S technique with squeegee on window

How Do You Squeegee Windows Like a Pro?

photo by e.cleaning.eddy

How Do You Squeegee Windows Like a Pro?

If you’re new to window cleaning, you’ve probably seen all of those flashy videos on social media of experienced window cleaners using complicated swipes, movements, and “dances” to wash windows. They always leave them looking sparkling clean, with no streaks, and with total style.

How on Earth do they get windows looking that good while making it look so easy?

The gold lies within their technique.

Expert window cleaners weren’t born doing this. They either had a mentor training them, practiced at home, or a combination of both. Some window cleaners learned on the job working for someone else, or just taught themselves over time through trial and error.

Lucky for you, we’ve got these techniques down pat!

Check out this article at Window Cleaning University today to read about the top 3 techniques for squeegeeing windows like a pro.

Squeegee Technique #1: The Two-Pull Rule

The Two-Pull rule is great for when you’re first starting out. This will not only help you figure out how the windows are supposed to look, but we’ll give some information on setting up your squeegee, too.

When first handling your rubber, squeegee channel, handle, and clips, it may seem intimidating, but don’t worry. For applying the clips, you’ll slide it onto your squeegee rubber on the side facing the channel, and slide the rubber further into the channel, pushing the clip into the channel’s slot. Do the same with the other side of the squeegee. You don’t want your rubber wiggling much, and having it nice and tight will ensure it lays flat on the glass. We recommend a 40° angled squeegee, such as the Unger Complete ErgoTec 40° Ninja Squeegee. This is the most common and easiest angle to work with.

For the Two-Pull rule, you’ll want to position your squeegee so it is practically touching the frame in a straight, vertical position. Pull down once to have the window halfway cleared, then do the same for the opposite side.

Before doing this, you’ll want to make sure your squeegee is properly set up. First, slide the rubber through the channel. You’ll want a little bit of it peeking out of the sides so they protect the window frame from being scratched by the channel.

Using both sides of your rubber, you can sometimes get a couple of days to a couple of weeks depending on how much you use it. A great rubber that is tried and true is the Ettore Master Squeegee Rubber, which is optimal for all-weather, hot or cold.

First, soap up the window with a simple solution. Dawn Dish Detergent and water is great for beginners, and you’ll most likely already have this in your house. Mix your solution with a mop, also known as a strip washer, such as the Sörbo Complete Yellow Jacket Stripwasher, and swipe it horizontally and vertically on your window. On hotter or sunnier days outdoors, you’ll want to make sure your mop is saturated. Removing a screen is sometimes necessary, which is where the Washer’s Paradise Screen King tool comes in handy when working with exterior windows. Just tuck the lip under the screen to safely remove it and expose the glass.

Before making your first of the two pulls, you’ll want to “break-in” the new rubber a bit. Fanning it across the window while it is wet to apply friction and moisture to the rubber. This helps to lubricate the rubber and break it down a bit so it isn’t so rigid that it’s causing skids and lines. For each time you do pull the squeegee down, you’ll want to wipe just the edges with a towel, for if you wipe the entire rubber, you’ll get traction which causes skidding and unwanted lines. Feather the top a bit with your squeegee to get it wet (which means to pull in tiny wipes a few times), and then pull all the way down in one stroke, pulling the water off the frame.

Since this method can leave streaks, especially when you’re newer, it’s good to eventually learn how to use a fanning method. Before this, however, you can implement pre-detailing such as bringing a towel around the edge of the frame.

If you can do two pulls on the window to wipe all of the cleaning solution off completely, you can ensure you’ll be productive on your first few jobs! Then, once you’re comfortable, you can move on to more challenging techniques that are faster and more efficient.

Squeegee Technique #2: Fanning a.k.a the “S” Technique

The fanning technique is wonderful for intermediate window cleaners. When approaching the fanning technique, don’t fret, for it isn’t as hard as it looks. You can pre-detail with a towel, such as the Unger Scrim, to get some of the water removed from the edge, or bring the squeegee over the side of the frame. When you’re just starting out, it may be good to begin with your squeegee against the left top of the window, go straight across horizontally, and then down at an angle, creating a “mountain.” Bring it back up “over the mountain”, to the opposite side, and down, and repeat this until you bring your squeegee all the way to the bottom of the window, ultimately pulling the water off the frame.

If you run into experiencing some drag, adding extra soap can assist in increasing glide, so you can work your way down the window and finish the rest with a towel. To practice, it is often a good idea to use a smaller squeegee so you can get the motion of the fan method down. However, the only issue with using a small squeegee is that you may leave lines. It is mainly good to use for windows of the same size, or just for learning purposes until you’re ready to use a larger squeegee. As you get better, you can increase the size of your squeegee, and become faster and more efficient each time you clean.

One more thing to point out when using this or really any squeegee technique is the angle at which you’re pulling. If the angle is too high, you’re not going to effectively remove all of the water from the glass. If your angle is too low, then you may end up hurting your wrist over time. What you want ideally is a relaxed grip that guides the squeegee across the glass, applying just the right amount of pressure so the water comes down without skidding, and so your body is comfortable. Having the proper hand positioning is essential and it is best to go into your business having the proper technique before you injure yourself.

One thing to consider is that, over time, you’ll want to make this a single, clean motion. This will ultimately help you avoid any lines and prevent you from having to go back and clean up after yourself. Once you get to the bottom of the glass, you don’t want to just close out your wipe by removing the squeegee and sliding it horizontally. This will just cause an unsightly line in the middle and clouding in the corner. You’ll want to finish it off by continuing the fanning technique, by bringing the squeegee up and to the side, then down, and finally, wipe up the rest with your towel.

Squeegee Technique #3: Squeegee without Rainbow Streaks

Sometimes, rainbow streaks seem unavoidable, especially when fanning a window with your squeegee. However, there are sure ways to prevent these from happening, which all have to do with equipment maintenance, and of course, technique.

Rainbow streaks often occur when people squeegee over too much dry glass when going after the “mountain” during the fanning technique. This can occur on hotter days when the sun dries out your solution too quickly, or if your mop was not wet enough when first applied to the glass. It can also happen if you have too much or too little soap, so experimenting with the right amount of soap to your solution is important, too. You want to make sure that your squeegee is going over only wet parts of the window, and touching as few dry areas as possible.

Another way rainbow streaks can occur is if your squeegee rubber is not positioned in your channel properly. If it is loose or wavy with gaps in between, it can mean trouble and fail to remove all of the water. Making sure your rubber is set in your channel properly and super sharp will prevent these unsightly streaks. In addition, ensure that you utilize good technique by pulling your squeegee along with your mop so it can catch the entrance as you end the pull on the window.

Furthermore, leaving as large of a “mountain” as you can will help avoid rainbow streaks, as it keeps the window wet and allows for a wider entrance for your squeegee as it continues the motion.

Changing your squeegee rubber every 3 to 4 days will help make sure you’re using a sharp enough tool. Make sure your solution is measured well so it isn’t too soapy or too watered-down. Finally, after lots of practice and troubleshooting your methods, you’ll attain is a smooth, silky, easy flow to glide across the glass with minimal detail clean-up after.


Check out SteveO The Window Cleaner’s video for a visual aid!






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