Dish soap as window cleaner?

Hi there! my name is Matt I’m 15 and new to window cleaning and I need some help.

I have been using Palmolive dish soap and water as a window cleaner, and I was just wondering if dish soap works as a good window cleaner? I have had good streak less results with it but I’m still wondering if I should continue to use it or to invest into a “real” window cleaner.

Btw I charge $40 for a main floor and $60 for a two story (within reason) so that’s why I chose the cheaper option of dish soap since I basically don’t pay anything in cleaner per job.

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I have been using Dawn for 12+ years. It does the job well.

Not sure about your pricing structure. Think about a per window charge if you are doing good solid work charge a good solid price. Some jobs are just more labor intensive than others so for that I can’t understand a one-size-fits-all price.

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dish soap work well, i have used several different kinds and never noticed a difference. they are genaerally easier to use than “professional” solutions

Dawn. Nothing else compares. If the windows are REALLY dirty and or you’ll be working in the sun, add a cap full of Glass Gleam 3 or 4 to your bucket with the Dawn.

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Blue Dawn dish soap. 100% my favorite.

$20 worth of soap lasts us a year.


Palmolive for windows, it is probably the worst soap for the job, it can leave a rainbow effect on the glass.

I’m using it wrong! I buy a bottle a week…I need to go back over some of the “SOAP WARS” posts.
I thought this thread might ignite the feudal fires of some.

How bigs your bottle? @WindowGuysLV

64 oz. time to upgrade to the gallon

If you have to worry about the price of soap
You need to raise your prices. I don’t care if your 10 your in business you deserve to make what any other window cleaner makes. These prices are way to cheap. Use blue Dawn !! Raise your prices !!


i agree with @Majestic66 the cost of ANY type of soap is so low it is laughable to be concerned with it at all. i bought a gallon of gg4 which some say is expensive because it’s about $50, but it makes 500 gallons!!! ibought a few years ago and i still have almost half a gallon left. a $10 3 pack of dawn lasts me a couple years.

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Dish soap contains a foaming agent which is rinsed away by running water when doing dishes.

That foaming agent collects in the pores of a window, which a rubber glides over. It then dries, and attracts dirt.

GG4 is a low foam soap, thus the “gleam”. However, it has poor slip and low visibility while squeegeing.

It’s up to each person to decide the pros and cons of foam vs gleam.

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This. Tried it once, went back to Dawn. A Costco jug lasts most of the year.

Hey, awesome to see you starting out that age! I was about 16 going on 17 when I started washing windows. I started out with similar prices to you, but here’s a couple tips.

Your pricing is a good minimum, but you can not afford to give your time away to large jobs and not make more. Your minimum fit all price either needs to be high enough to cover 90% of the jobs or you need to individually quote each job.

I recommend, that if you’re like me and are in a rural area where there are no humongous houses and almost no millionaires out and about, (or even if you are) set your minimums (mine for a while was $50 minimum for exterior, $100 minimum for interior/exterior, that is now $100 for outsides and $150 for inside and out). Anyway, what you should do is charge per pane. I’m my area, 90% of my houses that I quote are just under minimum, makes quoting easy. If you don’t watch your prices you will burn out. The only people who get lower prices are old ladies (I just can’t turn them down, they’re so nice, they can’t do it themselves, and sometimes you’ll even get cookies) and family and friends. But don’t tell people “I charge this per pane” just use panes to get a price, and tell them the price.

Secondly, you can charge a good price if:

  1. You do good work. It’s not complicated to get a window clean, but it can be hard to do a good job 100% of the time

  2. You look the part. Have someone you know (or if you have the money to pay a stranger) make up some simple but professional cards. Find a uniform. For me I went old-school and I wear a white polo with striped dickies overalls, people in my area find them endearing. Doesn’t really matter what it is as long as you are comfortable and you look good.

  3. Respect your work and respect your clients, respect your tools, respect respect. You will win if you are respectful.

If you ever need any tips or guidance this forum is amazing, I have learned a lot from these people, but I also understand the struggle of washing windows in rural south Dakota, so if you are dealing with something similar I’d be happy to help you out. :smiley:

Tried to edit my post but couldn’t. Just wanted to add

Dawn dish soap. Try it, you’ll like it. Use xero white scrubby pads for stuck on junk

I charge roughly $3 per pane for exterior only, $2 for interior (I never do interior unless I’m also doing the exterior) so on average about $2.50 a pane per side. I adjust that on aper job basis depending on difficulty.

Hope all goes well for you!

I have used Dawn 3x concentrated (the blue bottle) for 16 years.

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I found dawn to be much better.

EVERYTHING in this thread is correct!

Including “Pi is exactly three!”??

When we were taught how to clean windows, I was simply impressed about how simple the cleaning agent is. Just dawn does a lot! The amount is important though, too much makes for bad days…

You can use any dishwashing liquid on the market, it just a matter of preference. The soap helps the blade glide across the glide you add your technique and skill to get the job done. As far as pricing you can charge whatever you feel your skills are worth. But I think you should re-structure you pricing as it sounds like you are getting the dirty end of the stick. If you get almost every job you go out to estimate your price is too low.