Squeegees leaving water on glass, please help!

I clean the windows and mirrors in a “hot yoga” studio, so usually cleaning in 90-100 degree heat with 30-50% humidity. I use about 2 gallons of hot water in a bucket with 5-10 drops of Dawn dish cleaning fluid. I wash the windows with a soaked microfiber cloth, squeegee them dry with an 18" hand-held squeegee, and then touch up the edges. It’s been working impeccably this way weekly for about 5 years.

A few weeks ago I noticed the squeegee was leaving very light smudge streaks. I tried replacing the squeegee blade with the blade recommended by the manufacturer (Unger). But had the same result. On closer inspection the squeegee was leaving a thin film of water on the windows. Tried reversing the new blade, same result. Replaced the squeegee and blade with a different manufacturer (Ettore). Same result.

Have tried many different angles and pressures with the squeegee. Always with the same result: a thin film of water left behind on the glass. The infuriating offense ranges between about 5% and about 80% of the blade’s width.

Any suggestions or help greatly appreciated. Basically a perfectionist here with very low tolerance for poor jobs done by me. :wink:

Sounds like you might have been you’re channel

Edit: bent

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Try 12" channel. Does that fix it? Bigger channel may be bowed, as said above; have run into this with 18" and 22". But…might try some rubbing alcohol in solution: this will add evap to solution. That’s why I buy multiple bottles and keep to add at all times. Edit: Oh, dumb, I know, but could the glass surface be bent, bowed? Dumb…I know, but have seen this too.

Is it smudge streaks (drag marks) or water being missed completely by the rubber edge (2 completely different issues ?)

If you have been doing them for that long with no issues that you noticed and you tried new gear, it could be something environmental inside the studio that has changed.

Thanks a million for trying to help. Super frustrating situation.

Also apologies for my slow reply, it’s a weekly gig for me on the weekends and a little overloaded during the week.

Neither the glass nor either of the channels appear bowed, and I will try a shorter one (12") this coming weekend along with some rubbing alcohol. Initially I thought they were light smudge streaks, but what’s happening now with both the old-channel-new-rubber and the new-channel-new-rubber is a very thin film of water being left behind and then drying to a faint film (nothing anywhere near as fat as a drop). It’s not left consistently across the same place on the blade, and sometimes leaves less (narrower), sometimes more (wider). I’m a good sized guy, and definitely pressing with some significant strength. But still seeing a tiny bit of water right behind the blade. It’s so little the glass actually looks fine from a short distance and from many angles. But up close or from the right angle, they look horrible compared to how great they’ve looked over the years. Tempted to bring my own Dawn, and/or some distilled water, my own bucket, … really scratching my head to find the culprit.

Sorry for long novella. Will haul your suggestions in this weekend and report back.

So very thankful for your thoughts and suggestions. Didn’t know I was this perturbable. OK, I actually did. :wink:


Couple more thoughts. You said you used a microfiber cloth. Could be laundry detergent or dryer sheet residue on the cloth. Do you have your own window t-bar and sleeve? Another thing could be humidity filming up right after cleaning. Then…5-10 drops of Dawn in two gals. doesn’t seem like much. Try a teaspoon in two gallons, AND dump a whole bottle of Rubbing Alcohol in that two gallons. I usually use a whole pint in one gallon. I would sample and experiment on one area. You might try some ammonia, a quarter cup in the two gallons. And, why hot water? Try regular tap cold water. And finally, at 100 degrees, maybe try a HARD squeegee blade. I’ve used soft on smokin’ hot glass. But maybe try. Words from a new guy. Hope it helps.

You should not be pressing with “significant strength”. This will cause wrist problems after some years. Ask me how I know.