Glass windows are one of the trickiest areas of a car to keep clean, but also one of the most important. From fingerprints and smears to insects, dust and road dirt, glass surfaces are subject to all sorts of daily wear and tear, resulting in poor visibility and an annoying amount of cleaning and maintenance.

While cleaning a car’s bodywork is more about keeping up appearances, there’s a safety element to ensuring your windows and headlights are clean. In this article, we’ll provide a complete guide to cleaning car windows, so you can avoid dangerous sun dazzle and get complete visibility..

How to Clean Car Windows Inside and Out

Below, we’ve outlined how to clean your car’s interior and exterior glass. If it’s possible, clean the glass in the shade where it’s cool – this prevents glass cleaner from evaporating too quickly and leaving a streaky finish.

Car windscreen on a nice autumn day

What You’ll Need

First, let’s look at what you’ll need to guarantee a streak-free shine:

  • Four clean microfibre cloths (two for cleaning, two for drying on the inside and outside of the car)
  • Glass cleaning spray
  • Reach and clean tool (for the interior windscreen and rear window)

Cleaning the Outside Windows

  1. Wind down the windows slightly: This allows you to clean the top of the glass, which may be covered in oily residue and dirt.
  2. Apply the glass cleaning spray evenly, each window at a time: Applying the cleaner evenly will ensure you don’t use too much and waste the spray. Don’t worry about overdoing it, however, as any excess will be mopped up when drying. Remember to focus on one window at a time, so that the cleaner doesn’t dry hard or evaporate.
  3. Starting at the top, wipe the window clean using a horizontal motion: By cleaning the exterior glass in a horizontal direction, you’ll easily be able to tell where remaining smears are when you’ve finished cleaning the interior glass.
  4. Wipe dry with a second microfibre cloth: Aim to remove as much moisture as possible, working in the same horizontal direction.

car window cleaning

Cleaning the Interior Glass

  1. Apply the glass cleaner directly to the microfibre cloth: This prevents the spray from coming into contact with any other surfaces inside the car.
  2. Wipe each window clean in a vertical direction: This will help you identify smears on the outside or inside of the car, so you needn’t waste time cleaning each window in turn.
  3. Use a ‘reach and clean’ tool to clean the windscreen: Unless you’ve got super long arms, it’s near-impossible to clean the far corners of the windscreen on the inside. To clean this hard-to-reach area, we’d recommend using a reach and clean tool — like this. With its soft cleaning pad and pivoting triangular head, this is perfect for cleaning every inch of the windscreen and rear window for a smear-free finish.
  4. Wipe surfaces dry, and you’re done

Removing Stubborn and Sticky Substances

Tar, bugs, oil and tree sap can be hard to remove from car windows using conventional glass cleaner. For stubborn, sticky stains like these, you’ll need to use a more powerful cleaning agent, like Mixra Glass Cleaner.

This foam cleaner is guaranteed to quickly remove dirt such as insects and traffic film for a streak free finish. You can use it on your windscreen and use your wipers to remove it, and you can use it on windows and simply wipe it away with tissue.

Cleaning Plastic Headlights

Now that we’ve covered the different methods you can use to clean and maintain your car’s glass windows, it’s time to move on to plastic headlights.

Like the windscreen, keeping your car’s headlights clean and free from dust is a matter of safety. While the plastic cover can be cleaned during the regular car wash, they should be checked at regular intervals to make sure there’s no stubborn stain or dirt that could hamper their performance.

Car Wash.

Not only that, but the plastic covers can develop a ‘haze’ over time, much like plastic bumpers and trim. To remove this, and restore your headlights to their shiny showroom best, use a little toothpaste and a small amount of car wax, and scrub the surface of the cover. Within several minutes, your headlights will look like new, and will be much safer to use at night. If they have insects and other deposits on them, you can wash these off with a good quality car shampoo or with a specialist cleaner such as Mixra Glass Cleaner.

For further tips and advice on cleaning your car to a professional standard, check out the rest of the Simoniz blog. Alternatively, visit our homepage to browse our range of quality car cleaning and valeting products.