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Does the Kärcher window cleaner work?

Does the Kärcher window cleaner work?

November 25th, 2016 by PPC Pete

We are often asked by people “ is the Kärcher window cleaner any good?” and the answer is yes, but only to a general standard.

After the release of the first Kärcher window cleaner a couple of years ago we were asked many times what we thought of the product, and the honest answer is it’s probably the most simple and effective method of cleaning your windows if you want to do them yourself. The machine is small and compact and if used properly will clean the worst of the dirt off just about any flat surface with its built in suction motor. The machine is basically a hand held wet vac and sucks the window dry after the application of a cleaning solution applied through the spray bottle it comes with. For the best results you need  to get the window as wet as possible with the detergent mixture and then use the microfibre cloth on the end of the spray bottle to scrub the dirt lose before using the Kärcher window cleaner  to suck the residue away.

The technology has moved on over the last year or so and now the best window cleaning device that Kärcher do is called the WV5 premium which comes with two different size heads and  the application device, and will set you back £100. The motor seems slightly more powerful than the one in the first edition, along with it being lighter and having a better battery life. The latest WV5 version is one we have recently brought and been testing ourselves to clean up any excess water that spills on the floor or on any internal flat surfaces. It works very well for us on this basis but we don’t actually use it to clean the windows internally, as this is still done with the  traditional blade and squeegee method to leave a perfect finish every time.

The upside

The Kärcher WV5 is lightweight and great for cleaning everything that is possible to reach around the home including mirrors, shower screens, windows and worktops. The battery lasts well and you can get quite a lot done before needing to plug in and recharge it. The cleaning finish is of a good standard if used regularly on your windows but you can spend quite a while going over the glass and trying to get a good finish if the windows are dirty.

The downside

Although the machine works well for cleaning up most of the water residue from a flat surface it does not get everything, and this is what will leave spotting or streaks on glass. If the windows are very dirty you will find a lot of noticeable water marks left as you drag the machine down the window, and these are what will dry grey and streaky. You would then think the more you just go over it the more it will remove but this isn’t the case as you will just smear the dirty water back over the window again, the best way to combat this is to reapply the solution and go over it again and again until you happy with the finish. The other downside is that the machine is only good for the windows you can actually reach, as unless you’re in a bungalow you won’t be able to reach half the house. We would not recommend borrowing ladders from a friend or neighbour and getting up to have a go yourself either unless you have an understanding of basic ladder safety, as this is where things can go very wrong. There are hundreds of ladder accidents every year from exactly this kind of thing so our advice would be to make sure you know what you’re doing first, as even a few days in hospital is not worth trying to save a few quid to have clean windows!

Our Verdict

The Kärcher WU5 is a great piece of kit if you have accessible windows you are happy to clean yourself. The machine is great if you have kids or pets that are constantly leaving marks on the glass as its great for spot cleaning, but as far as cleaning the whole house then you’re never going to beat the service your local window cleaner will provide. As with all of these types of gadget they are ok until the novelty wears off and then they just become something that takes up room in the cupboard, so our summery would be that if you just want to clean when it suits you then buy one, but if you want year round clean windows then stick with your window cleaner!


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