Bad night of practicing

Hey guys. So every monday and wed i have been practicing on my motel office windows. The 1st couple days i did, imo, not bad…but its seems like everyday i practice…i get worse lol

I have been trying different ways of holding my squeegee. Different fanning techniques(ie. Starting from the bottom, cutting in from left, straight pull and then fann the rest). Some work well some i def need more practice.
1 thing i have learned and people will prob beat dead…i need a swivel. Now before you go off on rants. I bought an Ettore backflip due to tight finances.
2. I think i started slightly too big with 18". Im not bad but i think a 14 or 12 might of been better. shurg have to learn with an 18 eventually haha

My concern…is it normal to get worse before i get better? I think part is i am working on soap formula as well so that might be part of it. Also when i am fanning and get down/ready to do my last pull across the bottom. I am leaving a small smudge of water. I believe it from me pushing the top of my squeegee back, water from the top of channel is being pushed onto window so when i start my pull it leaves water behind…any thoughts.

Sorry for novel. Just wanted to give update and get some feedback…

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are you leaving triangles?
are you trying to use the back flip as a 1 piece tool in hand?

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No i use them seperate lol i try them together…wicked heavy and not speed or efficient. But worth the money to get a squeegee and a mop. And umm kinda a triangle. Sometimes its bigger than others.
But its when im pulling right to left and make my last turn and start pulling to close out. THATS where im leaving it. During the turn. I think im pushing the top part of the squeegee back which puts water back onto the window…

When I was first learning, I focused on quality, straight pulls only. Technique will come eventually, but don’t try to run before you can walk.
In time your speed and methods will improve, but you need to make sure that your quality is the priority.

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Video please…

Im not worried about speed. I was just noting the backflip as 1 piece is not for me.
Even when i go slow i still do it.

@Dee cant post videos atm…

If your using them separately, there’s nothing saying you can’t put a shorter blade in your squeegee half. Don’t cut the nice brass one that comes with it. Swivels are nice, but not necessary to get good saleable results.


Very true. I am planning on buying a 10" sorbo channel with my next paycheck. But idk if its technique or size…

TexasRich is correct. Two weeks ago, I met a window cleaner that only does straight pulls, and he’s been cleaning windows forever.
When I first started, I did only residential and I never fanned anything. I still do a lot of straight pulls, even on store fronts. I also use 22"-24" Sorbo a lot.

I guess it’s your technique, but a smaller size is easier to handle.
Buy a 14" ettore or unger and practice with that. Or any other brand, it doesn’t matter. It all works, it’s just personal preference.
I use 14" the most for resi. With a 14" and a 10" you can do almost every resi here.
18" is what I use the most for storefronts.

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I’d say, Brenton, that this is normal with many things you learn. I’ve read a lot about learning, a topic that fascinates me, and it usually goes in a pattern of growth, plateau and even backsliding, and eventually growth again, only to repeat over and over. Don’t worry…the whole time your body and brain are learning, even if you don’t see visible evidence of it. Eventually, you’ll notice a new jump forward. I’m​ not a vet like many guys on here, but I still have days when i feel like i have no idea what I’m doing… often after a day of being so fast and smooth that i feel like an old Zen master!

Another point to keep in mind is that you don’t want to practice too many different things at once, especially if they are related. That can confuse your brain and hamper muscle memory from forming. Sure, experiment with different techniques to see what feels good and to discover how different movements produce different results, but then pick a technique and stick with it till it becomes second nature.

I agree with the other guys on doing straight pulls. Not to start a huge debate, but - and I’m saying this very loosely so please fanners don’t get up in arms - they can be faster and more efficient. I’ve switched to straight pulls almost exclusively for storefronts and it’s been way better.

As far as the swivel, if you mean something like the wagtail or excelerator, I’d say yes they have their place, but aren’t necessities. If you mean a handle that let’s you change the angle…imo, even that isn’t crucial, maybe just convenient for certain situations. Swivel actually annoys me most of the time if it doesn’t stay straight when i want it to, which is most of the time.

When you can, think about just getting a 12" channel for fanning. It’ll fit your current handle and it’s only like $10. Much better to learn. Fanning with an 18" to start is like trying to beat the level 30 boss when your character is only level 5. Incidentally, I leaned to fan on an 18" liquidator, prolly one of the hardest ways to start.

For your solution, I’d say for now lean towards using more soap. While that can cause it’s own problems, imo good slip is really helpful for a learner. That way you can focus on the movements without the frustration of the squeegee sticking and jumping. Plus, you can see what you’re doing better. When you get the hang of it, cut down the soap. You know it’s way too much when sudsy water sticks to the tips no matter how much you drag the squeegee over dry glass and you’re getting arched streaks.

That triangle of water is most likely a result of turning too sharply.

Anyway, I hope some of this sequel to your novel helps you. I admire your determination to improve and your dedication to practicing. Keep it up, the results will come with time!


You’re not getting worse, you’re just noticing your mistakes more.


Exactly, because his eye is getting better


The solution that is left on the window, is it left behind after the squeegee passes over the spot in question? Could be technique or equipment/glass

Or, are you saying it is untouched solution from when it was mopped onto the window? Technique

First off, that little ‘left behind’ on the final turn is very normal. Because, you are trying to swing,and not slip, the top tip of the squeegee blade 150 degrees(approximate) down and into the lower corner of the window. No other pass of the window are you having to do this…on the other passes you are slipping below the bottom edge of the path of travel of your next pass. Doing this allows the blade to dump the water it is moving before starting the next pass.

To minimize the ‘left behind’ on your last pass you have to set up your next to last pass properly. This can vary with your technique.
Things to try:

  1. Slow down on the next to last pass and while doing your last turn to allow the squeegee tip, [what will be the top tip on the last pass] to dump some of the water it is moving. Reducing the amount of water the blade has to move.
  2. Try to leave only about half a squeegee blade width of water for your final pass. Reducing the amount of water the blade has to move.
  3. Start your final turn into the corner sooner…you might have to arc up a little bit before you start swinging down, around, and into the corner…this allows the water to slip off the bottom tip faster. Reducing the amount of water the blade has to move.
    There is a pattern here, but I’m just not seeing it. :nerd: :grin:
  4. Relax, don’t beat yourself up over it. Carry an extra detailing towel.

How long have you been practicing with the same rubber blade in your squeegee?
When people first start out rubbers don’t last long, because:

  1. They are using too much pressure to clean the window. Relax, check your blade angle to the glass surface.
  2. They’re not using enough slip in their solution.
  3. The windows they are practicing on are too dirty for practicing…The windows need steel wooled or scraped.
  4. The windows are hot, and softer composition of rubber doesn’t last long.
  5. Etc…
    All possibilities.

Absolutely normal. Focus on the basics to find out what is going on. Relax and breath, I think you are about to learn something.


Thanks everyone. I do practice straight pulls and thats not too much of a problem. And i have been practicing 3 styles of fanning. Well 2…the 3rd is a combo of straight and fann.

I do have determination to be sell-able to start and i know i will get better with time. I just want to be confident enough to know when i start cleaning customer windows i can do it and not lose sleep over whether i was good enough.

I am trying to set up a youtube to post videos. Its easier to get feed back. I watch and see what im doing. And heck i can start weekly videos lol thanks again all.

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It’s possible you no longer have a nice sharp edge on your rubber if you have not changed it yet. If you are on the same one that came with the channel, it might be time to flip it and use the other side. Lowes in my area sells single 18" Ettore rubbers if you don’t want to buy them by the dozen yet.


Only been practicing for like 4 or 5 days. For maybe…30mins to an hr each time. Doubt the edge is warn that bad. And ive had this problem since day 2…so its def me or my solution lol

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I don’t know how long you have been practicing, but my advice would be to do straight pulls at least until you get a feel for angle, pressure, and the way that you grip the squeegee. You need to get familiar with the basics. After that, you can switch to fanning. A lot of problems and challenges in fanning are eliminated when you have a good feel for angle, pressure and grip.

When I was learning to fan, there were 2 things that really helped me.

  1. An experienced window cleaner told me to hold the squeegee like an ice cream cone. If you are gripping it like you grip a hammer, you will doubtless have trouble with your turns.
  2. We did a commercial job with probably 500-700 2’x2’ windows. Forced myself to fan them all.

You need a lot of grueling practice and detail towels. Ain’t no other way! :wink:

You will get better. It’s the nature of practice. Don’t get discouraged, just keep practicing.


Whoops, you posted this while I was typing…
Didn’t see it before I posted.