How To Clean the Inside of Your Windshield

August 08 2021

Image for article titled How to Clean the Inside of Your Windshield, Even at Its Greasiest

It’s a given: Being able to see clearly through your windshield is vitally important when you’re driving. However, that might not be the case if both sides of the windshield are dirty and clogged. The outside of a car gets dirty quickly but few people know that the inside does that, too. The main reason why many don't realize that it's because often the windshield wipers make the on-the-go cleaning and everything looks clean. Or so it seems.

What brings dirt or debris on the inside of your car windshield?

What makes the inside of a windscreen dirty are things like fingerprints which may be as a result of pointing out directions, dust, hair, dead skin, and saliva mist that comes with having humans inside a vehicle. You as a car owner or driver must ensure that you check on the windshield cleanliness all the time.

So how do you clean the inside of your windshield to make sure your drive is as safe as possible? Here’s what you need to do.

How to clean the inside of your car windshield: Items you’ll need

The first thing is to get the necessary cleaning materials. They include:

  • Lint-free microfiber rags
  • Dish soap
  • Alcohol Solution or rubbing alcohol
  • Auto-specific glass cleaner
  • Towel
  • Vinegar

Before you start this cleaning process, parking your car somewhere flat and in the shade is important. On top of that, cover your dashboard with a towel to ensure no dirt and debris befalls there. After you are done dry cleaning, ensure that you remove the towel and everything on it to dispose of the drips.

How to clean the inside of your car windshield: four steps

With that at your disposal, this is what you need to do:

  1. Start by wiping the windshield down with a clean, dry microfiber cloth to remove as much dirt and dust as possible. After that is done, use a mixture of alcohol, water, and white vinegar. This wet cleaning is intended to clean the windscreen dry.
  2. Use another cloth to apply a bit of rubbing alcohol in order to remove any grease from the glass. Grease is sticky and sometimes very difficult to get off a windshield.
  3. Spray your glass cleaner on the other side of your microfiber cloth (not on the windshield). Then wipe the glass in a circular motion. This plays a great role in ensuring that the windshield is clean without leaving any marks. The circular motion ensures that you clean the same place twice or even thrice in motion to clear any dirt or debris that may be left on the shield.
  4. Completely dry the glass. Any glass cleaner left on the windshield will leave residue or streaks. To ensure this doesn't happen, always use clean towels.

The alcohol helps in removing grease from the windshields. If you live near the coast, you can also clean the glass with vinegar to dissolve sea salt. Once that is done, clean on the outside and view it from a distance both on the inside and the outside to make sure it is sparkling clean.

How to clean the inside of your car windshield: Tips for success

These three things are success tips that will help you clean your car interior windshield with ease at all times:

  • Clean the windshield last after washing the exterior and wiping the interior thoroughly.
  • To avoid rapid evaporation, clean your windshield in the shade or when the temperatures are cooler. Keep your car cool whenever possible by parking it in a shade or garage.
  • Instead of using rags to clean, use towels that won't leave greasy stains.


It is important to keep cleaning your windshield on a regular basis. If you follow all these strategies and steps your car windshield will always be clean and free from dust and other particles that may blur your vision. Another great way of ensuring the windshield remains clean is by letting fresh air in at all times when driving.

Maintaining your vehicle is a full-time job. If proper care isn't given to a vehicle, the vehicle can fall victim to multiple accidents and no one wants that!



What is this about “auto-specific” glass cleaner? Never heard of it. Why would it be important to avoid ammonia? As far as I can tell we’ve never done any damage to the glass on any of the many cars there have been in this household by using things like Windex and Bon Ami. Are we talking about specially tinted windows or something here?
lihatt / 2021-08-05 17:04:21

They say to avoid ammonia, I think, because you’re working inside an enclosed space.That stuff gets powerful fast.
Boter / 2021-08-23 06:35:59

Even with the doors open, if you go ham, it’s powerful stuff. (But the other answer about it damaging factory and aftermarket window tint might be a better answer.)Anyway, no, as stated elsewhere I just use a dry golf towel.
Boter / 2021-08-29 03:06:32

If you mean anhydrous isopropyl alcohol, you should be able to get it from a chemical supply, but probably not a drugstore, no. But the bottle of relatively easily available drugstore 91% rubbing alcohol in my bathroom says the ingredients are only alcohol and water; don’t have a bottle of 70% handy to check it.
lihatt / 2021-09-09 00:03:15

Everything I’ve ever used has left streaks no matter how hard I try. All I do now is just have a clean hand towel, used for nothing else, sitting in the car. If the windshield starts to fog up too much, grab that bad boy and wipe it down. If it’s getting really bad, park the car and go to town scrubbing with the dry towel, then wash the towel afterward.Actually, it’s a golf towel. With “42" on one side.
Boter / 2021-09-15 06:35:59

If the inside of your windshield seems greasy, you should check for antifreeze leaks from the defroster or heater core. If there is a leak, you’ll probably notice a sweet smell as well. Fix or get it fixed. Antifreeze is poison. That leak probably won’t kill you, but it can’t be good for you either.Back in the day, I owned a Datsun 510. As good as those cars were, the upholstery wasn’t the greatest and the plasticizer in the vinyl seats boiled out in the sun and coated the windshield. For that, I used windshield-washer fluid. Bought a half-gallon bottle at the parts store and used it straight out of the bottle by pouring it into a spray bottle. The only thing I found that would get the plasticizer off the glass.
sgtyukon / 2021-09-25 07:28:20

There is a hydrocarbon film that sticks to the inside of all the car windows. It comes from all the plastics and foams used in making the interior parts—from the carpet to the headliner and everything in between. It WILL NOT come off with water. It WILL NOT come off with Windex. And it is quite difficult to remove without a microfiber cloth. Isopropyl alcohol DOES remove the film, but it takes 2 passes... each “pass” with a clean microfiber wiping surface. Fail to remove the oily haze from the windshield and the windshield will just get hazy again within a few weeks to months depending on your weather.There is more than one kind of isopropyl alcohol — and those labeled “rubbing alcohol” are sometimes sold for massages because they contain around 70% isopropyl alcohol (30% water) AND lanolin... an oil extracted from sheep’s wool. It leaves an oily film behind that is also difficult to remove. Isopropyl alcohol used by diabetics and others to to disinfect an area before giving themselves in injection use isopropyl alcohol that contains 91% isopropyl alcohol WITHOUT lanolin. Always check the alcohol bottle to make SURE it does not contain lanolin. Isopropyl alcohol removes oils not only from the surface of your skin, but from the layers close to the surface also. The lanolin addition’s purpose is to replace the natural oils the alcohol removes.
slowandrelaxed / 2021-10-03 16:11:58

Yet another needlessly convoluted life”hack”. For all the normal people out there, the real solution is to just use any glass cleaner and multiple clean rags. It’s true that windshields are hard to clean because they are covered in oils. Because of these oils, when you use a cloth or paper towel that’s not 100% clean, the dirt from the cloth just gets stuck to the glass, creating visible streaks and swirl marks. Using a clean cloth usually doesn’t solve the problem fully either because you’re just moving the oils around on the windshield. A dirty windshield usually requires at least two cloths. Spray the first rag with a cleaning solution and wipe the entire windshield down. Now, use the second rag to actually lift the dirt and oils from the windshield. An extremely dirty windshield could require 5 or 6 rags. Do not re-use any of the rags as that can just put the grime back onto the windshield.This is a pretty fool-proof and incredibly easy method. Even just soapy water and a roll of paper towels will get the job done. If you keep grabbing a new paper towel, eventually there will be no more oils left on the windshield.
pazminoproject / 2021-10-10 08:46:53

I made the mistake of using rubbing alcohol on a hot day where my car was in the sun. The few drops that hit the dashboard instantly bleached it white. I have to use some Meguiar’s stuff to get it back to black. You can only see it if you really, really search for it now. On cool days this wasn’t an issue, I’d beware though in the future. Personally I use ammonia free window cleaner and paper towels, clean the inside twice, and then wipe any streaks with a clean old t-shirt or rag that hasn’t been washed with fabric softener.
toomuchcoffee262728 / 2021-10-18 07:28:20

Wow, this is a great example of how to overcomplicate an incredibly simple task. Get some ammonia free glass cleaner and a cloth (ideally microfiber if possible) and wipe it down. That’s it. Go grab some steel wool if you have some disgusting, persistent smudges, but you really don’t need 9 fucking items lmao
electricpentagram / 2021-10-26 16:11:58

This is way too complicated. Simple 50/50 IPA and microfiber towels is all you need.The important thing is how you do it. You need to use quite a bit of IPA and multiple towels first to pull the hazy outgas residue off the glass first. Then you can work on removing streaks.Dish soap is just going to leave residue.
Poodles / 2021-11-04 00:55:36