During my 3 years of professional window washing experience, people have often asked what chemicals or equipment I use to wash windows or how I wash windows without leaving streaks behind. I never would have thought before I started, but there really is an art to washing windows. Of course, It takes time and patience to acquire the skills to squeegee without leaving streaks. Upper windows, irregularly shaped windows, and simply difficult-to-access windows can be especially frustrating. If you'd rather just hire a window washer, and assuming you live within our service area, we'd be happy to come clean your windows for you and save you the trouble of buying all the equipment and taking the time and effort to perfect your window washing technique. However, if you live outside of the service area or are just dead set on doing it yourself, here’s some tricks of the trade to get you off the ground running.
First things first, you'll need to make sure you have all the tools you need in order to get the job done. Here's a list of the window washing tools that we use to get a streak free window washing job done for commercial or residential windows.
You'll need something to hold water and the cleaning agents, as well as a place to set down the tools and equipment that you're not currently using. one or two 3 to 5 gallon plastic buckets with strong handles are perfect for these uses.
As for the previously mentioned cleaning agents that go into the bucket, there are window cleaners that are specifically for washing windows, but you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle by using typical Dawn soap. From our experience, it works just as well. I would recommend starting with just a capful of Dawn and adding more if necessary to get the clean you're looking for. As for ammonia, many people swear by adding it into their window washing solution it to minimize streaks and reduce friction when the gliding the squeegee over the window. However, I personally haven't found it to be necessary.
These are the main tools of the trade. The size of wetting brush and squeegee you’ll want to use depends on the size of your windows. A longer squeegee takes fewer strokes to get the job done, although it also tends to take a bit of practice and experience to use effectively. I’d recommend a wetting brush and squeegee length of around 18 inches to start, unless your windows are particularly small such as a with a French pane window. For small windows such as those, you'll need to measure your window and use tools that are smaller than the window.
These are used to collect the water on the edges of the windows. If you aren't able to obtain either of these, you could try using newspaper as an alternative. If you purchase a brand new chamois cloth, you’ll want to wash it initially to get the oils out, and wash it every hour or so while window washing. Wring it until it’s only just a bit damp and it’ll pick up the water while just gliding on the window. It may leave a small streak initially, however the streaks that these types of towels leave will quickly evaporate, leaving a spotless finish on your widow.
For high or hard to reach windows, a telescoping pole is essential. The shortest size typically available should be sufficient for the majority of your windows, but for higher windows on the second floor or higher, a longer length is needed. Your wetting brush and squeegee needs to attach securely to the end of the pole. The best way to do this while also being able to quickly and easily switch between your wetting brush and squeegee by using a wood cone adapter. These are cheap , easy to find and very effective.
You’ll just need something to wipe up the ledges, window sills, siding, and floor after you’re done with the washing the windows. Any old beach or bathroom towel will do for this, but make sure you have plenty to keep up with the number of windows you have to wash.
First, thoroughly wet and scrub the window with the wetting brush. You might have cobwebs, droppings and other grime collected on windows that you don’t get to often so you may need to really give it a good hard scrub. Next, with your squeegee of choice, start on one side at the top of the window and slide it horizontally to the other side. See the section Mastering the Squeegee down below if you have streaks from the squeegee. After your first swipe, continue down the window in the same fashion starting just above the bottom of the last swipe across. Finally, clean up any drips on the edges of the window with your cloth and water on the sidings, wall, and floor with your towels. With that, you should have a job well done and a clean window to admire.
If you’ve ever tried to wash your own windows, you’ll know it’s not as easy as it looks. Simply dragging the squeegee across the window will probably leave streaks and may miss spots. Here’s a quick tutorial of the factors involved:
Too obtuse or too acute an angle and you’ll find the squeegee misses half or more of the swipe. As you wipe across the window you must keep the same angle all the way through. This may be especially difficult on particularly large windows, or tight spaces as it may require you to move along with your swipe if your wrist is unable to bend any further.
Again, too much or too little pressure and the squeegee won’t collect all the water across leaving no marks behind. For a proper squeegee swipe, you need to press firmly without crushing the rubber tip of the squeegee into the glass.
Along with the angle and the pressure, the speed of which you swipe across also affects the results. Too fast will fling water everywhere and too slow may cause the squeegee to skip across the window missing spots and leaving marks.
The simple truth is that to mastering this technique is that you'll need the right tools and plenty of practice. However, if you continue with it I'm sure you'll be able to consistently clean windows like a pro. If it sounds like work, please don't hesitate to reach out and we can schedule an affordable window cleaning appointment with you at your home or business.
Want to hire us? Get in contact with Facelift Services and we can schedule a time to come out and professionally clean your windows at an affordable price!