It’s too often that drivers run into problems cleaning their car windows. Knowing how to clean car windows without leaving streaks continues to puzzle many vehicle owners.
There are countless benefits to making sure your windows are clean. Not only does it look better, but they will improve visibility when you’re out on the road, especially in poor conditions.
You may have tried cleaning your car windows before and found yourself getting frustrated with those ugly streaks. Thankfully, it’s possible to avoid this, as long as you know what you’re doing.
The problem with dirty windows is that they make it difficult to see clearly through the windshield. It also looks bad and ruins the aesthetics of your vehicle.
Taking the time to clean car windows properly will lead to noticeable improvements with the look of your car. It will also be easier to see, making it safer for you when you’re driving.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the best way to clean car windows. This way your car will look great and you’ll be able to see the road ahead without any distractions.
Myths and Bad Advice
Whenever you bring up cleaning your car windows, you probably heard a lot of terrible opinions. It’s likely that none of these ever work and you’re still left wondering what went wrong.
There are hundreds of car window cleaning opinions that don’t make any sense. On the other hand, if you’re looking to have streak free windows without any smudges, it’s more about using the right cloth, proper technique, and finding the best auto glass cleaner than it is about how you’re doing it.
The Interior and Exterior
There are two sides to your car windows – the exterior and the interior. While the steps are similar, there are different strategies required for getting streak free car windows.
Exterior Window Problems Include:
- Water spots, excessive dirt, spots of other road debris
- Exposed to the outdoor weather elements and conditions
Not all automotive glass is the same. There are a number of different varieties depending on your car manufacturer. How you clean the window depends on the window make, age, and how often it’s cleaned.
Interior Window Problems Include:
- Window tint film
- Film build-up that results from the gassing of interior parts. This includes parts such as rubber, plastics, and vinyl. The gassing out happens when these components are exposed to heat, air, and UV lighting. This can be seen by the hazy build up inside the windows that occurs over time.
How to Best Clean Your Car Windows
There are a few different strategies you can use for properly cleaning your car windows. With these strategies, you won’t have to worry about streaks or smudging.
Instead, you’ll be able to enjoy a clear and unobstructed view of the road. This will definitely help improve your driving experience and make it safer for you when you’re out driving.
Clean the Windows Last
When you’re washing your vehicle, you should always clean the windows last. This way you don’t need to worry about any splashes, water marks, or soap that gets left behind.
Cleaning the windows last is the easiest way to make sure your windows are clean after you’ve washed your entire vehicle. It also helps to prevent getting the windows dirty with grime, finger prints, or splashing.
Wash the Windows in the Shade
One big mistake many people make is clean the windows in the sun. Using cleaning supplies on a hot window makes the product less effective and can result in streaking or smudging.
Another issue with washing a hot window is that the products you’re using will quickly evaporate. This means you need to rush to get the job done, which can lead to mistakes.
Try parking your vehicle under the shade and washing the windows when they feel cool. It’s easier to cover the entire window without worrying about your window cleaning products evaporating too quickly.
Get Your Cleaning Supplies Ready
Avoid using ammonia based window cleaners. While these are a popular choice, they can damage the tinting on your window and dry out the rubber window seals.
You’re better off getting a glass cleaner online or from your local automotive store that’s designed specifically for automotive use. If you’re using a diluted formula, make sure to dilute it using distilled water for the best results.
Along with a specific auto glass cleaner, some other helpful supplies include:
- Distilled water
- Microfiber cloth
Start With the Front and Rear Windows
The front and rear windows are the hardest to clean because of their size and angle. This makes them the best place to start, so you can clean them before you get too frustrated.
Start by mixing the cleaner and spraying it on to the window or washing it down using a sponge. With a clean and dry cloth, wipe the windows clean until there aren’t any streaks or smudges. The trick here is to use a clean, dry microfiber cloth and replacing it once it becomes too wet.
Here are some helpful tips for cleaning your car windows:
- It’s easier to notice missed spots or smudges if you’re cleaning in several directions. Start by swiping up and down and then left to right.
- Never clean the window in a circular motion. This makes it more likely to leave behind streaks and it’s even possible to scratch the glass this way. Always use the up and down or left to right motion for cleaning.
- Do not ever use paper towels. They come with chemicals inside the material that you don’t want left behind on your window. When you use paper towels, they’re a lot more likely to leave streaks and aren’t as effective as a microfiber cloth.
If you notice any cracks or damage to the front or rear windows, this is a good time to repair it. Take a look at our post on the best windshield repair kits to find the right products for the job.
Remove the Bugs First
Remove any bugs or other stubborn debris before cleaning the rest of the windows. If you’re having trouble with stubborn bugs, there are formulated products that are designed to remove bugs and anything else that’s stuck on.
Alternatively, you can use a wet microfiber cloth and let it soak on any problem areas. Some people recommend using baking soda and letting it soak before wiping it away with a damp microfiber cloth.
Don’t Miss the Top of Your Side Windows
Rather than starting at the bottom of your side windows, roll them down and clean the tops. This is a common area that’s missed when people are cleaning their car windows.
Roll the window down a small amount and clean the top parts with your glass cleaner and microfiber cloth. To finish up, roll the window back up and clean the rest of the glass.
Clean the Wiper Blades
The last step of cleaning your car windows properly is cleaning wiper blades. There will be a lot of dirt and debris build-up on the blades that will make your windows dirty immediately if it’s not removed.
For cleaning the wipers, use some cleaner to break up any dirt or debris on the wipers themselves. Next, wipe them down using your microfiber cloth until they’re clean and free from any buildup.
Always clean the wipers when you’re cleaning your car windows. Not only will this extend the lifespan of your windshield wipers, it will keep the windows cleaner for a longer period of time.