Window Cleaning Soaps: A List of Professional Window Cleaning Chemicals Developed for Squeegee Use, Why We Use Them & Who Manufacture's Them
For starters, I recommend the use of a professional window cleaning chemicals over "homemade recipes" because, I want to diminish the risk of permanently damaging glass surface.
With the wrong mix of chemicals used when cleaning a specific type of glass surface, a window cleaner can cloud glass, damage treated glass and harm window surroundings i.e.. (window frames, caulking and paint).
Liability is a big issue, and the reason, I trust the recommendations and use of professional window cleaning products. Most of the time, window cleaners and residential or commercial clients don't have the time to research the window manufactures recommendations on how to clean their particular type of glass. So, the need for a safe product becomes a must!
Generally speaking, professional window cleaning soaps are just that...
...Soap! Nonabrasive, environmentally friendly, contains no solvents, ammonia, or alkali, many types are biodegradable, designed to clean and naturalize the P.H. of most window glass surfaces.
If, there is one window cleaning soap that many window cleaners around the world use that isn't designed by a window cleaning chemical manufacture, I'd say it's common dish washing soap i.e.. (Dawn or Joy). I've used common dish washing soaps in a pinch but, prefer a professional product because, professional products are formulated to work better with a squeegee...
...And that means - "Low Suds"! Suds, or soap bubbles, can reek havoc when squeegeeing dry a pane of glass, it may leave streaks and, common dish washing soap is more prone to "Bleeding".
If you've ever squeegeed a pane of glass dry and noticed the corners of glass, and any steaks you might have left behind, begin to "Spider across dry glass", that's called soap bleed.
Soap bleed usually occurs on windows that are encased in vinyl frames. Vinyl in partly made of oil, and as the vinyl ages and deteriorates, it leaches oil onto the glass. The combination of your window cleaning soap and the leached oil produces a bleeding effect after you've squeegeed dried the glass.
So, finding the right balance between soap and water is essential to reduce bleeding at the same time leaving the glass slippery enough to turn squeegee blade across without squeegee rubber dragging. Check out the "Super Swirl" window cleaning technique for advanced squeegee techniques.
Another way to eliminate soap bleed is to seal the glass using a glass sealant. Check out my article on glass sealants for more info.
Purpose of Soap
The main purpose we use soap and water to cleaning windows is, to loosen dirt from glass and to keep glass wet and slippery long enough to squeegee entire surface. This requires a chemical that will hold water on glass, which is the necessary property soap provides. Slow drying is the key --- NOT fast drying!
TIP: On hot days, you can slow waters evaporating effect on window glass by adding a few drops of squeegee friction reducer to your bucket soap and water.
The other reasons we use soap instead of a quick drying chemical like... (Ammonia), is it extends squeegee rubbers life by reducing drag and friction.
Standard Window Cleaning
Standard window cleaning involves scrubbing cleaning solution on window glass with a strip washer or professional window cleaning brush, and squeegeeing dry glass. If stains and other surface contaminates still exist after standard cleaning, glass restoration is needed.
Glass restoration is a completely separate service than standard window cleaning and you'll need to add labor and supplies charges accordingly to your customers invoice; make sure to approve this additional service with your client before proceeding with restorative processes.
A List of Professional Standard Window Cleaning Soaps, Floater Bottles, Degreasers and Squeegee Friction Reducers
Window Cleaning Soaps Manufacture's:
- J. Racenstein's 3 Star Glass Concentrate
- Titan Laboratories Glass Gleam #3 and Glass Gleam #4
- Ettore's Master Liquid Soap - Squeegee Off
- Unger's Gel and Washing Pills
- Steel City's Glass Cleaner
- Colker Company's CC Super Shine
- Sansco's window cleaning concentrate
- ABC Window Cleaning Supply's ABC Glisten
Most of these products are sold in various sizes including individual pints, quarts, gallons, and cases of pints, quarts, gallons and 5 gallon pails . In the case of Unger's Washing Pills, they come 100/Pack and 500/Case.
Floater Bottle Manufacture's:
- Titan Lab's GG3 8 oz. and GG4 16 oz.
- Unger's 8 and 16oz. Bottles
Floater bottles are great when you are on the move. They also minimizes the need to carry large gallon containers of soap around the job site. Floater bottles do just that; Float! --- Fill it with your favorite cleaning soap and throw it in your bucket for later!
Soaps with added degreasing agents:
- Titan Lab's Green
- ABC Window Cleaning Supply's ABC Command
Squeegee Friction Reducers:
- ABC Window Cleaning Supply's ABC Slick
- Sorbo's Squeegee Glide
- Unger's Easy Glide
All of the manufactures soap, degreasing and friction reducing products listed are highly concentrated. Recommended (part chemical to part water) mixes vary between product manufactures. Some might recommend adding 1 teaspoon soap or 1 pill per gallon to water, other's will show dilution by ratio like, 1:100.
I've used several of the soaps and friction reducers listed (above) and recommend having a variety of products on hand depending on a particular jobs needs.
Example: Cleaning windows at a residence w/ well water. Well water can be "Hard Water" because of all the hard minerals within the water; in this case I'll use a product like Glass Gleam #4, which is designed to work well with hard water.
Example: Sunny or hot days, I'll add a friction reducer to my soap and water to help slow the solutions evaporation process. If you've ever squeegeed glass with solution that has partly dried on glass, you know why the glass needs to remain wet over 100% of it's surface when squeegeeing and why the need for friction reducers... Because it looks terrible! And, when your business reputation is on the line, every pane must be cleaned to perfection.
I hope you've found the information within this article useful...
I'll see you on the streets cleaning windows,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andy Engstrom specializes in teaching real people how to start profitable Window Cleaning businesses that make $40,000 to $100,000 (or more) per year. To get instant access to all his most profitable window cleaning business strategies, tools, and resources,
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