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The Best Way to Wash Your Car’s Windshield


Q: I’m unable to clean the windshield on my new car with satisfactory results. Whenever I face the sun, my visibility is impeded by a haze with swirl marks even if I just cleaned the windshield. 


A: Cleaning glass, especially a windshield, can be challenging, and cleaning the inside of the windshield is often even more difficult. Interior trim pieces can emit gasses that coat the glass. If the car is used by a smoker, that can complicate windshield cleaning further. Note that an oily coating on the inside of the windshield that comes back after cleaning can be caused by a small coolant leak in the heater.


As for cleaning the glass, start with a microfiber towel that has been soaked in a solution of one-part white vinegar to three-parts water with a just a few drops of dishwashing liquid added. Some people have found that a solution of water and rubbing alcohol works well with just a few drops of dishwashing liquid added to this mix. 


Wring out the soaked microfiber towel and scrub the glass. Then, dry the glass using another microfiber towel that is clean and free of any lint, grease or oil. Try to use straight rather than circular drying motions. You can also use a page or two from a newspaper that you have crumpled into a ball to dry the glass. 


If you have tinted windows, check with the company that did the tinting to ensure that you are using a cleaning solution that won’t damage the coating. Also, quickly clean up any cleaning liquid that gets on the dash or painted surfaces, and avoid using old towels with lint or towels that have not been laundered after having been used for other cleaning jobs. When laundering microfiber or regular towels that you will use for glass cleaning, avoid using fabric softeners.