The perfect glass cleaner will leave your glass crystal clear and smear-free – here’s our pick of the best car glass cleaners out there.
When you wash your car, you naturally clean your windows, but that’s not always enough. If you want to get them truly spotless, you need to use a dedicated glass cleaner as part of your car detailing. The choice of glass cleaners out there available is pretty overwhelming. Luckily for you, we’ve done the hard work and picked our favorites. Read on for our guide to the best car glass cleaner you can buy.
What is a car glass cleaner?
A car glass cleaner is designed specifically to remove traffic grime, dirty marks and bird droppings from your car’s windows. Typically, car glass cleaners do not contain ammonia like other cleaners, it instead uses a solution of vinegar, alcohol and other specialized surfactants in order to remove dirt.
In some cases, glass cleaners made specifically for automotive use can leave a hydrophobic coating on the window once buffed away. This will encourage water droplets to bead off of the glass, rather than clinging on to it. As a result, it improves visibility during heavy rainfall as the rain water naturally gets pushed away from the windscreen. In some circumstances, the effectiveness of removing water has meant I’ve refrained from using window wipers (they were in need of replacing). But I would urge you not to try this unless in a safe environment.
How to buy the best car glass cleaner
As you might have guessed at this point, some glass cleaners are far more effective than others. You’re looking for a product that has powerful action against road grime but remains streak-free. Something that can easily be sprayed onto the glass (or microfiber cloth) and applied to the windows. Whether it’s oil, dirt or anything else, a glass cleaner should be able to bite through it and leave the glass clean.
In most circumstances, however, you should be using glass cleaner during the final stage of your car detail. As a result, most (preferably all) of the dirt should now be off of the car, and it should be dry. Here, you want the streak-free product to apply a small hydrophobic layer on the glass to stop grime build up. Some do it better than others, but the recommended products below all offer some protection and have fantastic cleaning abilities.
Best Car Glass Cleaner In 2023
Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity
We’ve always been impressed with Perfect Clarity whenever we’ve used it. It spreads easily and wipes off quickly, leaving a streak-free finish. It’s got impressive cleaning power, too, and cuts through grime with ease. It’s very reasonably priced, too. Great cleaning with minimum effort makes this a top choice of car glass cleaner.
Dodo Juice Clearly Menthol
Size: 500ml, 5 liters
RRP: $11.14 / £9.00. Buy Dodo Juice Clearly Menthol here.
Most glass cleaners use vinegar, but industrial products use alcohol, which is what Dodo Juice has opted for. With its minty fresh scent, Clearly Menthol is lovely to use and really impresses in terms of cleaning power. A little goes a long way, and it leaves you with a reside-free finish. As it’s abrasive-free, it’s also safe to use on tinted windows. It smells great, it cleans really well, and you’ll be very happy with Clearly Menthol in your detailing kit.
Gtechniq G6 Perfect Glass
As you’d expect from Gtechniq, its glass cleaner is all about performance. The G6 formula doesn’t feature any ingredients that can cause smearing, like fragrance and cheap solvents. This means that not only does it clean extremely well, but it also leaves glass spotless, exactly what you want. And it also leaves a positive charge on your glass to repel dust, which is a nice bonus. A very impressive car glass cleaner that really does a great job.
Rain-X 2-in-1 Glass Cleaner + Rain Repellent
Rain-X is best known for its rain-repellent products, so why not combine that with a glass cleaner? This glass cleaner removes dirt and applies a rain-repellent coating in one easy step. There’s no buffing required – simply spray on and wipe off to enjoy a streak-free finish. The rain repellent causes water to bead off and also helps to stop snow, bugs and road spray from sticking. It’s cheap, too, and that’s the icing on the cake. An excellent car glass cleaner that’s well worth a look.
4Detailer Crystal Glass
Size: 1 liter, 5 liters, 20 liters
RRP: from $10.00 / £7.99. Buy 4Detailer Crystal Glass here.
The first thing that impresses about 4Detailer Crystal Glass is how much product you’re getting. For less than some of its rivals, you get a 1-litre bottle, which makes this phenomenal value for money. Of course, that wouldn’t count for much if the product wasn’t any good, but it is. Crystal Glass puts in a very impressive performance, and it cuts through all manner of dirt with ease. It also evaporates quickly, meaning no streaks. Crystal Glass’s combination of performance and value makes it a superb choice.
26JPN Glass Cleaner
RRP: $10.00 / £8.00. Buy 26JPN Glass Cleaner here.
What sets 26JPN’s glass cleaner apart from the crowd is what’s inside. It’s been formulated to be alcohol-free, and that means it won’t evaporate away quickly. The benefit is that it gives you more time to wipe it off the glass. That helps it to achieve the perfect streak-free finish that we all want. It contains no scents or silicones, and it’s also ammonia-free. This means it won’t damage tinted windows, plastic, vinyl or rubber. And in addition to all that, it also delivers powerful cleaning. An excellent glass cleaner that really impresses.
Autoglym Fast Glass
Another excellent offering from Autoglym, Fast Glass is a superb car glass cleaner. It’s safe to use on perspex, acrylic and plastic windows and is free of abrasives, waxes and silicones. It goes on easy and powers through dirt, wiping away for a crystal-clear finish. You can also use it to remove polish, wax and sealants from rubber and plastic trim, a nice little bonus. An excellent glass cleaner that you can pick up cheaply – you can’t go wrong.
Auto Finesse Caramics Glass Cleaner
We like to see innovation and products that go above and beyond, which is why we love this glass cleaner. As the name implies, Auto Finesse’s Caramics Glass Cleaner is part of its Caramics ceramic range, but it’s also a great standalone product. The highly concentrated, fast-flash formula cuts through all manner of dirt with ease. The blend of mild distilled solvents dissolves and lifts particles, allowing them to be safely removed and preventing scratches. Best of all, it leaves behind a hydrophobic ceramic coating to keep your glass cleaner for longer. That, combined with its impressive cleaning power, makes Caramics a fantastic choice of car glass cleaner.
How the best car glass cleaners were chosen
Throughout my experience as a motoring journalist and passionate car detailer, I’ve been lucky enough to test a lot of products on the market. More recently, I’ve now undertaken responsibilities as Fast Car’s Detailing Expert, and thus will continue to test products to give you the very best advice. The cleaners recommended above and more will all be put under test in the coming months to give you more informed opinions.
The above products are all cleaners that I’ve used personally and fall back to time and time again. They all offer superb cleaning power, and all have hydrophobic properties to help with keeping the glass clean after detailing. You won’t be disappointed with any of these
For more advice, check out our guide on how to clean car windows.