Clean car windows do not only make your car look good; it is also important for your safety. Visibility is crucial to prevent accidents from happening. Dirty car windows detracts your visibility. Keeping them clean will help you better evaluate what is going on around you. We all know that cleaning car windows without getting streaks is no easy feat and that’s one of the reasons car owners would rather not do it on their own. But professional help can be pretty expensive. Plus you might have to consider how much time you are willing to spend for your car wash and that would also depend on how far away the car wash or detailer is. Hence, knowing how to properly clean your car windows would definitely be an advantage. You can do it anytime you are free and it’s much cheaper. On top of that, you can do Mother Nature a favor by using all-natural cleaners that you can make at home. Most auto detailing use cleaning agents that are horrible for the environment. Although some may be using environment friendly products, you can never be 100% sure.
There are several factors to consider when cleaning your car windows. First, you must find the right cleaning solution. Then, there is the fact that recently tinted car windows can take around three to five days before they completely dry out in summer. And when it’s wintertime it can take around a few weeks before the film of the window dries up. Here we give you fast and easy ways to clean your window without getting those ugly streaks. There are more than one way to skin a cat. You can use different window cleaning techniques to get those perfectly clean, polished and gleaming car windows.
Window Cleaning Supplies You Would Need
- Window Cleaner of your Choice/Automotive Glass Cleaner – There are many glass cleaning products you can choose from but you must avoid using glass cleaners which contain ammonia. Ammonia is not good for common car surfaces such as leather, rubber, and vinyl. Ammonia compounds are also not good for tinted windows as they can damage the film. Moreover, ammonia fumes are also dangerous especially in a closed environment.
There are also glass cleaner wipes available but it is not recommended when cleaning car windows as the surface area is too big. But they’ll come in handy in wiping windshields and side mirrors.
- Bucket (if using concentrated cleaner) *Tip – used distilled water when diluting your concentrated cleaner for best results
- Distilled water (if using concentrated cleaner)
- Cloth – Using clean cotton is okay but it is recommended to use microfiber towels since they are capable of cleaning even the most stubborn stains plus they produce great results. When choosing a microfiber towel go for the one with a tight weave as it has better scrubbing ability. Avoid using cheap microfiber products since they tend to shed fibers easily. Make sure to only dip one side of the cloth in water to clean the glass. After you’re done cleaning the glass, you will use the dry side to gently remove any signs of streaking. Most high-quality microfiber cloth will get rid of any residual streaks. But remember that this method is only for outside of the glass. When cleaning the inside you must be more gentle (especially if your windows are tinted).
- Sponge (optional)
Here’s a step-by-step guide in cleaning your car windows:
Tip: When cleaning or washing your car, save your windows for last. This is to make sure your windows don’t get contaminated by grime and smudges that can come from cleaning other parts of your car before your windows. You do not want to have to clean them all over again. Save them for last.
- Pull your car into the shade when cleaning your windows. Make sure the body of your car feels cool to touch when cleaning your windows. If the park is sitting under the heat of the sun, it can easily absorb the heat and when your car is too hot, it can make your cleaner or water evaporate too fast for you to clean the windows.
- Start with cleaning the front and rear windows. These windows are the trickiest parts to clean thoroughly on your car because of size and angle. If needed, mix your cleaner, then spray a good amount of it onto your window or you can apply the cleaner from a bucket with a sponge. Afterwards, use the clean cloth/microfiber towel to wipe your front windshield and rear window clean. One tip is to clean in different directions because doing so will make it easier for you to see missed spots or smudges. For instance, wipe left to right for the interior of the windows then wipe up and down for the exterior.
- Roll down your side windows a little bit and use your microfiber cloth to wipe the very top where the window typically slides into place inside a rubber seal. This is the part that is usually missed when cleaning the car. If this window area is dirty, then spray a little more cleaner onto that portion of your window first.
- Focus on removing the stubborn bug splatter on the windows. If your cleaning solution and cloth are not strong enough to remove the dried on protein of bug guts, you might need to go for drastic measures. You can find specially formulated products for eliminating tough bug stains from the car windows. But if you do not have one, you can loosen the splotch by leaving a rag dampened with a cleaning product atop the bug splatter. After that, you can wipe the splatter away with the microfiber towel. Some car experts recommend spritzing a little bit of baking soda atop the bug blemish or any areas that won’t just wipe clean. Do not wipe it right away, give the solution a few moments to set on the stain before buffing it out with your microfiber towel/cloth again.
- Wipe down side windows starting from the top down to the bottom. One tip is to start with wiping the outside edges of the windows so as to clean any buildup in the window seams. When you’re done cleaning edges and corners, wet or re-wet the main surface of the side window and wipe it with opposite direction strokes from how you wipe on the interior. Wiping the windows from the top down will keep drips from ruining the fresh-cleaned windows. Also wipe clean the side mirrors.
- Clean the wiper blades. To remove buildup on the windshield wipers, use a little bit of the cleaner. Wipe both wipers dry using your microfiber towel/cloth. The buildup on the wiper blades can make the blades to wear quickly so it is best to make sure they are properly maintained by applying a wiper treatment after you’ve wiped clean the blades.
Cleaning Your Car Windows from the inside
How to prepare your own cleaning solution to clean your interior windows:
Mix two cups distilled water with ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol and ½ cup of white vinegar in an empty spray bottle. Gently shake the bottle to combine the ingredients.
- Spritz a good amount of window cleaner onto the towel. Avoid spraying the cleaner directly onto the glass.
- Use surgical towels to wipe the interior of your car window. They are absorbent and lint-free which make them perfect for cleaning windows. You can buy surgical towels at home improvement stores and at most auto parts shops.
- Work on one window at a time. Wipe from top to bottom of the interior glass. Do it with a sweeping motion and with pressure so that you would not miss any part of the glass. Then roll down each window about one inch so you can clean the top portion of the glass.
CAR WINDOW CLEANING TECHNIQUES
How to take Care of Your Windshield Wipers
It is not possible for you to drive in rain, snow or in the dust without your windshield wipers being in good working condition. So it is a must to keep them in good working order. Windshield wipers’ optimum performance can be achieved when the rubber and glass are well taken care of. Do not use rubber dressing on the wiper blades since this will cause streaking. Use a wet cloth to clean the blades and remove any dirt buildup. It is recommended to use the 303 wiper treatment to prolong the life of the wiper blades. Applying the treatment will ensure that the blade rubber hugs the glass getting rid of the noise caused by dry blades. On top of that, treating your wipers can enhance the dirt removing properties of the washer fluid. For winter weather conditions use an additive with antifreeze protection.
How to Clean Tinted Car Windows
When cleaning tinted windows extreme care should be observed as the film scratches easily. Use a soft damp cloth to clean the tinted car windows. Do not use ammonia-based cleaning products, instead, use soapy water. You can also use spray foam glass cleaners to clean the windows without streaking. But you can also purchase any other glass cleaners as long as they are ammonia-free.
How to Properly Wipe Your Car Windows
You can use quality products and still end up having streaks after cleaning your car windows. So knowing the right technique when cleaning is a must. When using a spray, avoid spraying directly on the glass as it will easily evaporate to the surrounding air. What you must instead is spray the cleaner on a towel then proceed wiping the windows using the dampened towel. Do this in a rhythmic and spreading motion to cover the entire glass surface and to make sure no spot is missed by the cleaner. After removing all the dirt, wipe the glass surface with a microfiber and clear any remaining dirt residue and streaks. Keep in mind that although the windshield gets extra attention, all other windows should also be cleaned thoroughly. This is especially more recommended when you smoke inside the car. Regularly cleaning your windows will remove the resultant haze. A good quality soft cloth material instead of used rags should be used to avoid having dirt particles scratching the glass. A soft cloth in particular will not make any scratch marks on tinted windows. If you wish to wax your windows, make sure to use waxes that can work on glass.
How to Clean Water Spots
Even after putting much effort cleaning your car, it is typical to find minor water spots contamination during the week. These dirty water spots can ruin the overall gleaming and polished look you worked hard for. And they are also hard to remove with normal glass cleaners. It is recommended to use quality glass polish products to clean the glass with such spots. Use a foam applicator and buff the spot with a microfiber cloth. Do this regularly as to prevent the formation of noticeable etch marks.
It is best to carry out a close inspection of windows when your car is more than one year old. Dirt buildup usually occurs around the trim of the windows and windshields. You can remove the dirt formation by scrubbing it with a detailing brush or a used toothbrush with window cleaner on it. Gently scrub the trim edges to break-off the build up. If the grime refused to be removed, use a razor blade or any sharp-edged instrument. But this must be done carefully so as not to scratch the glass or damage the rubber seals.
Having clean car windows and windshields is not only good for the overall appearance of your car. It also improves your visibility and even decreases your fatigue. No need to go to a detailing or a car wash shop to achieve clean car windows without streaks when you can do it on your own. You just have to use the right products and follow the techniques as stated above.