Window Cleaining Opportunities

Window Washer


I ran a window washing business. This included going and procuring the business. Advertising through word of mouth and through different marketing techniques. Then going to the persons house or business and actually cleaning the windows using learned techniques and purchased equipment

How I got the idea / found the employment:

I got the idea through my Uncle Steve Potter. He had done this kind of work through college and so I thought that it would be a lucrative way to work for myself. I took the techniques that he taught me, and then bartered a deal with a local window washer to teach me a more sophisticated technique. I then used these techniques to do a more professional job for people.

Challenges I faced, and how I overcame them:

One of the biggest hardships was the marketing side of things. It was difficult to set a price range that everyone thought was fair. I took the normal pricing charged by the professional window washers, and cut it by $.50 to $1.00. Then just finding the jobs. I learned that networking within friends, family and community was the most effective way. The work in and of itself was not over labor intensive, it could be mentally demanding with long hours and a high expectation level. I just dealt with the stress and enjoyed the extra money.

What I learned:

I learned that everyone is not going to be happy with you. It is important to have a customer base, which is willing to do your marketing for you. I learned that if you can find a market where your pricing is fair and the job is well done, people will recommend you and you will be busy. I learned also that how you present yourself is just as important as what you are selling.

Window Washer


Description: I washed windows of residential homes. I washed the inside and outside windows as well as the screens. I was self employed, occasionally I would ask family members to help, but usually I did a house on my own.

Items needed:

• 5 Gallon Bucket

• 14 in Wand

• 14 in Squeegee

• 6 in Squeegee

• Belt with Loops & Hip Bucket

• Scraper & Razor Blade

• Blue 100% Cotton Huck Towels (8-12)

• Ajax Dish Soap

• Hose and Nozzle

• Step Stool

• Ladder

The start-up costs would be between 200 and 400 dollars depending on quantity and quality of products bought (I borrowed a neighbor’s ladder and saved a couple hundred dollars).

Starting Out and Maintaining Business:

To begin I made fliers on my computer. The fliers contained two sides: the front was simple, stating my name, phone number, and what I did—“window washer;” the back contained a list of pricing along with an average overall price for an average 3000 square foot home in bold print. Each flier was a quarter of the size of an 8 ½ by 11 sheet of paper (so I could fit four on a sheet). I went to Office Depot and bought some colored paper and made 250 copies. I then cut the copies to give me a total of 1000 fliers. It cost around $45 for the colored paper and copies. On Saturday mornings I would run the fliers around a neighborhood, leaving them on the front door of homes. I would get between 1-2% call back from the fliers. For example, for every 500 fliers I delivered I would expect between 5 to 10 calls over the next month.

To maintain business I would constantly put out more fliers, and I would offer a 5 to 10% discount in exchange for a few references from the home owner.


I charged per window and per screen. Smaller windows were cheaper and larger windows were more expensive. I charged a flat rate for screens, size did not matter. Second story windows and screens cost a couple dollars more each. On average a “normal” size window would cost $4 for inside and out, second level window would cost around $6-7 (including inside and out), and screens would cost $2 for main level and $3 for second story. For an average 3000 square foot home I would charge between 90 and 140 dollars depending on the number of windows and screens.

I used the home owner’s water.


It would take about 5 to 7 hours to finish a house. The outside took between 3 to 4 hours and the inside took between 1 ½ to 3 hours. You may want to ask the home owner to move any items in window sills (such as candles or other decorations).

Procedure/How to Wash:


• Fill the bucket half way up with water. Add one to two squirts of Ajax dish soap. Mix together.

• Wet wand (On outside windows I usually would soak the wand and apply a generous amount of water to the window; for inside windows I would wet wand, wring it out, and place a towel underneath the window I was working on—I still tried not to drip water while inside).

• Use the wand to wet the window and clean off dirt, grease, and other marks.

• Wipe of water with squeegee. Find a process that works for you. I asked a professional to teach me a few techniques. Don’t over-think it though, it is not that difficult.

• Use a Huck Towel to clean up edges or streaks. If there are a couple of streaks rewash the window.


• Wet screen with hose.

• Apply soapy water using the wand.

• Rinse the screen using the hose.

• Remove excess water by tapping the screen on a block wall or cement ground. Don’t break the screen though.

• Use a Huck Towel to dry. Or lay screen flat in the sun; however, not drying with a cloth may leave screen streaky, but it is a lot easier to simply let it air dry.


How I got the idea / found the employment:

Mostly out of need. It was the summer and I already had had three jobs. Each one fell through after a couple weeks of work. I only had about 5 weeks left of summer and no one would hire me for a month. So I decided to do something on my own. My uncle worked doing commercial window washing. He mostly did corporate businesses and large hotels. He had some experience with residential homes. I asked to show me a few techniques about how to wash windows and what would work best. The rest I did on my own.


Challenges I faced, and how I overcame them:

Solar Screens:

I did not wash the outside of a window that had a solar screen. The amount of work required to deal with them was too great for me. When I initially spoke with an interested customer I always asked them if they had solar screens. I then would let them know I did not wash those windows, but if they wanted to take them down themselves I would be more than happy to do it.


At each home quickly survey the layout of the windows with the time of day and how the sun will hit the windows as the day moves along. Determine an order that will decrease the amount of time spent with having to wash windows with the sun directly hitting them.

Hard Water Spots:

I would use the wand and wet the window and then use the scraper with the razor blade. It worked great. I have also used toilet bowl cleaner, this too works, though I have found I personally move quicker with the scraper.

Paint and Cement Splatter and Specs:

Just as with hard water spots, I would wet the window and use the scraper.

Home Owner Does Not Have Six Hours for You to Work:

Sometimes I would see if the customer would be willing to let me do the inside before he/she had to leave. Then I would do the outside after they left and the home would be all locked up for their safety.


What I learned:

If there is a job with low overhead costs, easy to get started, and great for high school and college (all while being your own boss) window washing is a great idea. I learned how to make my own money, based on my own efforts. I learned how to generate more work by doing good work and then asking for references.

Window Washing


We provided the basic window maintenance service. We would clean all shapes and sizes of windows no matter where they were. We would clean all sorts of matter off of the windows; hard water, paint, plants,etc. We also offer screen and blind washing services.

This company was a partnership with one of my good friends. We both got our business licenses, made business cards, and flyers. We were both responsible for the scheduling, advertising, and maintenance of our equipment. We split everything 50/50 no matter if it was work or money.

Looking from hindsight I think the main things that made this a success was having a strong and balanced working relationship, meaning we both focused on pulling more than our share of the work. We networked through our current and past Junior High teachers and eventually landed the job to clean the school. Having the right equipment was one of the best investments we made as far as making our time effective, Home Depot became a frequent destination in our travels. We also customized the equipment to meet our needs. Example, rather than buying the really expensive adjustable washers we would buy broomsticks and make them the size we needed. Another example having a variety of washers and squeegies available for different window sizes was cheaper than the more expensive adjustable stuff and lasted much longer. Having portable buckets that would hold tools along with water and were easy to transport. Our little giant ladder was a key member of the team. Having the right kind of solutions for the different levels of filth on the windows. Basically being time efficient was the key to success when we got a house we would diagnose it and then make a plan to be the most effective with our time and energies.

How I got the idea / found the employment:

The job came about when my friend and I decided that we didn't want to do fast food for a summer job. We were technically too young as well and we didn't want to wait. We got the idea from his dad and he coached us through most of it.

Challenges I faced, and how I overcame them:

Having a pool of consumers was the first challenge we faced.

We solved this by networking. We were only able to do that by a hard work ethic, catering to the consumer(involving them in the process and listening to requests), and by beating the prices of other window washers(we guaranteed a rewash of the outside windows if it rained in the next week and it was standard to clean inside and out at the same time). Over 3/4 of our work came from referrals. It got to the point where we were booking people weeks in advance. Since we targetted our school teachers we eventually got the job to clean the school. Which paid hourly and lasted a couple of weeks.

The drive to keep going.

Our parents did most of the work on that one. They would talk to us about the success we had and the prospects of next year. Luckily we were friends and had fun while we were at it.


Purchasing of equipment was a struggle at first but with time we learned what worked to best for us. Most of our management was giving through advice from my friends dad and we listened and it worked out. We kept a safety fund and budgeted.

What I learned:

I learned the importance of establishing quality first and then making things more effective.

Saw first hand the power of networking and using referrals.

I learned the importance of frequent and clear communication and frequent planning.

Starting a business takes hard work and sacrifice at the beginning but if you are consistent it pays off in the end.

Making money isn't everything.