What is the Best Way to Clean and Charge for Window Tracks?

What is the Best Way to Clean and Charge for Window Tracks?

photo by Richard Arendsen

What is the Best Way to Clean and Charge for Window Tracks?

Cleaning out dirt, dead bugs, and caked-on grime: an afternoon delight?

Not quite.

Dealing with window tracks is one of the many “thrills” of window cleaning, and as window cleaners know, can be a real pain in the squeegee.

However, despite the fact that it may not be the most favorable aspect among window cleaners, it’s an easy way to impress customers and heighten the final bill.

So, why not do it?

Well, many folks avoid it because much of the time, it creates tension, which comes from miscommunicating with the customer. Maybe the window cleaner didn’t mention their intentions, or provide the difference between basic and deep track cleaning. Maybe the customer expected “window cleaning” to mean way more than the glass and sills. Both parties could also not have been specific enough, and left details or expectations in the dust.

Either way, providing firm definitions of your service packages is a practice that will help you not only gain new clients, but hold on to old ones.

The difference between basic window track cleaning vs. deep window track cleaning is most often determined by personal preference, and needs to be defined clearly for the customer. Some window cleaners even like to include basic track cleaning automatically into their base window cleaning packages. You can do this, of course, but it leaves the question hanging - are you missing out on upsells that could bring you from a $300 job to a $350 job, or even a $400 job?

In this week’s Window Cleaner University article, we’re going to talk about window tracks: how to clean them, how to present your track cleaning services to your customers, and how to charge accordingly.

Basic Track Cleaning

As mentioned just before, some window cleaners are generous. They want to give their customers the shiniest, cleanest windows possible. So, they throw in a “basic” track cleaning, which, again, can mean different things to different people.

But, whether it’s a wet wipe down with a towel, picking out a few ladybugs, or a full-blown detail where the window cleaner tediously chips away at the corners with a Q-tip, everybody has a different definition of what “basic” means. It’s fine and dandy to throw in a little track wipe-down every now and again, but the issue at hand here is wasting time for money you could be earning:

If a window cleaner takes 2, 3, even 5 more minutes per window cleaning out the tracks, that adds on ample time to their schedule, which slows them down, and loses them money.

We don’t want that!

We’d like to help you define your services so your customers know what to expect.

Let’s define basic track cleaning:

A basic track cleaning can be a removal of the outer layer of dirt, bugs, and dust on the window track, and should not take more than 2 minutes.

We would say that after this, it would be wise of you to charge your customers extra. Even adding a charge of $2 per window can be just enough to be worth it. If you find that your customers want or need more, then get into the details with them about a deep track cleaning service, which we’ll talk about in a moment.

Charging for all of the services you offer is important, too, because subconsciously, it makes customers know that you are aware of how much value you bring to the table. By breaking down each step of your process before and after the final bill, you’ll give them what they wanted, all while showing them your value.

To customers that you adore or who are good to you, a basic track cleaning as a gift can further benefit your relationship. But, for the most part charging for your services is always wise, as your time is valuable!

Products for Basic Track Cleaning:

WCR Track Cleaner - This handy tool can be used to brush out the corners of the window tracks with ease. It’s simply designed to make this part of the job go by quickly, and loosens up the top layer of dirt for easy sweeping.

World Enterprises Trigger Spray Bottle - A basic spray bottle to hold your favorite soap solution. Spray down the tracks to agitate and lift up the softened filth.

Recycled Surgical Towels - These towels have been through the ringer (and disinfected, of course) and because of this have been broken-in to be even more absorbent than if they were new. Not into it? Check out these New Surgical Towels here! Use them to wipe down the remaining dirt on the track.

Something we’ve also seen window cleaners use but do not sell ourselves is a small vacuum. Folks like to use these handheld or shop-vac style tools to suck up all the loose dirt in the window before even spraying it down. Vacuuming is a great first step, but a little more than basic. Use your personal judgement on whether this is considered basic or deep cleaning for your business.

Deep Track Cleaning

Now that we’ve discussed basic track cleaning, it’s time to go deeper.

For when customers are preparing to sell their home, remove sliders, or just want a super-fresh start, deep track-cleaning can be extremely beneficial. It can remove allergens, decrease dust inside the home, and improve the health and functions of the windows themselves.

For the window cleaner, however, deep cleaning tracks is no quick job, especially if there are a bunch of windows whose tracks haven’t seen the light of day in months (or years).

For these times, the window cleaner will want to explain to the homeowner that they would recommend a deep-cleaning be done to their tracks.

Once mentioned, the customer can either decline the service altogether or inquire about what it would entail. Then, the window cleaner could go on to explain that there are multiple steps in deep cleaning tracks.

Let’s define deep track-cleaning:

Deep track-cleaning can involve vacuuming, power washing, scrubbing, wiping, possibly having to go indoors, removing the screen for the side tracks, brushing, utilizing a hand sprayer, and more.

An extensive list, right? We’re not saying you’re required to do all of that - everybody’s got their own method - but it’s good to explain to the customer which aspects of deep-cleaning you do provide.

The time and steps you put in decides the outcome and ultimately the value. Customers want to know why something really costs what it does, and having a list with prices and explanations gives you the ammunition to inform them well.

Products for Deep Track Cleaning:

XERO Handheld Fan Sprayer - This handheld sprayer is connectable to a hose and produces a concentrated stream of water onto the dirty surface. Since it can reach corners easily, it would be a perfect tool to add into your deep track-cleaning method.

Maykker Track Brush - 3 Pack - Toss your old toothbrush. These track brushes have firm bristles that can reach into the deepest crevices on those pesky window tracks, and are super handy to have on your belt.

Maykker Handy Sleeve Starter Pack - We at WCR stan the Maykker Handy Sleeve, and this starter pack features scrubbing pads alongside it that make agitating dirt seamless.

Maykker Hedgehog Sleeve - Oh, another Maykker product? Don’t mind if we do. This Maykker Hedgehog Sleeve features tiny, coarse, nylon spines that provide extra scrubbing power. We don’t recommend using these on sensitive surfaces such as tint, e-glass, or bulletproof glass, but they will be great on those filthy tracks. Slap it onto the Maykker Handy Sleeve, and scrub away.

Regulating Expectations with Clear Communication

Since one person’s level of clean varies to another’s, it is always vital to not only have a firm explanation of your services, but to also point out every problem area you see, as you see it, to the customer.

Be specific with your customer before, during, and after the job has been completed, all while getting consent on what to charge. This way, confusion can be minimized, and you can have more cashflow for your business.

What to Charge

Once folks start to learn that you will take you two to three times as long to clean their windows, they will understand the upcharge for basic or deep-cleaning tracks. You’ll be dealing with mold, dead bugs, grime, dirt, and other things that they would possibly not know how to clean themselves. If you're charging generally $4 to $6 for the window alone, make sure you’re charging at least $8 to $10 for window and the tracks, or more, depending on how filthy they are. Have a range of prices for basic track-cleaning and deep track-cleaning, even using pictures if you find it helpful.

Our main point in this article that can be applied to each area of your business is that communication is key. You always want to ensure that you’re talking to your customers openly. You want to provide a service for them that they agree to, with prices that make you feel valued.

Still have questions?

Don’t sweat it! If there is ever anything you’re unsure about, want to learn more about, or need advice for, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Window Cleaning Resource is here for you 24/7, with the help of our super-friendly window cleaning experts.

Having owned their own window cleaning business, too, they have tons of information on window cleaning products, business tips, and more, even if you want to just talk shop.

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And most importantly - get out there, believe in yourself, work hard, and don’t forget - the rewards of this career are bountiful - so, have fun!

Talk to you soon!


Your friendly professionals at Window Cleaning Resource

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