How To Clean Your Car Windscreen Inside And Out

Chloe Murphy 4 minutes Published: 26/08/2021

When you’re washing your car, it’s easy to prioritise getting a glossy sheen on your paintwork. Often the windscreen gets forgotten about until the end, with just a quick rinse to clean it up.

But properly cleaning your windscreen is important for more than just an attractive finish. A dirty windscreen leads to poor visibility and can be pretty distracting if you’re trying to peer around smudges and marks.

In this guide to cleaning your windshield, we cover the best way to clean both the inside and the outside of a car windscreen, and the best shop bought and DIY products to use.

How do you clean the front windscreen?

It probably seems obvious, but if you haven’t already, wash your car first. This will get rid of the bulk of the dirt, and we’ve even got a step by step guide on how to wash your car, or how to use a car wash if you're short on time.

You should start with the outside of your windscreen first, as you’ll be able to clear off any obvious dirt and debris. 

If your screen is particularly dirty or if you’ve got loads of bird poop on your car, you’ll want to give it a proper wash before any polishing. In most cases, rinsing with warm water or a car shampoo and a soft brush will do the trick. If height or mobility is a concern, you can get extendable squeegees with sponge attachments. Finally, dry off your windscreen with a microfibre towel.

To get that sparkling look, you then want to polish up your glass. You’ll need:

  • Lint free microfibre cloths
  • An alcohol-based glass/windscreen cleaner

When choosing your car windscreen cleaner, it’s important to opt for one that’s ammonia free. Though these are typically fine for your household, they can cause discolouration to tints and fogging on your windscreen’s glass. 

  1. Gently lift your windscreen wiper away from the glass, and spray one half with your glass cleaner.
  2. With your microfibre cloth, wipe up and down in vertical lines. Then cover the same area in horizontal lines.
  3. With the other side of your cloth (or a fresh one), repeat the above steps for the second half of your windscreen.
  4. Again lifting your wipers away, spray your windscreen cleaner onto the wiper blades. Wipe downwards to clean away grime.
  5. Using your other clean microfibre cloth, buff the entire windscreen with small circular motions.

How do you clean the inside of your windscreen?

Streaks and foggy marks on the inside of the windscreen can lead to poor visibility that makes it dangerous to drive. 

Cleaning your windscreen interior has to be done a little more carefully, as you want  to avoid getting any chemicals or products on your dashboard or seats. You should start off by removing any oil or dust with a clean, dry microfibre cloth. Use circular motions across the entire windscreen until you’ve covered the entire area.

You’ll need the following items:

  • Rubbing alcohol 
  • An alcohol-based car glass cleaner
  • 3 lint-free microfibre cloths

Then, just follow the steps below for a streak-free shine:

  1. Get into the passenger seat of the car for easier access to the windscreen.
  2. Using the rubbing alcohol on your cloth, wipe in circular motions. 
  3. Apply your windscreen cleaner to the clean side of the cloth. Applying to the cloth rather than the glass surface avoids overspray or getting products on your dashboard.
  4. Once that’s done, apply your original glass cleaning spray directly to your clean cloth.
  5.  Repeat first with the vertical strokes and then with the horizontal strokes as you did on the exterior.

While you’re cleaning, It can be handy to have paper towels nearby to wipe up any cleaning solution on your seats or dashboards. But there’s no need to panic if you spill cleaning products inside of your car, just check out our post on how to clean your car interior.

How do I clean a blurry windshield?

Even if your windscreen isn’t visibly dirty, a build-up of grease and grime can cause your windscreen to look blurry. If it’s a sunny day and it still feels as though you’re driving through fog, it’s probably about time to clear your screen. Luckily for windscreens left with this hazy appearance, there’s a number of tricks you can try. 

If your issue is an accumulation of oils and contaminants, your regular window cleaner might not be strong enough to break away the build up on your screen. In this case, it’s best to try a windscreen degreaser. Hellshine Pain is rated among the best for its cleaning powers, and effectively lifts dirt, grease and grime. Spray across your screen, and clean away with your microfibre cloth. 

For a DIY alternative, you can use a white vinegar and water solution. Get a spray bottle and fill with one part white vinegar, and two parts distilled water. Spray onto the glass and simply wipe from top to bottom. 

Conclusion

With your car windshield looking better than ever, you’re one step closer to having your car look brand new without ever stepping into a garage or detailers. 

To get that professionally cleaned finish, complete your cleaning routine with our post on how to clean car windows. Or for more car care tips, check out our car maintenance checklist and download a car maintenance app to keep you on track!