Welcome to

Cowboy Cleaner Watch

Keeping Cowboy Cleaners off the street!

Together, we’re keeping Cowboy Cleaners off the street!


Window Cleaning


Whilst George Formby may have immortalised the classic Window Cleaner, the trade has come a long way since then… For decades millions of households (and businesses) across the world have been benefitting from a Window Cleaning – whether using the classic ‘ladder and bucket’ method or the more recent Reach & Wash system, you don’t have to look too far to spot a window cleaner, the question is, are they operating legally or are they a Cowboy!? You’ll find more information about Window Cleaning as a service at the bottom of this page but for now we’ll talk about Cowboys.

Did you know? The more recent Reach & Wash system uses purified water, meaning it has zero impurities – water stains on glass are caused by the impurities that are found in regular water (including any soap or detergent) but as purified water has none, it will dry crystal clear! 


As with all businesses there are some basic guidelines and laws in place to ensure the safety of the public, the environment and employees, but cowboys are prepared to flaunt and break these laws daily putting everybody at risk! To become an accredited member of Cowboy Cleaner Watch we simply ask businesses to prove they are following these basic steps, and ask that you ask the same!  

1. Are you a registered Business/Sole Trader? Non-registered businesses typically operator on a ‘cash-in-hand’ basis, meaning they are not regulated and often do not adhere to guidelines or legal practices, putting themselves and the public at risk on a daily basis!

2. Do you have the appropriate Insurances (incl. Public Liability)? Any ‘business’ that does not have the appropriate insurance leaves you without any reassurance and is putting both the public and themselves at risk – an absolute minimum for ANY business!

3. Are the correct safety measures being used? When working at height it important to ensure the correct equipment and appropriate safety measures are being used – can your Window Cleaner ensure appropriate (and good working) equipment is being used?

Is your Window Cleaner a Cowboy or a Good Guy? Ask them to register as an Accredited Cowboy Cleaner Watch Member and help keep Cowboy Cleaners off the street – point them to this website or click on the Recommend a Good Guy link and we’ll do the rest!

About Window Cleaning

When? Whilst many people may only have their windows cleaned on an ad-hoc basis, often contacting a Window Cleaner when they notice their windows are getting dirty, the service is most commonly provided on a regular basis, either every 4, 6 or 8 weeks (although the interval can be as frequent as either the customer requires of the Window cleaner offers).

The idea is to keep your windows looking clean and ensure they don’t get too dirty, rather than having them cleaned when you can no longer see through them – although environmental factors (wind, rain and dirt/dust in the air) may have an impact on the preferred  frequency.

Most Window Cleaners will typically arrive within a week of any scheduled reoccurring service, and often without notice – logistical complications (whether weather or personal delays) will often mean they are unable to give an exact day, so typically work through their rounds and schedule as best as possible. 

How? If your Window Cleaner prefers the more traditional method they will likely arrive with a set of ladders,  a bucket (with soapy water), a covered t-bar (fur) and a squeegee (the rubber bladed tool that removes excess water), plus some additional tools/equipment.

They’ll start at the top and work their way down, giving the window a quick clean with the fur covered t-bar (with soapy water), clear off the excess water with the squeegee and then wipe down any sills!

More recently, many window cleaners have moved over to the new Reach & Wash system, whereby they use a telescopic pole (so no need for ladders) with a bristled brush on the end, that pumps crystal clear purified water onto the glass – along with the brushing, the purified water actually helps clean the glass by attracting impurities, drying crystal clear after being rinsed (so no need to squeegee off the excess water).

There is an ongoing debate about which is method is best (as the results are subject to the cleaners efforts), but the safety aspect alone makes the new Reach & Wash method more attractive to Window Cleaners!


What should it cost? As with all businesses, there are different levels of service and different payment options. Most will require a fixed amount in advance to cover a set amount of cleans, or require a monthly Direct Debit to be setup. Additionally, most companies will offer a discount if paying for more cleans in advance!

As every house/building is different in size and needs there is no average cost, but for you can expect to pay between £15 and £35 for your average 2 to 4 bedroom house, subject to levels of service, location and available discounts! Larger, more established companies may charge a little more (as inclusive of VAT) but will often have better redundancies in place (a staffed office, spare vehicles, equipment and more cleaners).

It is worth considering the cost to run a legal company! To maintain vehicles and modern equipment, the usage of large quantities of treated water and the respective licences / insurance is very expensive – if you find a service being offered at a price below the average or at a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is! Cowboys are easily able to undercut those that are operating legally, both putting the public at risk but also impacting all the genuine companies trying to provide a safe and legal service!