After years of trying to figure out the best way to keep my windshield clean with the least amount of work (OK, I’m lazy), I now stick with my go-to windshield cleaner, which also repels raindrops (glass stays clear for longer so less cleaning).
However, there are many other easy ways you can clean a car windshield. In fact, you may have some of these alternatives already laying around your house!
How to Clean a Car Windshield: the Cheap & Natural Way
Many people use a simple solution of vinegar and water for all of their window-cleaning jobs. It’s cheap, easy and a little bit goes a long way. Plus, if you are looking for an all-natural cleaner, vinegar is the way to go.
GreatDayImprovements.com recommends a 1-part to 1-part mixture of vinegar to water, and Martha Stewart suggests using hot water.
You can combine your ingredients in a spray bottle or a large bucket and use a squeegee, both of which you can usually find for a couple bucks at Walmart. Talk about a cheap cleaning job!
I’ve found that the cheaper squeegees with shorter handles are much easier to maneuver, especially over curved surfaces and on tight corners. That said, they typically don’t last as long as the traditional long-handled version
And speaking of squeegees, I find that when I wipe off the blade with a towel after each pass, I get virtually no streaks. You can use this trick on your windshield wiper blades as well if they leave your glass streaked.
What About Ammonia for Cleaning Glass?
Although lots of people use cleaners that contain ammonia, this ingredient is known to dry out plastic, rubber, vinyl and leather. It also should not be used on tinted windows, and it can emit dangerous fumes. Autogeek recommends avoiding it altogether for your car cleaning projects. Instead, look for a product that states, “ammonia-free”.
Don’t Forget the Inside of Your Windshield…
The inside of a windshield may not get nearly as dirty as the outside. However, when the sun hits it just right, that foggy film build-up can turn clear glass into a hard-to-see-through glare.
An easy fix for this problem is to keep microfiber cloths in the glove compartment. They are cheap, compact and can be used 100’s of times. Do a quick wipe-over whenever you clean your outer windshield, and you should be good to go. Plus, they will be conveniently in your glove box if you ever have a “glare emergency”.
Note: They are gentle enough to use on computer screens, eyeglass lenses and more, so you can get a lot of use out of a multi-pack.
Expert Tips on Cleaning a Car Windshield
If you want to step your cleaning up a notch, check out this video below, where Chris Fix shares some pretty cool “expert” techniques. His strategy, using a clay bar and buffing wax, will take more time, but it can also keep the windshield cleaner for longer and prevent gunk build-up.
Don’t Overlook Microfiber Towels
Microfiber towels are a key part of cleaning your automobile, including the glass. According to EcoTouch Premium Car Care, they are lint-free, will not cause scratches and they can hold up to 8 times their weight in water. However, the best benefit may be the fact that they hold an electrostatic charge which lifts dirt and debris away from the surface of your car.
Don’t forget to use clean microfiber towels and use a circular motion when cleaning and buffing. As Chris explains, it works to remove the most amount of dirt and wax.
The Advantage of Rain Repellants
Water repellants are also a great way to keep your clean windshield lasting longer (with less cleaning). Whether you use car wax that you buff off – or a spray-on glass cleaning product with rain repellant like Rain-X that you wipe off, you’ll get the same effect.