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ancient Egyptian cleaning windows

Window cleaning has a long and fascinating history that dates back thousands of years.

From early civilizations to modern-day skyscrapers, window cleaning has evolved and adapted alongside advances in architecture and technology. In this article, we'll explore the history of window cleaning from ancient times to the present day.

How it all began

window cleaner during the middle ages

Ancient Times

The earliest known window cleaners were the ancient Egyptians, who used a combination of water, vinegar, and animal fat to clean the windows in their homes. This solution was applied with a cloth made from linen or wool.

In ancient Rome, slaves were often tasked with cleaning the windows of wealthy households. They used a solution made from water and ashes, which was applied with a brush made from broomcorn.

Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, windows were typically small and made from small pieces of glass that were held together by lead strips. These windows were often cleaned by women using cloths made from rags or animal skins. They would apply a solution made from water and vinegar to the windows and then scrub them clean.


During the Renaissance, larger windows became more common in wealthy households. This led to the development of new window cleaning tools, such as long-handled squeegees and scrapers. These tools allowed window cleaners to reach higher and clean more effectively.

Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution brought about a major change in the way that buildings were constructed, with the development of taller buildings that required new window cleaning methods. In the 19th century, the first modern window cleaning companies were established in the United States and Europe. These companies used new tools and techniques, such as ladders and pulleys, to clean the windows of high-rise buildings.

20th Century

The 20th century saw further advancements in window cleaning technology, including the development of the water-fed pole system. This system uses a long pole with a brush at the end that is connected to a tank of purified water. The water is pumped through the pole and sprayed onto the window, allowing the cleaner to scrub the window clean without the need for a ladder.

Present Day

Today, window cleaning is a thriving industry that employs thousands of people around the world. Modern window cleaning techniques include high-rise building maintenance systems, such as suspended platforms and cradles, as well as automated robots that can clean windows in hard-to-reach places. In addition, there is a growing trend towards environmentally-friendly window cleaning methods that use eco-friendly cleaning solutions and reduce water usage.

Window cleaning has come a long way since the days of the ancient Egyptians. From the use of animal fat and vinegar to the development of modern cleaning tools and technologies, window cleaning has adapted and evolved to meet the needs of the times. With frequent advances in technology the future of window cleaning looks bright.