The Colonel's Secret Recipe - what's actually in a window cleaner's bucket?

Customers often ask, “What chemicals do you use to clean my windows?”

This is potentially the most controversial topic for the window cleaning fraternity. What’s the best window cleaning solution to put in the bucket?

Some people might conclude that all professional window cleaners would use a hard-core cleaning chemical that cuts through grease and dirt - and for efficiency, to eliminate any time wasting scrubbing or scraping.

If you do a Google search, most DIY window cleaning websites will recommend an amazing concoction to clean your own window at home, i.e. vinegar, ammonia and water; which is sound enough advice – it works.

For a professional window cleaner though, there’s more to consider than just cleaning the glass…. What effect will your work have on the rest of the home?

In the age of Work Health & Safety, most good business owners are familiar with a ‘Risk Assessment’ or ‘Risk Matrix’. This principle can also be applied to effective work methods. What effect will certain chemicals have on my customer’s home – i.e. window frames, carpet and wooden floors?

Due to the cold climate in Tasmania, most homes will be carpeted to maintain warmth and coziness. Therefore, using cheap ammonia on the home’s internal windows can sometimes be hazardous to the carpets. Some cleaning companies use a professional cleaner’s grade ammonia solution that is probably suitable for working around carpets. But one thing’s for sure – why take the risk?

Of course, most homes comprise both carpet and tile or wooden floors. Two ways to damage a hardwood floor during the cleaning process is by damaging the urethane finish on the wood; or by damaging the actual wood itself. As mentioned, vinegar and ammonia are the most common DIY home cleaning solutions (in addition to methylated spirits), but the reality is that these products can potentially damage the finish of a beautiful wooden floor, dulling its shine.

Similarly, acidic solutions on porcelain and ceramic flooring can discolor or damage the grout, including the glazed surface of the floor. But of course, any good window cleaner will always clean up the drips – but again, why take the risk? Plus, ammonia stinks! Ewww.

So, what’s the Colonel’s secret recipe for a good window cleaning solution? <drum roll…> It’s detergent!

Yes folks, simple detergent. Actually, Morning Fresh rates highly amongst most window cleaning companies in Australia. When mixed with water, detergent makes a soapy, lubricating solution that is excellent for removing a window’s regular contaminants such as dust, dirt and greasy handprints.

Most importantly, the trick to cleaning glass is ‘elbow grease’, so to speak. When it comes to washing off dirt, it’s not really the chemical that has the grunt, but the applicator or washing pad. By thoroughly washing the window with the applicator/washing pad, the squeegee will easily glide over the glass, leaving a streak free shine.

So, you might ask “but what about paint marks or sticky adhesive on my windows? Surely simple detergent won’t remove that?” What a great topic for the next blog post…stay tuned!

“If you require an ‘experienced’ and ‘professional’ window cleaner who uses the most safe and effective work methods, contact Kris on 0410 257 927.

Kind Regards

Kris & Ashlee”

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