Best Way to Clean Car Windows – 6 Easy Steps

It’s easy to go to a car wash to get your whole car washed, but sometimes, only the windows need washing. Car washes can also be quite expensive. In this article, I’ll describe the best way to clean car windows, outside and inside, so that they look new.

The best way to clean car windows is by following these 6 easy steps:

  1. Get the Cleaning Supplies
  2. Move the Car to a Shady Area
  3. Spray the Outside of the Windows
  4. Wipe the Outside of the Windows
  5. Wipe the Outside of the Windows with a Clay Bar (Optional)
  6. Clean the Inside of the Windows

An optional step is to use a clay bar. A clay bar removes even more contaminants from the window than a regular cloth towel would. First, clean the outside of the car windows, and then clean the inside car windows.

Read on to learn more about the best way to clean car windows, including outside and inside the windows.

Also, take a look at an excellent car glass cleaner, the Invisible Glass and Window Cleaner. I have used this cleaner for years, and it has been much better than any other cleaner I’ve tried.

Click here to see this cleaner on Amazon.

Best Way to Clean Car Windows – 6 Easy Steps

No one likes to ride in a car with dirty windows. The smudge and streaks of dirt and dust stuck on the windows not only look unpleasant but also pose a health hazard.

Dirty car windows block the driver’s view of the road, which could lead to accidents. So, it is of vital importance to clean car windows and know the best way to clean inside car windows.

You don’t need to clean your windows too often. Depending on how often you drive and where you drive, your windows can be cleaned when needed. Every two months is ideal.

Below are the 6 steps for cleaning your car windows to make them look new again:

1. Get the Cleaning Supplies

For a glass cleaner, a product like Windex will work fine; however, for an even better cleaner, I recommend the Invisible Glass and Window Cleaner. I have used this cleaner for years on my car windows, and it always does an excellent job. This window cleaner is specially formulated for car windows. It has a fresh scent and is environment-friendly because it does not contain ammonia.

Click here to see this cleaner on Amazon.

You will also need to get similar microfiber towels, or a clean cotton towel or cloth will work. A microfiber towel is better at not making any streaks on the window.

You should wear gloves to avoid the cleaning solution irritating your hands. You should also have a bucket of water to splash the car windows with or rinse out your cleaning cloth. You should also keep a spare dry microfiber towel to dry the windows fully and ensure there are no streaks.

For even cleaner car windows, you can also get a clay bar to wipe down the windows. A clay bar is a common tool used by car detailers and enthusiasts to get windows as clean as possible. The clay picks up contaminants and tiny bits of debris that even the best window cleaner and cloth will not.

The best clay bar kit is the Griot’s Garage 11291 Paint Clay and Speed Shine Kit. You can use a clay bar on your whole car, including the windows. It takes a bit more time and costs a bit more to get the clay bar, but it will make your windows look even cleaner.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

If you will use a clay bar to clean your windows, you should clean the windows with window cleaner, then wipe the windows with the clay bar, and then clean the windows again with the glass cleaner. I’ll discuss these steps later.

2. Move the Car to a Shady Area

Cleaning your car windows under the sun is not advisable as the soap and water quickly dry up and leave streaks. It is best to clean your car in the morning or late afternoon and in a place where your car isn’t exposed to direct sunlight. A covered garage is ideal, or just move your car to a clean, shady area.

3. Spray the Outside of the Windows

Spray the glass cleaner generously on all the windows, including all the side windows, the windshield, and the rear window.

It helps to spray all the windows first so that the cleaning solution has some time to soak into the window. You can also splash water on all the windows and then spray them with the cleaning solution.

At automatic car washes, you will notice that after the machine applies the cleaning solution to your car, the machine waits about 10 to 30 seconds to allow the cleaning solution to soak.

So do the same thing, spray all the windows, and wait for about 10 to 30 seconds for the solution to soak on the windows. This will help loosen up the debris and dirt that is stuck on the windows.

best way to clean car windows inside and outside

4. Wipe the Outside of the Windows

Using a clean microfiber towel or soft cotton towel, wipe all the windows. Clean each window panel individually, one at a time.

First, roll down your side windows and clean the top of them. Most often, the top of the window glass accumulates dirt. Wipe it properly.

The best way to clean each window panel is to not lift the cloth off the window and to wipe in this manner:

  1. First, wipe in a clockwise fashion from corner to corner. So move your cloth from the top right corner, down to the bottom right corner, then to bottom left corner, then up to the top left corner, and then back to the top right corner.
  2. Then, still without lifting the cloth, wipe the center by moving the cloth horizontally back and forth.
  3. Then finally, still without lifting the cloth, wipe up and down, ensuring all streaks are gone. Use a spare dry microfiber towel if needed, to remove any remaining streaks.

Avoid wiping in a circular motion. If you do that, you might miss out on the grime you want to remove.

When cleaning windshields and the rear car window, follow the same method of cleaning your side windows. The only difference is that the wipers need to be lifted before you can start cleaning. Also, for the windshield, as it is hard to reach all the way across, you can wipe it in an up-and-down motion. Avoid lifting the cloth and ensure you leave no streaks behind.

Spray some cleaner on the side glass and wipe it with a cloth until it’s clear. You also need to wipe the blades of your wiper. Spray some of the cleaning solution on a cloth and use this cloth to remove accumulated dirt on the blades.

5. Wipe the Outside of the Windows with a Clay Bar (Optional)

As I mentioned earlier, a clay bar, like the one mentioned earlier – the Griot’s Garage 11291 Paint Clay and Speed Shine Kit (Click here to see it on Amazon) will help remove even more dirt, debris, and other contaminants from your car windows. If you got a clay bar, you could use it now for a second, deeper cleaning of the windows.

It’s best to clean first with a glass cleaner and then clean a second time with the clay bar. If you clean first with the clay bar, the clay bar will pick up too much dirt and debris. Instead, by using the clay bar on a second clean, it will be used for cleaning the small amount of leftover debris and dirt.

Simply spray water or a cleaning solution on the windows, pull off the clay bar (or if you got a full clay bar, just use the whole clay bar), then wipe with the clay bar in small circles all over the windows. You can also use the clay bar for cleaning the body of your car.

After wiping the car windows with the clay bar, do another quick cleaning with a cleaning solution and a clean towel to remove the clay from the window. Ensure there are no streaks left on the window by wiping with a clean, dry microfiber towel.

The below video demonstrates how to clay bar your window, or car, to remove even more dirt from it. I do recommend wearing gloves or a clear plastic bag over your hand as the clay bar is quite sticky.

6. Clean the Inside of the Windows

Now that you have cleaned the outside car windows, you can clean the inside car windows. The best way to clean inside car windows is simply by spraying with a car window glass cleaner like the one mentioned earlier, the Invisible Glass and Window Cleaner (Click here to see this cleaner on Amazon).

A clay bar doesn’t need to be used for the inside of the car windows as there is far less dirt and debris stuck to them compared to the outside. I like to spray glass cleaner onto a microfiber cloth and some on the window and then wipe. Avoid spraying too much cleaner onto the window as you don’t want the cleaner to run and drip down onto the dashboard.

The below video demonstrates the best way to clean inside car windows, including other tips. In the video, he mentions using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (Click here to see the Eraser on Amazon) to further clean the inside window. This isn’t fully needed but would make the inside of your car windows even cleaner.

Other Tips for Effective Car Window Washing

Below are some other dos and don’ts of cleaning car windows. Consider the following tips to achieve better results:

best cleaning method for car windows

Wash Your Car Twice a Month

A twice a month car washing schedule is the ideal car washing frequency. However, if you’re a daily car user, it’s advisable to clean your car weekly to prevent stuck dirt from damaging your car paint or car windows.

If your car parking area isn’t exposed to the sun and rain, and you’re driving it only on Saturdays and Sundays, once a month car washing is enough. Frequent car washing may cause your car coat to fade and damage your car windows.

Also, refrain from washing your car under the sun. Instead, move it to a shady spot. If you wash your car under intense heat from the sun, the soap dries faster, leading to spot formation.

Hand-dry Your Car Windows

After washing, use a microfiber cloth to dry your car window. It’s always best to hand-dry a car. Don’t ever leave it wet after washing. Remember to dry your car windows thoroughly and ensure there are no leftover streaks.

Don’t Use Harsh Home Cleaning Products on Your Car Windows

It should go without saying that car windows should only be cleaned with a window cleaner, not any other type of household cleaner.

Household all-purpose cleaning products are abrasive. These products are made for specific surfaces that need strong solutions. They are useful when cleaning toilet bowls, stained comfort room floors, lavatories, and other similar surfaces. However, they can damage your car paint and window mirrors. So, avoid using them for your car.

Conclusion – Best Way to Clean Car Windows

So, to recap, the best way to clean car windows is by following these 6 easy steps:

  1. Get the Cleaning Supplies
  2. Move the Car to a Shady Area
  3. Spray the Outside of the Windows
  4. Wipe the Outside of the Windows
  5. Wipe the Outside of the Windows with a Clay Bar (Optional)
  6. Clean the Inside of the Windows

Getting the appropriate tools and supplies for cleaning is winning half of the battle. Choose high-quality products, like the ones I mentioned in this article, to ensure your windows are cleaned well.

A systematic approach to cleaning your car windows is also necessary to ensure that the desired result is achieved. Following the right steps can make cleaning easier and faster. It can also minimize the risk of damaging your car windows.

Cleaning your car windows can be a daunting task if you don’t know how to do it properly. It can also be a fun activity if you have the know-how. If you’re a car owner, you must know how to take care of your car and clean car windows. Follow the steps and tips in this article to make your car windows clean and shine like new.