Last Updated on December 2, 2023 by Stewart

Car glass is an area that a lot of car owners overlook, which is why I’ve written this guide. Many feel that just using water on it is enough to get it clean. Spoilers, it isn’t. In terms of an aesthetic point of view, it’s important to make the glass look as good as possible. There isn’t much point in spending hours on the car making the paintwork look pristine, only to have glass that is subpar.

The bigger factor though is from a safety perspective. If the glass isn’t properly cleaned, your visibility will be greatly reduced. This can be very hazardous, especially in the winter when visibility is already impacted.

Assess The Cleanliness Of The Glass

For external glass that only has a bit of dust on the windows, then a few squirts of a glass cleaner (my favourite one’s are at this page) and then cleaning it with a microfibre cloth should be enough to remove this.

In the case of internal glass, spray the product directly onto one cloth and clean it. After that, use a second cloth to buff off any residue. If you spray the cleaner directly onto the windscreen or glass, or it land on the dashboard or internal trim.

However, for glass that hasn’t been cleaned for at least a week, I recommend that you carry out a deep clean on it.

For external glass, when I’m washing the car I will also use shampoo from the bucket and use this on the glass. Since I’ll be following it up afterwards, I’m not worried about the potential for the soap drying on the glass. When I’m rinsing down the car, I’ll also rinse off the glass.

At this stage, the glass will look better but from my experience, it will still require further work on it. This is especially true in the winter months.

Using Car Shampoo and Clay on The Glass

Using the car shampoo that’s left over from your wash, load up the wash mitt and use this to cover the windscreen. At this point, using a clay bar to go over the glass. This will pull out the contaminants on it that you can’t always see, but will be built up on it. The benefit of doing this is that it will leave the class smooth, meaning that dirt is less likely to adhere to it.

When claying the glass, I like to put light pressure on it, and move it in straight lines. The importance of using the car shampoo is that it will lubricate the glass and minimise any scratching. After this, you can rinse off the glass ready for the next step.

Removing Water Spots/Final Clean

If you live in an area that can leave water spots on the car, ideally the clay will be enough to remove these water spots. However, in some instances it may need a little bit extra help. In that case, I would recommend that you use a car glass polish to remove this. There are a few available on the market, with Autoglym having a great option.

Autoglym Car Glass Polish, 325ml - Windscreen and Car Window Cleaner, Deep Cleaning Cream for Crystal Clear Vision Inside and Out
  • Car Glass Polish is specially formulated to increase visibility through your windscreen for safer driving

Last update on 2024-06-13 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Using an applicator pad, apply a small amount of polish to the pad and then in circular motions with light pressure, work the polish into the glass. The benefit of this is that it will also act as a final clean as well. After leaving the polish to haze (normally about five minutes), it can be buffed off with a microfibre cloth.

Alternative Final Clean

If you don’t have water spots on the glass and don’t want to use a glass polish, the final stage would be to apply a few squirts of glass cleaner directly onto the glass and wipe it over the glass with a microfibre cloth. Then, flip over the cloth and buff off the residue. This will ensure that the window is perfectly clean. This entire process should only take 20 minutes, but you will be blown away by how great it makes your glass look. Your visibility will be greatly improved.

This process will also make your windscreen wipers last a longer.  Since the wipers aren’t constantly brushing embedded dirt across the glass, it will also keep your glass looking scratch free. In addition to this, this smooth finish will result in less wiper judder which can be a problem in the winter with heavy rain and snow.

A Bonus Step Although Not Always Needed

For those that want to go the extra mile, there is also the option to apply a glass coating to the glass. These are specially designed solely for glass and can prevent the build up of contaminants on it. This is an added expense though, and not something that everyone has the time to carry out.

If you’d like to know more about glass sealants, you can have a look at my top options at this page.

I hope you’ve found this guide useful and please consider sharing it with others so that they know the best way to clean their glass.