Using a Squeegee
Using a squeegee and learning the techniques are the most challenging part of window cleaning. It will take some practice and a little trial and error on your part. I will be giving you simple step by step guild lines to explain the techniques involve. I can’t stress this enough, the only way you will ever get any good using a squeegee is lots of practice.
The feel accounts for about 90% of successful squeegee usage. What do I mean by the feel? When you are using a window squeegee there’s a certain amount of pressure and speed you have to use to avoid getting window streaks. If you press to hard or not hard enough, go to slow or to fast all in the wrong combination, you may get streaking. The pressure you use will change depending on your speed and the position you are in when facing the window. You will have to adjust each time you practice until you get it right.
Tip: Pick an easy window to practice on. Scrub it and squeegee it twenty times in a row. Pay attention to what is happening each time. You will soon learn what works and what doesn’t.
Squeegee Channel Check
After the window has been scrubbed and all the debris removed you are ready to start. The first thing to do before using a squeegee is to check the squeegee channel, make sure it is perfectly straight. Also make sure the squeegee rubber does not have excessive ware. If in doubt, put on a new rubber. You will also need one or two dry window cleaning towels.
Tip: Drape one towel over each shoulder. This way they are convenient to grab when you need them. Use one for wiping off the squeegee and use the other for wiping your edges.
Step by Step
You should start out learning to squeegee the window from side to side. It is much easier than starting from the top and pulling down. The majority of the windows you clean on a normal basis should be cleaned this way. Too often I see beginners pulling from the top and getting nothing but a window full of streaks.
The entire window should be wet with soapy water. Determine which side of the window you will be starting on. This may depend on whether you are right or left handed. Take one of the window cleaning towels and wrap you index finger. If you are right handed, wipe the entire right hand edge of the window. Make sure it is completely dry. You may have to move the towel around to a dry spot in the process. Now do the same with the top edge of the window. This will help keep water from dripping down on your window after you squeegee it.
Now that the side and top edges are dry, take your squeegee in hand. Place the rubber blade at the top of the dry right hand edge. As you start to pull it across the window, pull the top of the channel out first so that you can maintain an angle of about 15 to 20 degrees. Pull the squeegee all the way over to the opposite side of the window. See diagram.
Using your towel, wipe the squeegee blade completely free from water. Also check to see if the side and top edge is still dry. If not give them a quick wipe so that they stay dry. Repeat the same step to finish the lower half of the window.
Wiping the Edges/ Detailing
Now that the window has been squeegeed off, you will need to wipe the edges. Also known as detailing. It is very important to wipe all the remaining water from the edges in order to get that crisp, flawless finished look.
Tip: You must constantly wipe the edges with a dry part of the towel. If the towel is to wet when you wipe, you will see wipe marks after it dries.
If you’ve missed more than a dime size amount of water or created any streaks or lines, it is better to just start over than to try and wipe them with the towel. Usually if you wipe the middle of a window with anything it will show up when the sun shines through. Also, when using a squeegee, never start directly in the middle of the window. You have to start with an edge and finish with an edge.
Imagine that the water beads spread over a window are similar to marbles spread across a flat board. If you move the marbles across the board using a squeegee or a flat stick, you will see how they react. It is the same reaction the water beads have on the glass when a squeegee is moved through them. You can also picture a snow plow. The way the snow moves when the plow pushes it away is similar to the water beads and squeegee.
Using a squeegee can be challenging at first, if you have problems with things like, water lines being left behind, drips or runs from the top, streaks, chattering across the window, etc. no need to worry. These things even happen to the professionals. The important thing is to know what the causes and solutions are. I have put together a trouble shooting guide to help with some of the situations you might be dealing with.