We do not clean windows very often, but we did our 3rd window cleaning job the other day and we are still extremely slow. The house was about 2,500 Square Feet, 30 windows to clean including screens, sills, etc. 6 hours later we are finally finished! Yay, now what the heck? I am not good at fanning yet, so I was doing a straight pull, but felt like I was taking forever squeegeeing and detailing.
One contributing factor to the slowness was all of the crap in our way, the customer was very disorganized and we had a lot to move away from the walls to reach the windows. That only took up a max a 1/2 hour, so the other 5 1/2 hours were slow window cleaning. The windows were filthy, too, but did clean up nice.
A system of cleaning windows is in order for sure, but we had to experience the actual cleaning of the windows in order to develop a system.
All in all, our slowness is quite embarrassing, but I’d love to hear some tips on how to gain speed or what you may have done to get faster cleaning windows.
I think you answered your own question in the first sentence. " you do not clean windows very often." Do more window cleaning, practice fanning. Get the experience needed. It does stink when you loose time moving stuff around to get to a window. With experience comes knowledge. Good luck to you. Oh and practice on your own windows.
If you’re comfortable using a blade/scraper use it. If you don’t, you’ll be rubbing bug spots and splatter all day long. A quick pass with a scraper will cut your time down.
A fresh rubber makes a world a’ difference. So does a good towel. Stay away from microfibers, they pick up a lot of dust and put it on the window.
Using WFP will increase your speed for the outs. I average about 40 panes (one side) per hour on the inside (no ladders) and can do up to 70+ panes per hour on the outside.
I tend to take 2.5-4 hours for a whole house by myself. Each house is it’s own case. I had a 2500sq’ home with 30 vinyl windows (60 regular panes) and it took 2.5 hours and then I had a 1200sq’ home with 9 old windows (8 regular panes, 60 french panes, 16 regular storms and one 4’x5’ storm) that took 4.5 hours. I made the same money on each. You win some, you lose some.
Thanks for the replies. I cleaned my own windows several times, but each time I was faster since they were clean. The last house we did had sap like stuff on the windows inside and out, plus it was really filthy. Either way, I did expect to be faster than 6 hours. I will invest in a scraper to help move along faster and we’ll keep going until we speed it up.
If you plan on doing more W Cleaning a WFP is definitely something to consider. I am not the fastest either and it cut my time down to half with the exteriors. They are costly but will pay for itself in the first few jobs. Good luck
That comes out to about 12 minutes a window per person. (Which means by yourself you’d be at around 20 minutes a window.
Something that may help is to use the same process for each window. I don’t think fanning a home window is all that much faster than straight strokes, it certainly looks cooler but your not saving much time on a 30 window gig. Maybe its the process (or lack of process) you are using that are causing the extra time.
Every first cleaning we do gets the same process. (Exterior Window - Examine for Pre-exsiting damage, Brush Tracks, Wet Glass, Scrape Glass, Steel Wool Scrub, Squeegee Dry, Detail edges, frame, wipe track, quality check, move to next window.) That takes us 6 minutes.
Even if your home windows are already washed, clean them as if they were 10 years dirty. Wet, Scrub, Scrape, Squeegee, Detail. Practice at the best way to get the times down to a level that is acceptable for you.
The blade on a scraper wears pretty quick and starts leaving lines of dirt behind it. Its also tough to work dirt out of corners and along edges without chipping a blade or cutting a frame. We scrape to remove the big stuff then steel wool to remove the leftover stuff.
A followup with a steel wool scrub (with your favorite window cleaning solution) lets you ‘feel’ any missed paint drips or rough spots on the glass and you can easily get into the corners. 9 out of 10 times your left with a pristine piece of glass.
The process I described earlier is standard on all first cleanings. (Sometimes we can skip the scraping, but never the steel wool)
Practice practice practice - You will get faster the longer you practice. Hands on that is - buy the EZ Pure and there isn’t very much practice. I was blazing fast after a couple jobs and probably still considered slow to some.
I did a house a few years ago by myself and it took about 8-9 hours, went back with my nephew and it took about 5 hours, went back with my nephew again and it took about 2.5-3 hours. Each visit was a year apart, we both got better and faster as we gained experience. I charged the same each time so this job went from about $40/hr to $100/hr over that period. Keep practicing and you end up giving yourself a raise.