Cleaning car windows can be a pain without the right tools and techniques. Often people set out with Windex and paper towels to clean their windows but end up with streaks and paper towel fibers left on the window. Most Windex formulations have ammonia in the mix, which dries out plastic and rubber, damaging window tint causing it to peel. Paper towels are typically multiple sheets of paper towels that are glued together, this glue gets onto your window and contributes to the streaks. These car window cleaning tips will have you cleaning glass like a pro and achieving streak free results without the headaches and hassle.
10 Streak-Free Window & Mirror Cleaning Tips
- Always clean windows and mirrors last. This prevents your freshly cleaned windows from being soiled by over spray while cleaning other areas of the car.
- Only clean glass that is cool to the touch, never hot. Pull the car into the shade or garage and wait until the glass is cool before cleaning. This will help prevent the glass cleaner from drying too quickly on the surface making window cleaning a pain.
- Start with the windshield and rear windshield. They are always the most difficult due to the different angles and the most important in terms of visibility.
- Use different strokes for the interior and exterior. For example, use vertical strokes on the interior side of the glass and horizontal strokes on the exterior side, or vice versa. This technique makes inspecting the glass for streaks a breeze as you can easily tell which side of the window needs to be cleaned again.
- Use newspaper for an eco-friendly approach to cleaning glass. Use one piece of newspaper for each side window, and two pieces for the rear and windshield. Then buff each window with a clean piece of newspaper to end with a streak free, crystal clear window.
- Start by rolling down the window half way to clean the top portion of the glass, which is inaccessible by the door when it’s rolled up. This is often over looked and makes the window look sloppy when neglected.
- If you are diluting your glass cleaner always use distilled water. Distilled water does not contain additional gases, minerals or contaminants that tap or other types of water contain. It’s good practice to dilute all cleaners with distilled water because tap water is often considered “hard water” with a high mineral content. These minerals are often left behind on the surface once the cleaner or water has evaporated off the surface producing water spots.
- Only use one type of towel for cleaning glass and never use it on any other surface. It’s helpful to place a small G on one corner of the towels with permanent marker to differentiate them from the rest. This helps not to introduce grease or other grim to the windows. It’s best to use a high quality waffle weave microfiber towel made specifically for cleaning glass to achieve the best streak free finish.
- Clean the wiper blades. By removing the build up it will prevent burry areas and streaking on your windshield during use. 303 Products makes a Wiper Treatment, which lubricates the rubber and helps extend the life of your wiper blades.
- Break large windows such as the windshield and rear window into two or more manageable chucks while cleaning. This prevents your towel from becoming overly soiled and causing streaks from not removing dirt but just spreading it around.
If you have any questions or comments about cleaning glass, what products to use or any other detailing topics please don’t hesitant to contact me via Facebook at Facebook.com/IncrediblyDetailed, Twitter at Twitter.com/IDAutoDetailing, E-mail at Scott@IncrediblyDetailed.com or leave a comment below.
— By Scott Race | Owner & Operator