Window Cleaning Tips: How to Use the Water Fed Pole System

It’s common for potential customers to claim the water fed pole system hasn’t worked for them in the past, often leading them to believe that the method just doesn’t work.

Often though, they forget that like any tool, a water fed pole has to be used properly to get the right results. In this window cleaning tips article, we look at how to use a water fed pole effectively.

1) Clean from the top down

Perhaps obviously, you need to start cleaning the highest windows first, as any dirt you clean off the top windows will likely run onto the ones below.

2) Start on the frame

Start cleaning the top section of the window frame before moving onto the glass below. This means you remove dirt from directly above the glass that could potentially run down after you have left, or when it next rains, getting a better, longer lasting finish. The same principle applies to any part of a window frame that sits above a glass surface you are cleaning.

3) Soak bird mess

Look out for bird mess on the window. Soak the stain and leave it for a few minutes, moving onto another window, before coming back and scrubbing. Repeat this process if necessary – soaking bird mess with pure water is surprisingly effective and usually even the most stubborn soiling can be removed this way. Rarely, you may need to use a scraper or abrasive pad.

4) Brush thoroughly

It important to scrub the the window thoroughly and methodically. You’ll need to adjust how many times you go back over the glass based on how dirty the windows are, but once is probably never enough – aim for twice as a minimum.

5) Rinse thoroughly

A vital and often forgotten step is to rinse the window thoroughly. The pure water you used in the scrubbing process is now impure – you need to rinse this impure water away from the glass so that only pure water remains. Lift your brush away from the window and use your jets to methodically rinse the entire surface of the glass, working from top to bottom.

6) Clean the sill

If you’ve agreed to clean the window sills, do so a few seconds after rinsing the glass to allow any debris to run down onto the sill. This is easier with a sill brush. For sills that are very dirty, perhaps on first time cleans, a good window cleaning tip is to consider cleaning your brush before moving onto the next window.

Top Window Cleaning Tips and Exceptions


Window vents can be the bane of a pure water window cleaner’s day. In particular, watch out for above-window vents – they are usually full of dirt and easy to fill up with water, leaking seemingly mysterious streaks of dirt down the window long after you’ve left the job. Avoid getting water inside these vents at all costs and work carefully around them.

Frame residues

Older wooden windows are often painted, and as paint ages it can give off a powdery residue that will make your water cloudy as you clean the windows and if not rinsed away, will leave a poor finish. In this circumstance, avoid overly scrubbing or wetting the frames where possible, and carry out extra rinse on the glass. The same applies to aluminium frames, as their surface oxidises over time and this results in a similar effect.

Lead Lights

It is possible to clean traditional leaded windows with the pole system but extra care is required and you need to be aware of the following window cleaning tips. You may need to reduce your water pressure as they are often not particularly waterproof and you can end up with lots of water on the other side of the window. Leaded windows bow and the individual panes crack easily so you’ll also need to reduce the brush pressure you apply to the glass – the weight of the pole alone may be too much and you’ll need to compensate. Finally, you need to carry out extra rinse, as the lead oxidises and gives off a cloudy residue as you clean.

First-time cleans

Even applying the above window cleaning tips, some first time cleans don’t always result in a perfect finish – particularly when the windows were previously cleaned using traditional methods. Traditional methods use detergents that build up in the window seals. When you scrub a window for the first time, you release these detergents and you’ll often notice soap suds forming on the glass. These soapy residues can make your water impure and result a poor, streaky finish. Using extra rinse or going over the windows twice usually solves this problem, but some window cleaners choose to pre-warn first-time customers.

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