What’s Most Important When Purchasing Commercial Window Cleaning Supplies
As any professional window cleaner will tell you, there are several factors that go into creating streak-free, crystal clear windows, from proper training to the right technique, and— of course— high-quality commercial cleaning products. As a building service contractor or facility manager, the tools and equipment you select have a major impact on your team’s ability to execute their jobs successfully, safely and effectively.
Cleaning tools designed with the window cleaner’s needs top of mind can also make it easier for your team to clean windows faster and with better results. And in cases where time is money, the right tools can get more jobs completed with higher efficiency than with traditional window cleaning tools.
Evaluating Your Current Window Washing Operations
When purchasing new window and glass cleaning supplies for either your indoor or outdoor needs, you’ll want to start by assessing the following:
- What are your goals? For example, do you want to clean more windows, incorporate sustainability and green cleaning initiatives, or utilize equipment that requires less training? Are you looking to prevent injuries or promote healthier indoor air quality?
- What’s your budget for cleaning supplies, including the equipment, cleaning solution, accessories and training?
- What current products do you need to purchase or replace?
- Are there any risks with your current practices or equipment? Musculoskeletal disorders are common in window cleaners due to the nature of their work. Fall risks from ladders— or collapsed ladders— are also a serious risk, resulting in approximately 300 deaths per year and more than 164,000 emergency room-related injuries.
- Has your business or facility expanded, and do you need more equipment that can travel easily? Tall ladders, for example, are cumbersome to move from one location to another.
Important Factors When Purchasing Window Cleaning Supplies
When choosing your commercial window cleaning supplies, there are eight factors to consider while making your decision: Budget, safety, ergonomics, speed, sustainability, reputation, quality, and product guarantees.
It’s not uncommon for businesses to make the mistake of buying the least expensive option when budgets are tight. However, cost should not be the leading decision-making factor. In some cases, products that appear to have the lowest list price can prove to be more expensive in the long term when you factor in longevity and replacement parts.When looking at your budget and the costs of commercial window cleaning supplies between various manufacturers, you’ll want to consider:
The expenses involved with staff training, as more difficult to use tools will require more extensive training.
- Product Longevity
If they’re not made to last, they’ll need to be replaced more often, so evaluate the material makeup. This is especially the case when you look at extension poles for window cleaning and determining the right one for your needs.
- Replacement Parts
Cost of replacement parts, including how difficult or expensive it is to replace and install parts on the equipment— or if it’s even possible to replace individual parts without replacing the entire tool.
- Ease of Use
Ease of use, as equipment and products that are easier to use will allow your team to clean faster and more efficiently.
2. Safety & Ergonomics
The safety of your cleaning staff and building occupants should be an utmost priority, so choosing cleaning equipment and products that prevent injuries, accidents, or health concerns are vital. Improved safety means fewer workplace accidents (and fewer workplace injury claims), as well as lost productivity due to days absent.
For example, look for professional cleaning products that allow your team to complete high-access cleaning while keeping their feet planted firmly on the ground without the use of lifts or ladders. Alternatives such as lightweight cleaning poles are easy to use, minimizing the risk of repetitive strain injuries. You can also look for cleaning equipment that is designed to minimize the use of harsh chemicals, such as a pure water cleaning system for outdoor window washing.
You’ll also want to keep your workers physically able to work their full shifts. Look for commercial window cleaning supplies with an ergonomic design to minimize user fatigue, injuries and possibly days out of work.
Unnatural body positioning, reaching and consistently repeating similar tasks over time are a few of the activities that OSHA identifies as causes of repetitive stress injuries (RSIs). Window cleaners are incredibly prone to RSIs. One survey found that 70% of window cleaners cited chronic pain, including wrist pain, shoulder pain, and back pain.
When it comes to ergonomic design, make sure that you look for the following:
- Telescopic poles that are both lightweight and comfortable to hold;
- Handles on window squeegees and scrapers that are ergonomic for extended use; and
- Products specifically labeled as ergonomic and designed for the comfort and safety of the cleaning team.
3. Speed & Efficiency Potential
Are the cleaning methods and professional window cleaning supplies you use promoting speed and efficiency, or are they just cutting it? The latest innovations in commercial window cleaning do it all, here’s one example to think about.
Indoor window cleaning with Unger’s Stingray system has a bottle on board so your team can clean faster and more effectively, eliminating the need for an additional spray bottle. For outdoor windows, a pure water cleaning solution eliminates the need to mix and use cleaning solutions all together, utilizing only tap water that’s been cleared of its impurities. When used in conjunction with an extendable waterfed pole, you also eliminate the time needed to set up and move a ladder.
Studies show that consumers actively seek out brands that prioritize environmentally friendly and sustainable products and are even willing to pay more for their products and services. Some brands will spend more with businesses offering sustainable products, especially if they’re focusing on a sustainable cleaning program for their own businesses.
When evaluating the sustainability of commercial window cleaning supplies, look for the following:
- The ability to use pure water for outdoor window cleaning, allowing you to eliminate the use of harsh chemicals that impact the surrounding environment;
- Microfiber-based window cleaning alternatives that help reduce the waste that often comes with paper towels; and
- Equipment that conserves water usage.
5. Manufacturer Reputation
Does the manufacturer of the products you’re considering have a 5-star reputation?
A little research can reveal a lot here. You can easily see if they have a product guarantee, and how extensive that guarantee is. There should also be plenty of reviews that you can read online, along with how the business responds to reviews that contain any constructive criticism.
Looking for indications of innovation can help you find a reputable manufacturer. You can check to see if the companies you’re considering have won or been nominated for ISSA awards.
The Next Step in Selecting Commercial Window Cleaning Solutions
When choosing window cleaning supplies on a commercial scale, it’s important to take the time to find the right commercial window cleaning supplies that will get the job right.
While it may be tempting to opt for the cheapest upfront option, it’s best to make an investment in quality professional cleaning products. This will pay off in the long run, both by reducing overall costs and reducing the time it takes to clean windows properly.
Unger prioritizes useability, longevity, sustainability, and safety in our commercial window cleaning supplies. If safety, efficiency and the highest level of clean are priorities in your commercial facility, explore our portfolio of professional cleaning products that are designed to take your cleaning efforts to the next level. Ready to see the products in action? Schedule an onsite or virtual demo.