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Clean car window

How To Clean Car Windows

The importance of correct car maintenance and servicing cannot be overstated. A properly maintained car will give reliable service but, when it comes to driving it, that maintenance counts for nothing if you can’t see out of the windscreen. So, not only does a clean car look good, it also ensures that visibility is as good as it can be.

First wash the vehicle thoroughly. There are some good suggestions here. Now, here’s how to go about making that glass sparkle:

You will need:

  • A good, branded glass cleaner.
  • Clean microfibre cloths.
  • A small, soft bristle brush.
  • A purpose-designed glass drying towel.
  • Optionally, a ceramic coating and a preparatory solvent spray.
  • For interiors, a reaching tool might help get in the corners.

How to avoid streaks when cleaning car windows

Always try to wash the car in the shade. Sun dries water quickly and can leave streaks on the glass, adding an unnecessary extra nuisance. Working quickly before the rinse water starts to dry, the solution is to deploy a soft, clean drying towel, ideally a product that is designed specifically to do the job; one that is baby-soft and highly absorbent. Now you’re ready for the next step.

What do you use to clean car windows?

Washing is fine but nature throws a lot at car glass, especially the windscreen which has to stop insect strikes and detritus thrown up by the motor in front. Washing alone is often not enough. There are some great glass-cleaning products available now, that cut through stubborn marks, dirt and insect remains to leave a perfectly clean and prepared surface. Spray the product sparingly and wipe evenly across the screen in smooth strokes rather than a circular motion, then wipe away with a fresh towel. Repeat on all windows. Hatchbacks especially with short rear overhangs can end up with really soiled rear screens that can take some cleaning.

Top Tip: Always have a selection of good quality, soft clean microfibre cloths to hand, using a fresh one at each stage of cleaning.

It’s possible to go a stage further too by adding a ceramic coating to the glass which, obviously, won’t obscure the view but will make the act of routine cleaning easier. It lasts for ages too. Consider that the next time you are detailing your car. It requires special application and the glass needs to first prepared with a solvent spray to remove every last iota of contaminants, leaving a squeaky-clean surface. Ceramic coating requires care and attention to detail but it is worth the extra effort. All the required products are available but, better still, the job is made easier if they all come as a fully-loaded kit.

Top Tip: Clean the wiper blades too: Lift away from the glass and wipe along the length with a cloth dampened with a windscreen washer fluid solution. Repeat until no dirt comes off on the cloth.

How to clean inside front car windows

Clearly, the inside of a windscreen or car windows doesn’t get take the same beating as the exterior surface. That’s not to say though that it doesn’t get dirty. Human breath, food grease, children’s sticky fingers and cigarette smoke can all visibly affect the surface, usually resulting in a ‘greasy’ look, made worse by wiping a hand across the glass to clear it: terrible habit that just makes things worse. Far better then to use a good quality glass cleaner.

Start with a quick wipe over with a clean microfibre cloth or towel just to remove any loose contaminants. Spray the cleaner directly and sparingly onto the cloth. Too much makes the job unnecessarily laborious and may create a haze. Work across the surface in smooth strokes, right into the corners where a reaching tool might help, and then wipe away with a clean, dry cloth to leave a crystal clear view.

Top Tip: Don’t spray the cleaner directly onto the glass surface as some of it will be airborne. Car interiors contain a lot of different materials and leather. They have their own cleaning products.

What is the best cloth to clean car windows

Readers may by now have gathered that the best all-round cloths or towels for all car-cleaning jobs are those of the microfibre variety. Microfibre is about half the diameter of a silk fibre and comes in different grades to suit different functions. It’s a highly absorbent fabric ideal for cleaning purposes. They are not expensive so it pays to get quality products. Towels tend to more absorbent and are great for quickly drying surfaces.

Can you use paper towels to clean car windows?

Yes you can but it is not recommended. Paper towels are indeed absorbent but they are thin and that absorbency means that they will quickly shred when wiped back and forth, leaving behind small particles of paper and streaks; and nobody wants streaks. Also, it’s worth considering the environment: Paper towels only get one shot and then they are thrown away. Microfibre cloths, mitts or towels can be washed and dried and used repeatedly.

How to clean car window rubber surrounds

Rubber window seals can get dry and cracked over time. They have a tough job to do, keeping the glass secure and preventing any water ingress. They too need a little TLC. Wash them in the usual way as part of the detailing regime, perhaps using a small soft brush to work any ingrained dirt out. Once dry apply a little wax sealant, working it in to help keep the rubber supple and water repellent.

How to clean tree sap and bird lime off car windows

Parking under trees, perhaps to keep the sun off, is fine but it leaves the car glass and body work at the mercy of any tree sap and acidic bird droppings. Leave these deposits too long and they will dry and eventually cause discolouration of car paintwork and be difficult to remove from glass. The solution is to use a powerful yet safe product specifically designed for this and any other heavy vehicle cleaning jobs. It makes what can be a bothersome task simple; just spray on and wipe off.

Top Tip: Protecting glass with a ceramic glass coating will prevent these glue-like substances from taking hold, making cleaning easier.

So that’s it: Sparkling clear glass means safer driving. Make car window cleaning a part of your car cleaning and detailing regime.

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