How to Clean Your Car Windscreen for Sparkling Results: 5 Simple Steps
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Categories Cleaning & Maintenance »
Keeping your car windscreen clean is essential from a safety point of view. Dirt, streaks and smears can hinder the driver’s vision so be sure to make it a priority. Plus, clean, sparkling windows will make your car look great. There are a few simple steps to follow to ensure the result is effective.
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The best way to clean your car windscreen is by starting from the outside and finishing off by cleaning the inside and topping up your wiper fluid. This way by the time you come to cleaning the inside, the outside of your car windscreen will be sparkling clean and you’ll be able to see any smears or smudges clearly.
Need a quick overview of the windscreen cleaning process? Watch our short animation:
Without the right equipment, you won’t be able to achieve that sparkling, streak-free finish. The first thing you’ll need is a microfibre cloth – these are excellent at picking up bits of dust and debris as well as cutting through greasy marks.
In terms of cleaning liquids, you can find a variety of products at your local auto store, hardware shop or even some petrol stations. As well as the typical spray bottles of windscreen cleaner, you may also want to opt for a rain repellent for additional protection. Read on to find out more about windscreen cleaners.
As we’ve mentioned above, you should start by cleaning the outside of the windscreen first.
If there is a lot of dirt, wash it with water and a soft brush. Telescopic squeegees with a sponge attached are available and this could be particularly useful if you are not tall enough to reach every part of your windscreen. Gently lift the wiper blades to get a nice even clean, and use this as an opportunity to check them over – they can be cleaned by rubbing them carefully with alcohol, mineral spirits, or baking soda and water if they are especially grimy.
Wiper blades should be replaced every two to three years, or more often if you notice any damage to them, or notice that they are ineffective. The arm of the windscreen wiper should be about 70 degrees from the windscreen.
When the stubborn dirt and insects have been removed from the windscreen, dry the surface with a clean, lint-free towel. Next, use a glass cleaner and a microfibre cloth to get it clean and shiny. Spray the solution onto the windscreen and clean from the outside in. Polish the glass cleaner off with paper towels for a streak-free finish.
Products you might consider include smear-free glass cleaners, anti-fog glass cleaners, rain-repellent cleaners that help to repel moisture and bugs from sticking when you are driving, and a foaming non-drip glass cleaner which comes in an aerosol can. Ammonia is also effective, but can damage materials such as vinyl, leather or rubber. If you prefer, you can use a little white vinegar and a clean, lint-free cloth to polish the windscreen clean.
Cleaning the outside first will enable you to see any smears on the inside, as the outside will be clear and sparkling clean. It’s time to tackle those fingerprints and sucker marks left by the sat nav systems.
Clean the inside of the windscreen from the passenger seat as you will have more room to move your arms as you clean because the steering wheel won’t be in the way.
Cleaning products available to make it a little easier include a microfibre cloth on a pad attached to long (removable) ergonomic handle with a pivoting head.
Dirt and dust clings to the microfibre cloth so that only water is needed for cleaning. Other products are available with a long handle to help you reach, and a triangular shaped pivoting head for hard to reach areas. You might prefer to use a traditional chamois leather. When using cleaning sprays be careful not to spray the car’s interior as this could cause damage, or make the surface slippery.
Always keep the wiper fluid in your car topped up with a windscreen wash that contains antifreeze so you are always able to remove dirt that is blocking your vision when you are driving. Finally, always keep a demister pad to hand in your car, and consider keeping a packet of non-smearing interior wipes impregnated with cleaning agents in the glove box.
As well as the store-bought windscreen cleaners, you can also use a vinegar solution. A mixture of 480ml water, 60ml of white vinegar and half a teaspoon of dishwasher detergent can be very effective at cleaning glass. For particularly dirty windscreens, you can add more vinegar to the solution for a stronger mix.
Firstly, it’s important to note that you should use a specialist auto glass cleaner or an ammonia-free glass cleaner where possible. Most household glass cleaners contain ammonia, which can cause streaks and fogging on vehicle glass. There are plenty of windscreen cleaning products available, and many of them will no doubt claim to be the best on the market. According to AutoExpress, there are a few windscreen cleaners that can reliably claim to be the best:
Whichever product you opt for, whether it’s a store-bought cleaner or a DIY solution, it’s important that you clean carefully and thoroughly to get the best possible results.
There are two main types of DIY windscreen cleaner. One is the vinegar and water solution that we’ve already mentioned, and the other is a simple combination of a microfibre cloth and some water. These are both simple, effective methods that will leave your windscreen sparkling clean.
One of the most important – but often overlooked – parts of cleaning your windscreen is to make sure you clean the inside of it, too. While the outside of your glass will take the brunt of the elements, the dirt and the bugs whilst on the road, the inside of the windscreen will also get dirty. Use the same method on the inside as you would with the outside and those finger marks will be a thing of the past. Try and keep the cleaning solution from getting on the interior – cover the seats and dashboard if necessary.
If you’re using microfibre cloths, make sure that they’re clean and free of fluff and lint before starting. Otherwise, you’ll just be adding to the debris when you wipe down your windscreen.
If you try and clean your windscreen from the driver’s side, you may find that your steering wheel gets in the way. Go in from the passenger side for an unobstructed approach.
For more information about to keep your windscreen in the best condition, or if you’ve discovered a crack or chip and need a repair – simply contact The Windscreen Company today using the form below. At The Windscreen Company, we provide windscreen repairs and replacements for vehicles of all sizes no matter where you are in the South East or West Midlands.