Your health and safety are our highest priority during this time. Click here for our precautionary measures.

How to Clean the Inside of Your Car Windshield

The driver's view of a windshield while driving down the road

Struggling to see the road? If grease and grime are obstructing your view, it’s definitely time for a clean. Cleaning the inside of your windshield every few weeks to remove dirt, smudges and film gives you a clearer view of the road, preventing the likelihood of a car accident. It also helps your defroster work better, allowing it to more quickly clear off condensation or ‘fog’ that sticks more easily to a dirty windshield surface.

How Does My Windshield Get So Gross?

There are a number of reasons your car’s windshield gets gross, including kiddie fingerprints, doggie noses, smog and smoke, dirt and dust from the road, sea salt, and other local environmental contaminants. But one of the primary reasons is car off-gassing. That ‘new car smell’ is part-and-parcel of various plastic and vinyl interior components. This eventually wears off as materials break down, becoming trapped within the car to leave an oily residue on the windshield, which in most cases, is perfectly angled to catch a great deal of it. Using oily cleaners on the dashboard can worsen this issue, evaporating into a film that further coats car glass, especially in hot, humid weather.  

How to Clean the Inside of Your Car Windshield:

  • What You’ll Need:
    • Lint-free microfiber rags
    • Glass cleaner
    • Vinegar
    • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cleaning Steps:
    • Mix a solution in spray bottle. Popular and effective options include:
      • 50% alcohol, 50% water, and a capful of white vinegar.
      • 70% water, 15% window cleaner, 15% alcohol.
      • *Use an auto-specific glass cleaner, avoiding ammonia-based cleaners which can damage, vinyl, leather, and tint.
    • Gather you’re materials, hopping in your passenger seat for easier access to windshield glass.
    • Use a clean, dry microfiber rag to wipe down the glass first.
    • Next use a different rag and rubbing alcohol to degrease the glass. If you live near the coast, you can also clean the glass with vinegar to dissolve sea salt.
    • Using a different side of the rag or grabbing a clean one, spray glass cleaner on the rag (not the windshield) and clean the glass in circular motions.
    • Swap-out rags as soon as they get dirty. Drop your used rags in your sticky cup holder, then learn how to clean it up in a snap: How to Clean the Sticky Cup Holder in Your Car.
    • Use up-and-down wiping motions to finish off the glass, making sure windows are completely dry for a streak-free shine.
  • Tips for Success:
    • You should wash your car windshield last, after washing the exterior and wiping down the interior of your car.
    • Wiping down windows in the shade or when temperatures are cooler will prevent the rapid evaporation of window cleaner.
    • Don’t use rags you’ve used for other cleaning tasks on your windshield, even if you’ve washed them. You could end up with a greasy, oily windshield from wax or other detailing compounds.

Ensure Your Sparkling Windows Last

Now that your windshield is clean, keep it that way. This is simply done by keeping your car cooler and giving gases an escape route. Whenever possible, park your car in shaded/sheltered locations that keep your car cooler, such as your home’s garage. You can also prevent off-gassing and the buildup of contaminants by simply cracking your car windows to let fresh air in and contaminants out (though this won’t be possible on rainy days).

Clean windshield give you a clearer view of that worn garage door? It’s time to paint.

Sparkling windshield glass marred by a chip?  From rapid repairs to the replacement of your windshield, Glass Doctor has you covered. Contact us today. Did you know? Glass Doctor is a Neighborly brand. Discover an entire network of professionals to assist with any of your home service needs at