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The Basics of Window Cleaning

Window Cleaning is a mature and stable industry that provides thousands of part-time, full time and casual jobs to men and women across the country.

Outside windows tend to get dirtier, as they’re exposed to more debris like pollen, leaves, and caked-on salt from passing cars. Start by rinsing the windows with water, then use a sponge or scrubber to work on stubborn stains. A great post ahead.

Preparation

Unless a customer wants them cleaned, window blinds, shutters, and curtains are best removed before cleaning to avoid the rubbing and scratching that can damage them. Also, if some shrubs or trees touch the windows and must be moved, it is a good idea to do so to prevent damage when wiping down the frames.

Start by wiping the tracks and frame with a clean, lint-free microfiber cloth. This is an opportunity to remove paint specks, stuck-on labels, and other debris that would otherwise smear as you squeeze the window. Next, wipe down the windows themselves starting with the top corner and working in a backward “S” pattern.

Vacuuming

Before you break out the cleaning solution, use a hose-attachment-equipped vacuum or a soft brush to suck up dust and cobwebs on window frames and sills. (You might want to do the same for drapes and blinds, too.)

Pick a gloomy day to do this; spraying cleaner on hot windows makes it dry before you can wipe it off, creating streaks. You might also want to pop out your window screens and give them a quick wash with hot water and soap if they look especially grimy. Just make sure to let them dry completely before putting them back in place.

Lathering

A traditional window cleaning job includes the use of warm water, soap, and a squeegee. Typically, this solution removes dirt and grime from windows and leaves a streak-free finish.

Window cleaners may also use cleaning solutions or natural cleaners to break down stubborn stains. They can also use specialized brushes to reach hard-to-reach corners and edges.

If your business will include work on other people’s property, you must register it as a business and obtain a license. In addition, you may need general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. You should also set up a dedicated business credit card and bank account to keep personal and business expenses separate.

Wiping

Professional window cleaners use ladders, squeegees, and other tools to thoroughly clean windows without leaving streaks or smudges. Before starting the actual cleaning, they make sure that access to each window is easy by clearing any furniture, plants, decorative items, or other obstacles from the sill or frame.

They add their preferred cleaning solution, such as liquid dish soap (a cost-effective option), and stir it well to evenly distribute the solution across the glass. They also wipe the rubber blade of their squeegee clean between swipes to avoid re-smearing the window.

Pros also swap out their cleaning towels for a fresh pair often to avoid spreading dirt, and they clean on cloudy days to prevent the sun from drying their work. If you’re using a paper towel, choose a brand that’s strong enough to not disintegrate or leave lint behind.

Rinsing

When the window cleaning job is complete, professionals rinse any remaining chemical cleaner off of the windows. They then inspect the glass for any lingering marks or smudges.

Many professional window washers use a de-ionized water solution to rinse the windows. This water is free of ions and helps the windows dry quickly without leaving spots.

To get the cleanest possible finish, window washers use a microfiber towel (or cotton towels if you’re a beginner). Always be sure to work from top to bottom to prevent drips. Also, be sure to use a lint-free cloth so that you don’t leave behind any fuzzies.

Drying

In the final step of a window cleaning job, professionals use a squeegee to remove excess water and soap. This leaves the windows streak-free and shiny.

A pro tip: “Work on a cloudy day if you can.” Spraying cleaner in the sun causes it to dry on the glass before you wipe, which creates hard-to-remove streaks.

For a streak-free finish, Fisk recommends wiping the windows in an S pattern instead of in straight lines. This draws the soapy water or cleaner back to the center of the window between curved swipes. Also, wipe the rubber blade of your squeegee between swipes and swap out cleaning towels as needed. Discover more interesting articles.