The Daredevils of the Window Cleaning Industry

Window cleaning may not sound like a challenging job, but the men and women that get up every morning to clean skyscrapers are a different kind of daredevil…

Here are some of the toughest challenges commercial window cleaners have faced:

Cleaning the tallest building in the world

The Burj Khalifa, in the UAE is still the world’s highest building at 829.8m tall almost 300m taller than the second highest building in the world, the One World Trade Centre in NYC, at 550m.

The building has just under 1.3m square feet of glass. The equipment used to clean this monolith is worth a mere £5m and is used solely on this building. The men cleaning the windows have to wear special suits, almost like space suits, to protect themselves from the sun glare, with temperatures reaching around 50’C in the summer time.

Long-Term Commitment

As some of these buildings are huge, it can take months to clean one building. A good example is the Time Warner Centre, where it’s eighty glass walls require 6 window cleaners for four months to clean.

It Takes Toughness & Guts

The BBC featured skyscraper window cleaning in Toronto as one of the world’s toughest jobs – It takes the toughness of being able to weather plagues of bugs that bother you whilst sitting on a little seat dangling from a rope, during the summer months. It requires sitting on that seat for hours on end, as well as potential gusts of wind.

Who Flung Dung?!

Window cleaners not only need to contend with bad weather, bird poop and dizzy heights, but sometime they also have to deal with litterbugs, even at crazy heights! On the Empire State Building littering tenants threw out almost 40 litres of strawberries, which then froze on the window and the window cleaners had to get these off the windows – not a pleasant job!


So next time you see a window cleaner dangling on a rope with hit hard hat on, bear a thought for him or her, and the challenging situations he might be facing that day!

And if you’re scared of heights, commercial window cleaning is definitely not a career option to consider!