Window Cleaning Bucket
Window cleaning buckets are different to your standard bucket. They are usually shallower and rectangular in shape, to allow for your window cleaning sponge and squeegee to be placed inside. Doing a search for ‘window cleaning bucket’ will return the right bucket with results showing a variety of prices. When looking at which one to buy, keep in mind that you want the bucket to be sturdy, have a carry handle, and if possible have a carry frame that can be wheeled around.
A carry frame with wheels – while not necessary – will make jobs much easier to move around: instead of having to carry a bucket full of water to the next window, you can simply wheel it. Being able to remove the bucket from the frame is also important as it will allow you to easily carry the bucket. This is particularly useful when you are going inside a home, as having just the bucket will keep the area clear.
Window Cleaning Sponge
Look for a sponge that is soft, can hold a lot of water, and can be squeezed out by hand. The ideal sponge will be soft on one side for laying on the water and detergent, and have a scrubber on the other side for working off stubborn grime. The sponge should be removable from the plastic frame so that you can wash it regularly. The frame should have a swivel handle for more maneuverability, and to allow you to reach window corners.
Window Cleaning Squeegee
Squeegee rubber blades come in various levels of hardness. Harder rubber will last longer but is more challenging to use. Pick a blade that is somewhere in the middle for hardness and that you find easy to use – it will save a lot of time. Be sure to have plenty of spare blades with you, as the last thing you want is to run out! And a squeegee rubber blade with a nick will leave water lines and streaks on the glass, costing you time and energy.
Window cleaners use all kinds of different detergents, from household dish detergent to professional Window cleaning liquid. Their choice is often based on personal preference. Some window cleaners will stand by dish detergent; others have created their own concoction of professional window cleaning and streak free liquids. Whatever detergent you choose, make sure it works for you – that it improves your speed and quality. And don’t be afraid to try something new. Still, most choose to start with simple dish detergent, as it is readily available and is designed to cut through grease (something that is plentiful on windows).
Don’t use any old rags for wiping the edges of windows. Make sure you use clean, lightweight and streak-free cloths for fast and professional cleaning. You will need a large supply, enough to continue working while some are being laundered. The number you require also depends on the size and length of your work days. Make sure you use these cloths exclusively for windows and seals. Don’t use them for cleaning frames or allow them to come into contact with other chemicals, as chemical residues can ruin them.
Carry different size towels around – some old bath towels are perfect for this. Smaller towels can be kept wet and used to wipe down screens and frames; larger towels are perfect for laying on the floor and along the bottom of windows while working inside (catching the excess water instead of letting it fall on the customer’s floor). You should also use these towels to place under your bucket or tools when working inside a home, helping you avoid leaving scratches or marks.
A blade will come in very handy, particularly for residential jobs. Residential windows are generally cleaned infrequently, and as a result are often caked with spots of sap, gum and insect droppings. New homes frequently have paint, and concrete spills on them. Here a blade is invaluable – after wetting the window, you can run the blade across any stubborn dirt and it will usually just lift right off. But be cautious of glazed glass, as the blade will scratch this type of glass. To identify, look at the glass from an angle: if the glass is glazed, the reflections will be rippled. Glazed windows should also have a sticker label on them.
Window Cleaning Holster
This is often clipped to your belt. The window cleaner’s holster should have separate compartments to hold your squeegee and sponge, giving an easy place to put them as you change between your tools.
Even from the ground floor, an extension pole is still a good tool to have. It becomes an extension of your arm, and allows you to quickly re-wet your sponge without excess movement. A pole also gives easier reach to windows that are quite large or are perhaps just out of reach at their highest point. This tool can noticeably speed up many jobs.