How To Clean Car Windows

Vehicle windows get dirty quickly from driving, or even just sitting in the garage or driveway. Thankfully, they are easy to clean with just a little glass cleaner and some cleaning towels.

Cleaning auto glass is really a three-step process. First, wash the entire car with soap and water. Soft cotton rags work best for this, as they are absorbent and do not scratch the paint even when used with mild scrubbing. It is best to clean the interior of the vehicle, and especially the doors, first. That way, dust and dirt are not transferred to the already clean windows.

Next, clean the glass both inside and out with the glass cleaner of your choice. Finally, wipe the entire car down with clean cotton rags for a streak-free shine. It is best to do this on an overcast day, as cleaning a car in direct sunlight or trying to clean warm glass can leave streaks, which spoils the effect.

To clean the inside of the windshield, sit in the passenger’s seat and wipe it down carefully with one of the cleaning towels or rags dampened with just a little cleaner. Wipe up and down and side to side, with long even strokes, then buff with a clean, dry cloth. Take special care around the rearview mirror, because you do not want to knock it loose or leave an uncleaned area around it, and very carefully clean the mirror itself.

Next, clean the side windows. If the window is in a frame, roll it down about an inch so that the top is showing. Clean the top first, then buff it dry. Next, roll it up and clean the rest of the window. Pay special attention to the corners, because they attract the worst smears and streaks. Remember to clean the drivers and passengers side mirrors as well.

The inside of the rear window should be done last, because it is often the hardest to reach. The best was to clean the corners and edges of the rear glass is with the back of the hand, pushing the cloth where it needs to go.

If the car is not new, there may be dirt and grime built up around the corners and trim of the windshield and rear window. This can be removed with an old toothbrush or detailing brush and a bit of glass cleaner. A towel or some cotton rags at the base of the window will catch drips and keep this from leaving streaks.