The Humble Brass Squeegee

Some say that your choice of squeegee throughout your window cleaning life is determined by your initial entry into this great industry.

The very first squeegee that you choose to pick up and attempt towards cleaning perfection is usually the squeegee you stick with for life. The weight, handle and glide forges your confidence in this amazing job you selected for varying reasons.

Some happy to achieve full time pay for part time hours, some with aspirations of multiple vans and staff. For whatever reason, the squeegee that you were taught the craft in is either in your BOAB right now, near by at arms reach or proudly displayed as the tool that started your empire in your office or home.

For me it was the humble Brass Ettore Squeegee produced by Ettore since 1939. The handle, I was told, could be a tad harsh to grip during the winter periods but this never phased me one bit. Of course I have seen the helpful tips of wrapping tennis racket ribbon around the handle for insulation, I have never needed to do that. To be fair, I am a window cleaner and the cold is part of my job.

When I started my window cleaning business I needed to start with some equipment. Back then WFP as we know it today was just a wet dream in today’s leading WFP manufacturer’s mind.

A friend of mine told me of a window cleaner that ran a hardware store in the local neighbourhood. I went along with my friend and found scrim cloths. I selected the number of scrim cloths I felt I needed and began to talk about window cleaning to the store owner. He recommended that I buy a bucket on a belt ( BOAB). It was black with the Ettore logo in gold. I remember him charging me £50.00 for it ( 1998). With the lack of Internet help and forums in the day, over the years it became clear to me that the store owner/window cleaner had my pants down with that price.

But it was not all bad. It is at this store that I discovered the Brass Ettore squeegee. I remember loving them so much that I bought lots. My rookie game plan was to have a squeegee in my bucket for every potential window size I might come across.

I would even cut channels down so that they fitted snug into Georgian squares and narrow window runs. I didn’t know about dog earring my channel at this time. It didn’t matter, I had my scrim. It quickly dawned on me that the most efficient use of my squeegee was that one fit usually suits all, I plumped for 14″. Of course there was always a 16/18 in the vehicle somewhere for large store fronts.

Scrim was a strange material to me at the time. I used to love the smell. It smelled like money. It looked like wheat sack material. Initially I bought the unwashed versions and boiled it on the cooker. Just like anything really, you go for an easier option. Just as today’s window cleaner would reach for the Liquidator channel for non detailing edges, back then I would eventually go for the pre washed scrim so that I had the cloth ready for use and it saved time. The house used to be covered in drip drying scrim. Where ever there was a radiator or a hook or back of a kitchen chair, there was scrim.

Brass Ettore has always felt like a solid product to me. Sure I would drop it from my ladder from time to time and if it dropped right the channel would slide along the handle grasp but it was robust and it felt like a real mans professional tool.

So is there any negatives with the Brass Ettore Squeegee? I don’t find any. You have to screw the channel into the grip as opposed to depressing to grip but to be honest I have never found any added benefit in a depressing grip handle. Sure you can position the channel with this handle so that you can get that extra reach into the corner of a large window but even with this there was always another way around it. And plus it promoted over stretching from a ladder.

I have seen many squeegees and used many products, they each have their own merits, we will discuss them here in the future the pros and cons of alternative squeegees.

Today, one of those brass Ettore squeegees that started my business way back now sits proudly on the side board, under a lamp in my living room. A stark reminder of my journeys start. Window cleaning has been good to me, it has paid me well, bought me a large house and helped me fund various rental properties that I own. It has helped me give my children security while I live and further greater security when I am gone.

Window cleaning can do that for you too. All it takes is focus and hard work.

A Brass squeegee channel started my story. Which squeegee will start yours?