Have you ever cleaned your windows and wondered how professional window cleaners could do such a good job? Despite your best efforts to clean a window, it may seem like they never come close to as good as a professional window cleaning service. Window cleaning can be a frustrating experience if you need to learn how to do it properly. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to clean windows just as well as professionals.
Let's Start With the Equipment
One of the most significant differences between a professional window cleaner and a homeowner is the equipment each utilizes. While equipment may not seem like that big of a deal, trust me when I tell you it is. Spraying store-bought glass cleaners and using paper towels will never clean a window, as well as someone who has the equipment that we are about to go over. The good news is that window cleaning equipment is inexpensive and, in the long run, might save you money when considering the cost of paper towels.
The Must Haves:
If I could only pick one tool to clean a window, it would be a squeegee. If you have a good squeegee and nothing else, you can do an excellent job of window cleaning. Not all squeegees are made equal. It is also essential that if you are willing to purchase a squeegee, then spending a few extra bucks on getting a professional squeegee is worth the money. Cheap squeegees bleed water even if you are pressing down hard (which you shouldn’t do), and they will leave streaks on your glass if not appropriately detailed. When purchasing a squeegee, you also need to consider the size of your windows. For most residential homes, a 14-inch squeegee is ideal; however, it is not likely to be able to clean all your windows. As a professional window cleaner, I usually carry an 18-inch, 14-inch, and 6-inch squeegee channel. With these sizes, I rarely ever run into an issue where I do not have an appropriate size to clean a window. My preferred squeegee is the Moerman Excelerator. It is not that expensive and straightforward to use, but there are a lot of squeegees out there, and everyone is different. Read reviews and find a squeegee that will best meet your needs.
Dish Soap And Bucket
Professional window cleaners typically use dish soap and water to clean windows. Any dish soap will work, but we recommend Dawn or Palmolive. Store-bought glass cleaners tend to leave residue on the glass, which leaves streaks and attracts dirt. Dish soaps are made to clean glass, making them an ideal fit for cleaning windows. You will want to fill your bucket with a decent amount of water and go back and forth squirting dish soap 3-4 times. You will then mix that solution with your hand or whatever you have available to make your cleaning solution. The solution should have suds but not so much that a lot is transferring onto the glass. Applying the solution to the glass should look like soapy water.
Towels: Preferably Microfiber
After squeegeeing the window, there will be some leftover water, usually on the window’s sides, top, and bottom. Removing that water before it dries is crucial because it will leave water marks on the glass. Take your index finger and put it in the towel. Start by removing the water from the top of the window to prevent it from dripping down onto the window you just cleaned. Run your finger across the top of the window and the pane to remove the excess water, touching the glass as little as possible. Then follow the same steps on the sides and do the bottom last. It is also essential to use dry spots on the towel for wiping. A wet towel will leave a streak you can see later after it has dried.
Nice To Have:
Mop Or Scrubber
There are a variety of ways that you can apply the cleaning solution to the window. You could use a clean rag or towel; professionals use a window-cleaning mop or scrubber as an alternative. While it is not necessary, they are nice to have. They allow for a move-even distribution of water and usually have scrubbers on the sides, which are made for the spots that might be harder to get out.
Scrapers are a nice thing to have when cleaning windows and are inexpensive. If you are a detail-oriented person, when you clean windows, you will come across some with small blotches of paint on them. Just looking at a window from a few feet away, they will be pretty much unnoticeable, but when you are up close, you will notice them. A scraper allows you to remove them and other debris very quickly. It is important to note that if you use a scraper, you need to be gentle as you do not want to damage any windows. Allow the scraper to do the work.
Extension Pole Or Ladder If You Have High Windows
Your home may have windows that are elevated and hard to reach. A window cleaning extension pole or ladder should assist with getting to some of those hard-to-reach locations. Cleaning windows with an extension pole is more complicated than something you can reach. We will go over different window-cleaning approaches later on in this article to more thoroughly cover the best way for you to clean your windows.
There are a lot of window cleaning equipment and accessories that are available to purchase online. I have highlighted the ones that I feel are important to be able to clean windows well but also might make the job a little easier. You can also purchase many other things, but what I have included here should be a good starting point and give you an idea of what you will need and some additional items you might want.
Down Pull Method
This is a suitable starting method for anyone new to window cleaning. You start with your squeegee in the window’s top corner against the window frame. You pull the squeegee downward using the window frame side as a guide. Then you continue to move horizontally until the entire window is squeegeed. The down pull method works great, but when you are doing the middle of the window where you do not have a side to use as a guide, it is susceptible to leaving some water, so make sure you overlap your previous squeegee pull by a little bit. You’re not going to remove all the water all the time, so if you happen to see some left behind water or dripping from the top, use a dry portion of your towel to wipe that water away. You want to avoid touching the glass as much as possible, but a wipe here and there is expected even for a seasoned pro.
Side Pull Method
The side pull method is a little more advanced than the downward pull. It can be a tougher angle for some based on their height and the height of the window they are cleaning. The process works the same, except you are pulling the squeegee horizontally instead of vertically. You can try out both methods and see what works best for you and which way gives you the best results.
The fanning method is what professional window cleaners use and is the most advanced method. It is the best method because you are squeegeeing the entire window without taking the squeegee off the glass. By not taking the squeegee off the glass, you have less, if any, leftover water on the window, and it’s much less likely to leave any streaks or lines on the glass.
Pre or Post Window Detailing
Window detailing is taking your towel and removing the excess water from the windows’ top, sides, and bottom. You can do this before or after squeegeeing the window. Doing it before eliminates the likelihood of water dripping down the window from the top after you have squeegeed. Doing both is a good idea when you are starting out. It will help you not have to clean windows multiple times as you are learning. After you have some experience, you can detail after if you even have to at all.
It would be best if you had the right equipment to get the best results with window cleaning. Once that has been established, follow the steps outlined in this article. Start by making your cleaning solution, applying it to the window, squeegee it, and finally, removing any leftover water with a towel. Don’t expect to be as good as a professional window cleaner on your first try, but you will get much better results by following the information you have read today. With time, experience, and practice, I am confident that you will be able to get the results you are looking for. If you are interested in professional window cleaning or power washing services, please do not hesitate to contact us. We provide professional window cleaning and power washing services in Scottsdale and the entire Phoenix metropolitan area.