12 Best Window Cleaning Tools for Professionals
When your truck is fully stocked with quality window cleaning tools, you’ll start your window cleaning business working efficiently, making fewer mistakes, and impressing customers.
Good news: you don’t have to invest in dozens of window cleaning supplies and expensive equipment. Professional window cleaning only takes a handful of tools that are easy to find at your local hardware store or online.
With recommendations from window cleaning expert and business owner Stephen Richardson (SteveO the Window Cleaner), we’ll help you figure out which supplies to buy and how to make smart purchases.
Check out Stephen’s favorite window cleaning tools and product recommendations in this video:
1. T-bars and sleeves
A T-bar (also called a window cleaning wand) delivers your cleaning solution to window surfaces. It consists of a rod and a sleeve that you use to apply cleaning solution.
Keep different sleeves around for different jobs. Sleeve sizes range from 6 inches (ideal for french window panes) to 24 inches (for storefronts and other large commercial windows).
There are two types of sleeve material to choose from:
- Microfiber sleeves can hold a lot of water, and usually come with scrub pads on the ends for spots that are harder to clean.
- Bronze wool sleeves are more effective at getting tough grime off of windows. Just avoid using them on tinted glass—they can damage some types of window tint.
2. Scrapers and blades
You’ll need a scraper to remove thick substances like grime, paint, or dried bird droppings. The sharp, flat blade on a scraper helps you clean without damaging a customer’s window.
Keep a pack of extra blades as replacements. Regular usage can dull the sharpness of a blade, and you need your blades sharp to scrape windows efficiently and safely.
Most scraper blades are made of either carbon steel or stainless steel.
- Carbon steel blades are slightly thicker and stronger than stainless steel, and can handle heavy-duty scraping better.
- Stainless steel blades are safe from corrosion and rusting, unlike carbon steel. Keep these around to remove stickers, paint speckles, hard water spots.
Stephen’s pick: The 6” Unger Ergotec Ninja Scraper. This scraper includes a holster so you can attach it to your belt and whip it out when needed. It also has an angling head which makes it easy to use with an extension pole.
A window squeegee helps you dry off windows after cleaning. It consists of a flat, smooth rubber blade attached to a handle, allowing for streak-free glass cleaning and drying.
Squeegees come with different materials for their handles and channels.
You have a few options for channel and handle materials:
- Metal channels are more durable and last longer than plastic channels, but plastic is more lightweight, comfortable to use, and affordable.
- While the weight of brass handles helps you apply more pressure to a window, lightweight aluminum and plastic handles help you clean windows faster with less strain on your wrists.
Since you’ll use more than one squeegee, try one of each and see what feels best for you.
Stephen’s pick: The Unger ErgoTec Ninja channel and handle is comfortable, doesn’t bend, and comes with an easy-to-replace rounded rubber.
4. Extension poles
Extension poles are the best tool for cleaning hard-to-reach windows without ladders or lifts. These poles lock onto your squeegees, T-bars, scrapers, and scrubbers.
Most extension poles are made with ultra-lightweight carbon fiber or aluminum. Look for ones with ergonomic grips, easy locking mechanisms, and replaceable tips.
Stephen’s pick: The Unger OptiLoc Extension Pole is the “best bang for your buck to get into small spaces,” says Stephen.
5. Window cleaning solution and buckets
Even for professional window cleaners, a dish soap and water mixture is the most effective cleaning solution out there.
Consumer dish soaps like Dawn or Palmolive are great at breaking up grease and will let your squeegee slide smoothly on any window surface.
Grab a few inexpensive buckets from any hardware store. Purchase one rectangular bucket that’s large enough for your widest T-bar—like the Pulex Bucket.
A microfiber cloth or surgical towel are both cheap options for detail cleaning without leaving lint or streaks behind.
7. Window screen cleaning tools
To clean your customers’ windows inside and out, pick up one of these window screen cleaning tools:
- Microfiber and cleaning solution. For small home windows, clean screens using a microfiber sleeve or cloth soaked in your window cleaning solution.
- Pressure washer. On larger or dirtier window screens, use a gentle pressure washer to loosen grit and dust. Make sure the pressure washer is gentle enough to be safe for screens.
- Professional screen cleaning machine. A screen cleaning machine pushes water through bristles so you can clean screens with less effort. These machines can be pricey, so only use one if you have lots of screens to clean in a short amount of time.
Pro Tip: Let customers choose screen cleaning as an add-on service in your window cleaning quotes. This simple upselling technique offers customers a more thorough clean while increasing your quote total.
8. Tool belt or holster
A tool belt helps you carry your most-used tools around the job site. Expensive tool belts aren’t necessary—just find one that’s comfortable and within your budget.
Holsters are a more minimal, lightweight option when you only need to carry one or two window cleaning tools. Try a squeegee holster or a bucket-on-a-belt (BOAB) to keep your most-used tools close at hand.
Stephen uses a carpenter belt from his local hardware store. It’s comfortable on him, has good padding, and was in his price range.
READ MORE: How to price window cleaning jobs for profit
While extension poles will help keep your feet on the ground for most jobs, there are times you’ll need a ladder to get a good scrub on a tall window.
10. Personal protective equipment
You’re working with chemical solutions and often at dangerous heights. Safety goggles, gloves, and ant-slip shoes are necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for window washing jobs.
- Safety goggles with anti-fog lenses and a chemical splash vent will protect your eyes from cleaning solutions and debris. They should fit snug on your face without obstructing your vision. The HDX Chemical Splash Impact Goggle is a trusted best-seller.
- Thick, chemical-resistant nitrile gloves, like these Tronex 9662 gloves, are your best bet for keeping your hands safe and clean.
- Neoprene or nylon gloves are must-haves in colder weather. Make sure they have waterproof, fleece-lined material to keep your hands warm and dry. They should also offer good fingertip grip, like the Youngstown Winter Plus Glove.
- Anti-slip shoes: Many shoe brands sell slip-resistant work shoes, so choose what’s in your budget and what’s comfortable. Or, buy skid-resistant shoe covers to wear on top of your current work shoes.
11. Safety harness
When working on roofs or high rises, secure yourself in a harness to prevent falls and injury. Make sure to choose a harness that’s comfortable to wear for the length of your typical cleaning jobs.
12. Window cleaning software
Window cleaning software like Jobber helps professional window cleaners create professional quotes, track job details, and efficiently schedule and dispatch crew members.
Using Jobber, you can win bigger jobs by suggesting additional services like screen cleaning, gutter cleaning, or pressure washing.
Once you’ve sent your window cleaning estimate, Jobber helps you automatically send quote follow-up emails, collect a signature online, and easily access estimate details when the job starts.
Have a listen to David Moerman, owner of exterior cleaning company Revive Services, speak about how different running his business was before and after Jobber.
Jobber also helps you easily manage job details on the go. Through custom job forms, you can keep important information—like the number of windows that need cleaning, roof pitch, and photos—available at your fingertips so you can complete visits without problems.