Advances in technology have given rise to two types of window cleaners; traditional and water fed pole window cleaners. Most window cleaners start out using the traditional method, as it requires a minimum amount of equipment and a smaller initial outlay.
Traditional window cleaning is done with ladders and a bucket whereas the newer water fed pole window cleaners use a specialist piece of kit attached to a water supply that is operated from the ground. This is still fairly new in the trade and the majority of domestic window cleaners still use the old method on their daily round.
A traditional window cleaner’s kit consists of several essential items plus a few that are optional depending on personal preference. This is all loaded onto a car or van before setting off for the day’s round. Ladders, bucket, cleaning solution, water, t-bar applicator, squeegee and clean cloths are the basic tools of the trade. The window cleaner usually brings his own water, but some customers are quite happy to top up their supply if asked.
A window cleaner’s round is usually concentrated into a small area each day so that the maximum number of customers can have their windows cleaned without too much time being wasted travelling between properties. Therefore each day will be devoted to a different area and one day of the week devoted to paperwork and administration such as chasing up payments and writing up the accounts.
Once the window cleaner arrives at the first property he sets about cleaning the upstairs windows first, accessed by a ladder using a mixture of the cleaning solution and water in the bucket. This is either a specialist cleaner or washing up liquid. Most window cleaners prefer washing up liquid as it is just as efficient as more expensive solutions, but again, it comes down to personal preference.
The window cleaning solution is applied using a t-bar applicator or sponge so that it covers the whole of the window pane. Any stubborn deposits can be removed with a scraper before the remaining solution is removed with a squeegee by pulling it across the glass horizontally and drying it on a cloth in between strokes to avoid streaking. Detailing is the final part of the cleaning process where a dry cloth is used to catch any water drips left by the squeegee in the corners or around the window pane edges.
Most window cleaners also give the sill and frame a wipe over as well because a lot of dirt gathers there and many customers expect the whole window to be cleaned, not just the glass.
The downstairs windows are always cleaned after upstairs to prevent dirty water splashing down onto freshly cleaned windows below. After all the required windows have been cleaned the window cleaner either knocks to be paid or leaves a card detailing the date that the windows were cleaned and when he will be calling back, keeping a record in a customer payment book.
A lot of windows cleaners choose to go back later the same day when people are more likely to be home from work so that they can collect their money efficiently without making multiple visits, others prefer to collect payment on a weekend.