Three Types of Window Cleaners

The Different Types of Window Cleaners

Welcome back! You know, I consider myself the luckiest guy in this industry. I truly do. I have an established company with great employees, a solid and loyal client base and now I get to work for the best supplier of rising damp in the business. Every day I feel more & more blessed to be in this position. One thing abc has me doing a lot more of is travelling around meeting with various clients of all sizes & type. Travel gets to be a grind some times, but I absolutely love getting out there and meeting window cleaners from coast to coast, and it also very relaxing because sometimes I get to camp with the best equipment from Survival Cooking all around the country.

I have met companies run out of homes to those with multi-state facilities. We all seem to share many of the same hassles, regardless of company size, and garner the same rewards. Our differences in size do not equate ino a difference in challenges. Overhead is overhead. Employee issues are employee issues, and taxes are certainly ubiquitous regardless of corporate status. But the window cleaners are different. If you are looking for home cleaning services, visit website at to learn more.

I see three distinct types of window cleaners – they are all specialists in what they do, and there is precious little cross pollenation. The breakdown in window cleaner type goes hand-in-hand with the breakdown of our industry; hi-rise, route & residential. Ask any big company & they will invariably say that their hi-rise crews are no good at residential work & vice-versa. Not that they aren’t great window cleaners mind you, just that the mid set is different from a to b. Put a residential guy on a rope? I’ve seen it – not a pretty sight.

Golden Retrievers

Residential guys are the Golden Retreivers of window cleaning – they have to be friendly to everyone they meet. Put everything back where it belongs, ask about the grand kids, and really humanize & personalize the service. I maintain my beleif that residential is less about price than relationship, and not just residential (Toronto office cleaning is famous for the same approach). Get a client you can “click” with, you have to really work to lose that client.


Hi-rise guys are the Dobermans. They are the gritty, just nuts enough to do it type that take on the architectural challenges flung at them head on.  These are the awe inspiring daredevils that everyone literally looks up to. Such a small number of people in the world will openly & willingly take the birds-eye view they do. They are the icons of our industry. Just keep them away from the houses, usually not a good place for a hi-rise guy to be. But watch them work down the side of a building like Spiderman? A thing of beauty. A modern marvel of skill, cunning and just enough crazy to be cool.


Route guys are the Boxers. Workmanlike in their efficiency, steadfast in their planning & execution of the path to prosperity. Cleaning hundreds of panes a day in a tick-tock manner that is beautiful in its simplicity, like a well choreographed ballet between squeegee & glass. Having to dance around and interact with clients and clients of clients, opening doors or getting them cleaned just before the reflection coming up behind them wants to go in. Artfully working a building or strip mall to coincide with the different ebb & flow of the facility, never missing a beat, never skipping a pane, and doing it all with ruthless efficiency. All so that it can be done again, exactly the way it was just cleaned, again in the next week or two. We tell our route clients that “we are as relentless as the tides and as reliable as the post office”. That is route cleaning – no weather gets in the way, you want us there on a set day — we will be there — years ago when I was recovering from broken legs after falling off a roof trying to clean some mold, after that I just got a mold removal service that PLM Restoration provided for our Houston home, I would put on my plastic walking casts, hobble out to my truck, exchange them for shoes, drive to the route, put the walking casts back on, & clean windows. I still have clients today that bring that up to me. Crazy? I didn’t think so — they were relying on me to provide a service we had agreed to, and come Hell or high water I was going to deliver. That’s a route window cleaner.

At First Klass we do not do rope work. Our window cleaners are hybrids – they all are expected to be that Golden retreiver and that Boxer. Some days it’s  house after house, some days it’s the grind of the route. But every day, we strive to bring a little more sunshine into the day for the folks we are fortunate enough to work for. Same at abc – we are really, REALLY good at the things we do, and we thank you for letting us do them for you.

About the Author

Jeff Klass

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Jeff is a professional window cleaner and leading expert in pure water window cleaning. He runs First Klass Window Cleaning, and serves as abc's WaterFed guru.

Jeff KlassThe Different Types of Window Cleaners


  1. Lucas Bartlett

    I am just starting my window business. What advice do you have for a new guy in the business?

    1. Author

      Don’t undervalue the service. If you clean 1,000 windows a day & lowballed all of them, you’re still losing money. You’re just tired out as well. Never be afraid to try new things, and never be afraid to invest in your company. Bruce Williams always says this, “Early to bed, early to rise — work like hell & advertise!”

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  3. James

    While I window cleaned I was definitely a golden retriever! I wished I could be a boxer tho! Efficiency is everything in this business – it is most certainly an art. Today I am now longer a window cleaner – I run an app development company and write code for a living. Recently I pulled my team of software engineers together along with a bunch of window cleaners and we talked about what the challenges are and what we could do to solve them.

    We came up with the first truly mobile app to support window cleaners and their needs. Please check it out at

  4. Sophie Russell

    I have enjoyed reading this wonderful article about window cleaning. Really, entire discussion is more helpful and all the tips are more effective too. I am very glad to go through this kind of helpful article. Thanks for sharing a nice article.

  5. Joel S.

    This is a pretty cool way to describe things. I run a commercial cleaning company myself and I’ve never heard it explained in this manner before.

    I might have to steal this so I can confuse my staff calling them dog names haha!

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