Monday, November 13, 2023

Window "Washing" or Window "Cleaning"?

Is Washing Less or More Thorough Than Cleaning?

It may be that some view the difference between washing and cleaning as significant enough to choose one or the other as framed by a professional company. Many others don't see it as any more than the choice of words. Do you as a customer feel one or the other term is a caveat? Maybe one way is less thorough or one way is far more expensive. Perhaps one sounds more professional than the other. Interestingly, whether you use the phrase "window cleaning" or "window washing" in a Google search for a local company, you'll get the same results. I'll give my observations and mention those of others. 

What Some Professionals Say

There are some professional companies who believe there is a definite difference in window cleaning and window washing. I even noticed another term used- "window detailing". This term was used to place that company on a higher plane than its local competitors, namely one that removes the tough stuff off of glass, frames, and sills, such as bugs and paint specks. Some feel that cleaning is more akin to spot cleaning and not as thorough as washing, which would be all foreign matter on the glass. From what I've read on professional forums and Facebook groups, most, but not all in the business choose 'window cleaning'. 

What Customers Say

Here is where a professional company needs to pay attention: what term does a prospective customer prefer? Obviously, this may differ geographically. Upon doing a search on Google Trends, the term that is used in searches, especially over longer spans of time, is far more often 'window cleaning' than 'window washing'. It could well be that this indicates a more popular way to phrase it nowadays and not too much the perception that there is a real difference. What I've found locally, over many years of being, called, texted, or emailed by consumers, most use 'cleaning'. I could be imagining it, but I'm pretty sure that if  'washing' is used, it almost always will be by senior citizens. 

My Take

I feel that for my company name and the description of what I do, I prefer 'window cleaning'. I think it sounds classier and more professionalized. At the same time, I view what I do as any of the three terms mentioned in the opening paragraph. My opinion is that if you are a professional and would like to create raving fans and repeat business, you need to do as thorough a job as possible. There are both low and high thresholds in your service, that is, the very minimum that would be considered acceptable without having to specify what you are leaving out, and the point where you go from normal cleaning to specialized cleaning. The bare minimum I would consider professional is all dirt and grime off the glass as well as the frames, sills, and screens (if any). When the sills have foreign matter that may not budge with normal window scrubbing tools or rags or the glass has paint or wood stain left on by careless contractors that came before you, this requires specialized service. Another issue that requires specialized attention is 'screen burn'. This is the layman's term for that white haze that is extremely hard to get off glass windows with outside aluminum screens. Here is a nice explanation why that can happen. Regular water, pure water, soapy water, ammonia, rubbing alcohol- none of these touch screen burn. Thus, to remove this calls for specialized attention. 

I feel it is important to communicate to a customer what will be included in standard window cleaning and what constitutes 'restoration'. The choice of terms that window cleaning companies use can be to make them appear better than their competition. "While other companies only do X, we do X, Y, and Z, because we care about you." Something similar to that. I'm not a fan of implying that my competition is inferior or doesn't care about their customers. I simply endeavor to leave glass , sills, and screens extremely clean. There are many other practices that will make you the go-to for those that know you, more than what terms you use. 

At Dan Wagner Window Cleaning  we have been washing, cleaning, detailing, or all of the above in northeastern Pennsylvania since 1986 and we are not going away! 

Serving Honesdale, Hawley, Scranton, Lake Ariel, Stroudsburg, Tannersville, Mount Pocono and many other towns.