Want some top window cleaning tips? Absolutely, you say! Window cleaning can be such a chore that it is often neglected and left to the “later on” list of jobs.
In my travels operating my window cleaning business, I meet many people who just hate window cleaning. Even some commercial cleaners tell me that they do it because they have to, not because they enjoy it.
Why do people hate window cleaning?
I guess it is like many jobs we take on. If we aren’t skilled at it, then we won’t enjoy it. It reminds me of a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American essayist. He said:
“That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do has increased.”
So I thought that having some top window cleaning tips will improve everyone’s ability and enjoyment of a chore at home that makes a big difference to how our home presents.
Top Window Cleaning Tips – Get the Right Gear!
Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? Sure, but it seems that many of us don’t invest in cleaning gear that will endure the treatment we put it through. A reliable vacuum cleaner will cost a few extra dollars than the cheap and nasty one from the discount store.
So it is with window cleaning. We can’t use the flimsy washer and squeegee that those guys at the traffic lights use to clean our windscreens. I have never met one of those guys using top notch equipment and hence they do a lousy job of the windscreen.
Where do we start with window cleaning gear? Let me give you a list of some basic things to get you started. You don’t need a truck load of stuff since you are only doing this job once every few months. Here’s what you need:
A window cleaning bucket –
These can be bought from any good hardware store. In Australia and New Zealand, Bunnings has quality buckets made by Oates. They are 12 litre or 18 litre in size and cost less than $20.00. Using this style of bucket allows the washer and squeegee to lie in the bucket when not being used.
A window cleaning washer –
Having a washer like the one in the picture will give you better control on where and how much of the cleaning solution you apply to the window. Buying one that is about 14 inches or 355mm will give you better control as it won’t be too heavy to use. The washing sleeve is removable so you can wash it with your other cleaning rags.
A window cleaning squeegee –
This is the crucial tool. That is why the picture on the right is one of the best you can buy. These are not available from a hardware store. You can only source these from a top-notch window cleaning supplies store such as Window Cleaning World in Sydney, Australia, Windows101 in Seattle, USA, or Window Cleaning Supplies in Melbourne, Australia. This squeegee is the Unger Ninja, which has a variety of sizes (I would recommend a 14 or 16 inch) and the handle can be angled to lessen the strain on your wrist. It is expensive, but it will last you a lifetime. Remember the old adage, you get what you pay for. If you do want a cheaper squeegee, you can get one from the local hardware store. The squeegee rubber is reversible so you will get good life from it.
Cleaning solution –
For domestic window cleaning, you don’t need to pay top dollar for cleaning solution. A few drops of Morning Fresh dish washing solution will suffice. Be careful of the amount you put into the water since if the solution is too soapy, it may leave residue on the windows edges or if it is a warm day outside, then it could dry before you have a chance to squeegee the windows. I have also used the dishwashing detergent made by Finish, of dishwasher fame, since it has a wetting agent that slows the drying on the glass. Either of these solutions will serve you well.
Detailing Cloths –
Unless you are doing a monster home all at once, four or five detailing cloths is all you will need to touch up the edges of the windows. There are some excellent microfibre cloths available at your local hardware store or even in Kmart. I use professionally some lint-free microfibre cloths that I get from the auto section of Kmart. They are very affordable and come in a pack of three for just a handful of dollars.
Small extension pole –
A small extension pole may be useful if the windows you are cleaning are a touch high. Using a pole can be safer than climbing up a step ladder. There are a variety of lengths of poles available from cleaning supplies stores and occasionally at Bunnings so shop around and find one that is comfortable in your hand. For home, anything that extends longer than 8ft will be challenging to control, unless you have become a master at your window cleaning skills.
Top Window Cleaning Tips – Ready to Go!
So now that you have all the gear you need, there is just one more thing to think about – When! When is the best time of day to clean the windows around the home?
Since it can be a daunting job, why not get started at the beginning of the day, before the heat of the day impacts the job and your well-being. Don’t try to do the whole house at once, unless you are super motivated; do a few rooms each cleaning session and that will make the task much more manageable.
Now there is an alternative to doing it yourself, and that is contacting me to do the job.
But if you really want to have the satisfaction of doing it yourself, being able to stand back and admire the finished product, then go out and get the right equipment, develop the skills and have lots of fun in making your home bright and cheerful. Clean windows will do that.
Hang on, you say, now that I’ve got the gear, how do I use it effectively? Check out my video tutorials here.