Squeegee rubber. It is both the most important part of your window cleaning arsenal and the most important to get correct.
So what are the options? And what should you choose?
Well, here is the information you need. Know your squeegee! ‘Cause knowing is half the battle!
Different Rubber, Different Profiles
Above is a profile view of the different types of rubber available. It may not be apparent at a glance, but they certainly look different, and it makes a big difference in how they fit into a squeegee channel.
Most of the squeegee rubber brands are interchangeable – Ettore, Pulex, Unger, and even Wagtail squeegee rubber have a round shape and will fit any of these same brands of squeegee channels.
Sorbo rubber and channels are in a category of their own, though. These rubbers are referred to as Double-T rubber. The rounded style that fits other channels won’t work here.
There are options for Sorbo channels, however. Buying Sorbo rubber in a roll comes in a slightly different style – a Single-T rubber. (This roll rubber is also made of silicon, instead of the natural rubber their pre-cut rubbers come in, which can make a difference when you are using it.) There is also the Soren rubber by Ettore, made specifically to fit Sorbo channels, and that is also in the Single-T rubber style.
Soft Rubber or Hard Rubber?
Another consideration when choosing rubber is whether to use soft rubber or hard rubber.
Soft rubber is the most common type sold. Unless the rubber specifically states otherwise, the squeegee rubber you are looking at is probably soft rubber.
What is the difference?
Simply put – soft rubber is good for cooler weather and hard rubber is better for hot weather. Around 90 degrees or so, soft rubber can begin to perform poorly and even leave streaks. This is because the rubber becomes even softer and more pliable the warmer it gets. Hard rubber will stay firm and perform best at these higher temperatures.
For northerners like me, soft rubber is good for most of the year. We use very little hard rubber up this way – only on those extra hot, dog days of summer.
For other parts of the country, where it is warm most of the year and occupants see little to no snow, one may choose to use hard rubber for all but the coldest times of year.
The term “hard rubber” may be misleading. This is not rubber that is so hard it will retain its shape. It is still flexible. So it may be difficult to tell whether the rubber is hard or soft at a glance. Usually hard rubber has HARD stamped on the rubber (as in the picture above). Another way to tell the difference is to lay the two pieces over the end of a table. A soft piece of rubber should hang lower then a hard piece of rubber.
Some more considerations:
- Hard rubber will usually last longer than soft rubber
- Hard rubber will require more pressure against the glass
- Soft rubber can damage more easily
- Soft rubber will conform better to uneven glass
Make Those Rubbers Last
Often I get asked the question about how long squeegee rubbers will last when stored. It is hard to say with certainty, but if stored correctly, they should last about a year.
Correct storage means some place cool, dark, dry, and particularly away from direct sunlight. Most times, for window cleaners working out of their vehicle and storing all of their equipment there, the best idea is to keep the squeegee rubbers in an opaque and/or UV-resistant plastic case. Buying dozen packages of rubber from Ettore or 25-piece promo packs from Unger are great for this, because they come in their own case.
Ultraviolet rays and sources of ozone will do the most damage to rubber. So be sure to store pieces you are not using somewhere they are protected.
You also want to keep them away from high heat.
That will do it for this rubber discussion. I hope this post gave you some of the information you need to make the most informed decisions about your squeegee rubber.
Do you have additional questions about squeegee rubber and the brands available? Comment below or email us from the About Page!
Or… Shop for rubber now!