Traditional Window Cleaning – What Is It?

Window cleaning used to be such a simple service. You washed the windows and then you used a squeegee to clean it off. Nowadays it all so different. Traditional window cleaning is a term that describes one of the popular methods of cleaning glass. What differentiates it from other methods?

Firstly, whether it is a residential or a commercial premises being cleaned, the window cleaning operator must decide the most effective method to complete the task. Apart from regular methods, a service person may choose to use rope access, obviously on multi storey complexes, or he may choose to use pure water cleaning methods. Today we are going to discuss traditional window cleaning.

Traditional Window Cleaning – The Method

What is traditional window cleaning? Here are some definitions that a few of my fellow window cleaners gave me:

“Traditional window cleaning is using water and detergent, an applicator to wash the window, a squeegee to remove the water, detergent and dirt off the glass.” – Jack Thelad, Bromsgrove, England.

“Wet the applicator, soap up the windows, use the squeegee to blade off the soap, detail edges, on to next window.” Carl Pullen, CSD Maintenance Services, United Kingdom.

“Traditional window cleaning is using only the most basic tools; this requires a range of specific skills that can take many years to perfect.” Anthony Cooke, ABC Window Cleaning, Paraparaumu, New Zealand.

So, as you can see, the window cleaning method that many of us are familiar with, is what is known as traditional window cleaning. As the accompanying photo shows, you only need a few basic tools to get started, whether you’re starting a business or just doing your own cleaning at home. These can be purchased at any cleaning supplies store or even at some hardware stores.

Traditional Window Cleaning – Is It the Best Method?

There is a simple answer to that question. Yes and no! That’s why it is important for the professional window cleaner to assess the best method to complete the task. He must also take into consideration requests and concerns by the property owner.

I recently inspected a property to provide a quotation and the property owner was concerned about the safety considerations surrounding his property. His home is on a sloping block, the windows were the colonial style (lots of little squares), while some second storey windows were accessible only from the roof. Traditional window cleaning would not be the method to use at this property. This is when pure water cleaning is the best method.

Traditional Window Cleaning – Is It Easy to Learn?

What a good question. As with any new task, it takes practice. Key to being successful is having quality tools and absorbing the training from an experienced professional. After all, it’s not just the tools that one needs to be cognisant with, but also the different types of glass that are now being installed in homes and commercial buildings.

Where can I find an experienced trainer? YouTube is a great resource. Of course, our channel has tutorials and tool reviews about window cleaning. Four other channels that you may enjoy are the following:

  1. Luke the Window Cleaner
  2. SteveO the Window Cleaner
  3. Trad Man – The Window Cleaner
  4. A. E. Macintosh Cleaning Services

On these four channels are literally an abundance of material to teach you how to use traditional tools. These are four of the gurus of the window cleaning industry that you can see on YouTube. If you really want to master the traditional techniques, these videos are a great place to start.


Let’s wrap up our brief discussion about traditional window cleaning by saying this. These well-known and long practised methods are still highly effective in making your home and office windows sparkle. Why not contact us here at McRae’s Window Cleaning! We can discuss with you which window cleaning method will work at your premises. Traditional Cleaning or Pure Water Cleaning – both play an important role. Try one or both of them today!


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