A dirty windshield is shown where the driver can barely see. They are on a highway.

How to Properly Clean a Car Windshield

The windshield is an essential component of your car. The glass keeps you safe from harm and offers a full view of the road ahead of you. However, should your windshield become dirty, then that view will become obstructed and make it more difficult to traverse the busy roads. 

There are, unfortunately, many ways that windshields can become dirty. For example, sunlight can cause the leather or vinyl materials in the seating to release oils that build up over time on the surface of the windshield and create a film-like substance. Fingerprints and collected dust are also potential culprits of dirty car windows. Thankfully, it is possible to remove them if you take care to clean your windshields correctly. To learn how, here are the materials and steps you need for properly cleaning a car windshield.

Prepare the Cleaning Materials

Correctly cleaning a windshield involves more than just using an old rag and dish soap. If you want to clean your car as thoroughly and safely as possible, then it’s in your best interest to gather the right equipment for the job. Before you start cleaning your windshield, collect the following materials:

Microfiber Cloths

When it comes to cleaning a windshield, microfiber cloths are the best option. They’re made from nylon and polyester, unlike most traditional cloth, which is made with cotton. The fibers of a microfiber cloth are only a fraction of the size of human hair, meaning they can clean smaller crooks that other cloths cannot. Additionally, their larger fiber volume covers more surface area, is far more absorbent, and is less likely to create scratches in the glass.

A Glass Cleaner

There are a variety of store-bought glass cleaners you can use, but be wary of ammonia-based ones. Ammonia can fade the tint on your windshield and potentially dry out the rubber seals around the windows. Instead, consider creating a solution for the job. Some popular ingredients for homemade cleaning mixes include white vinegar, water, and dishwashing liquid. If you own a spray bottle, consider pouring the solution inside of it for convenience.

Safety Equipment

Depending on what kind of glass cleaner you choose, you may need to equip safety goggles and gloves beforehand. Some cleaning chemicals can be hazardous if they come into contact with your skin or eyes, so it’s best to stay safe when using them.

Rubbing Alcohol

Compared to ammonia, cleaning a windshield with rubbing alcohol is safer. It can remove built-up grease and help create a streak-free finish.

Steps for Properly Cleaning a Windshield

With all your cleaning equipment assembled, you’re ready to clean the glass! Follow these steps to ensure your car windshield is as sparkling as can be:

  1. Start by parking your car in the shade. It’s easier to clean cool surfaces than hot ones because the cleaner will evaporate more quickly on the latter and leave streaks.
  2. Place a towel underneath the dashboard of your car. This will serve two purposes: to collect any debris that falls off of the glass and to prevent any dripping cleaning chemicals from staining or bleaching the dashboard.
  3. Use one of your microfiber cloths to remove any debris before applying the cleaning solution.
  4. Next, apply to rub alcohol to another cloth and wipe the glass to remove any grease.
  5. Afterward, spray the glass cleaner directly onto a clean microfiber cloth. If you choose to spray it directly onto the glass, you may overspray it or get some on your skin by accident.
  6. Clean the glass by wiping the microfiber cloth using broad strokes. Start from the top of the windshield and work your way downward with circular motions. If the fabric becomes too dirty, be sure to replace it.
  7. Once you’re finished wiping the windshield, make sure to dry the glass completely. Any leftover cleaner will leave a residue behind, leaving streaks on the windshield. The purpose of cleaning a windshield is to remove streaks, not make new ones, so ensure that the glass has been thoroughly wiped.

If your car’s glass becomes damaged after an accident, it will take more than a cleaning to fix it. At Delaware Auto Glass, we offer car glass window replacements and panoramic sunroof repairs to help make your car safe again.