How to Clean the Inside of Your Car Windshield

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

Are you struggling to see the road? If grease and grime are obstructing your view, it’s time for a windshield clean that ensures crystal clear vision for the road. Cleaning the inside of your windshield every few weeks to remove dirt, smudges and film will give you a clearer view of what's ahead preventing the likelihood of a car accident. It also helps your defroster to work more efficiently, allowing it to quickly clear off condensation, or ‘fog’, that sticks more easily to a dirty windshield surface.

How Does My Windshield Get So Gross?

There are several reasons that your car’s windshield gets dirty, including kid’s 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’ comes from various plastic and vinyl interior components and these components eventually 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 solution in a 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 your materials then hop in your passenger seat for easier access to windshield glass.
  • Use a clean, dry microfiber towel to wipe down the glass first.
  • Next, use a different cloth 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 grab a clean one, spray glass cleaner on the rag (not the windshield) and clean the glass in circular motions.
  • Swap-out towels as soon as they get dirty.
  • 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 clean your car windshield last, after washing the exterior and wiping down your vehicle’s interior.
  • 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).

Have a 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