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Starting a window cleaning business - Equipment you need, suppliers to use and trade organisations to join, etc.

Starting out - where can I learn the technique?

Posted by mac (mac), 7 January 2004
hi guys,cant belive i found this site,i want to start out as a window cleaner,ofcause i cleaned windows at home but im not sure about the right way of doing it,is there way i can find out how to clean window properly,tools etc...thanks for your time  Smiley
Posted by denzle (denzle), 7 January 2004
It was me who directed you to this forum from the one you were on, you will find that the help you get here is unbelievable, there are so many pro guys here that are all willing to share a wealth of knowledge.

First of all i will tell you that that you have made the right decision to choose this profession as you can quite quickly make a living and within 12 months be making very good money indeed.
That is providing you have certain traits, among those would be ~ To do a first class job every time, Present a professional image to your customer and a desire to succeed.
I would sugest that you break down your questions into different topics i.e Tools, getting work, what to charge etc. That way you won't get information overload.

I look forward to being of help over the coming months
Best regards and good luck


P.S How quick do you need to get up and running, are you in full time employment at present.
What part of the country are you based.
Posted by mac (mac), 7 January 2004
im based in the surrey area,and i am working part time at the moment,i have thought about becoming a window cleaner for sometime,but have not been able because of having to provide for my kids & wife Sad,as im now single i thought a new year and a new start Grin so guys any help you can give me in making this come true would be very appreciated Smiley
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 7 January 2004
Hi Mac,
         Good luck in your new business Wink What part of Surrey are you in Huh

Posted by denzle (denzle), 7 January 2004
There are so many aspects to window cleaning that its difficult to know where to start. Do you know anyone that is already in the business ? If you do you might be able to blagg a couple of days free tuition in return for helping them out....
For very little cost you could get yourself a few tools and start practising on your own place and maybe the homes of a few friends. I have to say though that there is a technique to cleaning glass and until you know that technique you are gonna struggle.
The guys here on this forum can give every bit of advice on all aspects of WCing but until you have spent time in front of a pane of glass learning the most basic of technique's its going to be difficult to move on.
Speed comes with practise so don't worry about the fact that you'll be slow to begin with.
Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 7 January 2004
Hi Mac

Pretty much all the info you are likely to need is posted on this site somewhere, it's just a case of finding it......

If I were you I would:

1) Spend a couple of hours going through this site (particularly: I need a push)

2) Buy a squeegee and washer frame, some washing up liquid, a piece of scrim and a safety scraper.

3) Have a go at cleaning your own windows a couple of times.

4) Have a go at cleaning your neighbours, friends and families windows.

5) Buy other bits and pieces as you think you need them.

6) Consider joining the Federation so you can get cheap insurance etc.

7) Start knocking on some doors in your area and introduce yourself (start with some easy ones to get your confidence going)

Then it's case of keeping an eye on the forum and  practice, practice, practice! (and avoid Steve Lowes customers of course Wink )

If you email me your address I'll send you an Ettore catalogue which has some helpful tips on the actual technique itself.


Mike Boxall

Posted by pdhanson (Silly Philly), 7 January 2004
Hi Mac,

Mike has pretty well hit the nail on the head there.  
You will find that window cleaning itself is not difficult as long as you are reasonalbly fit.  

Handling ladders takes some practice (especially if you are slightly built, like me!)  and can even be painful the first 2 or 3 times.  However, this is because you will use muscles you dont normally use, and it gets easier very quickly as they develop.

Although window cleaning is a low start-up cost business, I would still say set aside about £300 for the things you will need to buy.

Canvassing needs to be done systematically.  Guidance on pricing can be found elsewhere on this forum, but dont make the all-too-common mistake of being too cheap.  This is bad for you and also drives the market down.  Aim for at least £15 per hour.(£20-25ph once you have a bit of experience)

Be very careful about buying a round from somebody else.  This can be ok, but you never really know what you're getting.  If you're offered some, make sure you see a good sample (at least a third) before you hand over any cash.  If possible pay a deposit, and then the rest after it has been worked once.  Some window cleaners (gold dust) will let you work it along with them so you can meet the customers, though this is rare.

Other chaps on this forum will be able to help you more.

Posted by Bones (Bones), 7 January 2004
Hi Mac,

I say "GO-FOR-IT" Grin I did, and the guy's here lead me the way. As for providing for family I am too and jacked in a well paid job (not good job) and went for it. It's like 3 or 4 months down the line now and work is coming in all over the place. Also I seem to charge a quid or two more than cleaners in my area but i am getting the work coming in because I am being recommended to others by my customers, hey!, people are even sacking their cleaners to take me on!!

It will seem hard to start, very hard but once you have started to return to windows you have cleaned you'll find it a darn site quicker/easier.

Good Luck Wink Grin

Posted by matt (matt), 7 January 2004
my advice

put some flyers through doors, A5 black and white will do, in a few days, go and knock on the door and see if people are interested, and its allways a "foot in the door" if you say "did you get my flyer"

dont price yourself too cheap, i picked up a house today, 6 months ago i would have said 8 quid, BUT now i know we are in demand, i said £9.50 Smiley

its a top job really, apart from the rainy days, its earning me in 3 days what i would earn in a week as a carpenter working at my old firm Sad,
Posted by surreymac (surreymac), 8 January 2004
just a quick thanks you for your help and suggestions Shockedi i have had a good read of past post ie bones posting,and it has help me a lot,im based in the carshalton area of surrey,the one thing i did want to ask what is the best ladder to start with Grin thx mac
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 8 January 2004
Hi Mac
         In the Carshalton area you should find loads of work. I used to live in Worcester park and could of worked 7 days a week i had so much. As far as ladders are concerned i would buy an A frame extension ladder and small point if you can stretch to it. You can find them on

Hope this helps


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