How do you know your not a bucket bob?

Well I was out doing my tiny little route this morning [ without my Ipod ] .So I got to thinking am I a bucket bob? lets see Insurance (x)
dba / company name (x)
Business Lincense (x)
ein# (x)
Business bank account (x}
Business cards & signs (x)
uniforms (x)
Proper equipment & tools (x)
Training & expertise ( ) All in good time !
So you tell me ? I think I know the answer but this is just for fun. In my youth I did Landscape maintenance and when times got tough everybody and there brother came out with the famliy station wagon and the lawn mower and under bid the real gardners.

                                                                      Good Luck to All Doug Ricks
                                                                 Gimmee water window cleaning

My folks did not name me Bob. :slight_smile: (No offense to the Bob’s out there)

When you show up in a truck, and not on a bicycle

theres a a couple of those “bucket bob” window washers in my area,
–One walks around with a squeegee on his hip attached to the belt that holds up his pants, but the squeegee is the type you see at a gas station to clean your windshield and a bottle of windex on his other side. Its kinda funny, he’s even given me his business card and said we could make alot of money if we work together.
–the other guy I’ve seen has everything…unger bucket, pole, actual window cleaning tools but the kind you can buy at Home Depot, but he walks everywhere or I’ve seen him riding around in a bus, with all his stuff.

these guys are funny

There’s a couple of Bobs where I live that ride around on mopeds. It’s funny to see them riding with a 5 gal bucket between there legs.

You might be a bucket bob if you sloppily clean a storefront only to run across the street and drink it away…

When I was 23 I moved to Seattle and bought some window cleaning tools, a 16" brass Ettore, a 14" strip washer a 6’ wood pole…I went around knocking on store doors looking to do their windows. I was living in my car…

I did a dry cleaners with 10 big plates and 2 doors I made 25 dollars it took me 5 hours ! I would clean each side of each plate 4 or 5 times trying to get it totally perfect and no spot or streaks. I did them once a month for about 3 months. During that time I also got a few other tiny jobs and I did one house.

I was really taking a very long time to clean these jobs, quadruple to what you should do it at, I was a bucket hound. When I realized I wasn’t efficient and totally slow I stopped. I went to work as a laborer in construction.

I really wanted to be a window cleaner, bad ! I knew though that one really needs to know what he was doing in order to really be good at it, and I wasn’t.

One day I was walking down the street in downtown Seattle and I saw a really heavy guy cleaning a store front, on 1st ave and Seneca and man was he really good…He made it look so sweet when he did it just like he was doing Ti Che, like a real artist !

Well I stopped to talk to him about window cleaning ,telling him I really wanted to be a window cleaner but I wasn’t very good at it. I ask if he could show me some tricks as he was cleaning and he said did you see that one, and I said no , he said did you see that one and I said no (he was a little bit reserved at telling me things, that’s the nature of a lot of cleaners even today).

I was really getting stoked at seeing his “Son of Ettore ability” so I ask him if I went and got my tools and really tried hard at it would I get to be a window cleaner like him. He stopped and said to me " do you want the truth “. And I said for sure, he then said " you won’t be worth a damn”.

I just totally went sunk down and really felt bad, and then ask him what should I do, and he said get a job with someone who knows the business and they will teach you to do the job effectively and efficiently. I then ask if he’d give me a job and he said no that he works alone ! Again I got depressed and said do you know a company I can work for and he said " well there’s a guy right down there" …He point towards the water front at Post Alley and Western Ave and said there was guy in that building who has had a business here in Seattle that his father started in 1940 and that most of the journeymen cleaner in town had worked for his company and were trained by his Dad , and that he was one.The company was Universal Window Cleaning.

Well he said that he is always hiring people… So I went down and applied and with in 3 weeks he had hired me and that was 32 years ago and the rest is history.

Today I have a lot of knowledge and techniques that I’ve learned from this “Son of Ettore” and I right up there with all them that been down that path !

Today I like to share all that I know to others who want to be a window cleaner and I have no professional jealousy and worries about them being competition… I’ve hook up with Jesee Green to give him info as well as Eric Johnson who are here on the forum as well as Reene- haleiakala, she wants to hook up for a day together so she can learn a few tricks, and we should be able to…

Today I’m no longer a Bucket-Hound or Bucket-Bob, I’ve been to the school of “The Sons of Ettore” and I graduated with a b+, I’m pretty average as a cleaner and I can carry my own ! I class myself as a Journeymen ! I’ve done chair work stage work, residential, commercial, retail , from a one door store to the billionaire Paul Allen !

One thing I love doing is to share with others so they cam move ahead and be classed as a "Son or Daughter of Ettore !

Take care Yawl, and please, please be safe !


When I lived in CA, there was a guy I used to see with a Windex bottle and some newspaper. He would stand at the corner and when traffic was stopped for a light, he would run out and clean car windows for pocket change. I know he took his proceeds and bought wine. But I’ve never seen any here where I live now. I have seen some Craig’s list ads that are so cheap that they must be bucket Bob’s but I haven’t seen em. I have a business license and insurance, I hope that put’s me over a bucket Bob, but the big guys around here may not think so. I drive an old truck and a borrowed ladder. Gotta start somewhere.

You’re probably not a Bucket Bob if you’re posting on a window cleaning forum. At least I hope so.

Hey Yawl,

Another point of view of mine is that bucket hounds aren’t that bad, they’re just people trying to make a living and to get by, which I think is just fine . Nothing wrong with Bucket Hounds/Bobs trying to work out there, they are no different then professional cleaner, they’re just rookies without training trying to get by, I mean it’s better then them standing on a street corner with a sign begging for money.

What’s wrong with people trying to get by and or making a living ?

Actually I’ve stopped to help them with a few tricks and techniques…They are just another line of competition in our industry as Window Cleaners. If you really think about it the company equal or above us is really a far more worrisome entity because they may get the job we bid together on. I know of large companies with lots of employees which do lots of accounts I would like, and they low ball bid and pay their workers peanuts ! They also have their worker work unsafe, or issue them tools that are ready to retire and don’t issue new devices !

So Bucket-Hounds/Bobs are just another slot of competition and competition keeps everyone on an even keel and honest !

DangerousDave / Advanced Window Cleaning Service, Seattle Washington


Life is tough and sometimes we find ourselves in dire straights and we have to dig to make a means, with effort we find ourselves above board and then we see the Bucket-Hound/Bob, we should realize we know that path, and except by the Grace of God there go we !

1 Like

I did’nt want to put down anyone trying to make it in todays world. It was more of a check of the pecking order of the industry .
Being a newbie myself I know its hard to get started. I salvaged scrapmetal to buy my wfp and di system and I am heading out right now to drive a truck for a friend [ I’am a retired truck driver ] for some cash to build my enclosed trailer for my equipment. Anyway I was’nt bagging on anybody just checking where I might be in this world Thank you all for your input Doug Ricks
Gimmeewater window cleaning

Bucket Bobs fear me!

Theres an army of backpack bobs in my city. Theres one whos super ripped. He walks down the sidewalk lifting his bucket of solution in one hand and a bucket of tools in the other. He wears a wife-beater and works out as he walks between clients. Also, theres this gang of three that push moving carts with all their solution buckets and equipment on them. They always work together and split the cash 3 ways. Ive even seen them with a couple dogs tied to the carts as they work.

You know, there was a groupon type deal in our area and the pic was a guy on scaffolding built for a window that could easily be done with a 20 ft. ladder. Also, there was a bottle of windex on the scaffolding and he was doing straights sideways cuts on a largish window.
I almost choked on my coffee with laughter, but then I saw how many coupons he had sold. Then I felt a little sorry for him, he will be busy with cheap work till christmas…

Yo Doug,

In no way do I read you putting down the Bucket hounds in your post to start the thread at all ! Actually I think your question is a good reference to your thinking pattern and it shows your trying to build up to program as a window cleaner !

I just was trying to enlighten others to the fact that Bucket hounds are just another type of cleaner, that is trying to get by as cleaners !

Now there are those in the world of window cleaning who see them as “less than” but that just a perception on their part.

Yeah they can be low grade but everyone has a niche to fill and we shouldn’t see as less than ! Everyone is different and it take all kinds to make the world go round !

So don’t feel your being judged ! Your not and as I pointed out, in no way can one read a negative point about Bucket Bobs / Hounds in your post, and if you feel I may be calling you out I’m sorry for that. Your cool here on the forum and I don’t see anything wrong in any of your post !


I understand that everyone has to start somewhere and few get anything given to them that truly run with it.
“He that is holding the one of little means in derision has reproached his Maker".
Nonetheless, I don’t appreciate when certain ones knowingly conduct business illegally. I’m not saying all Bucket Bobs do, but laws are laws.

I think I am a “Bucket Bob”, before this thread I have never heard the term, but it seems to describe me!

Lets see, I use a suspended belt system that holds a bucket on a belt (that I modified with my drimell tool to have a leg strap), 18", 16", 12" and 6" Ettore Squeegees (mostly ContourPro+ handles) ScrubOff, Sponges, 6", 4" and 2" Razors, various screw drivers and other tools a couple dozen towels, cell phone, MP3 Player, receipt books, Golden Glove scrubber, a gallon or so drinking water (sometimes used to wash windows when water isn’t available at the store) a pint of Lemon Joy dish soap, my lunch and other things I can’t remember. I carry a 12 foot Extension pole and a 6 Gallon Ettore Bucket (with everything but wheels on it). All my gear weighs about 50 lbs.

I do have an EIN for my domestic partnership and liability insurance, but I travel around the country in my Motor home and wash windows and only return to my home state when I need to renew my drivers license or my vehicle registration. I travel about 20 miles a day (mostly sleep at Camp Walmart) and walk about 10 miles a day carrying my bucket (no water in it, I use fresh water on every job) my average strip mall storefront price is $20 and although I know how to wash windows quickly (using super swirl etc.) it is doing a great job that I concentrate on, I always make the customer inspect my work before I will take the payment, so I could do a “normal job” in 3-5 minutes, but I take 15-20 minutes to do the best job I can imagine and most of the customers ask me to come back in two weeks or a month.

As for laws, I really am not sure I care about local ordnances, they change every mile or so 90% or the time there is nothing required to perform a service that I do not already have, I realize that some places like Denver like to tax you for having a job (occupational privilege tax) but it really isn’t worth spending the time to find out how much money they want to take from me with giving anything in return ( non residents don’t benefit from tax levies).

So I walk around with a bucket (a lot) and I have been doing it for 25 years, I would even say I prefer doing it, so I must be a bucket bob!

**** No offense is intended by this post, I just wanted to say that maybe “bucket Bob’s” are “bucket bob’s” on purpose everyone seems to have their own preference in how they do business and how big they grow.

Michael Kelly

You must get to see some amazing things.

Michael that’s awesome. Where is your favorite place to wash windows and why?

If your bucket is this big you are a “BIG BUCKET BOB”.