Assorted grime, grease, and dirt on the inside of your windshield can pose more than just an aesthetic problem—they can also hinder your vision, making driving potentially hazardous. This is especially true at night when minor smudges and streaks intensify glare, compromising visibility.
Furthermore, a dirty windshield is more susceptible to rapid condensation. This occurs as water vapor readily clings to the dirt and grease, making defogging a daunting task. Daytime driving isn’t exempt from these challenges either. With the sun’s glare, even minute streaks and smudges can be distracting. Therefore, maintaining a spotless interior windshield is crucial for every driver, regardless of the time or weather conditions.
In the sections that follow, we’ll delve into the reasons your windshield gets dirty, the best techniques to restore its gleaming clarity, and the ideal products to ensure a thorough and efficient cleanup. Equip yourself with the knowledge to ensure a safer and clearer driving experience.
How Often Should You Clean the Inside of Your Windshield?
The frequency with which you should clean the interior of your windshield largely depends on how quickly it accumulates grime. As suggested by Glass Doctor, the general rule of thumb is to give it a thorough cleaning every few weeks.
But this isn’t a one-size-fits-all guideline. Factors such as frequent driving, transporting children or pets, and even local environmental conditions can mean your windshield requires more frequent attention. If you notice recurring visibility issues stemming from smudges and build-up, you might find the need to clean it on a weekly basis.
While this may initially seem tedious, consider it a small investment towards ensuring a safer, clearer driving experience. Your safety on the road, after all, is paramount.
Why the Inside of the Windshield Becomes Dirty
Ever wondered why the interior of your windshield collects dirt so readily? Here’s a rundown of common culprits:
- Outgassing from Car Materials: Many car interiors consist of materials like plastic, vinyl, and rubber, especially polyvinyl chloride (PVC). As cited by the LA Times, outgassing can result in a “waxy film on the inside glass” impairing visibility. This phenomenon is also linked to the “new car smell.” Typically, newer cars or those with upholstery wear release more of these gases.
- Heat: Intense sunlight elevates your car’s internal temperature, speeding up outgassing. Counter this by parking in shaded areas, using sun shades, employing dash covers, and keeping windows slightly open when rain isn’t an issue.
- Cigarette Smoke: Smoking inside the car leaves smoke particulates on the auto glass interior.
- Dashboard Cleaners: Certain cleaners, designed to give dashboards a shiny finish, might leave oily residues that, particularly in warmer climates, vaporize and settle on the windshield.
- Sea Salt: Coastal residents might find a white salt film on their auto glass, thanks to the airborne sea salt.
- Road Dust: Those living in arid regions might find their windshields collecting more dust, both inside and out.
- Children and Pets: Little fingers and curious noses often leave marks on the glass. If kids or pets frequently accompany you, windshield cleaning might become a routine affair.
- Air Pollution: Locations with high smog levels might necessitate more frequent windshield cleanups due to the airborne particles settling on the glass.
While some of these factors can be mitigated, others are environmental and might simply mean you’ll be cleaning your windshield more regularly.
How to Clean the Inside of Your Windshield
For a clear and unobstructed view during your drives, it’s crucial to maintain the cleanliness of your windshield. Here’s how you can achieve that pristine clarity:
- Start with the Exterior: Before tackling the interior, clean the rest of your car, especially the outside of your windshield. This helps you identify any remaining smudges or dirt spots when cleaning the interior. If you’re just aiming to spruce up the interior, you can skip this step.
- Assemble Your Toolkit: Before diving in, ensure you have:
- Lint-free microfiber towels (make sure they’re spotless to avoid scratches or more smudges).
- A recommended auto glass cleaner (more on this later) or a homemade solution (50% rubbing alcohol, 50% distilled water, and a dash of white vinegar).
- Optional but handy: A windshield cleaning wand to reach those tight spots.
- Begin with a Dust-off: Use a dry microfiber cloth to sweep off the initial layer of dust and dirt, moving systematically from top to bottom. This prevents smearing the grime around.
- Prep Your Cleaner: Spray your chosen cleaner onto a fresh microfiber towel. It’s essential not to drench the cloth as too much solution can leave a misty residue.
- Clean in Circular Motions: With the dampened cloth, gently rub the interior of the windshield in circular strokes, ensuring thorough coverage. For hard-to-reach areas, the cleaning wand can be a game-changer.
- Finish with a Dry Towel: Grab a new dry towel and wipe away the remaining solution, ensuring the windshield is fully dry.
- Inspect and Repeat: If there are stubborn spots or streaks, revisit steps 4 to 6.
With these steps, your windshield will not only be spotless but also provide a clear and safe view for all your journeys.
Best Products to Use to Clean the Inside of Your Windshield
For those who treasure a sparkling clean windshield, choosing the right products can be the difference between a foggy view and crystal-clear vision. We’ve sifted through countless reviews and products to present you with top-notch cleaning supplies to rejuvenate your auto glass:
There’s no streaks, no drips, and no mess thanks to the Invisible Glass formula. This unique formula contains no streaky soaps, scents, or dyes. Absolutely zero residue is left behind on your glass.
A popular choice among car enthusiasts, Invisible Glass Cleaner stands out for its superior cleaning prowess. Its formula is devoid of soaps, dyes, or scents that might leave residues, ensuring your glass remains “invisible”. Furthermore, it’s gentle on tinted windows due to its ammonia-free composition. With its non-drip mist dispenser, it easily tackles dirt, sap, bugs, and even permanent marker stains.
A close contender, Chemical Guys Signature Series is more than just an alternative. Its unique formula not only cleans but also repels dust, helping to keep your windshield pristine for longer durations. And for those who are aroma-sensitive, rejoice: its fragrance is subtle and pleasant. Designed with a versatile touch, this cleaner is safe for LCD screens, computer displays, plexiglass, and even tint films.
Simply remove the washable microfiber glass cleaner bonnet and throw it in the wash for a consistent streak-fee, lint-free clean that leaves any glass looking invisible.
A common complaint among drivers is the difficulty of reaching those tight corners of the windshield. Enter the Invisible Glass Reach and Clean Tool. A pioneer in its class, this tool is both robust and efficient, setting it leagues apart from flimsy imitations. It comes with three interchangeable washable bonnets suitable for various cleaning needs – from gentle polishing to stubborn bug removal. Its flexible head makes it a breeze to clean even the most challenging curves. A testimonial from a satisfied 77-year-old customer speaks volumes about its ergonomic design and utility.