Reach and wash type window cleaning brushes

Published: 09th April 2008
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Copyright (c) 2008 Peter Fogwill

What window cleaning brush?

There has been a lot of talk lately about window cleaning brushes, and what ones are best.

Let me start by clarifying one thing, the most popularly used is not necessarily the best. Awhile ago there was a certain brush manufacturer that caught on to the fact that the reach and wash system and water fed poles in general were gaining popularity among window cleaners, and quite rightly got in on the act. They realised their was big business in window cleaning brushes and started promoting their car washing brushes at trade shows etc, and offering good deals to water fed pole suppliers. They even made some changes to the brush to make them more window cleaning friendly, trouble is they forgot about two main factors that overwhelmingly effected the cleaning power of the brush. Firstly the density of the bristles, their brush is far too dense and this restricts the flow of dirty water passing through the bristles, and working its way down and off the glass. Secondly the bristles were splayed at the ends to make them softer for car paintwork, as glass is a hard surface this was not necessary for a window cleaning brush, it had a negative effect and trapped dirt particles, again restricting the easy passage of dirty water through the brush and down to the bottom of the glass. These two factors although not the only disadvantages makes the most widely used window cleaning brush a nightmare to use.

How did the average window cleaner not notice this? They were supplied with the brush from their supplier, they didn't know any better, after all if you pay good money for a window cleaning system you would expect to be supplied with the best equipment to do the job it was designed to do. Trouble is most of the window cleaning suppliers have never cleaned a window in their life, they picked up on a brush that was being heavily promoted, got a good deal and the rest is history. The window cleaner got round the defects on the brush by brushing the window and then lifting the brush off the glass to give it a final rinse, which is both time consuming and a much higher water consumption over the course of the day.

There are another couple of disadvantages with the brush I am talking about. The shape of the bristles, and the weight of the brush. The weight is compensated by the use of a much smaller brush, as the size of brush reduces the weight considerably, but again more water and time wasted as it takes longer for the smaller brush to cover the glass. The straight bristles are another disadvantage. If they were slightly crinkled it would serve as a more aggressive cleaner, as there is a more abrasive contact on any dirt sticking to the glass. Slightly elongated bristles servers the same purpose allowing the bristles to splay more and would allow the non splayed tips of the bristles to come in contact with the dirt. This allows faster window cleaning, which in turn reduces water usage.

The funny thing about all this is I have had customers of mine changing from the brush I supply which has none of the disadvantages of the above brush, to one of the disadvantaged brushes. Why? Simply because they have been told by other window cleaners that the brush they use is not a window cleaning brush, and that they have to change over to the disadvantage brush that they use. Its not all bad though, these helpful chaps sometimes show them some new exciting ways to get a spot free finish on the glass, they show them how to take the brush off the glass and give it a final rinse, and how to waste time and water into the bargain.


Peter Fogwill Traditional window cleaner for 25 years, and water fed pole window cleaner for the last 6 years. Inventor of many time and water saving window cleaning tools and equipment.

For more window cleaning brush information contact Peter on the email address below.

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