Five Steps to a Cleaner Windscreen
Having your car cleaned at a car wash is convenient and a great way to ensure that every curve and groove is thoroughly cleaned and dried afterwards. But it does also rob you of the opportunity to regularly check the condition of your windscreen wipers, and to inspect your windscreen for small chips or cracks. We wouldn’t go so far as to say that cleaning your windscreen yourself is relaxing – it can require a bit of elbow grease – but it does give you a chance to look at the condition of your windscreen from the outside, and if you have tinted windows, it is also a chance for you to check the condition of the tint.
If cleaning your windscreen is something you’ve never attempted to do before, our five step guide will take you from inexperienced to pro in a single afternoon.
Step 1: Start Dry and Cool
It’s always better to start with a dry windscreen that is also cool, so either clean your windscreen early in the morning, or after your car has been parked in the garage or shade for a few hours. A hot windscreen will cause any liquids you use to evaporate too quickly, making the cleaning much harder on you.
Lift the windscreen wipers, and then remove any loose dirt and leaves on or around the windscreen. Wipe the dry windscreen with an old flannelette or microfibre cloth.
Step 2: Spray and Clean One Half of the Windscreen
Don’t try to clean the entire windscreen in one go; rather do one half, and then repeat the steps to clean the other half. You should only ever use an ammonia-free glass cleaner, preferably one specifically designed for autoglass, and if your windscreen has a lot of dried on dirt or water marks, start with a glass scrub. Ammonia and other harsh chemicals can actually damage the glass and the paint on your car.
Spray one half of the windscreen and then wipe clean using a dry flannelette or microfibre cloth. Wipe vertically first, and then – using a dry portion of the cloth – wipe horizontally. Use a new dry cloth to wipe off any remaining moisture. Use a new cloth and repeat the process on the other half of your windscreen.
Step 3: Buff, Treat, and Inspect
Using a new, clean cloth, buff the entire windscreen using small circular motions to ensure no streaks or smudges remain. Using a water repellent can help improve visibility when driving in wet weather, and if you choose to do so, this can be applied now. Always check that it is safe to use on tinted windows, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Once the windscreen is cleaned and dry, spend a minute or two inspecting the glass for any small chips and cracks. Even if they don’t need to be repaired immediately, it helps to know where they are so you can monitor them for any changes in size or shape. If you’re uncertain about whether they need immediate attention, bring your car in to Instant Windscreens and our experts will be able to do a detailed inspection and advise you.
Step 4: Inspect and Clean Your Windscreen Wipers
Spray some window cleaner onto a cloth and carefully wipe your windscreen wipers clean, making sure you get all dirt off the blades and surrounding mechanisms. Dirt on the windscreen wipers won’t only make them less effective when you need to use them, it can also result in scratches across your windscreen. Carefully check the blades and mechanisms for any signs of damage too. Being exposed to the elements all the time makes them vulnerable to wear and tear, but they aren’t difficult – or expensive to replace.
Step 5: Check Your Windscreen Washer Fluid
Don’t get stuck having to clean dirt off your windscreen while driving and finding your windscreen washer tank is empty. Check this as the final step, topping it up if necessary, and adding some windscreen additive if necessary to making cleaning easier, and to keep your windscreen free of streaks whenever you have to use windscreen washer fluid.