Window Cleaner with Complete Scrubber and Squeegees in Mayker Grackle on Toolbelt

Top 10 Traditional Window Cleaning Tools

Traditional Window Cleaning Tools

Before the development of modern, advanced window cleaning technology, professionals relied on traditional tools to tackle jobs of all sizes. Even today, many experts prefer this approach for various reasons, primarily due to its cost-effectiveness compared to using a water-fed setup. If you're a newcomer to the world of window cleaning, starting with some traditional tools is a great choice.
In this post, we've compiled a list of the top ten traditional tools to assist you in executing your window cleaning tasks efficiently and professionally. These essential tools are:

  • Squeegees
  • Scrubbers
  • Scrapers
  • Soaps & Chemicals
  • Extension Poles
  • Buckets
  • Ladders
  • Tool Belts
  • Towels
  • Abrasives

Below, we will dive into each of these traditional must-haves, and provide you with product recommendations to help you get your window cleaning journey started.

1. The Traditional Squeegee

Unger Complete ErgoTec 40° Ninja Squeegee

The squeegee is arguably the most famous traditional window-cleaning tool and is meant to remove and scrape away remaining liquid and cleaning solution from the glass. After you've entirely soaped up and scrubbed your windows, it's time to pull out the squeegee and direct the lingering soapy water off the glass. With a great squeegee and quality rubber, this can be done without leaving behind any streaks.

While there are different types and sizes, all squeegees are comprised of a handle, a channel, and a strip rubber. Whether you're handling residential, storefront, or commercial projects, you'll discover that the squeegee is the most versatile and indispensable tool to have in your toolkit.

Here are some things to consider when looking to buy a squeegee:

  • Size: How big are the windows you'll be cleaning?
  • Handle Configuration: Do I want a fixed squeegee or one that swivels and can be set to custom angles?
  • Material: Do I want a brass, stainless steel, or aluminum squeegee?
  • Rubber Shape: Do I want a squeegee with a channel that fits round-top rubber or flat-top rubber?

Our Recommendations:

2. Scrubbers

Pulex Complete Microfiber Stripwasher

Another essential element to include in your window cleaning toolbox is a scrubber (also known as a stripwasher), which consists of a T-bar and a scrubber sleeve. T-bars serve as attachment handles that can be used either manually or attached to an extension pole. Scrubber sleeves affix to the T-bar and are typically constructed from synthetic materials like durable microfibers designed to remove dirt and grime from windows effectively.

Before you perform that satisfying, all-encompassing sweep with your squeegee, it's crucial first to dampen and agitate the surface to loosen any dirt and grime on the glass. Your stripwasher is instrumental in this process. Simply attach your desired scrubber sleeve to the T-bar, dip it into your soap solution, and apply it to the glass.

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3. Scrapers

Ettore Pro+ Scraper Original - 6 Inch

Window cleaning scrapers are always a helpful tool to have on hand. They excel at effortlessly eliminating paint, tape, stickers, and a range of construction residues, such as stucco or caulk, from windows and glass. A reliable scraper is the most effective tool for tackling tenacious debris on glass.

Most scrapers consist of a handle, a razor blade, and a protective plastic cover. When deciding on the ideal scraper for your needs, consider what kind of jobs you'll be working on. It's advantageous to have a variety of sizes and options readily available. Smaller scrapers are great to have on your tool belt for easy access, and larger ones are great for pole work as long as they are compatible.

Our Recommendations:

4. Soaps & Chemicals

Titan Glass Gleam 4 Soap

From glass cleaners and sealants to stain removers and screen cleaners, soaps and chemicals are essential for thorough window cleaning. There are lots of options out there to choose from, but the soap you choose can make a world of difference.  Investing in a high-quality window cleaning soap ensures streak-free performance and enhanced cleaning power. 

Certain window cleaning soaps are formulated for direct application onto your scrubber, while others require just a tiny drop in a bucket to yield a thorough lather on the glass. Selecting a window cleaning solution ultimately boils down to individual preference, as most options share similar qualities.

Here are some things to consider when deciding on a glass cleaner:

  • Cleaning Power: Look for a soap with excellent cleaning power to tackle even the toughest dirt and grime. 
  • Safe To Use: Ensure the soap is safe to use on various surfaces, such as glass, mirrors, and metal frames.
  • Eco-friendly: Try to use eco-friendly soaps and chemicals when possible. Using environmentally friendly soaps shows that you respect customer's properties and values. 
  • Fragrance: Look for something that either smells good or barely has any fragrance at all. Strong, potent smells can upset customers.

To read more about soaps and chemicals, check out this article: 

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5. Extension Poles

XERO Carbon Fiber Trad Pole 2.0

The utilization of extension poles has lightened the loads of countless professionals. These lengthy, versatile poles allow the user to safely clean higher windows without needing a ladder. They are designed to be used with different accessories that allow you to attach your traditional tools, such as a squeegee or t-bar. Extension poles are lightweight and easy to transport, making route work and storefront window cleaning a painless process.

When selecting a new extension pole for your window cleaning work, it is up to you to decide what factors are most important. Size, material, stiffness, price, weight, and even color can all affect your decision. If you need help determining which pole is right for you, reach out to a Window Cleaning Resource’s product specialist here.

Our Recommendation:

6. Buckets

XERO 12V Booster Pump

With a well-designed bucket, you’ll be able to carry your window cleaning solution or tools. Most buckets hold an ample amount of cleaning solution and water (3 to 6 gallons), reducing the need for frequent refills. 

This size of your bucket is crucial, as it should be able to accommodate your scrubber comfortably. While there are both rectangular and circular buckets available, rectangular 6-gallon ones tend to be the popular choice. Their wide opening allows you to easily fit an 18-inch scrubber or brush, providing ample space for dipping and maneuvering your tools during the cleaning process. Additionally, these buckets can serve as excellent storage containers when you're not on the job. You can conveniently carry various tools, such as your squeegee, soap, gloves, and towels inside. High Rise window cleaners gravitate towards round buckets for carrying their tools as they descend down buildings. 

Our Recommendations:

7. Ladders

Metallic Ladder Loaded Kits - 21 Foot

For traditional window cleaners, ladders play a vital role in reaching windows that are out of ground-level reach. When in the market for a ladder, ensure you have a clear idea of the size you'll need and the maximum height it should reach. Most window cleaners like to use stack ladders so that they can add sections as necessary and achechive the height they need. 

Always prioritize safety. There are numerous accessories available that can enhance safety and prevent accidents or injuries, including ladder levelers, stabilizers, and locks. Lastly, consider the type of top section you'd like for your ladder. If you need exceptional stability for corners or frames, it's recommended to opt for a Vee Groove top section or, if you prefer a standard option, go for an open-top section.

Our Recommendation:

8. Tool Belts

Moerman Tool Belt

Tool belts are great for improving time efficiency and effectivness. They allow you have all your favorite window cleaning tools organised on your waist and within reach.  Belts vary by size and can be adjusted to fit your measurements. The majority of window cleaning belts available are made of nylon, so they are long-lasting and durable. They usually also include a quick-release buckle for easy on and off. The belt's number of loops will vary from 1-3, depending on the brand. These loops are used to hold your squeegees, towels, clothes, or any other tools needed.

 With the proper belt attachements, such as BOABS and holsters, you'll have all your favorite tools ready at your hip including your squeegees, detailing towels, and scrubbers.

  • The Term “BOAB” is short for “Bucket on a Belt.” These buckets attach to your belt and allow you to hold your tools conveniently on your hip. Whether you’re up on a ladder, in a tight space, working with extension poles, or even just at ground level, BOABS give you the freedom to be hands-free when needed. BOABs are generally used for holding squeegees, scrubbers, and other small tools and can hold up to about 0.75 liters of liquid cleaner. Having one on your belt can be an immense time saver and allow you to jump from job to job quickly.

  • Holsters
  • Window-cleaning holsters also attach to your belt and allow you to keep tools such as towels, squeegees, and scrapers within reach. They can come in many different shapes, styles, and materials, and are perfect for keeping your most used items right where you want them.  

    Our Recommendations:

    9. Towels

    Ultra Premium Recycled Surgical Towels

    Window cleaning towels are a must-have on the job and come in different sizes, materials, and colors. They are ideal for detailing windows and wiping frames. Good towels should clean glass without leaving lint or streaks. 

    There are many different types of towels to choose from out there, making it difficult to determine which are worth adding to your toolbox. Recycled surgical towels are absorbent, lint-free, and made from 100% cotton making them super absorbent. Microfiber towels are another popular choice. They have different textures, allowing them to absorb and trap dirt.  

    Our Recommendations:

    10. Abrasives

    XERO Walnut Scrub Pad

    Stubborn stains from either dirt, dried bird droppings, or even hard water, can pose a significant challenge when cleaning glass and require some serious elbow grease. Abrasives make that job way less of a hassle. When it comes to material, you want something tough to tackle those stubborn stains, yet delicate enough not to scratch glass.


    • Walnut - Walnut abrasives contain crushed walnut shells, making it safe to use on surfaces where there is a concern of scratching. 
    • Steel WoolA fine-grade steel wool abrasive is perfect for cleaning glass and polishing wood, ceramics, or metal without scratching.
    • Nylon Nylon abrasives can clean a wide variety of surfaces. They work well on screens and are great for applying stain-removal products.

    *Please note that both Walnut and Nylon abrasives can be used until exhaustion whereas Steel Wool abrasives are generally one time use due to the likelihood of scratching from rust. 

    Our Recommendations:

    Additional Info and Resources

    Now that you've learned the top ten traditional window cleaning tools, check out this article to discover the top five waterfed tools of the window cleaning trade:
    Window Cleaning Resource offers amazing resources developed by experts to help you get your window-cleaning business up and running. Window Cleaning Resource not only offers you all the products you’ll need with super fast shipping, but a multitude of platforms to engage with a prosperous community of window cleaners just like you.
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