Window cleaning is a profession as old as time. Window cleaners have been around since the first window was designed. The advent of residential and commercial skyscrapers in the 20th century meant that window cleaner needed to be specially trained to work at these heights.
Most window cleaners only know how to clean windows using traditional methods, such as squeegees, rags and scrapers. They have no clue about the proper way to clean with water-fed poles. Here are five of the more common window cleaning mistakes I see them make:
Using too much water
Window cleaners often use too much water to rinse off the soapy solution they’ve applied to the glass. You should use as little water as possible. Puddles of water on the glass make it harder for you to clean effectively and can leave behind streaks, spots and drips on the sills and frames when you dry them out.
Not using a good quality soap
Some window cleaners use dishwashing detergent or laundry detergent. Others use professional solutions that don’t have enough cleaning power. This can result in having to scrub at the glass too hard and still leaving behind stains or spots on the glass. It might seem like a good idea to save money by making your own solutions or by buying cheap ones, but in my experience it’s not worth it — unless your customers don’t mind having dirty windows!
You don’t clean your squeegee between swipes, so the rubber blade leaves streaks that look dirtier than the windows themselves.
You start with a dirty sponge or cloth. Inevitably, this transfers grime from one window to the next, leaving behind a residue that’s even harder to remove.
You use a paper towel or newspaper to clean your windows instead of something made for windows, like a microfiber cloth. They’re lint-free and absorb water well.
You use vinegar or some other noncommercial cleaner instead of all-purpose cleaner or, better yet, window cleaner. Commercial window cleaners are designed not to leave streaks and work best on glass.
It’s tempting to just grab the bottle of window cleaner and go to town, but you don’t want to get any chemicals on your hands. They can cause irritation and other problems. You might not notice it right away, but it could catch up to you after a few hours or days.
If you are not using paper towels, then you need to make sure that you are using clean rags or cloths every time you clean your windows. This will ensure that there is no dirt or grime being spread around on the glass and that the windows are shiny and new looking when you are done. This is particularly important if there are children living in the home since they can be tracking dirt around with their feet all day long.