Cleaning car glass can sometimes be a tricky affair. The is due to how easy it is to streak the glass! There are however some great tips and tricks to make sure that the glass always looks great. It isn’t just a cosmetic effect either. Having poorly maintained glass is dangerous, and depending on the level of dirt on the windows, it can actually be illegal to drive if they’re severely obscured.
Use a dedicated glass towel
By using a low pile, dedicated glass towel it will make the whole process a lot easier. It is the case that one towel should be used for the glass cleaner, and another should be used to remove any leftover residue.
The correct towel will make the glass cleaning process effortless. It is best to avoid a microfiber towel that has a high GSM (or in other words, too plush). The reason for this is that it will smear the glass cleaner and cause streaking on it. A dedicated towel will also help to encapsulate any dirt and debris on the glass.
Cleaning the glass before and after the main wash
When I’m washing the car, I’ll normally give the glass a quick clean. This will take off a large degree of dirt and grime using the car shampoo. However, this will leave a streaky finish. Due to this, I will then go over the glass again with the proper towel as mentioned above.
For those in a pinch without a glass cleaner at hand, a great substitute is to use vinegar and lukewarm water. This will remove the streaks and any left over grime. As a rule of thumb though, the glass shouldn’t be cleaned in direct sunlight. This is regardless of what glass cleaner is used.
With respect to the side windows, remember to put them down a few inches in order to clean the top of them. Otherwise, this will be unsightly every time the windows are put down.
When cleaning the glass, regardless of where it is in the car, I recommend that you apply the cleaner directly onto the towel. This is especially true when doing the inside of the windscreen. A common mistake is spraying the glass cleaner onto the inside of the windscreen which ends up dripping onto the dashboard. Depending on the cleaner, it can actually damage the finish on the dash.
There are a lot of different glass cleaners available on the market and more information can be found about these by checking out their respective reviews:
Cleaning the window wipers
When the front and back glass is cleaned, it is also important to clean the windscreen wipers as well as the back wiper (if your car has one). These can be cleaned with a damp microfiber cloth and will ensure that any dirt and debris is removed. Some chemicals can degrade the rubber on these blades. When I am doing the main clean on the car, I usually clean these with the shampoo in the wash bucket and it does a great job. Whilst Autoglym Car Glass Polish mentioned above is a great glass cleaner, it should not be used when cleaning wiper blades.
Protecting the glass
Depending on the climate you live it, it can be extremely beneficial to add a protection product to the glass. This is done by using a dedicated glass sealant. A wide variety are available on the market, with Rain X being one of the most popular. Gtechniq also offer a glass sealant which has longer durability than the Rain X.
Applying a glass sealant will help to improve the visibility in heavy rain and snow since it’ll effectively bead and sheet off of the glass. For any that remains, it will be able to pushed away with ease using the wiper blades. This will make the driving experience easier and safer in terrible weather.
It should be noted that conventional waxes and sealants that are used on the paintwork should not be used on a windscreen. This can cause an excessive amount of judder on the wiper blades and can severely reduce visibility.
For interior glass, it can also be beneficial to add a protective, anti fogging layer. Rain-X Anti Fog is one such product to check out. More information can be found in our review, here.