Any Internet search on how to clean car windows will deliver up a mind blowing amount of results. I could reduce the countless search results into two categories:
As a professional detailer, there are very few things I have struggled with more than learning how to clean car windows to perfection.
Most detailers simply give up the pursuit of perfection and accept "good enough". Car windows that are basically clean, but still have smudges, streaks, and haze.
"Good from far, but far from good!"
The good news is that a few years ago I stumble upon a product and a technique of cleaning car windows that blew my mind. I wish I could say that I developed it, but I can't.
I was simply shown the exact product and the exact technique that can produce the cleanest, smudge free, haze free windows I have ever seen.
Since I accept that we are all naturally lazy creatures, most of us are looking for ways to get what we want with the least amount of effort.
I too am human and I want what I want with little to no effort. But when it comes to cleaning car windows, you must accept that a certain amount of effort will always be required.
You must also be willing to accept certain realities that I will put under the heading of "maintaining realistic expectations". But I will cover that in more detail further down the page.
We all want the "best".
I know I want the best. In this case it would be the best car window cleaner. I have yet to meet a person looking for the worst car window cleaner.
The problem is that most people simply go in search of the best of something, but don't know enough to ask the right questions in order to find what the "best" really means to them as a person.
What makes the "best" for one person, may not be what makes the best for another person:
To circle back around to us being naturally lazy creatures, I accept that some of you reading this are actually okay with marginal results and are looking for the best window cleaner that delivers pretty good results, but do so with the least amount of effort.
Darren's Note: If you want a really good, ready-to-use window cleaner because you want good results with the least amount of effort (one product, no mixing from a concentrate involved), then this product is a sure thing.
Ready-to-use, and perfectly sized for cleaning the windows in your car. For both interior and exterior use. Safe for use on tinted windows despite any incorrect information you have read.
This recommendation is not so much about a less-simple car window cleaner, but this kit has a special tool for effective cleaning of the front windshield.
Due to the slant and the tight forward facing crevice of the windshield and dashboard, cleaning the windshield is especially difficult. And if you have difficulty with strength and mobility due to health issues, cleaning the windshield can be an almost impossible proposition for a person.
Darren's Note: I have seen this Invisible Glass window tool for so many years but always considered it a gimmick. I figure it would be poorly mad and likely break sooner versus later.
I was pleasantly surprised at how sturdy it is made and how effectively you can now clean the tight areas of the windshield as well as allow you the additional reach that the tool gives you.
It is one of those moments where you have to experience it firsthand to fully appreciate.
One of the best tricks to streak free and smudge free windows has nothing to do with the window cleaner, but the type of cloth you use to clean your car windows.
In the event you perhaps have been living under a rock for the past 10 years, this incredible textile called micro-fiber has revolutionized just about every industry.
Unless you have experienced the benefits of micro-fiber sloths, you simply cannot fully appreciate how superior these are to any other type of cloth material.
Darren's Note: these cloths are superior to any cloth you are likely using to clean your car windows. While these are not the cloths I recommend or use professionally as my first choice, these will still prove superior over the window cleaning cloths you are likely using.
If you are wired like myself, nothing but perfection will be acceptable when it comes to streak free, smudge free, clean windows.
Learning how to clean car windows in this moment will be based on using the right products, the right tools, and the right sequence of process.
But despite how complicated that might strike you as, the end results are truly unbelievable.
Especially if you have allowed months or years of build-up to accumulate on your car windows and you are dealing with excessive amounts of haze, finger prints, and other unwanted affects on your car windows.
Darren's Car Window Cleaning Steps:
Shake the Q-7 Detailer prior to use. Spray each section of window you want to clean. Wipe aggressively and thoroughly to remove all smudges, haze, and any other type of dirt on each window.
I typically fold my micro-fiber cloths (You can use the basic Kirkland brand micro-fiber cloths listed below) twice to create a padded working cloth that is just the right size. This also allows me to have two sides to clean, buff, and wipe with. I reserve one side for the initial wiping of liquids, then flip the cloth over to remove or buff the surface as needed.
Use the Q-7 Detailer like you would any other glass cleaner, which means you are scrubbing and wiping very thoroughly each window to clean and prepare window for next step.
Once you have thoroughly cleaned a window with the one side of the micro-fiber cloth and the Q-7 Detailer, flip micro-fiber cloth over and remove any residue left behind from the Q-7 Detailer (this is not the final step, so you are not going for perfection at this point. You simply want to remove the bulk of the haze left behind before you move onto the next step)
You don't have to use distilled water, but I recommend it due to its purity (I buy basic distilled water from my local market). You will now be repeating the same steps you went through with the Q-7 Detailer and "cleaning" each window, but doing it now with distilled water and a waffle weave micro-fiber cloth.
Spray each window with distilled water, use your folded waffle weave cloth to "clean" entire window with the goal to remove any remaining haze from the Q-7 Detailer.
Once that is complete, flip cloth over to dry side and buff window to perfection.
Darren's Note: Use this along with a micro-fiber cloth as your actual window cleaner to not just clean away dirt, grime, haze, and smudges, but prepares the glass by coating it just prior to your finish product of using distilled water.
You need to make sure you are using this product to literally scrub your windows clean and fully prepare them by using this product to remove all haze, fingers prints, smudges, etc.
Darren's Tip: As a rule, I fold any cloth I am using twice to create the perfect size and the perfect thickness (for this reason virtually all my detail cloths will range from 12x12 inches to 16x24 inches in size. These Kirkland micro-fibers are 16x16 inches in size)
I reserve one side as my wet side (This is the side I wipe any liquid product I am using) for the initial wiping/cleaning. I reserve the other side as my dry side to wipe away and residue of the product I am using.
When I minor-fiber I am using becomes too saturated with a liquid, I simply grab a fresh micro-fiber cloth.
Darren's Tips: I prefer a waffle weave micro-fiber cloth when doing windows. Some windows are very difficult to slide a cloth of any kind over, and some of the traditional window cleaning cloths will "roll-up" on you as you attempt to clan your car windows.
These are thick enough to help prevent that and thick enough to not become overly saturated with liquid as you are cleaning the windows. Use these with the distilled water by folding the cloth in half, two times for a perfect tool to fit most hands.
If you have made it this far down my how to clean car windows page you must be either a very dedicated car owner, or a car owner very frustrated with whatever window cleaner that is delivering poor results for you.
I know my method requires more work at the beginning, but once you clean your car windows to perfection, maintaining them is far simpler as you can now simply use distilled water and the waffle weave cloth moving forward until you decide your windows are dirty enough to start over.
I wish you much success in your window cleaning efforts!