The old fairy-tale theme of ‘rags to riches’, contains a vital tip if you want that professional quality gleam on your windows. Step one is to dispense with the customary rags and spray-bottle set. Why? To answer that, we need to go to the microscopic level.
Though we use the expression ‘as smooth as glass’, at the microscopic level glass is anything but smooth. It has ditches and crevices otherwise known as micro-pores which makes it look more like a rural mountain range.
How does this affect your window cleaning?
When you use a rag to wipe a window, some of the moisture retreats into these nooks and crannies on the glass surface. Moreover, the more you wipe, the wetter the rag gets. This means that each area of the window is actually harboring different amounts of water, chemicals, and minerals. You may think ‘no worries! It still looks clean and dry!’ This may be so in a low light environment. But add a little direct sunlight and you will be met with a panorama of embarrassing, smudgy streaks. Try as you might, you can never get an evenly clean glass surface using rags and spray bottles. What, then, is the solution?
You will note that professional window cleaners use a basic tool called a squeegee. What makes it the hero? The soft, sharp, rubber edge of a squeegee does not absorb water, but pushes it away when used correctly. This means that your glass surface will have a sparkling, even reflection. This immaculate gleam will factor into the appeal your place of business has in the community.
Let CCC Window Cleaning help you dispense with the ‘rags’, and help you take your business image to figurative ‘riches’.
From cooking to crochet, we know that the right tools coupled with the right technique are vital to successfully pulling off any task. Window cleaning is no different. Check out the following basic tips from the CCC Window Cleaners:
A squeegee has three main parts – a handle, a channel, and a rubber blade. Clips on either end or in the middle keep the rubber blade from sliding up and down within the channel. Traditional squeegees are made of solid brass fittings while more modern squeegees have light plastic handles that swivel. As a size, anything between 12 and 18 inches will usually do the job and a 14 inch squeegee channel is most commonly used for beginners. If you have very small windows you’ll need to buy an extra small channel. Squeegee channels can be removed and changed so you only need one handle but you might need two or more channels. If you find your channel is too big, don’t worry! You can always cut a bigger one down to size. Owning two sizes of squeegee channels is helpful for cleaning different sizes of windows. 22 inches and above are for large commercial buildings only and keep in mind that the larger the squeegee the harder it is to control.
The main part to look after on any tool is the replaceable rubber squeegee blade. A harder rubber blade will last longer but a softer blade is easier to use for a beginner and therefore less likely to leave streaks. If you start noticing any abrasions on the rubber blade, you should replace it as soon as possible. This is the most likely and most common cause of streaks. It will usually wear on the outside corners of the blade first from constant contact with the frame. You can therefore cut the ends off and use the rubber blade again in a smaller channel to save money. However, if you find your squeegee is leaving streaks from somewhere in the middle of the blade it may have a tiny cut or small abrasion that can only be seen on close inspection. But don’t forget, there are two sides to every squeegee blade, so you can just turn it around and use the other side. Using the rubber while it is not in a next-to-perfect condition will almost always leave you with streaks.
The combination of dish washing liquid and warm water will do just fine for a solution. The soapier your solution is, the easier your squeegee will glide across the glass. But remember, if you leave streaks and soapy water residue on the glass, you may start wishing you had less dish washing liquid as detergent leaves more of a mess than just plain water.
With the squeegee in hand, it’s time to get down to business! I’ll be explaining here how to clean a window with a simple top to bottom squeegee pattern with a traditional squeegee (Not a pivoting one). It’s not the way the pros do it but it’s more efficient for a beginner. Apply the solution on the window you are just about to clean with a squeegee mop (also called an applicator or scrubbing bar). If you don’t have a proper applicator, just use a large sponge. Start at the top left, with your squeegee in a horizontal position. It is recommended you keep the tool slightly angled with the lower part pointing to the left side. This is because the water will actually run up the squeegee and will run down the side of the window yet to be cleaned. A common beginner’s mistake is thinking that the water runs down the squeegee blade when it actually runs up. Repeat this top to bottom movement overlapping a quarter in between squeegees for maximum efficiency. Don’t forget to keep the squeegee slightly angled on each movement. Make sure to wipe your rubber blade after every squeegee. If you find you still have a small amount of soapy water residue around the edges of the glass, use a dry clean piece of cloth to wipe it off. Choose a cloth that will not leave lint or marks on the glass. This is called detailing a window.
Oh, and one more thing. The angle that you hold the squeegee handle at is very important. Too high or too low and you’ll leave soapy water residue on the window. Each squeegee handle is manufactured to be held at a slightly different angle and no two different brands of squeegees are alike so you’ll have to play around with it a bit.
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Things You Never Knew About Window Cleaning – Expert Tips. Residential or Commercial.
Tips and tricks – Clean and well-maintained windows can present a great image for your home or office, both inside and out. The job of cleaning windows evokes different reactions from individuals who have wet their hands doing the task earlier. Those who approached the job using wrong methods will say it’s frustrating while others who did the job using the right methods and tools will look forward to doing it again.
The Trick Lies in Using the Right Techniques
Using the right techniques and equipment is the key to getting great results in cleaning windows. While window cleaning professionals are trained to do the job perfectly, Perth home-owners too can achieve success if they stick to the basics and focus on the most important elements of window cleaning.
There are some things that you should know about window cleaning that will help in achieving streak free windows. Having access to insider knowledge of how window cleaning professionals handle the job can help you come closer to their levels of performance. Here are some tips that can help you get vastly enhanced results while cleaning dirty windows.
Avoid Cleaning in Strong Sunlight
If possible perform the task when there is minimum sunlight hitting the windows. Strong sunlight generates more heat that can result in faster drying of detergent and water. Window cleaners have to work quickly in such circumstances and this can result in streaks and lines on the window panes. Choose early morning or evening time to clean windows to avoid this problem.
Use the Right Window Cleaning Equipment
Make sure you use a scrubbing bar to spread the washing liquid around the windows surface. The squeegee makes sure that all the liquid is removed and there are no streaks left behind on the windows. Check the rubber squeegee blade to ensure it’s in close to new condition. A blade with a cut in it or with rounded edges will surely cause you grief. Also make sure the channel that the blade sits in is straight. Store your squeegee correctly out of direct sunlight. It is not recommended to leave it sitting in your bucket along with other tools. A twisted channel is another common problem resulting in streaks.
Tips on what Detergent to Use for Best Results
The technique and squeegee as well as the squeegee components such as the blade and channel are all important but thought should also be given the type of detergent and amount. It should be enough to help the squeegee glide across the window. Avoid harsh detergents that can damage glass and accessories in the long term. Use mild detergents that have the ability to remove dirt, grime and streaks from window surfaces. You can even use high quality dish-washing liquid from your kitchen to clean windows. The amount of detergent you add is equally important. There needs to be enough to allow the squeegee to glide over the glass with ease. It is not a necessity to buy expensive, premium detergent brands that are being promoted as exclusively created for window cleaning.
How does the pure water system work? What’s the best technique? Why do window cleaners often have trouble getting perfectly spot free windows?