How To Clean Car Windows

I can see clearly now, the bug carcasses are gone!

A dirty window with "wash me please."
Depositphotos

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Do your car windows look like the site of a bug massacre? Are they splattered with dirt, debris, squirrel guts, and ash from a nearby forest fire? Can you even see through them to navigate down the road? Well, fine sir or madam, today’s the day to clean those car windows!

Dirty windows aren’t just gross to look at, they can be dangerous. Seeing the road ahead, to the side, and behind you is somewhat important to your continued health and safety, right? Smudged or dusty glass can also affect your car’s interior cooling and heating. As one of the easiest safety precautions you can do for your car, there’s no excuse not to maintain clean windows, and we know a few tips and tricks to further streamline the process.

So come along with The Drive’s crack informational team as we guide you through just how to clean car windows the right way.

A man holding a squeegee and a microfiber towel.
Depositphotos

A man holding a squeegee and a microfiber towel.

Car Window Washing Basics

Estimated Time Needed: Less than a half-hour

Skill Level: Beginner

Vehicle System: Exterior

Car Window Cleaning Safety

Working on your car can be dangerous and messy, so here’s exactly what you’ll need to ensure you don’t die, get maimed, or lose a finger and that you keep your jeans, shirt, and skin spotless—hopefully.

  • Nitrile gloves (optional)
A man holding a microfiber towel.
Depositphotos

A man holding a microfiber towel.

Everything You’ll Need To Wash Your Car

Using the wrong items, such as a dishtowel or dish soap, to clean your car could damage it. A few cheap purchases, some of which you’ll only have to buy once, will greatly upgrade the effectiveness of your next wash. 

Tool List

Organizing your tools and gear so everything is easily reachable will save precious minutes waiting for your handy-dandy child or four-legged helper to bring you the sandpaper or blowtorch. (You won't need a blowtorch for this job. Please don’t have your kid hand you a blowtorch—Ed.)

Related article: Best Car Wash Kits

You’ll also need a flat workspace, such as a garage floor, driveway, or street parking that’s also well-ventilated. Check your local laws to make sure you’re not violating any codes when using the street because we aren’t getting your ride out of the clink.

Clean car windows.
Depositphotos

Clean car windows.

Here’s How To Clean Car Windows

Ready? Let’s do this! 

Cleaning Car Windows

  1. Wet microfiber towel with car window soap and water.
  2. Wipe windows down until debris and particulates are no longer seen.
  3. Rinse windows with clean water.
  4. Dry with a second microfiber towel.
  5. Repeat for the rest of the windows. 

It’s that easy. Aren’t you glad you had our help?

Get Help With How To Clean Car Windows From a Mechanic On JustAnswers 

The Drive recognizes that while our How-To guides are detailed and easily followed, a rusty bolt, an engine component not in the correct position, or oil leaking everywhere can derail a project. That’s why we’ve partnered with JustAnswers, which connects you to certified mechanics around the globe, to get you through even the toughest jobs. 

So if you have a question or are stuck, click here and talk to a mechanic near you.

A cleaned car window.
Depositphotos

A cleaned car window.

Pro Tips to Clean Car Windows

Over the years, The Drive’s editors have cleaned thousands of car windows. Here are our top tips. 

  • There are a number of commercially available car window cleaners that don’t require a bucket, water, and microfiber towels. You can pick them up for a few bucks online or at your local auto parts store.  
  • You can also keep your windows looking pristine after you’ve cleaned them with a number of car window treatments.

How Often Do You Need To Clean Your Car’s Windows

Essentially, you’ll need to do it whenever they get dirty. It’s that simple. 

How Much Does It Cost To Clean Car Windows

A few bucks for the soap or window cleaner up to $20 for a professional car wash and window clean.  

Life Hacks To Clean Car Windows

Since you may not have access to the right tools or a friend you can bum a wrench off of, we also compiled a list of our best hacks to make your life easier and drain your pocket less.

That said, cleaning your car’s windows is pretty self-explanatory and doesn’t require much. Just follow the instructions above and The Drive’s pro tips.

Featured Car Window Cleaning Products

Chemical Guys 16-Piece Arsenal Builder Wash Kit

MEGUIAR'S Ultimate Waterless Wash & Wax

Invisible Glass Glass Cleaner

Got a question? Got a pro tip? Send us a note: guidesandgear@thedrive.com