Adding glass to open holes in the wall to create windows dates all the way back to the Romans.
We likely care more about cleaning our windows today than they did then, as glass has always been fragile and needs to be taken care of properly. One way that residential or commercial properties can care for their windows is by hiring a professional window washing company.
Are you interested in washing windows like the pros? Do you want to get into professional window washing but aren’t sure how to make yourself stand apart from the rest?
To learn some of our top tips for commercial window washing, keep reading to find out what you need to know before you get started.
1. Remove All Dust and Visible Dirt
Before doing anything else, it’s important to remove all of the debris from your windows. This would include sweeping away dirt from the window frame or even using a vacuum with a dusting attachment.
If you skip this step, the whole window will become a dirty mess once you start to apply your liquids, and you try to clean the window.
Take a second to look at your window screens as well if you have any attached from the outside.
If they look like they are pretty dirty, it’s advised that you take them out, and wash them in hot water. You can use a soft brush to scrub them gently with soapy water, and then rinse and dry before you replace them.
It’s also a good idea to go over your shades or blinds because they likely have some dust on them. You can use a microfiber cloth or duster for this job.
Start by opening the slats one by one and going over them with your cloth to pick up the dust. If it doesn’t seem to be working, you can use a wet cloth first, and follow that up with a dry cloth.
2. Scrub the Glass
After you remove the dirt, and before you start cleaning, you will want to scrub down your glass. This will help prime the window and make sure that all of the grime was removed.
You want to cover every section of the glass, but be extra careful around the edges and corners. Try to work at an angle to get all of the different areas directly.
To do this, you can start with a scrubber brush, or simply use a squeegee with a towel. Both of these options work well, and the one you use is up to your personal preference.
It’s important to still be gentle when you are scrubbing the glass. Although you do want to apply some pressure to lift the extra spots that you may see, you don’t want to push too hard and potentially harm the window itself.
Use warm, soapy water, and be sure to clean the water out as needed. You don’t want to put dirty water back on the glass.
Start by going horizontally from the top, and once you’ve covered the window this way, go vertically across. When working vertically, be sure to angle your scrubber so that the dirty water doesn’t touch the clean areas.
3. Get Rid of Stubborn Residue
If after you scrub, you are still seeing dirt or stains that won’t budge, there is another thing you will need to do.
First, you want to get a towel or a sponge with a scrubby back. Soak this through with a vinegar and water mixture.
Second, let this mixture sit on the area that is still in need of attention on the window. You may have to hold it there if it isn’t a spot that you can prop up the sponge.
Third, gently rub the area with the mixture, and apply light pressure. After a minute or so, the stain should lift, and you’ll be able to see the glass underneath.
Don’t forget that anything too harsh will scratch your glass. If you do use the scrubby sponge, be careful with it! Avoid using steel wool or anything that isn’t designed specifically to be used on glass.
4. Know How to Remove Hard Water Stains
Another tip for commercial window cleaning is to get rid of hard water stains as soon as you notice them. They can make a clean window look unsightly and undo all of the hard work you put into it.
You may have hard water stains on a window from a sprinkler outside that isn’t positioned well.
If you have hard water, it will cause a buildup on the outside of your business that shows up clearly on transparent windows. You’ll see it is there based on its white water spots.
Take an acid-based cleaner to the window to remove these spots. This is something that you should have on hand if you know you’ll be cleaning windows because it is safe to use on glass, and it is effective.
5. Use Ammonia When Possible
When cleaning the inside of your windows, you may notice smudges, from fingerprints or even food particles, in the kitchen and break room. These can be hard to remove without ammonia.
Ammonia works well to cut through any kind of grease and grime. People commonly use it in their kitchens because it can help to cut grease in a way that other products can’t.
If you decide that you want to use ammonia, you need to be careful. Any product that has ammonia in it will remove a tint from a window.
Do your windows have glass tint to help shade from the sun? If so, avoid ammonia at all costs.
6. Divide up the Rooms When Possible
If you have access to the business regularly, it is a good idea to go room by room with the windows. This not only breaks up the amount of time that you’ll have to be there, but it will help you become more energized for the next time you come around.
Windows only need to be cleaned one or two times per year.
If you’re working on a small business, doing this in a day is entirely possible. If the business is large with a lot of rooms, however, you should divide up your time there into separate days.
You can also do the inside of the office one day and the outside the next. If you choose to go this route, you’ll know that any streaks that do form must be on the other side of the window, and you can quickly fix it.
7. Don’t Wash Windows in Direct Sun
One of the top industrial window washing tips is to avoid direct sunlight. When windows are cleaned in direct sunlight, streaky glass is much more likely to occur.
It is better to wash windows on a cloudy day. If that’s not possible, choose a time of the day that the business won’t be in direct sun, and you’ll be able to work around this issue.
Staying out in the sunshine for hours at a time is not always great for workers either, so this is a win-win for window washers.
8. Consider Eco-Friendly Products
There are commercial window cleaners with chemicals that work to clean windows, but not all commercial window washing companies use them.
Although they aren’t as popular yet as the more traditional mixtures, eco-friendly products can help create a safer and healthier environment for everyone involved.
The chemicals that are in some of the strong, yet harsh products that are available to commercial window washers can cause air pollution or damage to the environment.
To create a more comfortable atmosphere for everyone and to advertise another positive component of your business, you should aim to use products that are more natural when possible.
As time goes by, this is more likely to be considered the norm, and it may become an expectation from your customers. Don’t be left out in the dark with your chemicals, and make the switch to greener products now.
9. Check on Your Equipment
What happens when you use a dirty rag on a partially clean window? You’re much more likely to make the clean portion dirty again and make the dirty portion worse.
You need to use equipment and tools that are in good shape and will be able to do the job efficiently.
Some of the tools that you may need to have on hand at all times as a commercial window washer include:
- Utility bucket
- Microfiber cloths
- Water fed pole
- Cleaning mixture
- Ammonia product
As time passes and you regularly use these items, many of them will start to wear out. For example, squeegee blades need to be replaced when they get dull, or they will start to streak, or even scratch, the glass.
A microfiber cloth that is filthy or too wet will leave smudges all over the windows. Even the best window washers can’t do a good job if their tools are in disarray.
10. Remove Excess Water as You Go
This may seem simple, but it is an easy thing to miss when you’re in the throes of cleaning windows. As you’re cleaning, you should wipe up the extra water before it starts to trickle down the glass.
Not only is this water possibly dirty, but it has the potential to drip right into other areas that you’ve already cleaned! Also, if it pools around the edge of the window, it can create issues later on.
The easiest way to do this is to carry an extra rag or towel in your pocket and wipe horizontally along the edges and sections as you go.
If it is a large window, you may need to use more than just one rag to get up all of the extra water because you should only wipe with the dry and clean areas of the fabric.
11. Know How to Use the Razor
Once you’re well versed in cleaning commercial windows, you can try to use a razor to remove the smallest debris. This is a classic technique that can take some time to master, but it’s worth it if you can do it well.
Obviously, the big thing to think about before you attempt this is there is a risk that you can scratch the glass if you’re not careful.
Using a razor on any dry glass will scratch it. Always use the razor on wet glass only.
You also should avoid using a razor on tinted windows because the tint can get scratched off on accident.
Remember that tint is usually applied between two panes or is inside of a window. Even if it doesn’t look like there is a tint to the naked eye, that doesn’t mean it isn’t here.
To use the razor, you should go in one direct motion, and never go back and forth across the glass. In addition to that, always be sure that the razor is sharp and has no rust or chips in it.
Commercial Window Washing Done Right
With these top commercial window washing tips, you’re ready to wash any window you come across like a professional.
Taking care of your tools, being consistent, and considering the best products to use are all going to take you to the top of your game. With practice, you’ll be able to be effective and quick when you clean windows.
Do you want to learn more about taking care of your residential or commercial property? If so, be sure to check out some of the other helpful content on our website.