How To Best Clean Your Car Windows

Posted October 25, 2021 by Chris Blaisdell, Onsite Detail

We all know how annoying water spots, streaks, bugs, dirt and handprints can be on our windows, it makes it difficult to see and – let us be honest here – it can become a safety issue. 

So how do we get the gross stuff off the windows? 

How to Clean Your Car Windows Inside and Out - Onsite Detail, Mobile Detailing Services

Exterior Cleaning

Depending on how dirty the windows are it will be best to rinse your windows with a garden hose or pressure washer first so you can get all the loose dirt off and keep all your other tools much cleaner. 

After the first rinse, use some soapy water (car wash soap will be best) and give the windows a light scrubbing with a rag or a designated exterior car wash scrubbers, this should get all the streaks and excess dirt off of the windows. Be prepared to get some drips and water or soap on other parts of the car. If you just make sure you have clean microfiber rags to wipe it up.

Give the windows another rinse then dry them with a squeegee or microfiber cloth designed for that purpose. Once the windows are dry you should probably look for any other bugs or debris that might still remain. Don’t forget to check the area around the windshield wipers, that is most commonly where a lot of dirt gets stuck. If there is still some stubborn residue or dirt, spray it down again, let it sit for a minute or two, then wipe it up. 

Then it is time for the finishing touches; spray some final glass cleaner onto the windows then wipe them with a microfiber glass cloth in an even pattern until they are completely dry. If you do not dry it fully you do have a risk of leaving streaks on your windows you worked so hard on.

To resist future mess and make exterior window cleaning much easier go check out our glass coatings blog and learn more about what glass coating services we offer.. 

Interior Cleaning

The interior windows may have a considerable amount less steps than the exterior when it comes to getting the windows spick and span, unless you’ve got some messy little ones or pets that enjoy mucking up your vehicle’s windows. Assuming you don’t have any of that to clean up all you really need to do is spray some glass cleaner either onto a microfiber glass cloth or directly onto the window then wipe it, again making sure it gets totally dry and you are not using a previously soiled rag.

The only thing you should be worried about with interior cleaning is spraying too much and making the cloth so wet that it leaves streaks anyway. I recommend using two to three cloths so you can be sure to get everything dry and streak free.


How to Get Streak Free Windows and Mirrors - Onsite Detail in Utah

Don’t forget to clean your rear view mirrors! They can sometimes be easy to forget but they like getting polished up too. Though the mirrors hardly get as dirty as the windshield it is still good to give them the pre rinse, scrub, rinse again and dry off treatment, at least with the exterior ones; treating the interior mirrors as interior windows is the best treatment to give them.

The Icky Stuff

You have ketchup splattered on the window from a fast food incident, there is some residue from a sticker you removed forever ago, maybe you even have some crayon stuck on the window that just will not come off. Icky stuff. 

Try moistening the area(s) where you find the problems with some water or window cleaner then let it sit for a while before scrubbing at it with a textured rag. Try that process a few times over if it doesn’t work at first, sometimes it just takes good old elbow grease.

If that doesn’t work you could try scraping that troublemaker off with a plastic razor blade. Be careful though! Make sure you handle the blade right by scraping the grime off with the blade at an angle, mishandling it could lead to scratches on the windows; then you’d be in an even bigger predicament.

Once your icky spot is removed you will probably want to let the area sit for a couple of minutes to let the water and cleaner dry, then come back to see if there are any more smudges you want to take care of. 

Hopefully, at least some of this is helpful to you! And if you want some help with your auto detailing needs we are just a phone call away!

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Our mobile detailing service areas are Salt Lake County, Utah County, Davis County, Washington County, Park City, Tooele, and surrounding areas.


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