Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Your Car’s Windows
Keeping the windows of your car clean is important for road safety. But it also requires a little elbow-grease, leading to many of car owners putting it off for as long as possible, and then taking shortcuts when actually cleaning the windows. But the only shortcut that truly works is taking your car to a car wash to be cleaned; any other shortcuts will either leave you with windows that aren’t much cleaner than before, or damage your vehicle windows, requiring them to be replaced. Of course, most damage to windows is almost imperceptible at first, but becomes worse each time you clean them again.
If taking your car through a car wash regularly isn’t an option, these are the mistakes you should avoid making each time you have to clean your car’s windows.
Cleaning Windows That Are Dry
Using a dry microfibre cloth to lightly wipe down a dry windscreen isn’t a mistake, as long as you treat it more as a dusting than an actual wipe down. Don’t apply any pressure when wiping down a dry windscreen: the aim is to gently remove loose dust and dirt, not to wipe off all the dirt. Pressing too hard as you wipe can lead to dust and hard dirt particles to scratch the glass. The scratches may start off as almost microscopic, but in time will become noticeable, usually as cloudy or hazy sections of the glass that no amount of cleaning clears up. This reduces visibility, and there is no way to fix it other than to replace the windscreen.
Using Harsh Chemicals or Detergents
Most household cleaners contain strong detergents and chemicals that normally make light work of cleaning even the dirtiest of surfaces, but they should be kept far from your car at all times. They’re not only likely to damage the paint on your car, but also your car windows. Auto glass is not the same as the glass used in the windows around your home; it can have special coatings applied to make it more durable and to reduce glare, along with being tinted. Strong chemicals, especially ammonia, will damage any coatings applied to the glass and window tints, along with damaging the sealants used around your windscreen and other windows in your car. Most speciality auto glass cleaners should be safe to use, but always check the list of ingredients to make sure it doesn’t contain any ammonia. Alternatively, you can also make your own solution mixing one part white vinegar with one part distilled water.
Using the Wrong Cloths
The best cloths for cleaning auto glass are flannelette or microfibre, one cloth to clean and another to dry. They are soft enough to clean without scratching, and absorbent enough to dry without leaving any streaks, just remember to replace them regularly. Paper towels are also quite absorbent but aren’t nearly as effective at giving a streak-free clean, leaving small bits of lint behind. There’s also the risk of a low-quality pulp being used in the paper towel which could be abrasive.
Avoiding these mistakes won’t only make cleaning your car’s windows easier, it will also help you avoid damaging the auto glass or the sealants around it, leading to you having to replace the glass unnecessarily.