Window Cleaning Start-up HELP

Hey all! I’ve been new to the Window Cleaning world for a week or two now. I have always been interested in starting a service business of my own as I am currently working under my pops Pest Control service business… but ready to venture onto something of my own.

Window cleaning niche grabbed my attention as a huge opportunity in my area as there are no real competitors and no other company is taking advantage of the mass of residential homes in my area of Pennsylvania. I have talked to some experts and have a basic start-up equipment list to get me started for practicing before I would take on organic clients. The equipment includes a WFP, squeegee starter kit, screen cleaner, and several other necessities.

I am to the point of… I have done my target market research and the need for window cleaning and I am fairly certain that with some hard work and practice I could make something of it. Although the more and more I read forums and watch videos it scares me and causes me to overthink it as I have 0 experience washing windows… I’m worried I will invest all this money and A. make a fool of myself or B. not get the clients I am expecting.

Was just looking for some motivation or some wise words from the window cleaners that have some experience behind them, thanks.

Before being anything more than a window mop and a squeegee…Go wash some windows. Yours, your parents, Aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, give a super discount…just to get some experience. You might not like it…Or even go to work for someone else for a while…

Get a mop and squeegee and go to your nearest window and clean it for 4 hours. Then clean the small bathroom window for a while, then move to the sliding door. Practice using both hands. You don’t need to be strong with both hands but for residential it’s really important.

You’ve got experience running a business with your dad and that’s the hard part of window cleaning

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I understand that i will be practicing on family and friends houses, for free, for weeks till I am comfortable. I guess a worry I have is, is it stupid to invest into 2.5k of quality equipment before I have ever cleaned a window? I have the work ethic/ the opportunity is there I know I will get the accounts to pay it back.

Thanks for the reply. I know I will need to invest into lots of hours practicing… My worry is I have 0 hands on experience other than hours or research and watching videos behind me, I would like to start-up with quality equipment (around 3k). I just have a worry of buying the equipment before ever cleaning a window I guess.

Restating what the others said. Buy a mop and squeegee, start practicing with that.
Pick a size squeegee, you’ll find existing treads about what sizes others prefer for residential. You will gradually learn if you need larger/smaller squeegees for your local homes.

Are there many 2+ story homes in your target market?
If so, does your work vehicle allow for larger ladders, or is WFP a clear need?

The WCR reps will do a great job pointing you towards quality tools.

Keep the various equipment ready in your WCR cart. As you clean you family’s glass, you’ll gradually see what equipment you’ll truly need for homes in your area.

Thanks for the reply @MJ79 , 2 story home developments are everyyyywhere in my area, that would be my main target market. So I believe a WFP would be essential. I would also invest in a used work truck/van that would haul all the equipment and ladders.

yes, it is stupid…don’t do it. Buy a quality applicator (mop) and squeegee for sure. Not the hardware store stuff. Buy a 5 gal. bucket, a pole (not a carbon fiber one yet) a ladder (or borrow one) some cloths and go at it. Forget the WFP stuff for now. Of course if you have the money and don’t mind selling the wfp stuff in a year, for 1/2 of what you paid, because …oops window cleaning isn’t all that great, or you just plain suck at it, then go ahead and spend money. I’m cheap, I don’t buy anything unless I have to have it…I had been in business for 3 months before I got a WFP ( I did know how to use it already from years with another company) It was for a three story job and I won’t do more than 2 on a ladder. Once I bought it though it became my go-to for exteriors.

I started in 2013 with no experience or knowledge of Window Cleaning at all. I worked with a guy for two days on construction cleanup And after that was on my own.

Yes you are stupid to invest $2k in quality tools before you know how to use $100 worth of trad tools… do that first and get your feet wet

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You don’t have to buy $3,000 worth of equipment to get started. You do however need to buy the quality basic window cleaning tools to learn your newly desired craft.
Stick with single story homes as best that you can at first as your practice morphs into experience. Two story will be unavoidable so get an extension ladder.
Basic tools - 6 inch, a 12 inch, a 14 inch squeegee with a 12 inch and 14-18 inch mop (scrubber), magic eraser, white 3M scrub pads (DO NOT USE GREEN! scratches), extension pole, huck towels, and large bath towels for interior work (control dripping on furniture and flooring).
Put these tools to work for you so that you learn the fundamental basics of window cleaning. As you progress and become better and better at window cleaning, your ladder use will become less and less needed.
Run the business end by directing your percentages of your new income source where the money needs to go. By the time you have ear marked enough money for your water fed pole system (irregardless if you can afford it right now) you will have gained the experience of what a professionally cleaned window is supposed to be, and then WFP won’t be a crutch but rather another tool in your arsenal.
You can’t buy experience, you earn it with practice.

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What part of PA are you in? I’m trying to forge out an area in the State College - DuBois area. Not a ton of competition the further west I go, but the income of residents is also lower.

I’m in the Chambersburg Area. There isn’t a single company that has an online presence at all. There’s a fish company an hour away that probably does some work in the area.

Other than that the doors open for a quality business. How long have you been cleaning??

Don’t over think it , just do it …… now !

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Yeah, just spend a few hundred on squeegees, mops, boab, and surgical towels, then spend at least 4 hours cleaning your window until you get the muscle memory, then just go do it. Get a little giant ladder to start with and do nose to glass. Then when you’ve got your technique down, get a wfp system.


Hi Seth,

You’ve gotten some good replies. I’m closer to where you are, than some of the others here (less than 6 months in business)

I made lots of mistakes when starting, including the belief that by having lots of equipment I could wash windows.

Try finding someone to teach you the techniques. Consider what gear you already have and then buy only the necessities. Include quality business cards in that budget. Finally, go book those trial jobs with family and friends.

Let me close with this. I’ve been asked by customers who paid me these questions: Do you have business cards? Do you have insurance? Not one has asked if I have a basement full of equipment that sits there. The answer to all three is yes.

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^what they said regarding equipment and practice.

Maybe pass out business cards with a window cleaning quote on them, and have conversations, with your pest control clients as you go. Assuming your dad is good with it. You’ve already got relationships established.

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thanks for the reply!

I believe the general consensus is to invest into some solid traditional gear and really perfect traditional. That will allow me to do some smaller residential and commercial jobs and bring in money as well as test the market before diving in too deep.

@814WindowWashing If you don’t mind, I’d love to get your number and connect about your business and get some tips on how you started. Since you are in an area close & similar to me, I believe we will undergo some of the same difficulties and successes.

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I just started last year! I gained about 25 residential, 3 or 4 commercial and 4 storefronts from either word of mouth, or google ads. I think Fish in Altoona is the only one I’m aware of in the area. There may be a cleaner or two in State College as well.