How to Clean a Windshield
Unfortunately, those once-in-a-while squeegee wipe downs we give our windshields while we're waiting for the gas tank to fill up do not count as "deep cleans". Even if your car has recently been washed, try to think back to the last time you cleaned the dirt and dust magnet that is the inside of your windshield.
A dirty windshield can not only obstruct your view while you're driving (especially in direct sunlight), it can also make an otherwise clean car look like it's way far overdue for a wash.
There are several reasons your car's windshield ends up so dirty. On the outside, you can attribute it to bugs, sand and dust, rain, smog, and other environmental contaminants.
Off-gassing is the main culprit in dirtying up the inside of your windshield. This occurs when that "new car smell" on your interior plastic and vinyl components eventually breaks down and evaporates, leaving an oily residue on the windshield. This haziness can get even worse if you've previously used oily cleaners on your dashboard. To learn how to properly clean your car's dashboard, click here.
Though they may get the job done for household glass cleaning, ammonia-based window cleaners are not the best way to clean your windshield. These products can lead to permanent damage to plastic, rubber, and vinyl. You should also steer clear of scrubbing products that are abrasive, including paper towels, newspapers, and scouring pads.
Simple Green Glass Cleaner is free of harsh ammonia and phosphates, so it restores shine and clarity to windows without damaging them. The ready-to-use formula cleans your car windshield by removing fingerprints, smudges, dirt and dust, and other grime to reveal a crystal-clear shine.
Directions for Cleaning a Windshield:
Clean your car in a shady area, if possible. Parking in the sun dries your car quickly, making it difficult for you to spread water and product around.
- Apply Simple Green Glass Cleaner. Begin by cleaning the outside of the windshield. Do this after you've washed the rest of your car, so you won't accidentally get dirty water on your clean windshield. First, lift your windshield wiper blades so they're out of the way, then spray the Simple Green onto a microfiber towel. You'll want to use one microfiber for product and a separate one for drying.
- Wipe the entire surface vertically, then wipe it horizontally. If you notice you are leaving streaks behind, that usually means your windshield, or your cloth was extra dirty. Reapply the cleaner if needed, making sure to use a clean microfiber cloth.
- Wipe dry. Wipe in circular motions to catch any leftover cleaning solution.
- Clean your wiper blades. You can use Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner to wipe down dirty wiper blades. If these are left dirty, they will wipe grime all over your freshly cleaned windshield. Spray Simple Green on a cloth and wipe from the base of each blade to the top, then wipe one more time with a dry cloth.
- Clean the interior. Repeat this process for the inside of the glass. Clean the inside of the windshield before you do any other interior detailing. This way, you'll push dust down onto your dashboard, which you'll then wipe away.
TIP: Don't forget to clean the rest of your car windows after you've washed your car - see how here.