Window to the World: Get Your Car Windows Clean and Clear!

Last updated on February 26th, 2024

Window to the World: Get Your Car Windows Clean and Clear!

Many people have asked me how to clean car windows so they are streak-free. I decided this would be the topic I would cover for my website today. Window to the World: Get Your Car Windows Clean and Clear!

When asked what the best way to clean car windows is, I ask which windows, inside or outside windows? The answer is not always so straightforward because I have techniques for each I have used for years that work for me to get the windows streak-free.

How to clean the vehicle’s exterior windows.

Start by washing the vehicle’s exterior with your favorite mild Ph balanced car wash soap and rinse it thoroughly. Here is my post on a great car wash soap and wax combo option.

Typically, when cleaning exterior windows and getting them streak-free, I towel dry them with a clean, high-quality microfiber towel. I have written another post on the towels I use from Luxury Microfiber, and you can see that post called Say Goodbye to Automatic Car Wash Damage with These Tips! I dry from the roof or top down, only making one pass at the windows.

Products used for exterior windows & a streak-free shine.

When cleaning my vehicle’s exterior windows, I use a low-lint microfiber towel, paper towels, and Rain-X 2-in-1 Foaming Glass Cleaner and Rain Repellent from an 18-oz can.

First, I saturate four select-a-size Kirkland brand paper towels with the Rain-X and clean a window or half of the front or rear window with the cleaner and the paper towels. While the window is still damp from the paper towels and the Rain-X, I use my Chemical Guys low-lint Blue Waffle Weave Towel with an ultra-soft silk edge of 70/30 microfiber. You can see the towel in the image below.

Person cleaning a vehicle exterior window with a bottle of solution and towels.
Window to the World: Get Your Car Windows Clean and Clear!

If you are on a budget like many of us, you can make your cleaning solution by mixing one part white vinegar with one part water. Also, if you can still get an old newspaper from somewhere, I have used them to clean the windows with a streak-free shine.

Professional detailers that I have modeled my businesses after are using what is called the box method. You clean the outer perimeter of the window and then back and forth, overlapping through the center of the window. You will see that in action in the video from Josh V in a few minutes.

One of the reasons I use the Rain-X on the exterior windows is because of its rain-repelling properties. I have an hour’s drive in the morning to work and an hour’s drive home in the evening. My route is all expressway, and this has been a rainy winter in Southwestern Ohio. I have recently driven to work and home through some heavy downpours and have not had to use my windshield wipers during the trips because of the Rain-X water-repelling properties. This happens because the water hits the windows, and force and gravity drive the water over the vehicle’s top or backward.

Steps for cleaning the interior windows.

Cleaning the interior windows is generally the last thing I perform when detailing an automobile, and I will explain more in the steps below.

  1. Clean and dust off the dash, seats, door panels, door jams, and visors.
  2. Vacuum inside the car, removing any dust, dirt, or debris.
  3. For this step, I can use clean water on my dampened microfiber towel or mix a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
  4. Spray the solution on your clean microfiber towel to wipe the windows. Remember the box motion, starting from the top of the window and moving downwards and around the perimeter. Then, side to side in overlapping movements.
  5. Keep your whole hand and palm firmly planted against the windows while cleaning and drying them.
  6. After wiping the entire window, use a clean, low-lint, dry microfiber cloth to remove any remaining streaks.
  7. Repeat the process on all of your remaining windows.

When performing the final streak-free wipe on the windows, I use my clean and completely dry Chemical Guys low-lint red waffle weave towel folded in fourths.

Do not use ammonia-based products.

Remember that when cleaning a car, you should not use products with ammonia. You do not want to use glass cleaners with ammonia on your tinted windows. I keep ammonia-based products out of my cleaning supplies.

To sum it all up…

You can clean the windows in your vehicle, both inside and out, efficiently and cheaply using the steps outlined above. When cleaning the outside windows, use water and microfiber towels. As mentioned, I like adding the Rain-X 2-in-1 into the equation for the water-repelling factor.
If you are looking for streak-free cleaned windows, remember, the keys are to use clean, dry, low-lint microfiber towels to the finish. Do not use ammonia-based products. Use the box method with the palm of your hand flat against the towel and the window surfaces.

As always, please remember to ask me any questions and provide your comments or tips below in the post’s comments section. Thank you for visiting my site and reading my post, Window to the World: Get Your Car Windows Clean and Clear! I hope you will share the post with your friends and family.

Best regards, Matt.

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