Choosing the best ladder for cleaning windows can be a confusing task, but it is very important to do proper research before buying one.
A lot of people, who have one or two-storied houses, prefer to clean their windows themselves instead of calling a window cleaner. While that is the more economical option, it is not always the safest.
Window cleaning may not be rocket science, but it does require some special instruments or tools that cannot be substituted by everyday ones.
The most apparent of these is the ladder. The ladder is the primary equipment used for cleaning a window. A ladder used for cleaning windows is not the same as that used for ordinary purposes around the house.
It should come with some extra features to make it easier and safer to use for the express purpose of window-cleaning.
While such a ladder does not have to be professional-grade, unless you are used to using them, it does make a difference if the make of the ladder is more conducive to cleaning windows.
Best Ladders For Cleaning Windows
|Image||Name||Max Height||Weight Capacity||Check Price|
|Little Giant 6 to 10 Ft Combination Ladder||10.1 Feet||300 Pounds|
|Louisville FS1506 Type Ia Stepladder||6 Feet||300 Pounds|
|Xtend & Climb Pro Series 15 Feet Telescoping Ladder||15.5 Feet||250 Pounds|
|TOPRUNG Model-17 Ft Multi-Purpose Ladder||17 Feet||300 Pounds|
|Louisville Ladder FE3220 Extension Ladder||20 Feet||300 Pounds|
|Little Giant Alta One Ladder||22 Feet||250 Pounds|
Things To Keep In Mind While Buying Ladders For Cleaning Windows
Window cleaning is quite an intensive job. It puts extra stress on the ladder, since one not only has to reach greater heights, especially when cleaning windows of an upper floor.
You may also need to stretch and move around a bit to reach the farthest corners of the window.
Whether you are looking for a versatile ladder for all your indoor and outdoor purposes, including window cleaning, or buying a window washing ladder itself, it is important to check a few things in the ladders in your wishlist before choosing one.
The type of ladder you buy will depend highly on the kind of work you want to do. A normal extension or telescopic ladder works quite well in most houses with more than one story and windows at different levels.
Step ladders will suffice if you have only one floor in the house. But if you want to do it right, the A-type sectional ladder, called the window cleaners’ ladder, is the best and most advantageous to use.
They have a tapering head that makes it easy to prop and rack against window ledges and wall corners.
Another good option is the multi-purpose ladder, which is useful if your house does not have symmetrical architecture, with windows of different kinds at different heights and settings.
It is not hard to comprehend that a ladder for window cleaning needs to be higher than an ordinary one. A very high ladder by itself will not be stable or easy to use.
Therefore, sectional ladders for window cleaning is the best way to achieve that height. You can extend it only to the height you require. It also maintains a secure balance while you work.
This is a slightly tricky thing to decide upon.
While having a lightweight window-cleaning domestic ladder will be easier to carry and set up, especially by a light or short person, a heavier trade ladder with a heavy-duty rating provides greater stability, especially if you live in a place with high winds.
It is best to try out the ladder before actual use to see if it works for you.
When buying a ladder for cleaning windows, one must check for both the height and the width of the ladder.
If you are buying a stacking ladder for window cleaning, make sure that when fully extended, it does not bend too much in the middle.
A ladder of higher extended height should have a greater width for full support. But too wide ladders may be difficult to maneuver in tight corners, so keep in mind the dimensions of the house while buying.
The materials with which a window cleaning ladder is made is almost as important as its height.
Wooden window cleaning ladders are highly impractical, as the constant contact with water can rot and weaken them.
They are also too heavy to handle. Aluminum ladders are lightweight as well as sturdy, while steel ones are more heavy-duty and corrosion-resistant.
But if there are electric wires nearby, wooden ladders might just be the better option, otherwise, you must ensure there are thick rubber pads on the steps of the ladder to insulate you from a shock.
Best Ladders For Cleaning Windows
Safety and support are the order of the day when it comes to this Little Giant combination ladder.
Its special A-shaped frame, called the Select Step A-Frame, allows the ladder to be used variously, ie, on flat, sloping as well as uneven surfaces.
This is a great advantage, especially in reaching windows at the end of a staircase.
The sides of the ladder feature incremental extension, that allows it to be stretched from a minimum height of 6′ 1″ to a maximum of 10′ 1″.
Thus, whether your house has low ceilings or tall, it should not be a problem reaching them.
The lightweight aluminum frame of the ladder can handle up to 300 pounds, so that not only can you easily carry it anywhere, but also load it with all your cleaning necessities at once and not have to make multiple trips up and down for them.
Extra Side Rail Support
The legs on both the front and back part of the ladder have extra leg support so that even if you are putting them on an uneven surface like a garden to clean the outside of the windows, say, you will not have to fear about tumbling over.
Extra Comfortable Steps
The Comfort steps of the ladder ensure that even when you are standing on them for long hours, as window cleaning often takes, you will not be uncomfortable.
Versatile Work Tray
The top cap of the ladder is fitted with a tray, with designated tool slots and working table, so that you do not have to worry about where to keep your cleaning instruments mid-work.
Dimensions: 8.5 x 27.5 x 73 inches
Weight: 45 pounds
Number of steps: 5
Maximum frame height: 10 feet 1 inch
Minimum frame height: 6 feet 1 inch
Storage height: 6 feet 1 inch
Base spread: 48 inches
Weight Rating: 300 pounds
The sturdiness of this Louisville ladder and its ANSI rating is what makes this ladder so reliable.
From the looks of the ladder itself, you can tell this can carry any load you want to take up with you to clean the windows.
By nature, it is an extension ladder, and it is loaded with features that make it perfect for cleaning windows up to 6 feet high.
The multi-tool holding top cap with molded slots are perfect for keeping all your workers’ tools and extract them easily while working on the windows.
The wide, treaded shoes of the legs of the rail make sure that whether you are setting the ladder on soft soil to clean the outside of the windows or on slippery tiles to clean the windows from the inside, you will not fall or slip.
The extra robust body ensures that you are allowed sufficient mobility without any destabilization.
This ladder is high on stability. It has treaded, non-marring foot stabilizers that spread the body weight over a wide area and prevent slips.
The spreader steps are especially strongly built, with back braces that ensure that the ladder legs stay in place once firmly set up.
The ladder has a 300-pound duty rating, allowing even a heavy-set person to conveniently climb up the ladder with all his tools to clean windows.
Each of its steps is secured by six large-head semi-tubular steel rivets while the bottom legs are secured using the SHOX system, both of which keep the ladder parts firmly attached, even after rough handling and usage, which is common in window cleaning.
Safety From Electricity
You no longer need to avoid that one window too close to the electric wires. The non-conductive full-channel rails of the ladder, made of fiberglass and sheathed in polyester not only protect from electric shocks but also enhance the longevity of the ladder.
Dimensions: 74 x 23 x 7 inches
Weight: 17 pounds
Number of steps: 5
Height: 6 feet
Base spread: 40 7/8 inches
Bottom Width: 22 5/8 inches
Step depth: 3 inches
Weight Rating: 300 pounds
The Xtend & Climb Pro Series ladder may be for professionals, but a novice or home-owner can use it just as well. Compliance with the new 2019 ANSI/OSHA regulations guarantees this.
It is made of airplane-grade aluminum alloy that has two advantages – It is light enough for people to lift it or take it anywhere on the job, while also being sturdy enough to hold up the weight of anything that is required by a window cleaner.
The anodized finish of the ladder increases the durability of the ladder, and also makes it very easy to clean.
It imparts a sleek look to it and simultaneously prevents damage or corrosion directly to the body of the ladder, which is commonplace due to the spillage of detergent on the ladder while cleaning windows.
This goes a long way in maintaining the long life of this very useful ladder.
Simple To Operate
Operating the ladder is as easy as it gets. The no-pinch locking mechanism featuring an angled thumb release helps the user with the correct hand position to lock and unlock the steps.
You do not have to waste your cleaning time figuring out the system installed on the ladder anymore.
The ladder is a telescopic one, so it is not surprising that it will be compact. From 15.5 feet to 36.5 inches only, the ladder hardly takes any space in the fully folded condition, compared to its fully extended configuration that can raise you to a second-story window.
There is also a closure strap to secure the folded steps in place.
The wide feet of the ladder prevents any wobbliness and keep the window cleaner safe at any height. The double over-molded feet provide added traction and fall-resistance to the climber.
Dimensions: 19.8 x 4.5 x 36 inches
Weight: 37.4 pounds
Maximum extended height: 15.5 feet
Minimum contracted height: 36.5 inches
Reach height: 19.5 feet
Width 19.75 feet
Weight Rating: 250 pounds
Ladders with a long extension require a firm, hardy body, and the Toprung ladder does exactly that.
It is made of aircraft-grade aluminum with a heavy-duty 300-pound rating that ensures there is no unwarranted bending when you climb it with all your equipment to get that topmost first-floor window.
The anti-skid feet, in turn, keeps the ladder from shifting when you move atop it.
Its extension is also one of the best for its size. Both its sides can be extended as the user wishes so that using it to get to windows on stairs, slopes or even a tall wall is as easy as it gets.
The operation of the ladder is easy, and so is standing on the rungs at a stretch.
The steps are not only wide but also have slip-resistant treadings so that even if you accidentally get water on them, you would be able to descend safely.
The Toprung ladder is truly versatile, in that you can use it as a plain step ladder, a step level ladder, an extension ladder as well as a scaffold ladder.
In each case, you can reach different heights by extending the sections, which happens by one foot per increment.
Meets Every Standard
The ladder meets every significant industry-standard like EN-131, AS/NZS 1892.1, ANSI 14.2, and BSEN 14975. In fact, it exceeds the required ANSI standard. It has an IA load rating(heavy duty).
All these go a long way to ensure that cleaning windows remain a safe and secure affair.
Reliable Locking System
Every setting or extension of the ladder is secured by a sturdy locking system that keeps the steps firmly in place and prevents any slipping accident, especially while you are cleaning a window at a higher floor.
Dimension: 55 x 23.6 x 7.7 inches
Weight: 34.4 pounds
Extension Height: 9-15 feet
A-frame Height: 4-7 feet
Storage height: 4.6 feet
Bottom width:1.9 feet
Step space: 1 foot
Weight rating: 300 pounds
The Little Giant is another multi-way ladder whose versatility is truly wide-ranging.
With over 30 different ways that this ladder can be configured for use, no window will be unreachable.
Whether you are looking for a ladder that can help you reach all the windows of your home, even in the most awkward of places, or need a single ladder for all your professional window cleaning needs, this one will not disappoint.
The lightweight, airplane-grade aluminum body of the ladder, in spite of the large volume, makes it easy for any person of any capacity to carry it and set it up as they require.
But that does not mean the ladder is flimsy – it can carry up to 250 pounds and exceeds ANSI and OSHA industrial standards.
A Large Number Of Configurations
The ladder has 33 possible configurations, starting with the A-frame that is most commonly
used for window cleaning, to the scaffolding set-up, that is useful for cleaning rows of windows at a certain height.
Whether you need to clean the unreachable top parts of a ground floor window or the ever-neglected second-floor windows, this ladder can go from a short stepladder to a 22-foot extension ladder to set you up at any height you want.
Wide Flared Legs
Stability, the biggest concern for people buying window-cleaning ladders, is ensured fully by this ladder.
Its wide, flared outer legs give widely-spread support that makes cleaning windows in tricky places like narrow stairs and soft ground safe.
There is a work platform on one side of the ladder, that you can use variously.
You can keep your cleaning tools on it while working at lower heights, or stand on it for extra support when working on windows higher up.
Dimension: 27 x 8.04 x 60 inches
Weight: 37 pounds
Extension configuration height: 7′ 10″ to 15′ 6″
Stepladder configuration height: 2′ 10″ to 6′ 7″
Maximum height: 22 feet
Weight rating: 250 pounds
An extension ladder like this Louisville one is often the most suitable to use when you are working on windows in a tight corner, especially when the windows are at different levels.
Work safety is the most prominent feature of this ladder, with several features and mechanisms to let you do heavy-duty cleaning work without worry.
The rails of the ladder fit directly into the D-shaped rungs of the side rails, with hydraulically crimped ends to prevent any loose connections or detachments.
The mar-resistant end caps make sure that no wall surface or window ledge is damaged while setting the ladder at a window.
The ladder is made of fiberglass, and the rails are non-conducting, which ensures that working with water beside electric lines, which often pass windows, is not a risk to the cleaner’s life.
The MaxLock is the most reliable safety feature of this Louisville ladder. It has been tested to tolerate any kind of extreme weather, so no matter where you stay, window cleaning with this ladder will be guaranteed to be secure.
Heavy-duty slide guides at the top of the side rails of the base part of the ladder ensure that the ladder does not get extended beyond the safe limit. There is also a stop in the fly section to doubly ensure this.
Swivel feet are the ultimate dealmakers in window cleaning ladders.
All you have to do to move from one window to the other is to pivot the ladder portion on its feet, eliminating the need to carry it over to the next window and set it up all over again.
The swivel feet on this ladder are steel-plated and fitted with anti-slip rubber treads, to make sure that the ladder remains firmly put and does not cause sliding accidents
Although this ladder does not have wide steps to rest the feet flatly, its rungs are fully safe and supportive. Its serrated surface ensures a firm step while you are cleaning windows, even if the steps are wet from spilled water.
Dimension: 120 x 18 x 6 inches
Weight: 42 pounds
Extended ladder height: 20 feet
Unextended height: 10 feet
Safe working height: 17 feet
Outside shoe base width: 17 1/16 inches
Weight rating: 300 pounds
Find more information about this ladder here(link to Amazon)
Extra Features That Window Cleaning Ladders Should Have
Besides the general characteristics that a ladder you mean to use for window cleaning must possess, there must also be some additional features that you should look for in them.
Window cleaning can be difficult work since it requires a lot of movement. These features are meant to either make your job easier or ensure your safety while you are on the ladder.
It does not hurt to invest in a ladder that ensures the above, especially if you are not a professional.
Feet Stabilizers Or Levelers
These are special rubber or plastic shoes or pads fitted under the feet of the ladder.
Cleaning windows may require you to rest the ladder on the soft ground of the garden, an uneven road, a concrete surface or a slippery one.
Stabilizers and levelers make sure that even in such cases, the ladder does not wobble and disturb your balance.
A window cleaning ladder is practically useless if it does not have extendible sections.
Hardly ever does it happen that you will need to clean windows only at a single low level.
Extensions help to bring the ladders to the height of the windows to be cleaned and can be retracted to a smaller size for easy storage.
Ladder Stabilizing Pads Or Mitts
This is the single most important feature you must ensure your window cleaning ladder has.
A ladder stabilizing pad or mitt is a rubber pad or suction cup attached to the top of the side rail of the ladder, except in the case of a step ladder.
It is attached to the wall of the building to hold the ladder firmly against the wall without slipping.
Since you will be working with detergent, the walls might get slippery. So, this is one safety feature you cannot afford to forego.
This is an add-on for ladders other than step ladders.
It is a special feature that you should add only if you need to clean windows on walls that are quite close to each other.
That way, you can just swivel the ladder on its articulate feet to get it to the other side, instead of having to lift it, carry it over to the suitable position and set it all over again.
Points To Remember When Using Ladders For Cleaning Windows
No matter how much you ensure that your ladder is the best, safest, sturdiest and has all the necessary features, nothing beats the importance of following some safety rules when using a window-cleaning ladder.
Window cleaning can be risky due to numerous reasons, and it is better to be extra careful and safe than sorry.
Never forget to give your ladder a good pre-use check. It helps determine if the ladder is in good condition, if any part is loose or broken, if it is rusted or old, or has some problem in general.
If you do find a defect, refrain from using the ladder to clean windows.
Ladder Stability On The Ground
When you set up the ladder against the wall, make sure the legs of the side rails are immovably placed on the ground.
If they are wobbly or unstable, it might cause bad falls, especially since cleaning a window requires a lot of movements. Use external ladder levelers if necessary.
Ladder Stability On Walls
Just as the ladder needs to be stable on the ground, it also needs to be stable against the wall.
A ladder stabilizing pad is recommended at all times, to hold the ladder firmly on to the wall and prevent it from slipping down.
If you are using a mitt, try to find leverage in a corner or crook for the extra firm hold. A-type ladders are best in these cases, as the tapered head allows easy support without requiring too much grip surface.
Your body stability is as important as that of the ladder. Never forget that you are working with detergent, which is bound to create a slippery surface wherever it falls.
Your hands, the ladder steps, surfaces and holdable objects adjacent to the window will be slippery from the cleaning material.
So, to create extra friction, ensure that each ladder step has an anti-slip pad securely attached to it or is treaded itself.
Also always wear slip-resistant rubber gloves and shoes with treaded soles to provide a secure grip.
Proximity To Electric Lines
If the window is too close to electric lines or an electric appliance, beware of an unintentional connection being made.
Since you are working with water, you are at double risk of getting a shock if there is somehow a short circuit.
Try to cause minimum spillage, keep your bucket on the opposite side of the lines and stay cautious at all times.
Have a companion nearby to help in case of undue emergencies if necessary.
Do not try to clean windows while holding everything by yourself -falls will be inevitable if you do.
Have sufficient hooks and holders for your bucket, squeegee, etc, so that not only will you be able to hold onto something for self-stability, the chances of spillage will also be reduced.
No job is difficult if you follow the rules and use the right tools. Window cleaning is no different. Granted, it is not as easy as your everyday house cleaning tasks, but everyone starts at some point.
Especially for those who prefer to not depend on others for perfectly doable jobs and are looking to save the extra buck, cleaning your windows by yourself is a good decision.
But, as said before, you need the right tools and go by the rules.
Half your work will be done if you get the right ladder for cleaning windows, based on the size and shape of the building, the number of windows and their heights as well as your own capabilities in accomplishing the task.
This exhaustive guide should help you make the right choice yourself when you go shopping for your own window cleaning ladder.