Despite detailing your car, the windows can still hold on to dirt and grime, so here’s our easy to follow guide on how to clean car windows. 

All of your car windows will obviously get a good clean while you are detailing the car. However, sometimes you’re going to need to give it a more thorough, deep clean. Shampoo and your wash mitt alone won’t be able to get rid of the greasy film that will build up on your windscreen. Nor will it fight off that real stuck-on dirt that clings to your glass so tenaciously. With a little bit of effort and the right products, you can get your glass absolutely spotless, and it’s worth doing an intensive clean every so often. Here’s your step by step guide on how to clean car windows.

1. Use a clay bar on your windscreen

Using quick detailer with a clay bar on car windows

We’re going to start with something a little unexpected, perhaps, and that is using a clay bar on the windscreen. The reason you want to do this is that over time a greasy, dirty film builds up on the windscreen.  Using your screen wash and wipers or your shampoo and wash mitt won’t shift it. It causes streaking and smearing when you’re driving in the rain and using your wipers. You need a stronger form of cleaning to get your car windows perfectly clean, and claying is the perfect way to do it.

As with using a clay bar on your car’s paint, the technique is the same. Use lots of quick detailer acting as a lubricant. With barely any pressure, work your way methodically across the windscreen rubbing back and forth with the clay.

Dirty clay bar from windscreen

This is what the clay picked up on a windscreen that, while admittedly dirty, had already been snow foamed and cleaned during the washing session. You can see how much dirt was left. Claying will make a big difference to the clarity of your glass.

2. Wipe away any leftover quick detailer from your car windows

Clean glass on renault clio

As always, wipe over the windscreen with a clean microfiber cloth once you’re done to remove any product.

3. Apply glass polisher to your car windows

Clean car windows on a Renault Clio

Quick detailer leaves behind a protective layer, which is great on paint but not your windscreen, so to get rid of anything left behind and remove any remaining dirt, we’ll be using some glass polish.

Apply your glass polish to a foam applicator pad, and then rub it across the windscreen in an overlapping motion using a bit of pressure.

Glass polish is also excellent for removing stubborn dirt and water spots and getting your glass exceptionally clean when used as a standalone product.

before and after a clean of car windows

You can see how effectively glass polish cleans in this 50/50 photo.

4. Wipe away leftover glass polish

Wipe product away after applying it

Wipe off the glass polish once you’re done. Obviously, you don’t have to do all these steps every time you wash your car – just cleaning the windscreen during your normal washing session will be absolutely fine most of the time, and when you need a more thorough clean, you can just use some glass cleaner. However, a few times a year, and especially during winter, it’s definitely worth taking a bit more time to give your class a really thorough, deep-cleaning session, as it will help to keep it cleaner for longer.

5. Apply glass sealant to your car windows

Glass sealant on an applicator

The finishing touch is going to be some glass sealant. This will help to keep your windscreen cleaner for longer and will cause water to bead and run off at speed, meaning you barely have to use your wipers, if at all, when it’s raining. Apply a few drops to your applicator pad as shown.

Now using overlapping straight line motions, apply the sealant to your windscreen. You just need a nice even coating across the whole surface.

6. Wipe away leftover glass sealant from your windows

Applying glass sealant to a Renault Clio

Wipe the haze off, and it’s job done – your windscreen is now sealed and ready to repel rain and dirt. Go ahead and apply glass sealant to the rest of your windows too, as it will help to keep them cleaner for longer as well.

Using regular glass cleaner on your car windows

Spraying glass cleaner on car windows

Of course, just regular glass cleaner is excellent too and requires minimum effort. Just spray a bit on the glass, there’s no need to go overboard with quantity. Now spread it over the glass and wipe it off, it’s as easy as that.

Don’t forget the inside of your windows and especially your windscreen. Dirt builds up on the inside, too, so it’s important to clean that off periodically as you would on the outside. Just a spray cleaner is perfectly fine here as the interior glass is not exposed to the elements.

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