There is probably nothing more nerve-racking than dirty car windows. Soiled car windows can considerably impair visibility at night and at dusk – only regular cleaning can remedy this. With our tips, car drivers can ensure a streak-free result and optimum visibility in no time at all!
- 1 How to clean your car windows from the outside
- 2 How to clean your car windows from the inside
How to clean your car windows from the outside
Dirt is most likely to collect on the outside of car windows because we expose the car to the environment and the weather. So tree resin or dead insects quickly land on the windshield – and we cannot simply remove these with the windshield wiper.
Step 1: Remove coarse dirt and insects
The coarse soiling requires special attention, otherwise it will leave stains. A good pretreatment is important. Flip up the windshield wipers and soak the insect remains by placing damp newspaper or kitchen towels on top. Leave to soak for five to ten minutes before using clear water to remove the surface dirt. Also clean the windshield wipers to prevent any dust that gets stuck there from spreading on the windshield later.
Tip – Choose a day when the sun doesn’t burn down too much or find a place with shade to clean your windows. This is because the solar radiation dries the cleaning agent away too quickly and leaves streaks.
Step 2: Cleaning car windows
After you have removed the coarser dirt, the finer layers need cleaning. Wet the panes with glass cleaner. Now take a soft microfiber cloth and wipe the panes in circular movements. A shot of clear alcohol in the cleaning water helps against streaking. Then wipe again with water.
If you want to remove old stickers from the car windows, it is best to spray the stickers with some glass cleaner. After a short reaction phase, we can then remove the sticker with a ceramic scraper. Car owners should, however, avoid using hot air blowers or a hairdryer. The hot air could heat the windscreen so much that it cracks. Car owners can then remove unattractive adhesive residues on the windshield with the help of a water/dishwashing liquid mixture or glass cleaner.
Tip: If you really want to remove all dirt residues, try it with a clay bar. First moisten the bar so that the resin does not stick when you wipe it. Then form a palm-sized piece and rub it over the area. Wherever you notice resistance, wipe thoroughly to remove the dirt.
Step 3: Drying
Good drying is as important as thorough cleaning. If cleaning agent residues remain on the windows, streaks will appear later. A well-tried household tip recommends the use of newspaper, kitchen towels or fresh microfiber cloth to dry the windows streak-free.
Caution when cleaning tinted car windows
Car owners should be cautious when cleaning tinted windows: do not use cleaners containing ammonia, enzyme-based or abrasive cleaners. Even household glass cleaners can damage the tinted film because of the vinegar content. When cleaning tinted car windows, it is therefore better to use water and soft microfiber towels. It is better to leave the edges of the tinting alone, otherwise the film could peel off or become deformed.
How to clean your car windows from the inside
A clean windshield is not only nicer to look at but also important for road safety. When cleaning a car, however, people often forget that they should also clean the windscreen from inside.
Stripes and streaks on the inner windscreen not only reduce visibility, they also increase the effect of the sun or headlights of oncoming cars, dazzling you even more. For this reason you should regularly clean your car windows from the inside.
If you clean your windshield thoroughly regularly, you will also prevent misting. Contaminated windscreens fog up much faster and more often than clean ones because of the larger surface area.
Step 1 – Preparation and dusting
The interior windows in cars can get dirty for several reasons – dust, handprints, nicotine or vapors from plastic parts of the interior lining. Compared to cleaning the car windows from the outside, cleaning the inside is a little more laborious. Because you have to make sure that the dashboard does not get wet.
As a precaution, place a towel over the dashboard. Then you do not have to be afraid of unsightly water spots.
Tip: Clean your car windows in the shade. Direct sunlight will otherwise dry the windows too quickly and cause streaks.
Step 2 – Degreasing
First, wipe the windscreen with a damp cloth. Moisten the soft cloth with water. If you use too much water, it will drip onto the dashboard, where unsightly water stains will appear. This first step removes the coarsest dirt.
You can also soak a microfiber cloth in clear alcohol to de-grease the glass. Alternatively, you could use soft erasers or special sponges from your car dealer.
Let the windshield dry with the windows open. This is the only way the moisture can escape from the interior of the car.
Step 3 – Cleaning
Now use glass cleaner. Depending on soiling, you can either use household cleaners or professional glass cleaners. Spray these onto a soft cloth and clean the car window from the inside. You should not use dishwasher detergent, this will produce droplets and you will not get the car windows properly clean.
Tip – You can easily remove the stubborn dirt in the corners by wrapping the cloth around a cooking wooden spoon. If you have smoked in the car, you will probably have to repeat the process to remove the nicotine deposits.
Step 5 – Drying
Paper towels from the kitchen roll, leather or microfiber cloth are suitable for drying. Rub dry until it squeaks. Only then can you be sure you have removed all residues of the cleaning agents and you have an unobstructed view of the road again.
Cleaning the windshield while driving
Because of humidity inside the car, the windscreen fogs up often and your vision is considerably impaired. This does not leave much time for a thorough cleaning. For a quick clean, place a special windscreen cleaning sponge in the glove compartment. It comprises two components: On one side there is a sponge and on the other side chamois leather.
First wipe the fogged windshield with the sponge – it absorbs the moisture. Then use the chamois leather to clean the windshield. With this method you will quickly get a good view of the road again.
If there is neither a sponge nor a dry cloth in the car, set the heating to the highest level and then open the windows. The fogged up windshield will quickly clear up again this way.
Cleaning car windows in winter
When temperatures outside are below zero degrees, cleaning car windows can be a frustrating task. The cleaning water freezes on the windshield, causing annoying streaks when wiping. If it is necessary to clean the car windows, use a cleaning agent containing alcohol or vinegar. Otherwise, you could mix winter rinsing liquid for the windows, which contains a defroster, with water and use it as a cleaning agent.
Tip – Methylated spirits or rubbing alcohols are great cleaning agents for car windows. However, many experts advise against using them in undiluted form because they are likely to leave streaks – and that is exactly what you want to avoid. In addition, a pungent odor often remains. However, if you add a few drops to water, then it does not leave streaks.