead to professional results, which makes sense to me. So before we can discuss the best window washing technique, we need to cover the tools of the trade as they say. Your basic window cleaning supply kit begins with a high quality squeegee.
Window squeegee’s come in all different sizes. Having a complete collection of several that range from 6″ to 16″is highly recommended once you have a few jobs under your belt. This way you can have the right squeegee for just about any size window. The squeegee itself should be made out of a professional quality brass or stainless steel, as that will allow it to last a lifetime.
Next up you will need an applicator so you can spread the cleaning solution onto the window. This cloth applicator can be on the opposite side of the squeegee blade or another tool in and of itself, it just depends on the kit you purchase.
After that you will need a scraper of some kind. This is really just a flat edge blade in a casing of some kind to protect your hand from getting cut. This tool is great for removing stickers, old tape or any other type material that is stuck to the window.
From there you will need a window bucket with a wide enough opening to accommodate the wide applicator that you will be dipping into the cleaning solution. Having the right bucket is a time-saver, as you won’t have to dip the applicator in one half at a time each time you need to place it in the bucket.
A few microfiber cloths will also be needed. This is key because you don’t want to leave any lint on the window you spent so much time cleaning, and the microfiber works great for this purpose.
Rounding out your window kit will be an extension pole, this is great for reaching the upper parts of a window you can’t get to yourself. These poles come in different sizes, so having a few would be a nice option once you can afford it.
If you are looking for a pro quality window cleaning kit, check out the Unger Pro Window Cleaning Kit with 8 Ft. Pole, Scrubber, Squeegee, Scraper, Sponge. This is the exact same kit I have been using for many years. In fact I have several sets at this point, and I’m very pleased with them.
After making sure you have the proper window cleaning supplies, making sure you use the proper technique is next. You’ll start by filling your bucket with water. Make sure the water is either cool or lukewarm then simply add a little dose of dish washing soap.
From there make sure the window and the frame is clear of any debris (cobwebs etc…). Now you’ll want to place the applicator in the bucket then remove. Allow the excess solution to drain off naturally for a moment then start scrubbing the window.
You may need to use the scraper on anything that is still stuck to the window (like tape or stickers). You do want to be careful when using the scraper. To do so just make sure the window stays wet when scraping to avoid damage to the glass.
To get a streak free window here is the secret the old-timer shared with me. He indicated that whenever the rubber squeegee touched the glass, it needed to be DRY. So for best results you will need to make sure to wipe the rubber blade dry with a rag before hand. The next tip was to start at the top of the glass and go straight down to the bottom.
Then use the same rag (or a collection of clean DRY rags) to DRY THE RUBBER after each and every pass you make on the window. This will dramatically improve how well the finished product looks when complete! Repeat the process until you are done the job and BINGO, you have a truly clean plate of glass.
To clean up the loose ends grab your microfiber cloths and go around the edges of the window to remove any drips of water that are remaining. You will get better over time, so don’t beat yourself up too much the first time out. There is a little skill involved, but you’ll get the hang of it real quick with practice.
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