How to clean car windows?

Susan Fernandez November 11 2021

All drivers know that maintaining a car in the state that it has been when purchased is not so easy. And it refers to the car windows too. When you wash them with soap and water, it helps you keep them clean from rock bits and dirt. But if you want the windows to be crystal clear (like in advertising), cleaning with soap and water is not enough. So, here, we will discuss how to clean the car windows and what we need.


The first thing about window washing is cleaners. A significant part of them comes with ammonia that quickly gets into grease buildups and oil spots and breaks them. But, for car window cleaning, ammonia-cleaners are not suitable.

There are several reasons. Firstly, ammonia can solidify and dry out the seals around the windscreen, so it can become weak or completely loose. Secondly, it harms the windows' tint. And thirdly, it leads to strips' emergence that, in its turn, cause negative visibility during the ride. Moreover, combining ammonia with other liquids can be very dangerous for our health. It is better to use hydrocarbon-based cleaners. Such one has no ammonia in its composition and is completely safe for car owners' health.

Here are several types of these cleaners:

  • glass cleaner spray - it cleans the windows well, but not the stains on them;
  • glass cleaner wipes - convenient to use, they can be easily washed afterward;
  • window screen wash - it does all the cleaning works inside the car, including washing of any type of screens.

If you do not want to purchase cleaners that are ready for use or if you live somewhere where access to them will be limited (where there are no shops nearby), then keep in mind several recipes on how to make your own hydrocarbon-based detergent with quality means available at home.

For instance, mix 2 liters of water with 1 spoonful of detergent and 2 tablespoons baking powder. This mix will help you to eliminate oil spots, so it will be perfect for the car windows as well.

Or, mix 1 liter of water, a few drops of fabric softener, and a cup of vinegar. It will be safe for plants that live near the street where your garage is located. Vinegar does not leave any bad smell after being washed off and mixes well with other cleaners too.


The second thing you should remember about car window cleaning is products. Earlier, the drivers washed windows with paper towels and newspapers. But today you should forget about them, because they remain fibers on the windows, plus they cannot get off the oil. So, the best equipment for windows cleaning is microfiber towels.

They greatly absorb and dry everything. Besides, these towels are scratch-steady and soft, plus you will not have any trails with them. You can purchase such towels or make them yourself.

But, if you want to buy microfiber towels, take a look at three desired parameters: the color should not fade away; it should be double-stitched to prevent damaging other things while working with it, and the towel should be lint-free. It will help you avoid tiny fibers that fall off from washing windows as well as from clothes or other materials. In addition, always keep in your car some rags for emergency stops. They take up little space but prove useful when needed.

Cleaning process

If you have dirt and grease on your windows, you will need an extra washing cleaner to get rid of these contaminants. Besides, you will need to have distilled water and a bucket in case it requires dilution. Additionally, you can also need a sponge to use the diluted cleaner and window mop.


Now, let's figure out how to clean the outside car windows. Firstly, take a cleaner and spray it on the window. Then take the microfiber towel, fold it twice and use it to distribute the cleaner to every side of your window. After you wipe the window, take the other side of the towel and clean the whole window's surface.

If you have to get rid of the hard contaminants (like iron particles, industrial fallout, or tar), you need to get a clay bar or lubricant. So, take a clay lubricant, spray it on the window, and then gently scrub the windows' surface with a clay bar. After that, take a microfiber towel and wipe the window to remove all dirt.


Now let's see how to wash the inside windows. Firstly, open the doors, take a washing cleaner and spray it on the windows. Take a towel and use one of its sides to distribute the cleaner to every side of your window. After that, take the unused towel side and wipe the window with it. If the window has a dry rag, you should use it to remove dirt from your car's side windows.

Cleaning bird poop and grime

If bird poop or grime is on your car's windows, you need to remove them with uncontaminated water. Firstly, take a cloth and spray it with water. Let the dirty side of the cloth soak up the water. Then, wipe this area to get rid of contaminants. Repeat these steps until all dirt will be removed from your window's surface.

Just like in the case of outside windows, if there are stubborn dirt patches on your car's inside windows, you can use a ceramic bar to clean them. But for this type of cleaning you should better have distilled, not tap, water at hand.

Spray it over your windows' surface with an atomizer bottle or a garden hose sprayer head. Now take a clean microfiber towel or rag and gently scrub the window's surface with it. After that, wipe your car's side windows with a dry part of this cloth to get rid of any dirt left on them. Using distilled water will help you avoid scratches in your car glass.

Windshields' treatment

The only problem with car windows is cleaning them from fog during wintertime. There are several ways how to do this: use warm water mixed with glycerin; prepare a mix of 7 parts of water and 1 part of vinegar; pour some alcohol on the windows' edges. And, as you know, never forget about your safety first!

Do not use any cleaners that contain ammonia on the windshields, because it can damage them. And if there is some dirt or oil spot on these windows, do not rub it too hard. It will scratch the protective layer and reduce visibility during driving time.

Plus, never wash windscreens with household detergent: many car owners tend to think 'if it is good for the body, it is great for car windows as well; however we all know about chemistry and its interaction between positive elements that may end up in a bad way - the glass can break.

And if you have metallic windshields, use a special cleaner to clean them from iron particles that may cause rusting of the frame. But if the dirt is hard to remove, do not apply too much effort to it. Just spray some water on it and wipe your windshield with a microfiber towel or even paper towels. And never forget about rubbing alcohol! It will help you prevent fogging during cold weather.

Also, always start by cleaning the outside part of the windshield first - this way you will avoid spraying inside your car while working on it. Finally, if there are snowflakes or ice crystals stuck between two layers of glass after washing, rub them gently with a side of a soft cloth or paper towels.

Remember about these tips when cleaning your car windows and you will never complain about bad visibility again!

What about tinted car windows cleaning?

Special cleaners or soap with degreasing agents must be used to clean them. Also, if dirt has accumulated on the windows' surface for a long time, you will need to use a special cleaner to remove it.

If you are not sure how to deal with tinted windows, ask your car mechanic about appropriate products for this type of glass cleaning. But whatever solution will he give you - always remember about safety first! Don't let any product get inside your car's cabin while washing its windows! And by no means should you try to rub off dirt or stains that have become permanent if they cannot be removed with household products!

What is more, wait until the windows dry completely before driving your car in order to avoid accidents caused by reduced visibility.


Here's the last thing you need to know about the windows' cleaning: When you wash the windscreen, you need to take a window mop with an articulating head. It helps you to clean the corners that are hard to get. Plus, it reduces the risk of scratching your car's surface by absorbing any shocks that you accidentally make.

If you follow these simple steps, you will be able to clean your car windows without leaving scratches, streaks, or spots on them - and this way you will protect its body as well!