By Eliza Miller
Every time you drive your car, your windshield is exposed to some pretty harsh elements. From bird droppings and dirt to bugs and road debris, just one trip can leave your windshield in desperate need of a bath. We talked with some auto-glass experts, who provided these simple tips to keep windshields looking brand new.
Time It Right
If you plan on detailing your entire car, be sure to save your windows for last. This way, you won’t have to worry about your newly washed windows getting sprinkled with cleaner or water. Many car owners find that early in the morning or late in the evening are the most pleasant times to wash a car.
Buy a Good Cleaner
All windshield cleaners are not created equally. Auto-glass experts often see customers who have ruined their tinted windows by using the wrong auto-glass cleaner. Some cleaners, like those containing alcohol or ammonia, can emit harmful fumes. Likewise, ammonia-based cleaners are not compatible with window tents. Materials like vinyl, plastic, rubber and leather may become dry or damaged from ammonia as well.
Use a Good Towel
When it comes to keeping a sparking windshield, the towel you use may be just as important as the cleaner. For best results, look for towels that are specifically designed to be used on glass. Microfiber towels are particularly useful for washing windshields because they can hold nearly 10 times their weight. Using the wrong type of towel to dry your windshield may leave you with streaks, missed spots and even scratches.
Bring an Extra Towel
For a spotless finish, you may need more than one towel. Many expert car washers prefer to have one towel for freeing the window from dirt and debris while using another towel to buff it clean. With thicker towels, you may be able to use one side for cleaning and the other side for buffing.
Avoid the Sun
Long-time residents of Arizona know a thing or two about extreme temperatures. Although the sun is great for many things, it’s not helpful when you’re trying to wash windows. When possible, try to avoid direct sunlight when washing your car or windshield. The heat from the sun can activate or enhance dangerous fumes from the chemicals in your car cleaner. Also, the beaming sun may leave water spots on your window.
Don’t Forget the Wipers
Your windshield wipers have regular contact with your window, so it is important to make sure that they are clean. Wipe your windshield wipers each time you wash your car. If you are unable to remove the debris, try using white vinegar to clean them.
Follow these tips and you will have spotless windows in no time.