Easy Steps to Clean the Inside of Your Windscreen
Driving with a dirty windscreen can be every bit as dangerous as driving with a chipped or cracked windscreen. Aside from the chance of some dirt concealing a nasty crack or chip, a dirty windscreen can also restrict your view of the road, putting your life and the lives of other road users at risk.
Washing your car regularly – either by hand, or at a car-wash – will certainly help, and you should also try to clear bird droppings, bugs, and other large spots of dirt off your windscreen as soon as you notice them; but when last did you clean the inside of your windscreen? Admittedly for most car owners the inside of your windscreen won’t need to be cleaned as regularly as the outside, but not if you regularly have pets and young children in your car, smoke inside your car, or live in a dry and dusty area. Smoke particles and dust will accumulate on all surfaces inside your car, and even though they aren’t as noticeable as greasy handprints and dog slobber, they do reduce visibility. Catch the afternoon sun at the wrong angle and that barely visible smudge in your eyeline suddenly becomes a problem.
Other contributors to dirty windscreens include off-gassing: the various vinyls and plastics used in car interiors all break down over time, emitting a greasy gas – the new car smell many of us are familiar with – that easily builds up on other surfaces. So, even though you shouldn’t need to clean the inside of your windscreen weekly, it should become something you tackle at least once a month. And to help you avoid making the problem worse we’ve put together some steps you can follow to keep the inside of your windscreen clean and streak free.
Tools and Materials Needed
- Rubbing alcohol
- Glass cleaner, preferably alcohol-based or ammonia-free
- New flannelette or microfibre cloths
New cloths are essential since cloths you have lying around could have a greasy or oily residue, even if they have been washed. If you struggle finding glass cleaners that are either alcohol-based or free from ammonia you can make your own substitute using one part white vinegar to three parts of water, mixed thoroughly. Ammonia-based glass cleaners can damage your car’s interior and window tint.
Cleaning Your Windscreen
- Start by cleaning the windscreen with a dry cloth: using small circular motions – and using only one side of the cloth – move the cloth across the entire windscreen to loosen any built-up dirt.
- Switch to the clean side of the cloth and wipe the windscreen once more in an up-and-down direction. Do your best to avoid touching the dashboard, which could transfer dirt and greasy residue to the cloth.
- Now take a new cloth and apply some rubbing alcohol to it – enough to wet it, but not drench it: you don’t want rubbing alcohol dripping onto your dash.
- Using small circular motions again, work your way across the entire windscreen making sure you don’t miss any spots. The rubbing alcohol helps remove greasy and oily residues.
- Next, you’re going to use the glass cleaner, with another new cloth. Spray the glass cleaner onto the cloth, not directly onto the windscreen. The cloth should be damp, not wet this time around. Clean one half of the windscreen only, first wiping in straight sections from the top of the windscreen to the bottom, before wiping again in horizontal strips.
- Switch to the clean side of the cloth or take another new cloth if the one you just used seems too dirty or wet. Repeat step 5 on the other half of your windscreen before stepping back and admiring your sparkling clean windscreen.
The first time you do this might require a little more elbow-grease to get rid of any accumulated dirt, but future cleaning sessions should be a lot easier. And while you can follow these steps too for cleaning the inside of your car’s other windows, if your windows have been tinted you should first check with the installer for any precautions to follow.