How Best to Clean the Inside of Your Windshield

We’ve talked before about why you need to clean the outside of your windshield. If you’ve kept up with our posts, you know that it’s for a few reasons:

  • The cleaner your windshield is, the more visibility you have.
  • Dirt and debris on your windshield can break down the rubber on your windshield wipers—ultimately leading to scratches and cracks.
  • Dirt and debris can obscure any chips your windshield has, preventing you from catching and fixing them before they get worse.

Hopefully, you took our advice to heart and have cleaned your windshield regularly (or at least once!) since then. However, when’s the last time you cleaned the inside of your windshield?

Typically, car owners think about only the outside of their car: after all, it’s the part that takes the biggest beating (from the elements and sometimes even other cars). But the inside needs care, as well. That’s because—believe it or not—the inside of your windshield gets dirty.

How Your Windshield Gets Dirty on the Inside

The fan pulls in outside air, along with pollution (from engine smoke, exhaust, tobacco smoke, etc.), dust, dirt, oil, etc. These will slowly cause a dirty film to develop over the windshield. In addition, the inside of the windshield can become grimy from all the other obvious causes: greasy fingers, pets, items on the dashboard, etc.

If you’ve never cleaned the inside of the windshield (and you’ve had the car for a while), you’ll probably be shocked at the difference it makes. Your windshield will be brighter, cleaner, and the defroster will work more effectively.

This spring cleaning, take some time to clean the inside of your windshield… and the rest of your car, while you’re at it. Here’s how to do it.

How to Clean the Inside of Your Windshield—the Right Way

We recommend doing the following—step by step—to get brilliantly clean glass.

#1 Put down a towel on top of the dash.

You don’t want to have to clean up your cleaners. Put down a towel (or newspapers, etc.) so that any cleaner that misses the windshield is absorbed.

#2 Pick the right cleaner.

auto glass cleaner

Do not use Windex or another ammonia-based cleaner on the inside or outside of your windshield, as this can damage any tint your windshield may have. Instead, use a glass cleaner specifically made for cars. (Jack’s Glass has a cleaner for exactly this purpose! It cleans and polishes windshields, windows, and mirrors.) Alternatively, you can DIY a mixture of water and white vinegar or rubbing alcohol. (Just don’t use the vinegar on the outside of the windshield: it can be hard on the rubber windshield wipers.)

#3 Grab your microfiber cloths.

Don’t use regular towels (they leave lint) or newspaper (which might smear ink on your windshield if the paper gets wet). Instead, get lint-free microfiber rags. They won’t leave lint, and if you’re careful, shouldn’t leave any streaks either. Also, make sure you have enough rags for various tasks: you shouldn’t re-use the rags you use to wax your car to clean the windshield, for example.

#4 Dust off the windshield.

Use a microfiber rag to wipe off any dust that has accumulated on the inside of the windshield.

#5 De-grease (if necessary).

Use a different cloth (not the one covered in dust!) and some rubbing alcohol to remove any grease and grime. If it isn’t coming off easily, repeat the process. (Don’t resort to kitchen sponges or brushes! Over time, they’ll create scratches in your windshield.)

#6 Spray on the glass cleaner.

Spray enough cleaner to wipe down the area thoroughly. First, start at one end of the windshield and slowly move to the other end. Wipe the windshield vertically, then horizontally. Finally, make sure the glass is fully dry to cut down on streaking.

#7 Prevent future build-up.

To keep your windshield clear and sparkling, try to do the following two things: 1) keep the glass cooler by parking in the shade or a covered area and 2) crack the car windows to let dirty, dusty air escape.

We hope this was helpful!

Chipped or Cracked Windshield? Call Us Today!

Our local, family-owned and -operated business has been helping Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky homeowners with their commercial glass, auto glass, glass shower and window needs for more than 70 years. Contact us today at our Elsmere or Covington locations.