The Evolution of Window Cleaning

The Evolution of Window Cleaning

One of the most mundane chores in any home is that of window cleaning. Yet, it’s important for households to tackle this dull task periodically to let more light in, keep their windows free of dirt and prolong their windows’ life span.

Window cleaning today is inherently linked with technology. Advanced technologies like window cleaning robots, purified water systems and pressure washers are available for professionals and homeowners alike. But how did people clean their windows in the past?

The Origins of Window Cleaning

Sheets of glass and windows first appeared in households and institutions as early as 100 AD in the Roman Empire. At the time, this technology was reserved for wealthy people, and their servants would clean the glass panels with water and rags.

The Victorian Era 

In the Victorian Era, cleanliness was more than questionable by today's standards. Horse excrement would lay on the streets and filthy water was thrown out the window as a simple way of disposing of it.

Maids and servants in the Victorian era did their best to clean windows. They used rags to wipe the exterior of the glass panels. Vinegar and newspapers were popular cleaning supplies and we still use this combination in many households today.

A Game Changer: The Squeegee

The next breakthrough for window cleaning equipment was the invention of the squeegee in the early 20th century. Skyscrapers started dominating the city line, and building managers needed a way to keep large windows clean.

The first squeegees were invented by Ettore Steccone, an Italian American who became a huge name in the industry. He took inspiration from the scrapers sailors used to clean the boat deck.

Introducing the Window Washer

The first professional window washers appeared in documents at the end of the 19th century. Commercial window cleaning became needed when buildings started getting taller. Professional window cleaners were in great demand until the First World War, where there was a slowdown in demand. After the war ended, the demand rose again, and these window cleaning companies resumed their activities.

What Cleaning Solutions Were Used?

In the past, specialized chemical cleaning solutions were not available. People would thus clean glass with water and other materials readily at hand. Soap, sand, or ashes are examples of the earliest window-cleaning solutions in the world.

The first modern innovation in the area of cleaning solutions was Windex, a product that is still widely used. It contained alcohol, surfactants, water-softening substances, dye, and perfume. Paired with the first squeegees, it provided an excellent tool to help people clean their windows.

The Future of Window Cleaning

Window cleaning methods and supplies evolve, just as with any other equipment. Today, there are many products that can make your life easier when it comes to the mundane task of cleaning your windows.

For professional-grade window cleaning equipment, tools and solutions, look no further than Window Cleaning Online. We are one of the leading suppliers of window cleaning supplies in Australia. Check out our online catalogue and get all the tools you need to clean your windows today. Don’t hesitate to contact us for recommendations on the best tools to meet your window cleaning needs!

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