Contemplate, if you will, the window squeegee. Its design, a handle topped with a silicone or rubber blade, is undeniably humble, yet it is so effective at removing moisture from hard surfaces that it deserves a spot among the six simple tools that changed humanity. That's right, move over wheel, pulley, and screw. Make way lever, wedge, and inclined plane. The window squeegee is here to claim its rightful place in history.
If this sounds like so much hyperbole, then broaden your mind. With one simple pass, the squeegee removes dirt, water, oils, and cleaners, leaving behind a perfectly dry, squeaky clean surface with a brilliant shine. They are inexpensive, ubiquitous, and come in different sizes. Plus, it's fun to say. Try it. Squeegee. That's onomatopoeia at its finest.
With all that a squeegee has going for it, it would be a shame to consign the tool to cleaning glass alone. The window squeegee is a natural for cleaning the hard surfaces in a restroom. Because of hydrodynamic surface tension, some water always stays behind after every shower. As Better Living notes, this standing water hosts mildew and bacteria that can lead to athlete's foot and even flesh-eating bacteria.
If your restroom has showers, a quick pass with a squeegee moves that water, plus body oils and soap scum, down the drain. Combine the tool with cleaning products, and the window squeegee becomes even more powerful. Instead of contaminating surfaces with germs picked up and redeposited by cleaning cloths or rags, a squeegee effectively removes them. In fact, a squeegee, microfiber, and cleaner system cleans six times better than towels or wipes and can remove 80 times more bacteria than conventional methods alone.
Tilt Your Expectation 90 Degrees
These properties make the squeegee perfect for cleaning any hard, flat surface, even horizontal ones like counter tops, bars and desks — the same principals apply. The squeegee, used with cleaner or even plain tap water, removes dirt, germs and residue while simultaneously drying the surface. In fact, the squeegee method is so fast and effective at removing soils and germs that the Process Cleaning for Healthy Schools consortium endorses using a squeegee and microfiber pad to clean classroom desks.
Hardworking bars and counter tops also benefit from squeegeeing. Conventional methods, like wiping with towels or rags, creates the opportunity for cross contamination and degrade the cleaning benefits over time. That means that this method leaves the last surface cleaned with up to eight times more soil than the first surface cleaned. A squeegee method leaves the last surface touched as clean as the first.
Want more ideas? Try the squeegee on chalkboards, whiteboards and restroom partitions. The result will be the same. Dry, shiny surfaces free of bio-pollutants and 99.9 percent of targeted bacteria. Plus, your cleaning staff will scrub and buff less, reducing stress on hardworking backs and shoulders.
Click here for more information on the benefits of using a squeegee as a cleaning tool.
Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines.
Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.
She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.