Take my advice — don't buy a window vacuum cleaner

We all want to make life easier, especially when it comes to cleaning. That’s why when window vacuum cleaners first came to market, we welcomed the idea with open arms. If these small, electric squeegees could make cleaning the windows any easier, then they would be an essential purchase for avid cleaners everywhere. But, are window vacuum cleaners really all that useful and convenient? Here, we take a look at their pros and cons, and why ultimately they’re not worth your time.

What are window vacuum cleaners?

Window vacuum cleaners are a relatively new concept — Kärcher only launched their first model in the US in 2010. These handheld appliances are designed to vacuum up any condensation or cleaning solution as you squeegee a window or worktop. Most are cordless with rechargeable batteries and a removable tank is attached to the body to collect the excess water. The advantage of using one is that it will clean and dry your window at the same time, supposedly leaving a streak-free finish.

Take my advice — don't buy a window vacuum cleaner

Why am I not a fan of window vacuum cleaners?

When I first unboxed a window vacuum for testing, I had high hope for its performance. I live in a hard water area, so I need to wipe out my shower with a manual squeegee daily, followed by towel-drying any remnants. However, unfortunately, the window vacuum sucked, and not in a good way.

When I started to clean my shower glass, I immediately realized I needed to severely slow down. With a squeegee I could quickly swipe back and forth, but with a window vacuum, I had to gradually drag it down the glass, which I soon lost my patience with. When I reached the bottom and moved to the top of the next section, the seal on the window vacuum started to drip over the area I had just dried, which was frustrating.

Looking back over my work, I was not happy with the finish at all. The window vacuum had picked up all of the water, but it had also left a dull, streaky finish which would need buffing. So I had to grab a towel to both dry the seal between swipes and buff where I'd cleaned.

On top of this, the weight of the window vacuum soon started to strain my arm, so I had switch hands repeatedly. I finally finished, but the job took much longer than it usually would and I felt more tired on top of it.

Lastly, I'm not sure why, but I had hoped that being a window vacuum cleaner, it would be able to contribute to cleaning the windows. Sadly this wasn't the case either. When I vacuumed a dirty, wet window, it simply smeared the dirt across it and blocked the seal. So in the end, all it was really good for was drying, but I wasn't even happy with its performance there.

If you're still not convinced, here are some pros and cons of window vacuum cleaners.

Window vacuum cleaner: Pros

Window vacuum cleaner: Cons

Should you buy a window vacuum cleaner?

While my personal experience was less than ideal, some still vouch for window vacuum cleaners. Personally, I don’t think they add much to the convenience of drying your windows, but there’s certainly room for improvement in their design. Until then, I'm sticking with my squeegee.