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8 Car Windshield Cleaning Tips from Auto Body Pros

Many collisions are a result of poor driver visibility. One way to help improve visibility, regardless of the driving conditions you might face, is to keep your windshield clean. To help you out, we’ve put together 8 amazing car windshield cleaning tips for your ride. Check them out here:

Tip 1: Pre-Cleaning Tips

Before you can dive into cleaning your windshield with any type of glass cleaner, you will have to remove whatever is stuck to it. Among the common substances that will need pre-cleaning are:

  • Glue from old stickers or decals
  • Bird droppings
  • Bug splatters
  • Stuck on grime or dirt.

You can remove some of it with hose pressure as you spray down the windshield before getting started, but you might need to make use of a solvent to get rid of some of it. A solvent designed to accomplish this on the canopies of military aircraft is water dispersant formula 40, more commonly known as WD-40. In addition, you can use detailing clay to pull debris out of any cracks or chips in the windshield. Another solution for pre-cleaning, especially after using WD-40, are Aquapel Pre-Cleaner Towelettes.

Tip 2: Inspect and Clean Wiper Arms and Blades

Wiper blades and wiper arms are often a contributor to streaking, scratching or other damage to your windshield. Be sure to inspect wiper blades and wiper arms for any defects, and replace them if necessary. You will want to clean the wiper blades before cleaning your windshield to prevent them from marring your work as well. A great way to clean wiper blades is to cut a lemon in half and run the juicy side up and down the blade several times before wiping them off with a paper towel.

Tip 3: Park in the Shade Before Cleaning

Be sure you park your automobile in the shade before you start cleaning your windshield. Not only does this help prevent glare and allow you a better view of what you are doing, but it also prevents cleaners from evaporating too quickly and leaving a residue behind.

Tip 4: Clean the Exterior Windshield First

It is important to clean both sides of your windshield in order to provide the clearest visibility. Be sure to clean the exterior windshield first. This will allow you a better view for evaluating your progress when you clean the interior side.

Tip 5: Streak-Free Cleaning

If your car is in the shade, you will avoid most streaking problems. Streak-free cleaning is a combination of what products you use for cleaning as well as your cleaning technique. Products to consider are:

  • Towel. Choose either a high-quality, microfiber towel (minimum 300 GSM) or a huck towel, which is valuable as a lent-free/residue-free towel used to clean surgical instruments. Fold the towel twice so that you have four smooth, dry surfaces to work with.
  • Glass Cleaner. Select a non-fluorocarbon, solvent and ammonia free glass cleaner. 2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar to 2 cups of distilled water is a good natural solution. Foam cleaners that do not run or evaporate to rapidly, like Aquapel Glass Cleaner, are a commercial option to consider.
  • Buffer. One of the best and least expensive items you can use for buffing is a sheet of newspaper, though a dry, lint-free towel of any type will work.

The key is to apply glass cleaner to only half of your windshield at a time. Wipe up and down in an even motion, and then turn the towel over to its dry side and wipe back and forth. Be sure to clean under the wiper blades as well. Refold your towel so both sides are dry before repeating your work on the other half of the windshield. If you notice any streaks left behind, you can usually buff them out to finish up.

Tip 6: Cleaning Inside

Cleaning the interior windshield of your car is a bit different. You might have to remove any sticky substances, like window sticker glue, which you can do with WD-40. However, interior windows tend to have an oily film on them, so go over them quickly with a stain eraser sponge before using window cleaner. Then follow these steps:

  • Cover your dashboard with towels or newspapers to prevent window cleaner residue drips.
  • Fold your towel just like you did when cleaning the exterior.
  • Spray glass cleaner on the towel instead of on the windshield.
  • Clean one half of the interior windshield using the same technique as you did on the exterior windshield, and then repeat the process on the other half.
  • Buff as needed to remove any residue streaks.

Tip 7: Prevent Oily Film Buildup on Interior Glass

If you want to save some effort on interior glass cleaning, you can take several measures to prevent its buildup, which is the result of off-gassing from your vinyl dashboard, interior cleaning products, and smoke. Here are three ways to prevent oily film buildup:

  • Prohibit smoking inside your car, because cigarette smoke contributes heavily to the buildup.
  • Do not use oil based “protectants” on the dashboard of your car. Under the intensity of solar heat, they produce an oily gas, which collects on your windshield.
  • Install a non-vinyl cover over your dashboard.

Tip 8: Apply Protection to the Exterior Windshield

You can help maintain the cleanliness of your windshield, and make your windshield washer fluid and wipers more effective by applying a protective treatment over your exterior windshield. A quality windshield treatment will:

  • repel rain
  • facilitate ice and snow removal
  • reduce rain glare, especially from headlights at night
  • prevent water marks and hard water deposits.

One of the best windshield treatments available is Auquapel Glass Treatment. This treatment creates a chemical bond to windshield glass, is easy to apply and lasts up to six months, which is six times longer than most glass treatment products.

Clear vision while you’re driving is one of the best ways to avoid a collision and minimize damage and potential loss. JD Collision is dedicated to helping you see better and stay safe while you’re driving in all sorts of weather. We provide top quality products and services to maintain your car’s windshield, including Aquapel Products. Contact us for more information on how you can save 10% on Aquapel Windshield Treatments.