Best Motorcycle Windshield Cleaners: Keep Your Windshield Spotless
Ensure a clear view with these top three motorcycle windshield cleaners.
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BY Suzana Mijatovic / LAST UPDATED ON March 20, 2020
Unlike car windshields that are made of glass, motorcycle ones are plastic, which makes them more prone to damage and easier to scratch. For that reason, it's crucial to get safe cleaners that will properly maintain your vehicle. With the right product, you can clean and protect the windshield from dirt, dust, and water, and ensure a clear view during rides. To help you find the best motorcycle windshield cleaner, we made our top three picks.
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Benefits of Motorcycle Windshield Cleaners
- Protection. Motorcycle windshield cleaners efficiently resolve dirt, dust, debris, and water spots that obscure the driver's view. Once applied, they leave a protective layer that prevents dirt from pilling up on the windshield and keep it cleaner for longer.
- Chemical-free. Because acrylic and polycarbonate plastic is more prone to damage, motorcycle windshield cleaners don't contain any abrasives or other harmful chemicals. They are not as strong as car glass cleaners but still very efficient and won't damage the windshield.
- Ease of use. Motorcycle windshields can be difficult to clean due to fragile materials. Water and mild soaps are recommended but are not as efficient as motorcycle windshield cleaners. With the right product, you can clean the windshield easier and achieve better results. It will relieve you from persistent rubbing and time-consuming rinsing with water.
Types of Motorcycle Windshield Cleaners
Some motorcycle windshield cleaners are specially designed for certain types of plastic. They feature formulas without abrasives, fuels, and other chemicals that tend to harm the plastic. That makes them safe for polycarbonate and acrylic materials that are more prone to damages than glass. Keep in mind, though, that plastic cleaners are not equally efficient when it comes to glass and other sturdier materials. They mostly work on motorcycles but are not suitable for cars, trucks, SUVs, and similar vehicles.
An all-purpose cleaner can work on a wide range of materials, including glass and plastic. It's a more versatile type that is convenient for cleaning and maintaining windshields on motorcycles, ATVs, cars, trucks, and other vehicles. It might contain some abrasives but it's still safe for more fragile materials such as acrylic and polycarbonate plastic. It's important to consider, though, that polycarbonate plastic is more durable and abrasion-resistant, while acrylic is softer and scratches easily. That's why all-purpose cleaners are not recommended for acrylic.
Meguiar's was founded in 1901 and is based in Irvine, California. It's a widely known and recognized company that produces all kinds of car care products. With more than 100 years of experience, Meguiar's is one of the leaders in the automotive industry. Meguiar’s M1708 Plastic Cleaner is one of the company’s most popular products.
Novus was founded in the 1970s when one man, Dr. Werner, wanted to find a solution to the problem of broken windshields. He came up with a way to repair the glass in vehicles and developed a method that became widely popular. In 1985, the company stepped into the auto glass technology and slowly evolved into one of the most popular manufacturers. Novus is based in Brisbane, Australia. Besides car care products, it also makes motorcycle products such as Novus Plastic Fine Scratch Remover.
Rolite was founded in 1976 and is based in Hartland, Wisconsin. It's a company that specializes in polishing products for cars, boats, motorcycles, RVs, and other vehicles. Rolite is one of the most popular companies in the industry and it’s still a family-owned business. Rolite Plastic and Acrylic Cleaner is one of its top products when it comes to motorcycle maintenance.
Motorcycle Windshield Cleaners Pricing
- Under $10: You can find rather efficient windshield cleaners for a few bucks or so. They might be unsuitable for all types of plastic, though. Make sure to choose the one that is safe for your windshield.
- Over $10: If you're ready to spend some extra cash, you can get multi-purpose cleaners that work on different surfaces. At this price point, you can get a product that can work on both glass and plastic.
The best motorcycle windshield cleaners should be powerful enough to remove dirt, dust, and other particles that tend to pile up on the windshield during rides. They should also leave a protective layer to repel dirt further on. The overall efficiency of a particular product mostly depends on the formula. The best cleaners have powerful formulas that are super-efficient yet won't damage the windshield.
It's crucial to pick a product that is safe for the material of the windshield. Not all motorcycle windshield cleaners are the same, although they are all made to be safe for plastic rather than glass. Some of them are rather versatile, while others work only on certain types of plastic. Polycarbonate plastic is sturdier and abrasion-resistant, which allows you to use stronger cleaners. Acrylic is softer and gets damaged easier, so products with mild formulas and without chemicals are a better option.
It's important to consider how easy it is to use a motorcycle windshield cleaner, especially when on the road. You'll need a product that can be applied and removed in a breeze. Depending on the formula, some products have to be washed out with warm water, while others don't. Some of them might even leave streaks and spots that are difficult to remove without extra rubbing. For easier use and more convenience on the road, you should also look for the spray cleaners that you can easily spread on the surface.
- Size. Consider the size of the spray bottle before the purchase. If you're planning to use the windshield cleaner often, you might want to get a bigger bottle. It's cost-efficient and lasts longer. If you need a cleaner for the road, consider getting one with a small bottle. It's easier to store and keep within hand's reach.
- Accessories. Some protectants come with tools and accessories you can use for more efficient cleaning. You can also get a cleaning tool separately, but first, consider its compatibility with the surface. Make sure that the tool is soft enough not to cause scratches or leave residues.
Best Motorcycle Windshield Cleaners Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Avoid using car glass cleaners on motorcycle windshields. The acrylic and polycarbonate plastic is not as sturdy as glass found in cars, trucks, and similar vehicles. It might get damaged by harmful chemicals contained in glass cleaners.
- Don't wash a motorcycle windshield under the direct sunlight. The sun could soften the plastic and dry residue from the cleaner, leaving marks and streaks. Most fogging problems come from washing the windshield under direct sunlight.
- Make sure to rinse the windshield with warm, soapy water. Avoid rubbing or making circular motions while cleaning it. This might be an effective strategy with cars and trucks, but rubbing will most likely scratch the plastic motorcycle windshield. Use a soft cloth and side-to-side movements instead.
Q, How do I clean a foggy windshield?
A: The process is the same as with general windshield cleaning. Make sure to use a soft and clean microfiber cloth and a safe cleaner suitable for your windshield. Apply the product and spread it with side-to-side motions. Once you're done, use a new cleaning cloth to wipe the surface again. Don't use paper towels because they'll damage the plastic.
Q, Can a motorcycle windshield cleaner prevent scratches?
A: If you maintain the motorcycle windshield properly, you'll protect it from scratches. That means you should regularly use quality cleaners, polishes, and other motorcycle care products. Still, keep in mind that cleaners mostly fill in scratches rather than removing and preventing them. For better protection, you'll need plastic polish.
Q, Can I use mild soaps or other home products to clean a motorcycle windshield?
A: Yes, you can use mild soaps and lots of water to clean the windshield. It might not be as efficient as professional cleaners, though. You might even end up with some stubborn stains and water spots. Also, make sure not to use alcohol, toothpaste, or any other abrasive product.
Our top pick for the best motorcycle windshield cleaner is Meguiar’s M1708 Plastic Cleaner, a non-abrasive product that works on different surfaces and proves to be rather efficient.
We recommend Novus Plastic Fine Scratch Remover for those who are on a limited budget. It’s an inexpensive cleaner that removes light scratches and maintains the windshield.