Hello everyone. New to the forum and window cleaning. Looking into cleaning windows so I have a source of income while in college while also having the luxury of working when I want to. Anyways I was wondering if anyone would be helpful and provide a list of tools and supplies I would need for simple storefront cleaning. I have done research but it’s somewhat hard to find good recommendations because it seems everyone uses different things and I’m not sure how much money I need to spend on tools, don’t know if I should go with the somewhat cheap tools Bob is recommending or to go with the higher grade tools Joe is using. Any recommendations from prior experiences would be greatly appreciated! Oh and for a budget, I would like to stay under 500$. Thanks!
Luke the Window Cleaner has put together a good kit for getting started https://shopwindowcleaningresource.com/luke-the-window-cleaner-basic-kit.html
Don’t waste $ on cheap tools. When you get some experience you will want to throw the crummy stuff from Home Depot in the trash. Focus on the big names: Moerman, Unger, etc.
Lots of threads on this. It’s very easy to stay under $500 and outfit yourself for anything you will encounter cleaning storefronts.
Pole: 10 foot or thereabouts.
Squeegee: 18" (recommend Ettore brass with Ledge-Eze handle)
Strip washer: 18" sleeve on a swivel T-bar (recommend Moerman’s sleeve)
Smaller size squeegees and washers are optional, depending on the size of windows you encounter in your area. If you only get one other size, make it 10" and you should be set for almost anything. I personally carry only an 18" squeegee and washer on my belt, but keep a 6" 10" and 14" in my truck just in case.
Any lint-free towels will work for detailing edges. Lots of guys like surgical towels. I personally prefer scrim and do fine owning just 3. One scrim can last all day. You can even use old bath towels as long as they don’t leave any fibers on the glass after wiping. Microfiber isn’t the best, unless you plan to use then for actively scrubbing instead of just picking up drips.
(3) 5-gallon buckets w/gamma lids. One for water, one to keep dry towels in, and one to stow your wet towels and tools.
Dawn 2x or 3x work well for cleaning solution
Belt and squeegee holsters and other doodads are optional, but can save you bending over a bazillion times a day or making trips back to the truck.
I’d estimate something like 99% of all storefronts can be cleaned with less than $200 of equipment
Thanks for the link, I’ve seen this beginner kit before but wasn’t too sure about it. Ive always been weary of beginner kits because it seems like it’s always cheap crap bundled together that people can make money on because the new guys don’t know what their doing. I’ll definitely look more into it now though.
Thanks for the input! When you say dawn 2x or 3x for your cleaning solution, what do you mean? Is that just the different types of strengths Dawn has available?
Yes dawn has concentrated soaps labeled 2x or 3x and those work really well.
The non-concentrated form works too but just doesn’t seem to have as much slip on the glass in my experience
Luke’s kit is good, with the addition of an extension pole and probably a foot stool/ladder of 4 - 6 ft until you get good at poling. (Nose-to-glass teaches you to see what you may be missing).
If you don’t purchase the kit from here and want to buy with putting your hands on the gear, find a janitorial supply shop in your area that carries window cleaning supply. As said already, Unger, Ettore, Moerman are the most common professional use tools.
Even so, be sure switching out rubber squeegee blades is relatively easy and will stay securely in your squeegee. Unger makes a Big Box tool and a professional tool, so be aware.
That kit is filled with pro grade products, Ettore and Unger. The brands that will keep you going day in and day out. You’ll need an extension pole too, I’d go with Unger.
Any specific gear from his kit that wouldn’t be needed for storefronts? Trying to bring the price down some by getting rid of the stuff that isn’t necessary
Yeah good point. Home Depot sells Unger branded tools that look similar but are a major step down from pro tools.
Ettore tools from Lowe’s, well let’s just say they make fun toys for my nephew but that’s about it.
I get ya’. Window cleaning supplies are actually a relatively low cost inventory for a start up business, but it can also be a bit of an out of pocket chunk to get started with on a budget. There is no shame in that brother!
“Luke The Window Cleaner Basic Kit;”
Pro Belt…any work belt that will serve the needs of holding your BOAB and other equipment.
Unger Ninja Handle x 2…You can get a Pro Stainless from Home Depot for like $10, go ahead and have at least two so you aren’t switching out different lengths of channels.
Unger Ninja Channel 18",Unger Ninja Channel 14"…The Pro Stainless 18’, 14", 6" will work for you.
Unger Ninja Bucket On A Belt…Just get it.
Unger Ninja Scraper 6"…A 1" straightedge blade scarper will suffice, $6?
Unger Ninja Scraper Holster…Nice to have, but budget shopping, just grab a Husky bag from HD to slip on the belt to hold several things like a boars hair 2" paint brush (cheap ones actually last long!), magic eraser, 0000 steel wool.
Unger Ninja T-Bar 18"…This or similar to start out with (14" or 18")
Pulex Microtiger Sleeve 18"
Moerman Excelerator 14"…This helps to limit detailing, no worries if you learn about detailing anyway, then grab one of these later on.
Ettore Master Brass Handle, Ettore Master Brass Channel 6"…Optional but worth having.
Ettore Super Bucket, Ettore Super Bucket Lid…Worth having, but you can start out with an inexpensive 5 gal bucket or two.
Ettore Master Rubber 12 Pack 18"…Don’t skimp on rubber quality
Unger Optiloc Extension Pole 8’…Just get it.
Surgical Towels 10lbs…Plenty to get you going
Turkish Towels 2lbs…?
Steel Wool Pack…#0000, or fine brass wool bought here at WCR
Like I say, the Luke Kit is good to have all you need in one stop, but if you need to piece together your own on a budget, delve into the above references.
Like Samuel said in this post…
This is all you need for storefront work…
Keep it real simple.
Since you asked about the list:
Luke has a good list, but as with anything, everyone has things they would add or subtract…mostly because things are different in the area that they clean.
I think if you do a price comparison you can save money buying Sorbo instead of Ninja gear. If you go with the Sorbo gear, I like to use the 'Pulex Tubex Holster (BOAB)'
Unless I missed it, the list doesn’t have Rubber Replacements for the Ninja stuff. Sorbo Natural Rubber or the Black Diamond equivalent.
Replacement 6" Scraper Blades are missing from that list. You’ll need some.
I agree with @Garry a 1" scrapper is a good starter…I use mine as much as I use my 6" scrapper.
Skip the Ettore bucket and buy three 5 gallon buckets, with lids…as per @Samuel.
If you stick with the Sorbo gear, then replace the Ettore Master Brass Channel 6"
With Sorbo Quick Silver 6" channel, you can use the old blades from your 14" and 18" Sorbo channels. Don’t know if the screws on the Ettore Master Brass Handle is long enough for the Sorbo Channel…you can get longer screws at the hardware store. Sorbo makes a handle like the EttoreMB handle but it isn’t sold in the WCR store. The nice thing about the all metal handles is you can straighten the angle out and make a Zero Degree handle cheaply.
You don’t need the Turkish Towels, just use some of your Surgical Towels.
Replace the Steel Wool with Bronze Wool, little more expensive at first, however bronze last much longer because it doesn’t rust.
Agree with @Garry, get a step ladder until you get the poling down. I still use a step ladder from time to time, to help get up over bushes, to easily get past top of door hardware, some neon sign work, etc… Doesn’t bother me a bit to use it when I need to…whatever it takes to get the windows clean safely.
You guys forgot to mention he should get at least five sections of stack ladder plus an extra to make a half-piece, and of course ladder bonnets and ladder shoes…
Thanks so much for putting the time in for this info! Means a lot!!
Check out this thread tons of great pic and lists of tools carried by window cleaners here, sometimes it help to visually see what people use.
Thanks so much for putting the time in to tell me this info!!
I have the Ettore 3 gallon rectangular bucket with lid on my want list. The 6 gallon rectangular Rubbermaid is too bulky in the back of my van and too sloshy while carrying and I can’t find a lid for it.
Totally missed reading your post…Lol
…residential …oh yeah stacks are sweet.