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Published Mar. 13, 2018

Ensuring safety while driving involves making sure that your vehicle is in tip-top shape, including the integrity of your windshield and windows. Dirty windshields and glass windows can significantly reduce the visibility of the road, substantially increasing the risk of figuring in a traffic accident. Bugs, road oil, dirt and dust, tree sap, and even road salt can all reduce the efficiency of your windshield. As such it is important to clean your car’s glass as part of your routine car care. To help you get the best results, we’ve searched the market for the best auto glass cleaners so you can start working on your car’s glass windows immediately.

The Best Auto Glass Cleaners

One of the best things going on for the Stoner Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner is that it efficiently removes the thin film that eventually builds up over time because of the accumulation of dirt and other particles emanating from the environment. You can say that this thin film is pretty much like the biofilm that bacteria in the mouth produce on the surface of the teeth.

The unique chemical formulation of the Stoner Invisible Glass Premium makes it super-easy to break down this thin film without leaving any scent, marks, or any other signs of imperfection on your car’s glass. It can be used both on the inside and outside surfaces of the windshield or glass panels. And like the other glass cleaners in this list, folks especially loved the way the Stoner Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner easily cleaned any glassy surface without leaving streaks or marks.

Specification
  • Brand Invisible Glass
  • Model 91164
  • Weight 1.19 lbs

Another effective car glass cleaner that is getting the nod of many car enthusiasts is Sprayway’s Glass Cleaner. It has a heavy-duty formulation that is really tough on dirt, particles, dust, and even grime and oil that may have splattered on your windshield as well as other glass surfaces. While Sprayway is tough against surface contaminants, it is considered to be gentle on the natural surface of your glass.

It doesn’t provide a protective barrier, however. Nevertheless, the mere fact that it can easily get rid of dirt is a benefit that you won’t see in other products.

Specification
  • Brand Sprayway
  • Model 050-12PK
  • Weight 1.43 lbs

The problem with conventional glass cleaners is that they are mostly liquid with the potential for dripping and runoffs every time. With 3M’s Glass Cleaner, however, you don’t have to worry about messy drips and runoffs since its formulation is that of a no-drip foam. While it may look messy at first, it is a lot easier to apply since the cleaner stays onto the surface where it is sprayed on. This is unlike other glass cleaners that will result in runoffs so you have to be really fast in wiping it off.

Like most aerosol sprays the 3M Glass Cleaner should be shaken very well prior to use to create a fine mist. It provides a no-streak deep clean for your glass, cutting through even the most stubborn grease and grime.

Specification
  • Brand 3M
  • Model 3004.7846
  • Weight 1.5 lbs

Most car detailers use Meguiar’s products in their car detailing projects. You no longer have to bring your car to a professional car detailer just so you can remove dirt and stubborn grime off of your windshield and other glass surfaces in your car. You only need Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner. Its formulation is that of a professional-grade glass cleaner but in a unique, easy-to-use spray home preparation.

The Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner comes with a unique anti-haze formulation to give you sparkling clear glass with each application. It is also super safe to use on tinted windows so you don’t have to worry about ruining your perfect film. It is very important, however, to follow the directions for its use to ensure best results.

Specification
  • Brand Meguiar's
  • Model G8224
  • Weight 1.56 lbs

If your main issue in your car’s glass is hard water stains as well as etched-in dirt and debris, then you may find Driven’s Extreme Duty Glass Cleaner formulation to be up to the task. The special chemical formulation has been proven to break-up the molecular bonds of calcium and mineral deposits or buildup, severe hard water stains, salt spray deposits, heavy lime scales, alkali stains and deposits, rust accumulation, pain-over spray, mold and mildew buildup, and many more.

The whole point is to use Extreme Duty Glass Cleaner for the toughest and meanest cleaning jobs you can think of. These are the kind of tasks that even professionals will have to say ‘no’ since it would be virtually impossible to remove such stains.

Specification
  • Brand DRIVEN
  • Model DRIVEN-00007
  • Weight 1 lb

If you can safely use the Signature Series Glass Cleaner of Chemical Guys on the screen of your smartphone or even tablet, then you can safely use it on the glass of your car. Its ammonia-free and non-toxic formulation gives it unparalleled safety for your glass. However, its chemical cleaning formulation also makes it extra-tough on dirt so you can seamlessly remove any contaminants off the surface of your car’s glass.

Like the rest of the products in this pack, you can also rely on the Signature Series’ streak-free formulation so you can preserve the integrity of your glass. The other good thing about the Signature Series is that it can help repel dust and dirt by giving your glass the ability to reduce its static abilities. No static, no dirt clinging onto the surface.

Specification
  • Brand Chemical Guys
  • Model CLD_202_16
  • Weight 1.1. lbs

If you’re struggling to remove mineral deposits and water spots from your car’s windows, give 3D Eraser Water Spot Remover a try. This gel glass cleaner is safe to use on your car’s windows, chrome detailing, and even paint, all thanks to a formula that includes no harmful chemicals.

It’ll work on hard water, mineral deposits, and all kinds of tough-to-remove deposits that are sticking to your vehicle’s windows. When you apply this cleaner, its no-drip gel formula ensures you won’t have to rush to chase the cleaner before it reaches your exterior paint. You can easily apply it with a sponge, let it sit for a few minutes, and wipe your auto glass clean — with no residue left behind. If your car has been left spotty from rain, nightly sprinklers, or other common water woes, this tough cleaner will remove it all for a spotless shine.

Specification
  • Brand 3D
  • Model 107OZ16
  • Weight 1.25 pounds

The Rain-X Glass Cleaner + Rain Repellent is the perfect choice if wet weather is leaving your car’s windows dirty, muddy, or difficult to see through. This cleaner can get your auto glass sparkling, but it’ll take its cleaning power one step farther and help your windows and windshield stay clean — even after wet weather strikes. This cleaning product cleans your auto glass with a streak-free formula that’s fast and easy to use.

After it’s been applied, it’ll work to repel rain and water by causing any liquids that hit your windows to bead up and roll away. It can prevent and remove everything from road spray to sleet, snow, and ice, keeping your windows sleek and clear with regular use. This cleaner can improve your driving visibility in wet weather, and it’ll outsmart the elements by keeping them off your vehicle’s glass surfaces.

Specification
  • Brand Gumout
  • Model Rain-X
  • Weight 1.65 pounds

If you want to be able to clean your car’s windows or windshield on the go in seconds, consider Sprayway Ammonia-Free Glass Cleaner Wipes. These cleaning wipes allow you to easily get a convenient, on-the-go shine from your windows at any time. Each pack features the same cleaning power as traditional Sprayway glass cleaner but packaged in a more road-friendly format so you can carry them in your car.

They’re made with an ammonia-free formula that’s safe for all auto windows, including tinted windows. You can use one wipe to quickly remove fingerprints, smudges, and other messes from your auto glass, and there’ll be nothing left behind except for a fresh, clean scent. These wipes are perfect for using on your windows both inside and out, or even on your mirrors.

Specification
  • Brand Sprayway
  • Model SW199R
  • Weight 3.2 Ounces

Best Auto Glass Cleaner Buying Guide

If you’re on the search for the right auto glass cleaner to use on your vehicle, then allow us to enlighten you on several aspects of the auto glass cleaner buying process. We’ve prepared this guide to help you better appreciate the importance of using the correct product to ensure the best possible results for your car.

window cleaner

Advantages of Using Car Glass Cleaners

One of the questions that often bug a lot of newbie car owners is related to the use of household glass cleaners in cleaning their car’s windshield and other glass surfaces in lieu of a dedicated car glass cleaning solution. If the product’s label says that it can be used on windshields and other glass surfaces of your car, then it should be safe to use. If not, you will definitely have to look for a product that is more specific for cars. You see, the way automotive glass is manufactured makes it quite different from the glass we have at home. It is for this very same reason that we have to make sure we are using the right product when cleaning our vehicle’s glass surfaces. And here are the advantages of using such products.

Doesn’t haze

The chemical formulation of modern car glass cleaners helps guarantee the non-development of haze on the glass which typically occurs if the surface gets in contact with contaminants for a prolonged period of time such as hard water. It is for this reason that thorough drying of a car’s surfaces is mandatory after every car wash to help eliminate the buildup of mineral deposits. The good thing is that the chemical formulation of car glass cleaners will cut through this layer of deposits and will not leave any residue that will cause future hazing.

Doesn’t cause streaks

There are some glass cleaners that leave waxy or oily residue purposely to improve the overall shine of the glass after cleaning. Unfortunately, this is also a good magnet for anything that lands on the surface of the glass which can add up to the formation of nasty streaks. While the use of the right rag can help eliminate streaks on glass, using the right car glass cleaner can also do a good job of providing you with a cleaner and clearer glass to see through while driving.

Cuts through really stubborn stains and surface contaminants

Ordinary soap and water simply won’t be able to cut through stubborn dirt and grime. The more you try to wipe these contaminants off of your glass, the greater is the risk of developing streaks. With the right car glass cleaner you can get right to the bottom of the problem so such issues will be removed in an instant.

Especially formulated for cars

There’s a reason why they call these products car glass cleaners. These are especially formulated to be used on the glassy surfaces of modern automobiles so you can be sure that it has the correct characteristics to provide you with a really clean and clear automotive glass.

Tips When Using a Glass Cleaner

A car glass cleaner can be the best solution to remove the dirt and other surface contaminants off of your car’s glass. However, what good is an excellent product if you don’t know how to use it properly? To help you maximize the advantages of using a car glass cleaner here are some tips you can adhere to.

Wear protective gear

You may think that a glass cleaner is safe to handle with bare hands. Unfortunately there are some folks who are more sensitive to certain chemicals than others. It is always best to wear your gloves whenever handling a glass cleaner. Also, if using an aerosol spray type of glass cleaner, make sure to have at least a face mask on since the mist can be inhaled through the lungs. It’s better to be safe.

Choose the right rag

Car glass cleaner manufacturers typically have specific recommendations as to the type of rag or applicator that you can use with their products. Generally however you should always go for high-quality microfiber towels that are primarily designed for cleaning glass surfaces preferably with a rating of 300 GSM or better. It is important to make sure that the cleaning rag is lint-free and can produce an electrostatic charge to lift up particles off the surface of the glass rather than dragging it around. As much as possible stay away from old t-shirts, socks, and towels as these can cause streaks and scratches as well as increase the likelihood of missing a spot.

Use linear movements in your cleaning rag

Most folks believe that using a circular motion to clean and buff your car’s glass is the way to go. However, doing an up-and-down or even left-and-right linear motion is a lot better when it comes to ensuring that you have all the surfaces covered. Moreover, you will have fewer incidences of streaks if ever there are. There is another trick among professional detailers. They say to clean the outer surfaces of a car window using a horizontal motion. If you’re cleaning the inside surface, then you should do a vertical motion. Nobody can actually provide a more logical explanation for this, but it does work.

Use two separate rages for cleaning and for buffing

It is always tempting to use a single cleaning rag for both cleaning and buffing the car glass cleaner off of your car. For best results always use two rags, one for cleaning the glass and another one for buffing the glass. You don’t want to transfer any of that dirt or grime you just removed from one section of the car’s glass to another section. While some would actually recommend using the inverse side of the cleaning rag, we don’t recommend this since the side used for cleaning will already be moist with the car glass cleaner. Using the other side will only increase the likelihood of leaving streaks on the surface.

Always clean in the shade

There are car glass cleaners that can be applied even in direct sunlight. While this is possible, we actually don’t recommend it especially if you’re using the more conventional liquid type of car glass cleaners. Cleaning in direct sunlight hastens the speed of evaporation which also increases the risk of leaving streaks or even spotty residues on your window glass.

auto glass cleaner

Equipment You Will Need to Clean Your Windows

It is one thing to know how to properly clean your car’s glass surfaces including the windshield and windows. But if you don’t have the right materials or equipment for the job, then everything else will be for naught. Here are some of the most important materials you will ever need.

  • Residue-free and surface-specific glass cleaner  Make sure to get a glass cleaner that is specific for the surface that you wish to clean. If it is your car windows then it is imperative that you choose an auto glass cleaner that leaves no residues.
  • Appropriate microfiber cleaning towel – Choose a microfiber towel with at least 300 GSM rating. You might want to consider lint-free as well.
  • Protective gear – Gloves are a standard. You can opt for goggles and face mask as well especially if you’re going to use aerosol sprays.

Maintaining the integrity of your windshield as well as other glass surfaces of your car can be ensured by using the right car glass cleaner. These should be streak-free and residue-free formulations so you get the best possible results for your car.

Sources:

  1. 5 Tips for Cleaning Glass Without Streaks – HowStuffWorks
  2. What Chemicals Are Used in Glass Cleaners? – Hunker

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