In our opinion, auto glass is one of the greatest inventions of modern history. Without it, the act of driving an automobile would be virtually impossible. That’s because glass such as your windshield, your side windows, or your back window, is a steadfast defender, first of all, against the natural elements. Should you attempt driving without the protective barrier that is your windshield, the sheer force of the wind coming at you at a car’s fast speeds would be enough to even make keeping your eyes open be a very real challenge. So, since our windshields keep us safe, knowing how to perform a bit of maintenance like how to clean a windshield properly, or temporarily keep a crack from spreading is definitely useful know-how.
Moreover, through the perfection of the automotive safety glass manufacturing process, windshields have steadily become way more reliant in collisions as well. Gone are the days when your vehicle’s glass could actually place you in further harm when shattering, because those shards would come flying at you. Contemporary windshields are made so that their structural integrity isn’t going to be completely compromised during a crash, and instead simply become a broken, but held-together, mass of glass. What’s more, as if windshields weren’t impressive enough as it is, they also keep flying pests at bay, which would otherwise annoy you to no end.
However, as with most worthwhile things in life, windshields also require some maintenance in order to be kept in top shape, and assure optimal driving conditions. For example, their outer and inner parts are going to accumulate quite a bit of dirt and grime in time, seriously hindering your visibility of the road. As it only takes a split second of not seeing everything clearly for something tragic to happen, it’s in your best interest to assure that when you’re wiping away rain stains or the oily film on the inside of your car, you’re doing it in the best way to clean a windshield.
So, let’s get right into it.
How to Clean a Windshield on The Outside
Since modern life requires us to drive around almost on a daily basis, you really don’t want any grime to distract you. Moreover, a dirty windshield is also going to welcome bug splatter and ice to stick to its surface with ease, further worsening overall visibility, and increasing reflections during night time.
You’re going to need just 5 things:
- 2 microfiber towels
- Your favorite glass cleaner
- A piece of clay bar
- Warm water
- Regular car wax
The step-by-step process
1. Pick up your trusty microfiber cloth and glass cleaner of choice, and only work half of the windshield at a time. Otherwise, the cleaner could evaporate before you get to wiping the windshield clean, making the situation more complicated to deal with. Always use circular motions when wiping, as it helps loosen the grime since force is being applied from all directions. Don’t forget the edges of the windshield, and especially the wipers. Otherwise, all the dirt you’re taking off will just be back on the first time you use them.
2. Spray warm water all over the windshield, and keep in mind that the warmer it is, the better. Take the piece of clay bar and start scrubbing the entire surface again. This will collect contaminants that are still present on the glass, as you’ll see them getting stuck into the clay. If the clay seems to get stuck on certain areas, then it’s a problematic one. Keep scrubbing until the clay moves around freely. Do not worry, you’re not risking a windshield scratch with this method.
3. The clay bar makes sure that all the remaining grime that isn’t picked up the first time isn’t stuck to the windshield anymore, so go ahead with another round of glass cleaner.
4. Afterwards, you’re going to wax your windshield. Yep. Don’t worry, it’s going to look smudged, of course, since it’s wax, but it’s normal. Apply it on a circular motion all over, and assure a relatively thin coat. After about 10 minutes, run your finger through the wax coating. If there’s a clear surface underneath the place where you ran your finger through (so not a smudge), it’s ready to be buffed off with another microfiber cloth. Circular motions first, then from top to bottom.
The last step may sound weird to you, but waxing the windshield assures that water’s going to drip away from it with ease, and that bug splats aren’t going to stick. If you’d like to test it, go ahead and turn on a hose over it, or splash it with a bucket of water. Of course, be mindful it’s not freezing temperatures outside, otherwise you’re going to give yourself a headache to deal with.
How to Clean a Windshield on The Inside
Ever noticed that oily film that leaves streaks on the inside of your windshield? If you tend to drive during nighttime, we’re certain that you did, because the overhead lights make it very obvious. That’s actually happening because of the off-gassing from the plastics in your vehicle’s interior. In other words, there’s no stopping it, because as your vinyl or plastic dashboard and steering wheel get hotter, the oils inside them rise to the surface, and then evaporate.
Since they have nowhere to go, they stick to your windshield. This is the same for cigarette smoke, if you tend to smoke inside of your automobile. The best way to clean a windshield of its grime? Pretty easy actually!
- Firstly, hop onto the passenger side, to give yourself more room.
- Then, facing backwards, to allow your arm to naturally twist in a position where your hand is going to reach between the dashboard and the windshield, clean the glass with dry microfiber cloth.
- Afterwards, put some rubbing alcohol on that cloth and start scrubbing away at the windshield. Be mindful to clean any drops from the dashboard, as they lead to discolorations.
- Finally, take your pick of glass cleaner, spray it on another microfiber tower, not directly on the windshield, and start cleaning in circular motions. Then, flip it to the clean side and go from top to bottom.
And, that’s how to clean a windshield, and get it crystal clear again!