how to easily clean your car window

How To Easily Clean Your Car Window

In this article, you will learn:

  • Some secret tricks detailers use to get car windows sparkling clean

  • Why you should never use household glass cleaner on a car window

  • How to clean your windows, inside and out, for a professional-quality, streak free finish

The glass in your car windows and windshield is not the same as the glass windows in your house. Not by a long shot. Car windows are manufactured differently, they’re treated differently with tints and shatterproof capability, they’re used differently, and they’re exposed to different conditions than other types of glass.

For instance, the exterior of your windshield takes a beating from all sorts of debris hitting its surface at speeds up to 80 mph. Cleaning up those kinds of soils and splatters takes some serious horsepower. And you may not realize this, but the plastics inside your car emit gases. When your windows and doors are closed, those gases leave residue throughout your car interior, including on the windows. The cleaning agents in a typical household glass cleaner are ineffective against this residue. In fact, they turn this residue into smears and streaks.

For all these reasons and more, you need to care for the glass in your car differently, with methods and products that are specific to automobile glass cleaning.

So let’s talk about how to get those windows sparkling clean every time you do a car wash. With the right products and know-how, the job can be fast and easy.

Start with the right cleaning product and towels

With all these unique factors regarding automobile glass, you should use a window cleaner that’s formulated for that purpose only. There are no two ways about it. From our line, we recommend In & Out Fine Mist Glass Cleaner or Dash & Glass Interior Detailer. Both are highly effective cleaners for the interior and exterior of your glass, and both are safe for all types of window tint.

In & Out comes in a Flairosol container which delivers precise control and an even mist of powerful glass cleaner across the surface. Dash & Glass is safe for all surfaces and pulls dirt away from glass for a streak-free finish.

Along with the right cleaning spray, microfiber towels are ideal for window cleaning. All the tiny fibers trap more dirt and absorb the cleaning spray better than paper towels and without the lint of cotton towels. In fact, several manufacturers make a glass-specific microfiber cleaning cloth. These thinner cloths allow you to apply more pressure when needed to scour away tough, stuck-on soils.

turtle wax dash & glass interior detailer

Clean the inside first

By starting with the interior surface of the glass, your microfiber cloths will be fresh and clean. After all, the last thing you want to do is smear bug or bird dropping remnants on the inside of your glass.

Fold a microfiber cloth into quarters and spray one side with glass cleaner. Wipe along the outside of the window, creating a clean box along the edges. Then, work your way toward the middle. If the glass is heavily soiled, you may need to turn your cloth to a clean side mid-cleaning. Finish each window interior by using a clean, dry side of your cloth to wipe away any residual moisture and soils. Move to the next window and repeat this process, switching to a clean cloth if necessary.

clean interior

Next, clean the exterior

If you’ve washed your car exterior already, you likely rinsed away some of soils on the outside of the glass, but many soils actually embed themselves in the surface of your windshield when you’re traveling at high speeds. A glass cleaner and microfiber towel may sufficiently remove these soils; however, if you find you need even more cleaning power, we’ll share a few pro secrets with you.

For those tough, stuck-on soils, you have a couple of easy, surefire solutions. You can use detailing clay and clay lubricant to rub away those embedded contaminants. Alternatively, you can use an automotive polishing compound, like Hybrid Solutions Pro 1 & Done Polishing Compound, either with a hand applicator or with a dual-action machine polisher. Don’t worry about scratching the glass. Your car’s glass is harder than clear coat and paint, so it’ll stand up to this heavy-duty cleaning with no problem at all.

Once you’ve removed all the embedded soils, finish the window as you did the interior. Spray cleaning product onto your microfiber towel, wipe around the outside of the glass and clean to the middle of the window. Switch to a clean, dry side of the towel and wipe away any residual cleaner.

Pro Tip: Once the glass is clean, apply a thin layer of spray wax to the exterior. This will help your windows shed water for better visibility, reduced soiling and fewer water spots. Do this only to the exterior. Never apply a water-repellant product to the inside of the glass.

hybrid solutions pro 1 & done polishing compound

A brighter, safer outlook

After you’ve followed these easy tips, your car’s windows will be as clean as when your car first rolled out of the factory.

And you’ll be amazed how different your driving experience will be with truly clean glass. A clean windshield can literally change your mood, not to mention improve the safety of your driving. Take it for a spin and see for yourself!


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