How to Clean Windows with a Squeegee
Washing windows properly and professionally isn’t as easy as it looks. Without the right techniques and products, it’s easy to leave unsightly streaks that obstruct the view for people inside and look grimy from the outside.
Using a squeegee is the most efficient and cost-effective way to clean a window. But believe it or not, it’s not as simple as just running a squeegee up and down the glass. Like most cleaning jobs, there is a right way to do it that will produce the best results for your clients.
We provide a few of those techniques here, along with some tips, tricks and best practices to ensure that any window you wash will be left squeaky clean.
What to Avoid When Cleaning a Window
The experts at Jon-Don have worked with hundreds of window cleaning companies and building maintenance professionals over the years. Here’s a quick list of things to avoid when trying to achieve professionally cleaned, streak-free windows.
- Don’t forget to remove dirt and dust first: Neglecting this step in the process may not only cause streaks from the squeegee blade not being able to make good contact with the window, but you risk scratching the glass, too.
- Don’t use paper towels or newspapers. Some brands of paper towels have rough fibers that could scratch the glass surface. Newspapers, while absorbent, often create an even larger mess to clean up afterward. A microfiber cloth is more absorbent, won’t cause damage and is washable, resulting in less waste.
- Don’t use hard water. Washing a window with hard water will cause mineral spots to form after drying. White vinegar is acidic and effective at removing hard water spots from windows. Mix a splash of vinegar with warm water and use a scrubber to clean the window.
- Don’t underestimate the power of a high-quality squeegee. The rubberized blade of a squeegee effectively scrapes away the window cleaning solution and, with the proper technique, is the most efficient way to clean a window. Low-quality squeegees with dry or cracked rubber blades won’t give you good results.
Steps for Properly Cleaning a Window with a Squeegee
For great-looking windows, follow these steps for a streak-free, professional shine using a squeegee.
What you’ll need:
- Scrubber, microfiber cloth or squeegee glove
- Window squeegee
- Scraper tool
- Window or glass cleaner
- A clean towel
- Wet the section of glass you plan to clean with your preferred window cleaner. Use a squeegee glove, microfiber cloth or scrubber to wipe away dirt, debris and pollen. Gently scrub any caked-on residue or use a scraper tool to remove crusted spots. Wipe any drips off the window ledges and the frame.
- Before using your squeegee, wipe the rubber blade with a damp microfiber cloth or hand towel. Be sure to start squeegeeing before dry spots start to appear.
- Start at the top of the window, tilting the blade so the top two inches touch the glass. Pull the squeegee across the top of the glass surface at a slight angle, making about a two-inch dry strip.
- Wipe the blade again with a towel. Beginning on the dry strip that was just created, pull the squeegee downward to 2–3 inches from the bottom of the glass, overlapping the strokes as you go. Between each stroke, wipe the squeegee.
- Once you’ve squeegeed the whole window, wipe along the bottom of the glass with a towel to remove the excess water.
Window Cleaning Tips for Best Results
Here are a few extra tips and best practices our experts recommend for cleaning large windows:
- Divide large windows into sections, don’t try to clean the entire surface all at once. This is to ensure that the cleaning solution can be removed before it has time to dry. If the window cleaner dries, it will be harder to remove and may leave unsightly streaks.
- Overlap slightly in the middle of a large window. Overlapping your streaks is a standard best practice for washing windows. However, it’s especially important in the middle of big panes of glass to avoid creating a dividing line between the sections you’re cleaning.
- Clean both sides of the glass. Cleaning both sides of the glass — the inside and outside — will yield the best results. Jon-Don offers a variety of telescopic and extension poles to help cleaners reach windows in high places.
- Use the fanning technique. Most commonly used by professional window cleaners, the fanning technique uses a series of short but consistent strokes in different directions without lifting the squeegee off the glass. This prevents cleaner and debris from getting under the squeegee blade, therefore minimizing the chance of leaving streaks.
- Clean windows often. You’d be surprised how quickly dirt and grime can build up on glass, especially if the window faces a street, busy sidewalk or heavily landscaped area. In these particular settings, windows are subject to more dirt, soil, and pollen exposure. Frequent and regular cleaning is important to keep windows looking great and allow more light to enter the building.
- Dish soap is a great primer. For both homeowners and professionals, regular dish soap can be used to prime a window for cleaning. Simply mix a bit of dish soap in a bucket with warm water, soak your scrubber and wash the window before squeegeeing with your preferred glass cleaner.
Recommended Products to Keep Windows Spotless
For the best results, try these window cleaning solutions for your next job:
- Unitex® Streakless Glass Cleaner
- Betco Deep Blue Concentrate Glass Cleaner
- Betco Green Earth® Glass Cleaner
- Betco FASTDRAW® Clear Image Glass Cleaner
- Windex® Powerized Glass Cleaner With Ammonia‑D
Jon-Don carries a wide selection of top-of-the-line window cleaning and washing supplies — from squeegees to microfiber cloths, scrapers, scrubbers, cleaners, pads, and more. Find everything you need for professional window cleaning all under one roof!