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Double-sided magnetic window squeegee

Your own 3D-printed magnetic window cleaning tool
Author: U. Bär, Schwalbach, Germany
Online since: 15/07/2022, Number of visits: 3067
Some flats have windows that can only be tilted or are blocked by furniture and therefore difficult to reach. But even those windows need to be cleaned several times a year on the inside as well as the outside. So that I can clean even hard-to-reach windows, I designed a magnetic window squeegee using the CAD software from openSCAD.org, which I could then print on my 3D printer. The special feature of the magnetic window squeegee: It is a two-sided cleaning tool that uses magnets to stick to both sides of the window.

Materials needed

To put together the magnetic window squeegee, you need to print four parts with your 3D printer:
  • 1 handle
  • 1 Halbach base plate
  • 2 clips for attaching the cleaning rags (use the 3D printer material PETG)
You can find the files for the drawings under my profile on printables. Depending on the printer (and settings), the printing time of the components is about two to three hours. In order to keep the parts of the magnetic window squeegee together, you will also need five block magnets 40 x 10 x 5 mm.

Please note: Instead of the Halbach base plate, you also have the option to print a standard base plate for only two magnets. This is suitable for thinner window panes.

How the window squeegee with magnets works

The double-sided window squeegee with magnets works based on the principle of a Halbach array. (You can find more information about it in our customer project Building a Halbach array). This means that there is a higher adhesive force on one side of the tool than on the other side. You will need three block magnets for the Halbach array and two block magnets for the handle.

Integrating the magnets into the piece

The magnets are simply placed into the 3D printed piece. They are kept in place by being attracted to the counterpart when the magnetic window squeegee is in use. Small protrusions and the tight fit of the magnets also prevent them from falling out. So you won’t need any glue to attach the block magnets.

My tip: Should you find that the magnets are very loose due to printing tolerances/calibrations/under-extrusion, I recommend adding a little bit of glue, silicone or double-sided tape into the recess. A subsequent drop of superglue (cyanoacrylate) in the slot is also possible.
When the tool is used, the magnets are pulled against the closed base and simply have to be secured so that they don’t jump out in the event of reverse polarity (e.g. due to very fast rotation or incorrect placement).

How to use the 3D-printed magnetic window squeegee

After you printed all the parts in your 3D printer, your window squeegee magnet is immediately ready for use. Now you can conveniently clean the outside of your window from inside your room:
  1. Place a folded piece of paper tissue or a piece of cotton on the closed side.
  2. Press the clip, corner by corner, into the groove so that it doesn’t slip out of position. – Clip the open corner last.
  3. Wet the cloth with window cleaner or soapy water.
  4. Lay the outer side on the glass.
  5. Rotate the magnets so that they are horizontal and move them up and down.*
  6. After you wet cleaned your window, replace the paper tissue with clean dry cloths and repeat the process.
*Important: Don’t move the window squeegee sideways, as the magnetic adhesive force is weaker for movements in a lateral direction which can easily cause misalignment. Instead, turn the window squeegee in the desired direction.

Connect both parts of the magnetic window squeegee

It is essential that you connect both pieces of the magnetic window squeegee with a cord. Next to the handle is a spot where you can thread a cord through. Cut the cord to the desired length and then attach it to the other piece of the window squeegee. Alternatively, you could also attach the cord to just the outside unit and then tie it to your wrist.
The outer unit with the magnets weighs about 50 g and could injure people or cause damage to surrounding property if it were to fall from windows or floors located higher up the building. We assume no liability for any damages caused as a result of such an event. In addition, with a cord, it is also much easier to bring the outer magnet back inside. Otherwise, it could easily happen that you absentmindedly pull off the handle on the inside without considering that the unit on the outside will fall off (and may no longer be reachable either).
Note from the supermagnete team: You can find other valuable tips on how to use magnets to clean hard-to-reach areas on windows and glass surfaces in our FAQ pages about cleaning with magnets. If you don’t have a 3D printer at home, there is another way of making a magnetic window squeegee. Take a look at the customer project Window Cleaning.