“ Brand: Karcher / Type: Window/Glass Cleaner „
Cleaning windows it's definitely on par with cleaning the oven, which means that there's not a lot of people who actually enjoy doing either. So when it comes to doing the windows with very little effort, and even less mess, then there's a lovely little piece of equipment that I managed to get my hands on to aid in me clearly seeing through those double panes of clear stuff that keep the wind away whilst letting me look out into the big wide, and sometimes very scary view.
The piece of equipment that I am talking about is from a well known company called Karcher, with the full name of this machine being the Karcher WV60 plus...
* So what is this Karcher WV 60 plus then..?
Firstly, I have to tell you that it's not a wrongly spelt name of a very round car that starred in a few movies. No, and it's not even shaped like the insect either. It is in fact a rather nice looking little tool that a professional window cleaner would be proud of.
* A few specs first...
It has 3.6volts of power which comes from a rechargeable battery.
The battery takes about 2 hours to charge and on one full charge can give you 20 minutes of cleaning time
The blades length is about 280mm and so is the cleaning pad.
The waste water tank, or container, on the vac unit can hold up to 100ml of waste water.
The pad section on the spray bottle is bout 300mm long and has washable cloths that are attached to them.
* What does it look like..?
To be honest, it could be mistaken for a ballistic weapon from the year 2100, with it's body moulded plastic with a gap right through the centre in order to put your hand so that your fingers are then protected from enemy attack.
It measures about 350mm high, 130mm long by 90mm, although the blade does make it about 280mm wide, and it comes weighing in at no more than ¾ of a kg. On the back of the unit there is the trigger which is just under where my finger sits so that it's right there in the perfect place.
On the front there's the water reservoir, which holds the dirty water, when the vac has sucked it from the window, or what ever you're cleaning.
On the top there is the flat edge which is in the well known shape of what you see window cleaner use when they're up the ladder cleaning your windows with dirty water and a brown cloth that was once white.
And that's what it looks like really.
But there is the spray bottle itself as well as the vac, which, at the end of the day, looks like a spray bottle with what looks like a rectangular sponge on the top where the spray comes out. This spray bottle stands are about half the height of the vac and holds about 250ml of water.
And that's what you get in this pack, apart from the tiny little bottle of that holds a small amount of cleaning concentrate which lasts longer than the bottle looks as though it should.
* So how does one use it then..?
To be honest you have to use it in two parts, so to speak, with the spray bottle part first to wash the windows, then the second part being with the 'vac' section which cleans the water from the glass like an miniature automatic window cleaner that doesn't ask for a Christmas tip.
Let me start with the first part....
The spray bottle...
With this you simply take off the spray trigger head, the one which the rectangular pad is on. Although if you have take the pad off then you will have ot put it back on again. This can only really be done when the trigger head is off the bottle as there's a clip that goes around the trigger head neck which grips the pad section to the trigger head. In other words, you take off the trigger head, slot the pad on the top of the head, slide the clip up the neck of the trigger head from the bottom, clicking it into place. Now the pad is attached to the trigger head and you're away. All you have to do now is fill up the bottle that the trigger head screws onto. So, with the trigger head screwed off, you take the bottle and drop in a little bit of the cleaning fluid, some came in the package but you can use your own choice. The amount needed depends on the fluid so please read the label. The fluid that came with this unit was called concentrated for a reason and I only needed two drops or so to get the right amount of cleaning power.
Once the fluid is in the bottle you then fill the rest of the bottle with water, preferably warm but not boiling. Then you screw the trigger head back on and give the bottle a bit of a shake to mix up the fluid and the water.
Now you're ready to start cleaning you windows, which is a matter of pulling the trigger to allow the water-slash-cleaning fluid onto the rectangular pad, giving it a good soak, but not drowning it. Once the pad is wet enough you can go about rubbing it around the glass, getting into the corners so that it doesn't look like portholes in a ship. Once the windows are covered in the foamy water and you've rubbed the glass as best you can, it's time for the second part of the cleaning process, which is where you take the wet, dirty water from the glass without soaking your floors.
And this is what the 'vac' is for...
So how do you use this piece then..?
Firstly you have to make sure that this vac is charged up so that you can get the full benefit of it. Once it's charged you simply make sure that the 'blade' head is on the top section of the vac, then you simply hit the on button and start to 'stroke' the blade around the glass. This will slowly take the dirty water away from the glass and 'vacuum' it into the tank on the unit, which stops the water just dropping onto the floor.
All you do then is completely go around the glass with the blade and, hopefully, all the water should be in the reservoir and not on your feet.
* What about when the tanks full..?
Once the tank is full, which, even though it is only small, does manage to last quite a while as there's not much water on the windows to 'suck' up.
But when it's full all you do is release the clip on the front of the unit, just above the grey tank, and empty the contents into a suitable place... and that doesn't mean into your partners coffee cup after you've had a blazing argument over who's cleaning the windows, and you've lost, hence it's you using this unit...
And that's how you empty the waste water...
* How do I clean the unit itself..?
There's not a lot of cleaning needed really. The blades simply need wiping over with a cloth to get all the chemicals off so that they last longer whilst in storage. The cleaning pads can be soaked in clean water to get them clean again, even place in the washing machine if you like, although it's best to buy new ones after a while as everything where's out in time.
The main units them selves only need a wipe over with a clean cloth to get rid of any spilt water so that nothing stains them when you put them away.
And that's how you keep it clean..
* Is there anything else apart from the vac and spray bottle..?
Yes. Apart from the vac and spray bottle you should also get...
A small bottle, 20ml, glass cleaner concentrate
Micro fibre wiper and attachment.
280mm wide suction nozzle
* What do I think then..?
When it comes to cleaning windows I find it a bit like cleaning the oven, a bit of a chore that needs doing and only gets worse the longer you leave it. Getting to the point where it's almost impossible to see through the once clear pane of glass.
So the easier the cleaning of the windows process, and the quicker I can get t out of the way with, the better I feel at the end of the day. So when I started using this window cleaning vac I was, well, as they say, I was well impressed.
It is so easy to use, and, as I said, a lot quicker than using a sponge and some paper towels, and it manages to leave a streak free finish on the glass once the 'blade' has taken the water away from it and sucked it into the container.
For the record, according to the little leaflet that came with this package this sprayer and vac, put together, can cover a 40 - 60 m2 area, which is apparently 20 average windows or so. But as I haven't got 60 average windows all I can say that one fill up covers all the windows inside my home.
As for actually using it, this is as easy as holding a plastic bottle of milk and rubbing it along the table... although why you'd want to rub a bottle of milk along the table I don't know, but what I mean is that this vac is so easy to hold, gripping inside the good size trigger housing, just like those plastic bottles of milk with the handles on the side that make it easier to pour.
The trigger is in such a positive place, being where my trigger finger is when I'm holding the vac, so that I can not only press the trigger when I want to but I can keep full control over the vac whilst I go up, down and side to side of the window I'm cleaning.
The spray bottle is as you'd expect, a spray bottle, with an over sized trigger so that it makes it easier to pull the trigger, with a good spray of cleaning fluid going into the pad that fits snugly on the top. Once the pad is wet, not soaked, then it's quite amazing how much glass area you can cover with one sweep of the pad before having to spray once more.
I do have to say that this is mainly used for cleaning glass windows but it can be used for cleaning glass tables too, I know I have and I have found that it does just a good a job on the table, as long as it's glass.
The waste water container doesn't sound the biggest, but as I said, as the water on the window is not really a lot then the container doesn't fill up that fast, leaving more time and space to clean more windows as you go. And then, when it does get full, or even if it's not and you've had enough of cleaning the windows, you just flick the catch and tip the dirty water out of the container and into the sink. Job done.
What more can I say about this little angel in the life of the window cleaning process? Well, it does exactly what you pay your window cleaner £10.00 per time to do, so you save that money to start with. It cleans the dirt and grease from your windows and as it's battery operate it can be used on the highest windows without having to find the longest extension lead in the world.
The blade on the vac is strong yet flexible, giving you the ability to scrape the water off the windows without damaging the glass you're so desperate to look through.
The pad on the spray bottle is as strong and gentle as the blade on the vac, which manages to get the cleaning fluid around the glass and even into the corners of the frame, although it does get onto the actually frame itself but that's no big deal and is easily wiped off.
I nearly forgot to mention the little faux leather holster that comes in the pack, or the hip bag that it is called in the leaflet. This has a plastic catch around the belt area that clips into place, locking the holster into place so that you can rest the vac inside it whilst you're climbing up a ladder, or onto a chair, or just pretending you're John Wayne in a Spaghetti Western.
The vac sits upright in the holster, almost all the way inside it, a little bit too far to be honest as you can only grab the blade to get it out really as the rest of the vac is out of sight.
But this isn't a bad thing as the blade is strong enough to handle a bit of pulling up and down so there's no really dangers of it breaking as you're dragging it out of the holster.
* And the price..?
The cost of this window cleaner, together with the rest of the things that I have mentioned, is about the £35 - £40 region, or there abouts.
* Is it worth the money..?
Without doubt it is well worth the money, especially if you're like my wife and like to have clean windows all the time, even if she never cleans the things herself. If you pay a window cleaner to do your windows then you're probably paying them about £6 - £10 a time, or more in some places, so if you clean your windows with this three or four times, maybe five. Then you've made your money back to start with and you know that you've done the windows properly, not leaving dirty bits left in the corners, ladder marks in the lawn and broken plant pots hidden in the bushes.
So, if you want clean windows with less fuss then this is well worth looking into.