Best way to do ccu without scratching it?

HI,everyone.I am newer to the site.So far great place with lots of good feedback.I will get to the point.As many of us know construction clean up can go great or be a real bitch!I have done many of them over the years and most of them go pretty good.I have always used a triumph razor and only razor when I have to.I have a convenience store account where I clean 58 stores a month.I have been the go to guy for construction clean up for years. I am the only one who does this for them.In the last 7 to 8 years I have seen the glass they have put in scratch more and more!The last ccu I did for them was a nightmare!almost every piece of glass was starting to scratch so I backed off the razor.It was a pain and it seems to happen on every ccu they throw at me now.I know it is FD on the glass and I am thinking of having waiver in place,but I don’t want to plant it in their head that I am going to scratch the glass.Next thing you know they will be checking every piece. I know it’s not my fault,but is there any way to avoid using a razor to get the windows cleaned without scratching and taking 50 years to do a ccu.As I said before I never had issues with razors before only using them when I have to.These stores are always a mess to clean up.Any advice would be great,and I am open to all ideas.Thanks.

Have them keep the windows covered in clear plastic UNTIL ALL the construction work is completed.

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Sounds like a great idea I just don’t think they will do it.They like to keep an image even during construction.I don’t see them doing it.I can suggest it ,but I know them quite well.I doubt it.That is a really good idea though!

Walk away from it. More downside than upside in the risk department. These jobs may actually be keeping you from pursuing more profitable accounts.

Use solvents for paint, concrete.

What kind of solvents do you use.Is there any type of additive that can be put in the water that can dissolve caulk and other stuff.I would like to pass on the ccu,but if I do and they have someone else step in,now they have their foot in the door to maybe start cleaning some of these new stores.I am the only one cleaning all 58 stores once a month and I would like to keep it that way.I kind of feel forced to do the cups just to avoid sharing an account with someone that I’ve had for 18 years.They plan on building at least 100 stores when they are done.

Look, I don’t mean any offense. But in other threads you are mentioning the need to increase your rates and concern that some customers won’t want to pay that. In this thread your concerned because the ccu is getting more risky and labor intensive.

Maybe it’s time to plan an exit strategy from the level you’re at into a higher paying clientele. CCU is basically scut work that is only really worth it if you are being well compensated for it. And even then, if all of the contractors are allowed to fling their crap all over the windows, it may not even be worth it for you.

I’ve had all of my eggs in the same customer basket in the past. The seeming security is nice, but knowing the leverage the account has over you is stressful. You’ve had the account for 18 years - don’t think they wouldn’t cut you if it helped the bottom line. Don’t sacrifice yours to keep the account.

Change the pricing to reflect the increased effort. Be prepared to walk away or even lose it. I dropped an entire chain this past year. They were my bread and butter for a while, but looking back I realize the time spent on them kept me from maximizing profit. The accounts that have replaced them are all at better pricing and has contributed to 45% increase this ytd.

Just my thoughts. Hope the best for you.


I think the chain accounts always want some price break because they are offering you so much work.Job for job I make quite a bit more money on the other store fronts.They all add up at the end of the day.They pay more per hour, and the outside onlys pay even more.I am going to start getting what I am worth.I am very meticulous,very detail oriented. I don’t leave until the job is done how it should be done.Some people think the grass is greener on the other side and think they can find a window cleaner just like you,but finding an awesome window cleaner is hard.I have seen countless window cleaners leave finger prints,bugs on windows,tape etc…This convenience store chain is going to have to pay me what I am worth or I will probably walk.What people are saying on this site is right.We all offer our services to these bigger companies wanting to make something of ourselves and some of these companies are getting bigger using our backs as stepping stones to climb their way to the top.Some of these companies have made so much money off of saving so much money by under paying all the contractors,window cleners,painters etc. They think they are the only ones who should be wealthy and make a buck!They know what it takes to run a successful business.They know what they need to make and so do we.So when you go to increase your customers some of them will fall on the ground kicking and screaming as if they are getting screwed,but they know they are really not.We have a tough job out there in many ways.We have a skill that not just anyone can do,and a passion to do it.Many of us feel under appreciated,but we are worth every penny and then some for our services.This is a great forum for all of us to tell our stories and learn from each other.It doesn’t get any better than that.

I absolutely could not have said any of that better than you guys! Pure perfection.

I spoke with one chemist today about cerium. Will be talking to another tomorrow about organic solvents. Also I have finally located a very unique plastic abrasive that removes debris like paint and wood stain (so no razors). Actually three different plastic abrasives. Have already tested and will be showing this stuff on my new YT Channel. Hoping you all watch. But the idea I am pushing is raise your prices for CCU work. Some of these videos you will want to hold up to the GCs. Put your phones in front of their face so they will understand how they can lose mega bux if they cut costs by hiring the less experienced at a lower price. I am SO annoyed by this kind of ignorance. It is time we really started to educate these GCs. My new YT Channel will help a great deal in doing precisely this. Here is the link. Remember it is brand new, I just started it. There is much to do.



I agree with Henry on the point that GCs need a brutal education on why skilled builder/initial/construction cleans on glass is vital to prevent damage. They will mostly learn by getting bitten by their customers.

I use plastic blades and offer my customer a scratch free guarantee with the info that if I see a single obvious scratch existing before I arrived they’re about to get a report on it. Everybody seems happy and even relieved by this.

I would say nine out of ten window cleaners - at least in my area - would damage the new windows they are working on. They don’t appreciate that the new glass types are very susceptible to damage and because the new glass is on spec due to energy requirements this is unlikely to get better for them.

When I get into this business myself I’m going to be very straight with GCs and drop them in a heartbeat if they aren’t willing to pay minimum 35-40 euros / 40/45 dollars per skilled labour hour. I’ll whip up a bunch of demonstrations on my advertising to show how easy damage is with unskilled labour.


I use a five part method that does not use metal blades. I’ll never use a razor on any new construction builds - risk is far too high.

  1. Wet the window with applicator.

  2. Use a Lil Chilzer - a plastic blade I import from the USA to remove concrete. Use a single motion and do not drag the blade backwards and forwards in case of trapping grit.

I am trying to import Liquid Hammer from Australia to replace this step but it seems I need an import license.

  1. Once the concrete is popped off I wet the window and use a squeegee to reveal if I have missed any spots. Special attention to areas with silicon, spray foam and residue from underneath concrete.

  2. When I am confident all concrete grit is removed I use abrasive red pad - some people call them 3M pads with a cream abrasive like cif or jif. I get the red pads from the hardware store who sells them to the people who use red pads to buff with the heavy duty floor sanders. The same material is also sold in circle pads for floor buffers. Never use higher grits like green or black. US window cleaners will be most familiar with the 3M white pad which is the softest.

  3. Wet, reveal with squeegee to check work.

There are exceptions but this should solve almost all stuck on rubbish you’ll find on glass.

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Have you considered changing pricing structure Henry?

It is true most GCs and some customers don’t give a ‘heck’ but I think for a lot of people it is just that they are squeezed for cash at that moment towards the finishing stage of house construction. The timing is bad.

Most of them know window scratches suck but if there was a situation where they could defer a payment and add a bonus or have a regular window cleaning contract later - that might be appealing to a lot of customers.