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As a window cleaner there's a few things you'll need to purchase. For any business you will have to invest in tools, equipment, stock, etc, but window cleaning is good for a first business because it has a relatively low start-up cost.

 

A Complete Squeegee

You will definately need one of these

This is a squeegee with a 14 inch channel.

You can buy a complete squeegee but you usually buy them in their seperate parts

 

Disassembled Squeegee

A squeegee seperated into its different parts. At the top is the rubber, in the middle is the channel where the rubber sits, and at the bottom is the handle.

You'll usually buy all the parts seperately but you can buy complete squeegees at some stores.

The channel you buy normally comes with one strip of rubber, but if you are cleaning a lot of windows the rubber will wear out fairly quickly so you will need replacements. Make sure the rubber you buy is long enough for your channel.

Tip Regarding Rubber: When one side of your rubber wears out (it's no longer picking up the water properly) take it out of your squeegee channel and flip it over before placing it back in. You are now using the other side against the window and this will double the life of your window cleaning rubbers.

 

An Extra Tip: Dog Earring

If you look closely at the outside of this squeegee channel you will notice the end has been bent in slightly towards the rubber.

This is referred to as dog earring and it apparently helps keep the rubber close to the glass, thus preventing the water bleeding out from the edge of your squeegee so you can work faster.

I used a pair of pliars to bend the tips of my squeegee channel.

I'm not really sure if dog earring makes a massive difference to squeegee performance to be honest, but it can't hurt.

 

Glass Scraper

This is a glass scraper. You use this to remove stubborn deposits of dirt that can't be scrubbed off with your T-bar, such as dried on paint.

Look on the Window Cleaning Technique section to learn the correct way to use glass scrapers.

 

Scraper Blades

Here's a 10 pack of scraper blades.

You should get a blade fitted in your scraper when you buy it but you'll need spare blades because they can get damaged and wear out.

 

Scrim or Microfibre

The photo to the left is of a microfibre cloth and they are what I use for my window cleaning round.

A lot of other window cleaners use scrim instead. It just comes down to personal preference.

One thing with scrim is that it will have to be washed before you use it. You can buy pre-washed scrim however, but it's more expensive.

 

Complete T-Bar

This is what you will be applying your cleaning solution (water and detergent) to the window with. These are far superior to just using a sponge.

 

 

 

Disassembled T-bar/Applicator

This is the T-bar seperated from the sleeve. You usually buy the T-bar and the sleeve seperately.

Make sure you buy a sleeve that is the same length as your T-bar.

Sleeves do wear out after a lot of use so make sure you keep an eye on it for wear and tear.

It is also a good idea to regularly wash your T-bar sleeves. I usually wash my T-bar sleeve after I do a first clean on a new customer because it will have gotten so dirty.

It is a good idea to have spare clean T-bar sleeves in your van for this reason.

 

Bucket

Of course you'll need a bucket.

This is a special window cleaners bucket, it is rectangular to allow your T-bar to access it easily.

Most window cleaners buckets also come with a T-bar sieve that gives you somewhere to place your wet T-bar when you are not using it. This can be a handy feature in winter because you won't need to reach into the freezing cold water to pull out your T-bar.

 

Window Cleaning Pole

This is a traditional window cleaning pole not a water fed pole.

This pole attachs traditional tools to it like the squeegee and t-bar.

Don't think however that you will be able to get rid of your ladders because I think you should only use this for conservatory roofs or when you can't reach a window by a ladder.

Despite their limited use they can come in handy.

 

 

Ladder

Important piece of equipment this. You are entrusting your life to your ladder so this is one area you shouldn't scrimp on.

My ladder is a triple combination ladder. I like to use a 3 metre Zarges Skymaster Combination ladder.

Although I don't often use its step ladder capability because I have a seperate step ladder, its come in handy on a number of occasions.

Having a triple ladder is good because you can detach one section and then have a much lighter ladder for when you need to do something like maneuver through a tight corridor of a customer.

 

Stepladder

You will find you don't need your stepladder half as much as your normal ladder but it is a good thing to have because you'll find it comes in handy for the occassional job where there is a succession of really high ground level windows.

 

Steps

You might think these won't be all that neccessary but I assure you they will, I use mine just about everyday.

A lot of ground level windows are just a bit too high for you to reach unless you are very tall. You might think that is why you have a stepladder, but taking a stepladder out with you is a hassel and it's much easier to take a little set out like this that will allow you to reach almost every ground level window.

I have heard of window cleaners who use milk crates as a cheaper alternative to buying a set of little steps

 

Water Storage

You won't always be able to get water off your customers because they will not always be in to give you some. You'll need to bring your own.

I use these two jerry cans to carry my water with me

I don't usually ask my customers for water because I think it looks more professional to have your own and it can take ages for them to get it for you as well.

 

Business Cards

It's always good to have a supply of your business cards on you, not only when you're out canvassing trying to pick up more business but when you are at work as well.

Often when you're out window cleaning you pick up more customers when other people see you so it's handy to have a business card to give them.

I use my business cards as the ticket I leave after I've cleaned the windows of a customer who is not in. I write on the blank side, cleaned your windows today, and then I write the date.

 

Roof Rack

To transport your ladder you will need a roof rack fitted to the top of your car or van

 

Ladder Clamps

You could use rope to tie your ladders to your roof rack but by far the easiest way is with ladder clamps because they're quick and very safe.

 

Carrier Bag

You will need a carrier bag or something to put your dirty, wet cloths/scrim inside.

You will be surprised at how filthy your cloths will become as you work so you need the plastic carrier bag to keep them seperate from the rest of your dry, clean ones.

 

Backpack

I like to take a backpack out with me to place my tools inside, my microfibre cloths, my carrier bag filled with dirty cloths, a pair of gloves, a bottle of water to drink from, mobile phone and wallet.

 

Pouch

You'll need some kind of pouch that attaches to your belt. It will allow you to carry things like your cloths, mobile phone, etc.

Waterproof/Ski Gloves

Don't succumb to frostbite

It's a good idea to keep a pair of these in your car because in Winter your hands will get very, very cold.

 

Washing Up Liquid

Make sure you have a bottle of this with you because you won't be able to clean windows very well without it.

You may choose to use something like Ettore's Squeegee Off if you feel regular washing up liquid isn't up to the job.

Portable Personal Radio

You might think having a portable radio isn't really an essential piece of equipment, but I've recently come to the conclusion it is.

If you are working by yourself on your window cleaning round, it can become very lonely, and a consequence of this is that it becomes very difficult to motivate yourself to work.

Having a little radio with headphones I've found helps to solve this problem.

Get a radio that has a loop to go over your neck, or a clip so you can hook it onto your belt.

Your hands will be busy cleaning windows, so you need some other way of holding the radio that doesn't restrict you from working.

Ladder Mitts

I now consider ladder mitts an essential piece of kit for window cleaning.

Ladder mitts are invaluable for two reasons.

1. When you lean your ladder against a wall it can leave unsightly marks, particularly when you lean it against upvc cladding or plastic fascias. Ladder mitts prevent this.

2. Ladder mitts help prevent the top of your ladder from sliding around because they're really grippy and so help improve ladder safety.

 

Cif previously known as Jif

A bottle of Cif in your van or bag is a good thing to have because it is really good at getting stubborn stains off white Upvc window frames.

It is also good for getting stubborn deposits like dried-on egg off glass. You just pour some onto your cloth or scrim and rub it on to the stain. Hopefully the deposit will come off and then you just wash and squeegee the window as usual.

Another good thing about Cif is that's cheap, but performs just as well as higher-priced Upvc cleaners.

 

Bucket on a Belt

A boab is a type of holster for your t-bar and squeegee which hangs off your belt..

One way in which a boab is better over a regular holster, is that it should keep your trouser leg drier.

When using a normal holster water is liable to drip from your t-bar sleeve onto your leg. This can be one of those little things that annoy you over the course of a day, particularly when it's really cold in the winter.

Window Cleaning Tool Belt

I use an Ettore Tool belt that sits over the top of the regular belt that's holds up my jeans.

The reason it's a good idea to hang your pouches and your boab off a proper window cleaning belt as opposed to your regular work jeans belt, is because you'll find your jeans keeping sinking downwards from all the weight of your tools. One of these belts eradicates that little problem.

 

 

 
     
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