The same window cleaner, Paul, has been coming to our house for nearly 26 years. Up the ladder he’d climb and then down, and then move it along a bit more to the next upstairs window before climbing up again. He’d leather off all the water with a chamois, leaving lovely clean, sparkling windows.
Guess what? ‘Elf & Safety have decreed that it’s now too dangerous for one man on his own to climb up a ladder, even though Paul has been scaling the dizzy heights of our bedroom windows with his ladder without ne’er the soft thud of a body hitting the grass for over a quarter of a century. Instead Paul spouted the delights of a new system that minimises the use of ladders, reaches many windows previously inaccessible to a ladder, is environmentally friendly as no detergents are used, can be undertaken in a wide range of weather conditions, and which cleans the frames and sills as well into the bargain. I mentioned how we were both in the house to watch in case he fell off the aforementioned ladder, but sad to say we found he had now consigned all his window cleaning ladders to the dump.
Allow me to tell you a little bit more about the new system… Paul arrives today carrying a brush under his arm attached to a long yellow pipe. The pipe is attached to a container in his van, and is part of a new ‘Reach and Wash’ pole system. This all singing and dancing new window cleaning device uses purified water that has been through a 5-stage filtration and treatment process to remove all minerals and lime scale. Apparently I was told this purified water loosens and attracts all the dirt to the brush, and then when the window is rinsed it leaves a sparkling finish as the water evaporates, giving a superior clean that stays cleaner longer due to the anti-static properties of the pure water. The windows are not leathered off, as apparently this is not needed anymore.
What a load of b******ks! After he’d soaked the downstairs window in front of my computer, it dried in the sunshine leaving trails of water marks. The other windows in the house suffered the same fate. As I’d just paid him £14 I went out into the garden while he was ‘cleaning’ the windows of the house next door and asked him to come back and look at his handiwork from the inside. He shook his head and was quite perplexed as to why his new system hadn’t worked, as he hadn’t had any complaints before. He ended up having to leather off all the water on the downstairs windows with his trusty old chamois, which luckily had not ended up in the same rubbish tip as the ladders. Of course he couldn’t reach the upstairs ones due to being ladder-less, but gaily waved away the water marks on the bedroom windows with the comment that “You don’t look out of those ones much anyway”.
Paul came to the conclusion that as it was the first time of using ‘Reach & Wash’ on my windows, there must have been detergent residue left on the glass built up from previous cleaning, which should rectify itself within another 1 or 2 cleans. I smiled politely and informed him that if there were any water marks next time, then I would be finding myself a new window cleaner.