I upgraded my squeegee to a window vacuum – here’s what happened

squeegee vs window vacuum
I swapped my squeegee for a window vacuumAndrii Borodai - Getty Images

If you want to prevent limescale in the bathroom, not to mention mould and mildew, you ideally need to wipe your shower out after each use. This is why I first purchased a squeegee; it’s quick to swipe water from the glass and tiles, leaving less residual moisture to dry using a towel. It’s fast and effective to use and can save you some serious elbow grease in the bathroom down the line.

While I love my squeegee, window vacuums are a popular alternative. The action is pretty much the same, although a window vacuum will suck the water away as you go, which can save you from dampening an extra towel or leaving water dripping on the floor.

Both items have their uses all over the home, from windows and mirrors to hobs and small spills, but which is better? I swapped out my manual squeegee for the Karcher WV 5 Plus to see and here’s what I found.


squeegee vs window vacuum
Milan Krasula - Getty Images

Squeegee wins

This is what I mostly use my squeegee for because I wipe the shower out every day. First of all, storing the window vacuum in the bathroom wasn’t ideal; with its bulky shape and electrical components, it had to sit on the floor outside ready for use. Meanwhile the squeegee fits nicely on a shelf in my shower, and I needn’t worry about it getting wet.

In use, the window vacuum worked faster than I expected. As I gradually swiped down on the glass door, water droplets disappeared quickly, with minimum dripping down onto my feet. It was not without its bugbears though, squeaking at times even though the door was soaked and leaving some streaks behind. It’s performance on the tiles was much better; next to no moisture on the walls with one pass.

However, while the window vacuum was great at collecting puddles from the shower shelves, its head was too wide to fit properly, meaning some corners were missed. A few sections of the wall couldn’t be covered either due to the shape, such as the glass around the shower door hinges and behind the hose for the shower head. But when you consider how much water was picked up by the vacuum on the whole, these missed sections added little time to wiping over with a towel afterwards.

In conclusion, using the window vacuum took longer to wipe out the shower compared to the squeegee. I also had to empty out the tank of the window vacuum 2-3 times during one session, which I needed to keep an eye on. Ultimately the squeegee came out as my preferred method for this one. While I had more of a wet towel to deal with afterwards, it was faster and more convenient in use.


squeegee vs window vacuum
filadendron - Getty Images

Window vacuum wins

I used the window vacuum on my bathroom mirrors immediately after showering to deal with the condensation, and it was brilliant for this. One or two streaks were left behind with each swipe, but the finish was near perfect. The squeegee by comparison left a lot more smears behind and required extra buffing.

When washing the mirrors thoroughly, the squeegee caused run off onto my cabinets below, which isn’t ideal. The window vacuum was tidier and more controlled by comparison, and I preferred it over the two for this reason. My bathroom mirrors are square with singular panes, so the window vacuum’s shape did not get in the way. The tank was an adequate size for this chore too.

Of course, if you’re dealing with a framed round mirror, this can make the chore tricky for a window vacuum. Squeegees are the more lightweight and manoeuvrable of the two, so it would be the better option in this case.


squeegee vs window vacuum
ronstik - Getty Images

Window vacuum wins

When it comes to windows, the window vacuum is an ideal tool, particularly indoors. Windows are generally large, square panes, which are perfect for running a window vacuum down – so long as it doesn’t leave streaks behind.

A squeegee can do the same work, but it’s not convenient and can take a long time. That’s why window cleaners use professional grade larger squeegees for cleaning large windows. Even so, you likely wouldn’t want to use one of these indoors without protecting your floors; the water will run down and drip everywhere, which is what happened when I used the squeegee.

The window vacuum by comparison was quick, without mess and effective at collecting every drop. There were a few squeaks here and there as before, but it was definitely the better method of the two if you’re opting to do this yourself.

Overall winner: Window vacuum

On the whole, I was impressed by this window vacuum’s performance. While it might not replace my trusty squeegee in the shower, it’s the better choice on every other mirrored or glass surface.

It’s worth mentioning that you can also use a window vacuum horizontally, although you should always check the manual first. This meant I could use the Karcher WV 5 Plus to dry my freshly cleaned hob. In just a couple of sweeps the results were spotless, and preferable to using a microfibre cloth to gradually buff it dry.

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