Long-term avenues in window cleaning


Hello everyone! This is my first post in this forum, I’ve read several threads and I’ve found the information you’ve all shared to be very useful.

I currently work as an engineer, I’m well payed and life is easy. However this is definitely not something I want to do for the rest of my life. I’ve always wanted to be independent and be my own boss, so I am close to taking the plunge.

I am considering becoming a window cleaner. I have no experience, but, no disrespect to those who have mastered the art, I believe I can learn the necessary skills and provide a quality service. I like to hustle and I think there is potential for amassing a broad customer base: who doesn’t need their windows cleaned, right?!

At the moment I have only considered doing shop fronts using a squeegee. Is this where most of the money is, or do you think residential work is the way forward? Or is it better business to clean “hard-to-reach” windows using water-fed poles?

I am also wondering what the long-term avenues are in window cleaning. How long have you been doing it for, and how do you see things moving forward? How have things changed from when your first started to now, in terms of volume of business? Do you see yourself being a window cleaner for the foreseeable future / are you setting things up for retirement down the line?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Many thanks for your guidance,


Depends… what kind of engineer are you?


Reread this part of your post 50 times.
Sleep on it and reread another 20 times.

I think the answers that you are seeking will be clearer.


Do it, 500$ a day tastes pretty good and it’s possible. Working for your self is the best thing you can ever do. Started out solo in the summer and business took off immediately, I had set a goal for 200$ a day, ended up making 1700$ in 3 days. Check out your market, your competition and the prices your competition uses and start from there


all ways best too live your dream. it’s simple figure out what your area needs and try it out on the weekends or when your not working.

who knows you may enjoy landscaping more you womt know till you try it.

i enjoyed working with plans and cad but not enough to return to a cush desk job


do all of these, i think residential should be 60-80% of your income with 20% storefront and if you can swing it 20% mid sized commercial ($200-1,000 jobs)

this is our 3rd year and i see it only moving up

our first year i did $50,000 gross, 2nd year we did $106,000 this year i think we’ll be at about $160,000 ( there are two of us, me and my business partner) we’ve reached a point where just about every day is full 8-5 and so now we are focusing on making each hour more profitable. it would not surprise me if we could do $180-200k next year still just the two of us if we really tighten things down. we hit a 10,000 month for the first time 18 months ago and since then we’ve only had 3 or 4 months that we didn’t hit 10k and 2 months that we did 18k and 19k respectively.

yes, though i hope that my role will evolve from solely labor to hiring and have some of my time spent administratively and supervisory.

my wife and I are going to be taking Financial Peace University in Jan and we hope to walk down the baby steps.


Fpu is definitely worth it


i used to think 500 a day would be crazy, but yesterday i started at 9:30, met my wife at 1 to buy my sons christmas present, worked about 1 1/2 hours more and made 441, if had worked 8-5 like usual i could have made 600 or more


Perhaps. Don’t get me wrong - I do like window cleaning, having spent a third of my life doing it. But when it comes to pursuing dreams, that usually involves things of a family or a social nature.

Having a job that is the fulfillment of some deeply rooted purpose is a Millennial dream, IMO. For the most part, work is to provide for the family and provide you with the opportunities to do what you (they) wish to do.

So when a man says he has (presumably) a college educated skill that provides well for him and gives him an easy life, it sounds like he is already living the dream. To ditch that (and the pension, insurance, and other benefits that likely come with it) for window cleaning sounds like a mid life crisis or a man in need of a new hobby.

It’s easy to offer the “go for it” speech to an online stranger, but he’s going to be paying for the decision not us.


but “said” stranger is obviously intelligent and understands details especially seeing the industry he’s in.

life’s short and if a career is no longer fulfilling why obligate yourself too it?

would it be irresponsible to quit and grab a squeegee overnight sure, but most likely that wouldn’t be the approach.

there’s a carpet guy who left wall street, guy was making bank. but he wasnt happy so he left and started cleaning well he’s a numbers guy and he’s killing it cleaning making lots of money and he’s happy.

life desires change thats all im sayin


Man that’s awesome! Did you know of any of your accounts before you started or was this all from the ground up on day one? Financial Peace and your business numbers, you are going to be set the rest of your life


i started from the ground up, 18 months in we bought a solo op customer list, we prob made 36,000 - 40,000 from that this year.


I agree with your post.

Mike Rowe is a down to earth guy whom I find pretty intelligent. He had a bit about following your “passion”. And how it’s complete crap. How many people are going to college for something, only to turn away from it and do something else, despite making a decent living at what they do.

To me it’s like buying a luxury car (education) driving it for a few years, then parking it in the back yard to rust to death. Never to be used again.

I’m not trying to fool myself. I do what it takes, to make money, to fund the things in life I find important to me. I don’t need to do something that makes me feel like what I “do”, matters.


How did you find out about someone selling there customer list? Did you lose most the accounts when you first took them over?


he was one of the local window cleaners i was friendly with, he asked us if we were interested in buying his business since he was moving. we probably lost 1/3 dues to price, ours was higher and another 1/3 might not use us again also due to price but the 1/3 left we made much more profitable than he had, one contact we got from him was a realtor who we’ve since done 30 0r 40 jobs for


Wow. Good thing you didn’t talk yourself out of that one


Yeah, I try and keep a practical view of things like this. If you’ve ever had to rely on someone who is more of a dreamer and less of a provider, you understand the frustration.

And your right - higher education is a luxury. To have it, profit from it and discard it needlessly is a waste. Maybe he should go independent in the field he works in. Start his own business or something.


I agree with a few of the guys here. If life is easy and you’re paid well I would stick with what you’re doing for now. Though that would be hypocritical to say. I’ve always thought that people that told you to just stay on the easy path and go not change anything were dream killers. I would say spend a little on basic tools and start practicing. Then maybe do it on the side a little, after work hours and on weekends. See if you like it and if you could see yourself doing it full time. After that make your decision to either go full time, dump the idea or stick with part time.
I’m a beginner here too and haven’t done anyone’s windows besides my own home so take my thoughts with a grain of salt. Good luck to you. Hope to see you stick around on the forum!


just curious why haven’t you gotten started


I’m living In a college dorm. My house is about 3 hrs away. No windows here at college to practice on. I’ve gone home a few weekends to practice. Mom wasn’t too keen on me coming home every weekend/every other weekend. Didn’t want me wasting the gas and wanting me to stay up here and get the “college experience” or whatever. She’s not too keen on me starting my own business either. Thinks it won’t work out and I’m thinking too big or something. Dream killer. I’m just doing this for some extra cash so it’s not like I need to start right away. Living off of savings right now and have a meal plan at college so food and housing aren’t an expense for me. Going home for a month for winter break. Really only need to practice pole work and I should be ready to start.