Auto Parts,  Cars

5 Best Ways to Clean Your Car Windows

Most car windows are made of glass and tend to accumulate dust, dirt, moisture, and a multitude of sticky particles. After exposure to weather, bug, birds, and the environment, your car needs to be cleaned. It's a good idea to wash your car weekly if possible. Some cars may require less washing when outside exposure is less. 

After you wash your car your windows, they are probably pretty clean but may still have particles, smudges, and streaks that need to be removed from both the inside and the outside or your car. A good glass cleaner can make a big difference along with some good techniques.

Here are the top 5 ways that will help you get the clean glass that your looking for.   

1. Newspaper and Glass Cleaner

Paper is fast and easy way to wipe windows if you don't want to leave any streaks or lint. You don't need to wash anything after, and can leave the paper to dry and recycle it if just using soap and water.

You may use soap and water to spray on the window but for a better clean try a car glass cleaner. 

How it Works

  • Use only one piece of newspaper at a time. (Try not to get it too wet.)
  • Lift the windshield wipers.
  • Some people like to leave it flat to absorb water quickly but you may also scrunch it a bit and as you rub down the window, roll it around to a dry side to continue absorbing water well.
  • It helps you avoid grease or other unwanted particles on your towels. Downside is your hands may get inky. 
  • INSIDE/OUTSIDE - This technique will work for both sides of the glass.

2. Thick Microfiber Towel

A thick microfiber towel is great for absorbing water. As you rub down the window you'll be more likely to prevent steaks since the water is absorbed so well. 

How it Works

  • Lift the windshield wipers.
  • Fold the microfiber towel so you can easily rub down the window and turn the towel over to a dry side once you start to see any streaking. 
  • Sometimes a microfiber towel will need to be washed first in order to absorb water well. 
  • Be sure use a towel has only been used for cleaning water off the car, since microfiber towels that are washed but looked dirty are less effective at absorbing water and may have embedded dirt particles that may be harsh on some car surfaces.  
  • INSIDE/OUTSIDE - This technique will work for both sides of the glass.

3. Wax Application

This method is more preventative, then useful as a cleaner. There are several type of wax applications that can be used on your car and windows. The wax will remain for about a week but during that time will provide a protective layer for your glass so that when you wash it again particles will just wipe off much easier.

How it Works

  • Lift the windshield wipers.
  • Apply a wax that specifies it's OK for windows. Wipe until the wax is clear and the window is clean. (Use a towel that is different than the one used to wipe water off the windows.
  • Try not to wipe the window or use the wipers unless they are needed. 
  • If you wash car or clean your windows within a week or so, it should be fairly easy.
  • INSIDE/OUTSIDE - This technique will work on the outside. It may be unnecessary and use extra time and money if you use it on the inside. 

4. Squeegee and Towel

This is a fast techniques for cleaning windows. It can help prevent water spots and avoids any harsh chemicals that some people use to clean their windows.

If your washing your car regularly, you may not need to clean the windows separately. Using a squeegee will effectively get most of the water off and you can finish up with a microfiber towel for any missed spots.

How it Works

  • Getting a quality squeegee can make a big difference. A long handle will make the job easier.
  • Lift the windshield wipers.
  • Start at the top of the windshield and continue to the bottom.
  • Apply enough pressure to effective pull any water back and down as you move the squeegee towards you. 
  • Wipe off any excess water on the sides or missed spots. 
  • INSIDE/OUTSIDE - This technique will work for outsides of the glass.

5. Glass Cleaner

Glass cleaner are not all made equal. Make sure you use a glass cleaner that is specifically for cars, to avoid rubber or paint damage over time.

Glass cleaners are good at helping remove particles and smudges. Use it as shown on the directions for best results.

How it Works

  • Lift the windshield wipers.
  • Spray the glass cleaner in a shady area to avoid streaks, although for some it may not matter.
  • Wipe off the spray in an up and down, then right to left motion for best results. 
  • Apply liberally to help with removal of the most dirt.
  • Apply firm pressure, since some particles will resist removal without that extra pressure.

Tips for a Great Clean

clean car window

Make sure you remember to follow a few tips for the best results when cleaning your car windows.

  • Wash your car first if you want to. 
  • Move to the Shade. This will help you get less chance of streaks.  
  • Use soap and water or a paint and rubber safe window cleaner. Avoid ammonia and acidic sprays such as vinegar or lemon. Ammonia can dry out rubber parts around windows and harm tinted windows. Acidic cleaning mixtures can damage paint and metal parts if left on them without washing it off.
  • Use clay bar for a smooth polished finish without any sticky particles left over. (This Video shows using fine steel wool to polish off particles left over after washing. Some people also say that baking soda and water can work as well.) 
  • Clean your windshield wipers. Wipers need to be washed and wiped off with a rag that can get dirty, since wipers can leave marks once they start to degrade and can be particularly dirty. 
  • Use a microfiber towel to help absorb water or window cleaner. A thick or waffle textured microfiber cloth can usually absorb water well. (If you use window cleaner use a separate cloth for windows cleaning only.)
  • Wipe up and down and left to right for a better clean and less streaks. 
  • Don't forget the inside of your car and to roll down the windows a bit to get the top section. 
  • To finish up you can use a wax or ceramic spray.

It can be rewarding to have a beautiful looking car and clean windows will help ensure your safety as you drive. Good luck with your efforts to clean your car windows and have a great looking car.

Here are some products similar to the ones that I have used on my car (except for the glass cleaner - haven't tried that yet but looks like it works well). 

Products for your car windows.

Clay Bar

Thick Microfiber towels

Wax for Windows


Glass Cleaner

Ceramic Spray Car Wax