What do professionals use for window cleaning solution?

Window cleaning is a task that professionals take seriously, employing a variety of solutions, tools, and techniques to ensure crystal-clear results. Whether they opt for commercial products or homemade mixtures, the goal is always the same: streak-free windows. In this article, we’ll explore what professionals use for window cleaning solutions, including the types of cleaning agents, the tools for effective application, and the safety and environmental considerations they keep in mind.

Key Takeaways

  • Professionals use a range of commercial cleaning solutions, from ready-to-use products to concentrated and eco-friendly options, with certain brands being highly recommended for their effectiveness.
  • Homemade mixtures, such as vinegar and water or rubbing alcohol blends, are popular among professionals for their simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and reduced chemical use.
  • The right tools, like squeegees, microfiber cloths, and telescopic poles, are essential for an effective window cleaning process and achieving a streak-free finish.
  • Advanced cleaning agents, including enzymatic cleaners and water softeners, as well as techniques that consider the pH of cleaning solutions, can tackle stubborn stains and prevent residue.
  • Safety and environmental considerations are paramount in professional window cleaning, with proper handling of chemicals, adherence to regulations, and use of PPE being standard practices.

Commercial Cleaning Solutions

Commercial Cleaning Solutions

Ready-to-Use Products

Professionals often opt for ready-to-use window cleaning products due to their convenience and consistent results. These solutions are pre-mixed and require no additional preparation, making them a go-to choice for quick and efficient cleaning tasks.

Ready-to-use products are ideal for both small-scale residential jobs and larger commercial projects. They are designed to be immediately effective, often incorporating advanced formulas that cut through dirt and grime without leaving streaks or residue.

Popular brands offer a variety of ready-to-use cleaners, each with their own unique properties. For instance, some may include ingredients like 3M Scotchgard for added protection against dirt and fingerprints. Here’s a list of effective commercial window cleaning products:

  • Sprayway Glass Cleaner
  • Unger Stingray Glass Cleaner with 3M Scotchgard
  • BETCO Green Earth Glass Cleaner
  • Unger Easy Glide Glass Cleaner
  • Clean Spot

When selecting a ready-to-use product, consider the type of windows you are cleaning and any specific cleaning challenges they present. The right product can make a significant difference in the quality and efficiency of your window cleaning routine.

Concentrated Solutions

Concentrated solutions are a popular choice among professional window cleaners due to their cost-effectiveness and storage convenience. These solutions require dilution with water before use, allowing professionals to adjust the strength of the solution based on the level of dirt and grime on the windows.

Concentrated cleaners often come in larger quantities, which reduces the frequency of purchasing supplies and minimizes packaging waste. When selecting a concentrated solution, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution to ensure optimal cleaning performance and to avoid damage to window surfaces.

Concentrated window cleaning solutions offer the flexibility to tackle various levels of window soiling, from light dust to heavy build-up.

Professionals may choose from a range of concentrated solutions, including those designed for specific types of stains or environmental conditions. Here are some examples of concentrated cleaning solutions:

  • SPOTLESS window cleaner solution (available in 1L and 5L options)
  • Moerman Squeeze Deluxe Detergent (500ml)

These products, such as the Unger soap and Titan chemicals, are formulated to provide streak-free results and are often preferred for their efficiency and reliability.

Eco-Friendly and Biodegradable Options

In the realm of window cleaning, eco-friendly and biodegradable options are gaining popularity among professionals who prioritize environmental responsibility. These solutions often utilize plant-based ingredients and are designed to break down naturally without harming the ecosystem.

Eco-friendly cleaning solutions not only contribute to a healthier environment but also ensure that indoor air remains clean and fresh.

Professionals are increasingly choosing these green alternatives to reduce their ecological footprint and to provide a safer option for spaces where air quality is a concern.

Brand Recommendations

When it comes to professional window cleaning, certain brands have established themselves as leaders in the industry. Ettore and Unger are widely recognized for their high-quality squeegees and window cleaning tools, while Sorbo is known for their large squeegees designed for commercial use. Chemical solutions from brands like Windex Professional and Zep Commercial are trusted for their effectiveness and consistency.

  • Ettore: Renowned for durability and precision.
  • Unger: Offers a wide range of window cleaning tools.
  • Sorbo: Specializes in large squeegees for big windows.
  • Windex Professional: Known for streak-free results.
  • Zep Commercial: Strong and fast-acting cleaning agents.

When selecting a brand, consider the specific needs of the cleaning task at hand, such as the size of the windows, the type of dirt or grime present, and any safety or environmental concerns.

Homemade Mixtures for Window Cleaning

Homemade Mixtures for Window Cleaning

Vinegar and Water Solution

One of the most popular and cost-effective methods for achieving a streak-free finish on windows is the vinegar and water solution. This mixture is simple to prepare and uses ingredients commonly found in most households.

To create the solution, mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a bucket or a spray bottle. Before applying the mixture, ensure that you use a dry microfiber cloth to remove any dust or dirt from the window surface.

The acidic nature of vinegar helps to break down the grime and mineral deposits on the glass, making it easier to wipe away without leaving streaks.

Here’s a quick guide on how to use the vinegar and water solution effectively:

  • Start by dusting off the window with a microfiber cloth.
  • Spray or apply the vinegar solution generously.
  • Wipe the window with a clean squeegee, starting from the top.
  • Dry any remaining drips with a separate dry cloth.

Rubbing Alcohol Blends

For a homemade solution that cuts through grime and leaves windows sparkling, many professionals turn to rubbing alcohol blends. The combination of rubbing alcohol with other ingredients results in a powerful cleaner that evaporates quickly, reducing streaks and water spots.

  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)
  • 3 tablespoons of white vinegar

This mixture is not only effective but also inexpensive and easy to make. The alcohol acts as a solvent, breaking down dirt and oily residues, while the vinegar helps to dissolve mineral deposits from hard water.

When using this blend, it’s important to ensure good ventilation as the fumes from the alcohol can be quite strong.

Always test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the window first to prevent any potential damage to the surface or to verify that it doesn’t leave behind any residue.

Dish Soap and Water

One of the most accessible and commonly used solutions for window cleaning is a simple mixture of dish soap and water. This combination is effective for cutting through grease and leaving a streak-free finish. It’s important to use just the right amount of dish soap to avoid leaving residue on the windows.

Proportion is key when mixing dish soap with water. A standard guideline is to add a few drops of dish soap to a bucket of water. Here’s a quick reference for mixing:

  • Add 1-2 drops of dish soap to 1 gallon of water for light cleaning.
  • Use up to 5 drops for dirtier windows or if the water is very hard.

When using dish soap, it’s crucial to rinse the windows thoroughly with clean water to remove any soapy residue that could attract more dirt.

While dish soap is gentle on the windows, it’s also gentle on the hands and the environment, making it a preferred choice for many professionals and DIY cleaners alike.

Essential Oils for Fragrance and Cleaning

Adding essential oils to your window cleaning solution can serve a dual purpose: not only do they leave a pleasant aroma, but certain oils also have natural cleaning properties. Lemon, peppermint, and tea tree oils are popular choices for their grease-cutting and antiseptic qualities.

Essential oils should be used sparingly; a few drops are often enough to achieve the desired effect. Here’s a simple guide to using essential oils in your cleaning mixture:

  • Add 3-4 drops of your chosen essential oil to a gallon of water.
  • Combine with your preferred cleaning agent, whether it be vinegar or dish soap.
  • Shake well to ensure the oil is evenly distributed throughout the solution.

When using essential oils, it’s important to consider the material of the surfaces you’re cleaning. Some oils may be too harsh for certain finishes or materials, so always do a spot test before full application.

Tools and Equipment for Effective Application

Tools and Equipment for Effective Application

Squeegees and Their Importance

Squeegees are a fundamental tool for professional window cleaners, ensuring a streak-free finish and efficient water removal. The use of a squeegee is not just about aesthetics; it’s about the effectiveness of the cleaning process.

  • A squeegee works by displacing water and cleaning solution from the glass, leaving it clear and without drips.
  • The quality of the rubber blade is crucial; it should be firm enough to remove liquid but flexible enough to navigate the contours of the window.
  • Regular replacement of the blade is necessary to maintain optimal performance, as a worn blade can cause streaks.

Proper technique is also essential when using a squeegee. Starting from the top and working downwards in a series of overlapping strokes will ensure complete coverage and prevent water from dripping onto dry areas.

Microfiber Cloths vs. Paper Towels

When it comes to window cleaning, the choice between microfiber cloths and paper towels can significantly affect the outcome. Microfiber cloths are designed with high quality fibers that excel in picking up dirt and grime without leaving streaks or lint. In contrast, paper towels may leave behind small fibers and are less effective in providing a streak-free finish.

  • Microfiber cloths are reusable and cost-effective in the long run.
  • Paper towels are convenient for quick clean-ups but may be more wasteful.

Microfiber cloths not only offer superior cleaning capabilities but also promote sustainability by reducing waste.

Choosing the right cloth is crucial for professional window cleaners who aim for perfection in every wipe. While paper towels might be used for preliminary cleaning, the final touches should ideally be done with a microfiber cloth to ensure a polished look.

Telescopic and Water-Fed Poles

Telescopic and water-fed poles significantly extend the reach of window cleaners, allowing them to clean high windows safely from the ground. These poles can be adjusted to various lengths and are often made from lightweight materials like aluminum or carbon fiber for easy handling.

Telescopic poles are ideal for residential and low-rise commercial buildings, while water-fed poles, which can be connected to a water source, are better suited for larger commercial properties. The water-fed system typically includes a purification system to ensure that the water is free of minerals that could leave spots or streaks on the glass.

  • Lightweight and durable construction
  • Adjustable length for different window heights
  • Water-fed options include a purification system

Using these poles not only improves safety by reducing the need for ladders or scaffolding but also increases efficiency as cleaners can cover more area in less time.

Bucket-on-a-Belt and Holsters

For the professional window cleaner, efficiency and accessibility are key. Bucket-on-a-Belt systems are designed to hold cleaning tools, such as squeegees and scrapers, right at your side. This allows for quick tool changes and keeps the workflow smooth. Similarly, holsters provide a convenient place to store additional equipment while on the job.

  • Bucket-on-a-Belt: Ideal for carrying smaller items and keeping hands free.
  • Holsters: Perfect for larger tools and quick access.

The use of these accessories can significantly increase the speed and ease of window cleaning tasks.

While these tools are essential for on-the-go cleaning, it’s important to choose quality products that can withstand the rigors of daily use. The market offers a variety of options, each with its own set of features designed to cater to the specific needs of window cleaning professionals.

Advanced Cleaning Agents and Techniques

Advanced Cleaning Agents and Techniques

Enzymatic Cleaners for Stubborn Stains

When tackling particularly stubborn stains on windows, many professionals turn to enzymatic cleaners. These powerful solutions work by breaking down organic matter such as grease, proteins, and starches, making them especially effective against grime that regular detergents can’t handle.

Enzymatic cleaners are available in various forms, including sprays, liquids, and powders. One popular example is the Bactador Odour and Stain Remover Spray, which is designed to combat organic stains and odors effectively.

Enzymatic cleaners are not only potent but also typically safer for the environment compared to harsh chemical cleaners.

For best results, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on dilution and application. Here’s a simple guide on how to use these cleaners:

  • Apply the enzymatic cleaner directly to the stain.
  • Allow it to sit for the specified amount of time.
  • Gently wipe or squeegee the area clean.
  • Rinse the window with clean water if necessary.

Water Softeners to Prevent Streaks

Hard water is a common issue when cleaning windows, as it can leave behind mineral deposits that cause streaks. Using water softeners can significantly reduce streaking by removing minerals from the water before it’s used for cleaning.

Water softeners work by exchanging the minerals in hard water with sodium or potassium ions, which do not form deposits on glass surfaces. This process ensures that the water evaporates without leaving behind residue.

  • Determine the hardness of your water
  • Choose a water softener system suitable for your needs
  • Install the system to treat water specifically for window cleaning

Consistent use of softened water can maintain the clarity and shine of windows over time, making it a worthwhile investment for professional window cleaning services.

Anti-Static and Rain-Repellent Solutions

In the realm of professional window cleaning, anti-static and rain-repellent solutions play a pivotal role in maintaining clear and streak-free windows. These specialized products not only reduce the need for frequent cleaning by repelling dirt and water but also enhance visibility during inclement weather. A popular choice among professionals is the Gtechniq G1 Smart Glass Water Repellent Spray, which promises to keep glass surfaces clear for up to 20,000 miles.

When applied correctly, these solutions create an invisible barrier that causes water to bead up and roll off the surface, significantly reducing water spots and streaks.

Professionals often prefer products that offer long-lasting effects and ease of application. Below is a list of attributes that make these solutions a go-to for window cleaning experts:

  • Longevity of the protective coating
  • Ease of application and reapplication
  • Compatibility with various glass types
  • Immediate improvement in water repellency

The Role of pH in Cleaning Efficacy

The pH level of a cleaning solution can significantly affect its ability to break down dirt and grime on windows. Neutral pH solutions are gentle and ideal for delicate surfaces, while acidic or alkaline solutions are more aggressive and can tackle tougher stains.

Alkaline cleaners, with a pH above 7, are particularly effective against organic materials like oils and greases. Acidic cleaners, with a pH below 7, excel at removing mineral deposits and rust.

  • Neutral pH (7): Safe for most surfaces; mild cleaning power
  • Acidic pH (<7): Good for hard water stains; can etch certain materials
  • Alkaline pH (>7): Effective on greasy residue; may damage sensitive surfaces

It’s crucial to choose a window cleaning solution with the appropriate pH level for the task at hand to ensure optimal cleaning results without damaging the surfaces.

Safety and Environmental Considerations

Safety and Environmental Considerations

Proper Handling of Chemicals

When it comes to window cleaning, the safety of the individual performing the task is paramount. Proper handling of chemicals is crucial to prevent accidents and ensure a safe working environment. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before using any cleaning solution.

Personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves and masks, should be worn to minimize exposure to harmful substances. This is especially important when dealing with more potent or industrial-strength cleaners.

While using chemical agents, it’s essential to work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes that could be detrimental to your health.

Here are some basic steps to ensure safe handling:

  • Always use chemicals in a well-ventilated area.
  • Wear appropriate PPE, including gloves and masks.
  • Do not mix chemicals unless directed by the product guidelines.
  • Store chemicals in a secure location, away from children and pets.

Regulations on Ammonia and Phosphate

The use of ammonia and phosphate in cleaning solutions is subject to stringent regulations due to their environmental impact. Ammonia, a powerful cleaning agent, can cause significant harm to aquatic life if discharged into waterways. Similarly, phosphates, which are often used to soften water and enhance cleaning efficiency, contribute to algal blooms that deplete oxygen in water bodies, threatening fish and other marine life.

Phosphate regulations vary by region, but many areas have imposed limits or outright bans on their use in cleaning products. For instance, the European Union has strict rules limiting phosphate content in detergents, while some states in the U.S. have similar restrictions. It is crucial for professionals to stay informed about the local regulations to ensure compliance and minimize environmental harm.

While it is possible to create effective cleaning mixtures with a small amount of ammonia, professionals must balance efficacy with environmental responsibility and regulatory adherence.

Understanding these regulations is not only important for environmental protection but also for maintaining industry standards and avoiding potential fines or legal issues.

Waste Water Management

Proper waste water management is crucial in the window cleaning industry to prevent environmental contamination. Professionals must ensure that the disposal of waste water complies with local regulations to protect waterways from potential pollutants found in cleaning solutions.

Waste water from window cleaning can contain a variety of substances, including detergents, solvents, and even heavy metals. It’s important to use filtration or sedimentation methods to remove these contaminants before disposal. Here are some common practices:

  • Collecting waste water for proper treatment or disposal
  • Using water containment systems to prevent runoff
  • Implementing water recycling systems to reduce waste

Effective waste water management not only preserves the environment but also enhances the reputation of cleaning businesses as responsible community members.

Adherence to best practices in waste water management is not just about compliance; it’s about commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

When it comes to window cleaning, especially at heights, safety is paramount. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is not just an accessory but a critical component of a window cleaner’s gear. The right PPE ensures that cleaners are shielded from the various risks associated with the job, such as chemical exposure and physical injuries.

Gloves and goggles are the first line of defense against chemical splashes and abrasions. For those working on high-rise buildings, additional equipment such as helmets and non-slip boots are indispensable. These items provide a reinforcing layer of safety and are essential in preventing accidents.

It is crucial for professionals to be well-versed in the use of PPE and to ensure that all equipment meets the industry standards for safety and quality.

The selection of PPE should be tailored to the specific tasks and risks involved in window cleaning. Here’s a basic list of PPE that professionals might use:

  • Safety goggles or glasses
  • Protective gloves
  • Helmets for high-rise work
  • Non-slip boots
  • Harnesses and lanyards for fall protection

Ensuring the safety of our environment and the well-being of our community is at the heart of our services. At Edinburgh Window Cleaners, we pride ourselves on providing eco-friendly and professional window cleaning solutions that meet the highest standards of safety and environmental care. Don’t let dirt and grime cloud your view—visit our website to schedule an appointment and experience the difference with our fully licensed and insured team. Together, we can keep Edinburgh’s windows—and our planet—sparkling clean!


In conclusion, the quest for sparkling clean windows is a common goal among professionals, and the solutions they use are as varied as the challenges they face. From homemade concoctions to commercial products, and from eco-friendly ingredients to powerful chemicals, the choice of window cleaning solution is often a reflection of the cleaner’s preferences, the specific requirements of the job, and the environmental considerations at play. What remains constant is the pursuit of clarity and shine that enhances both the aesthetic and functional aspects of windows. As we’ve explored the different solutions used by professionals, it’s clear that the right blend of effectiveness, safety, and efficiency is key to achieving the best results. Whether you’re a professional cleaner or a DIY enthusiast, understanding the options available can help you make an informed decision for your window cleaning needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most commonly used commercial cleaning solutions for windows?

Professionals often use ready-to-use products, concentrated solutions, and eco-friendly options. Brands like Ettore, Unger, and Squeegee-Off are popular for their effectiveness and reliability.

Can I make my own window cleaning solution at home?

Yes, many professionals and homeowners create their own mixtures using common household items like vinegar and water, rubbing alcohol blends, or dish soap and water. Adding essential oils can provide a pleasant fragrance and additional cleaning power.

Why are squeegees considered important in window cleaning?

Squeegees provide a streak-free finish by efficiently removing cleaning solution and water from the glass. They come in various sizes and are essential for professional window cleaners to achieve a clear, clean window surface.

What’s the difference between using microfiber cloths and paper towels?

Microfiber cloths are preferred by professionals because they are highly absorbent, do not leave lint or streaks, and can be washed and reused. Paper towels, while convenient, may leave residues and are less eco-friendly due to their disposable nature.

Are there any special cleaning agents for tough window stains?

Yes, enzymatic cleaners are used for stubborn stains like bird droppings or tree sap. These cleaners break down organic matter without damaging the glass. Other advanced agents include water softeners to prevent streaks and anti-static or rain-repellent solutions for additional protection.

What safety measures should be taken when using window cleaning chemicals?

Proper handling of chemicals is crucial. Always read the product label and follow instructions. Use personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and goggles, and be aware of regulations regarding ammonia and phosphate. Additionally, manage waste water properly to minimize environmental impact.