Clear View Window Cleaning

How to Clean Windows With a Squeegee the Professional Way

professional window washer wearing a smart watch while using squeegee to clean a window

Cleaning glass can be a struggle. You try to wash your windows but can’t seem to get rid of the streaks. Besides, the window panes seem to attract dirt and dust, and it’s all because you’re using paper towels, newspaper, and elbow grease.

What you need is to learn how to clean windows with a squeegee from a professional. At Clearview Window Cleaning, we’ll give you our industry secrets to cleaning windows with a squeegee.

If you want those streak-free windows with zero effort, contact us. We’ll give you a free quote and take care of it for you!

What You Need

Before you learn the proper way to clean windows, you must gather the needed supplies and window-cleaning tools.

  • Store-bought window cleaning solution or the supplies for a DIY one (vinegar or dishwashing liquid)
  • Plenty of lint-free and absorbent microfiber cloths
  • Lint-free rags, such as old linen or cloth diapers
  • Squeegee
  • Rubber blades
  • Spray bottle
  • Water bucket
  • Scrubber or window mop, which is sometimes found on the other side of a squeegee
  • Glass scraper (available at most hardware stores)
  • Extension pole (for high windows)
  • Ladder
  • Hacksaw
  • Utility knife
  • Hog-bristle brush
  • Handheld sponge

Step-by-Step Guide

How to Clean Windows With a Squeegee - Young handsome man wearing glass clenaer uniform and squeegee smiling happy pointing with hand and finger

Let’s go through the steps of window cleaning with a squeegee.

1. Prepare Your Squeegee

Fit your squeegee with a sharp, new rubber blade. It’s a good idea to keep two or three extra blades around, just in case. If your blade isn’t sliced or nicked but needs changing, you can get away with reversing the blade to reveal its other undamaged side.

2. Remove Dust

Do you see a lot of dust and dirt particles on your windows? Getting rid of visible dust and dirt before you add water is a good idea, preventing it from turning into dirt.

Use a feather duster to remove dust and dirt, as it won’t scratch the glass. Then, dust the window sill, which should rid you of tiny cobwebs and dust around your window frames.

3. Prepare Your Cleaning Solution

You’re welcome to skip this step and use a commercial spray cleaner (like Windex). Just avoid alcohol-based and ammonia-based window cleaning solutions. That’s because they may leave streaks or a light film on your windows, which draws in more dust and dirt particles.

You can even opt for a plant-based window washer if you’re looking for an eco-friendly solution. Its floral aroma will be heavenly!

Otherwise, making your own cleaning solution is easy and cheap. Here are a few ideas for DIY window cleaners:

  • Vinegar and Water Solution: Combine one part white vinegar with two parts water in a spray bottle. Vinegar-based cleaners can make for great window cleaners, as they don’t damage hardware or strain your drapes and curtains.
  • Dishwashing Soap Solution: Add a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to two gallons of warm water in a glass spray bottle. Make it cool if the weather is warm. You can add a splash of vinegar if you want.

4. Apply the Cleaning Solution

Spray your window cleaner or rub a scrubber dipped in it on your window panes until they’re wet (not dripping).

For inside windows, be sure to wring your scrubber to remove excess water so that soap isn’t dripping over your walls and floors. 

Use a glass scraper to get stickers, and dirt buildup unstuck. Then, apply more of the cleaner.

5. Use a Squeegee

A squeegee is arguably the best window-cleaning tool out there, provided you know how to use it properly.

There are two methods: a beginner-friendly method and an advanced method. For both, you only want the corner to come in contact with the glass, so tip the squeegee.

Firstly, the beginner method is simply to run the squeegee from top to bottom, starting with the top left corner and moving slightly to the right with each stroke. After each stroke, remove the residing solution on the squeegee blade with a microfiber cloth or lint-free rag.

Secondly, the professional and common method for window cleaning is called the fanning method. This technique keeps the cleaning solution from accumulating under the squeegee’s blade, which is the reason for smearing and streaking. Also, it’s excellent for relatively large windows.

In this squeegee overlapping motion, you don’t apply too much pressure or strain your elbow, shoulder, or wrist to move the squeegee in a straight motion. Instead, you move the squeegee in a reverse-S pattern.

Let’s demonstrate you start at the top left corner of the window pane and move the squeegee down until your arm is at a comfortable angle. Then, move it to the opposite side and return the squeegee to the left. This time, it should collect water and the cleaning solution.

If you miss a spot, you can adjust the arc of your slide to hit that spot without the squeegee ever leaving the glass surface.

6. Repeat

Depending on the frequency of cleaning windows, you may or may not need to wash windows several times. So, repeat the window washing technique until your window is free of dirt and debris.

7. Dry Off the Window

Use the scrubber or a mop to collect the water off your glass. If there’s any water or window cleaning solution residue close to the window frame, sides, or window sill, dry these areas with a microfiber cloth. As for the window sill itself, run a rag over it to dry it.

8. Remove Residing Soap Water

Male professional cleaning service worker in overalls cleans the windows and shop windows of a store with special equipment

Keep a rag close by, and wipe your squeegee clean of any cleaning solution and dirt. After, eliminate any dry, soapy water running down your walls, flooring, or other surfaces before it causes damage.

9. Repeat

Simply repeat the process for other windows around your house. Put the scrubber on the edge of the soap water bucket so that it doesn’t absorb too much soapy water. Then, go through the steps above. 

You’ll need to rinse your scrubber after five to ten windows.

Special Considerations

The steps above are great for washing windows when they’re picture windows, but what if yours don’t fall under that category?

Outside Windows

Whether it’s dirt, snow, or rain, exterior windows have it rough. We don’t recommend you clean exterior windows yourself without the needed equipment or if you aren’t comfortable working from a ladder for a long time.

After all, we can’t ignore the fall risk and physical effort involved. So, consider getting a professional to do your outside window washing.

Are you certain you can wipe outside dirty windows safely?

Start by removing your window screens (if possible). Then, wash them with dish soap and hot water solution before scrubbing them with a sponge. Hose your window screens down to remove dirt.

To reach windows on the second story, you’ll need to climb a ladder, use an extension cord, or both. Then, apply the window cleaning solution to clean dirty windows.

After that, dry the window with a squeegee moving from the top of the window in a swirly motion as before. After, reinstall the window screens.

Multipane Windows

Vintage tan colored wood building with white trim. The building has three closed multi-pane windows with black trim.

Window squeegee cleaning strategies differ between picture windows and multipane windows. For the latter, you need a squeegee that fits the panes.

If you don’t have one, consider cutting your squeegee with a hacksaw to size. You want the metal channel to be about a quarter of an inch narrower than the window pane, and you want the edges to be smooth. Then, cut the rubber blade to be the window’s width via a utility knife.

With the squeegee prepared, apply the cleaning solution using a hog-bristle brush or handheld sponge. Then, rub it across the window from left to right and from top to bottom. Get the brush bristles or the sponge edges to loosen the dirt stuck within the corners.

Finally, move the squeegee over the window from the top down. Don’t forget to wipe its blade clean between streaks if you don’t want it to leave streaks.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, window cleaning with a squeegee is just the way to get streak-free results and remove debris and dirt. Depending on your expertise level, you can use the easy or fanning method to hold and move the squeegee handle.

For outside windows, challenging window washing jobs, and even easy ones that you don’t have time for, contact us at Clearview Window Cleaning and get a free quote today!

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