With the development of the skyscraper in the 20th century, a more efficient tool for the cleaning of window exteriors was needed. Professional window washers began using the Chicago squeegee, a bulky tool with two heavy pink rubber blades. Changing the blades required the loosening of twelve separate screws. The modern single-blade window cleaning squeegee was patented by Ettore Steccone in 1936; it was made of lightweight brass with a very flexible and sharp rubber blade. The Ettore Products Co. is still the leader in the squeegee market today. Squeegee kits can include a telescoping pole to extend the washer's reach.
Simple squeegees are made in various shapes for household use, including the cleaning of shower doors, bathroom tile, and garage floors.
When using a squeegee for window cleaning a common problem people come across is run lines . This is caused by the squeegee being angled incorrectly forcing the water under the rubber blade out into the dry area of the glass or from solution being pushed up into the top edge of the window. The squeegee should instead be tilted in the direction that the blade is moving across the glass to force to water into the wet area of the glass .
Another method used by window cleaners is to tap the blade on an already wet area of the glass of to remove any excess water on the rubber blade . Alternatively the rubber blade can be dried with a towel, although this method is slower and not practical when using extension poles.
According to Guinness World Records, the world's fastest window cleaner is Terry Burrows of South Ockendon, Essex, England, who cleaned three standard 45-inch x 45-inch office windows set in a frame in 9.24 seconds at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham in March 2005. He used an 11.8-inch squeegee and 2.4 gallons of water.
This is often used in places that need the floors cleaned regularly, such as army barracks or the meat departments in supermarkets. Hospitals sometimes use the floor squeegee to clean up any spills that occur in operating rooms or regular patient rooms as the design of the squeegee lends itself towards a more sanitary clean up. Squeegees are standard utensils for cleaning floors in many parts of the world such as Israel/Palestine.
A horse scraper is used to remove the sweat from the coat of the horse. It is similar to a window cleaning squeegee, but has an arched blade.
Auto squeegees are also popular in some universities to clean black boards.