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If you’ve had a new windshield installed you'll want to ensure it stays looking its best. It’s essential to know how to keep it clean using the proper equipment and methods. These vital tips will help you accomplish that.

1. Gather your essential supplies

Cleaning your windshield is a little different than cleaning your windows around the house. The glass in your car has rubber seals around the edges. Therefore you’ll need a glass cleaner that’s made specifically for automotive use. Automotive glass cleaners are ammonia-free, so they won’t damage seals or any tint you might have. A lint-free microfiber cloth that hasn’t been used with any other cleaning products is also essential. You may consider using a step ladder or something similar to elevate yourself to safely have access to the exterior windshield if your vehicle is taller. A mild car wash detergent and bucket may be needed if you have excess buildup on the exterior.

2. Remove dirt and grime

There are times that no matter how well you clean the windshield with a glass cleaner, that dirt and grime won’t budge. If your windshield is extra dirty with a buildup on the exterior you may need to wash and dry your windshield first to remove loose dirt prior to using your glass cleaner. You can use mild, diluted dish detergent or a liquid car wash. It’s advisable to work in a shaded area to keep your liquid products from evaporating quickly. Once the exterior windshield is washed and dried proceed to the next step.

3. Use your glass cleaner to clean the interior and exterior

Start with the interior as it will likely have less built-up grime than the exterior of your windshield. By doing so you’ll avoid having exterior dirt on your cloth as you’re cleaning the interior. Though if you pre-washed your exterior due to extra grime it will be ok to start on the exterior. Prepare the dashboard by laying towels down to protect it from the glass cleaner. In some cases, the glass cleaner can cause stains if it comes into contact with the dashboard. It’s best to spray your glass cleaner directly onto the clean, dry cloth. Wipe the dampened cloth over the surface in even motions working from top to bottom. You may go back over it with a dry cloth to prevent streaks and wipe off excess cleaner. Sitting in the passenger seat helps to allow easier access to the entirety of the windshield without the steering wheel being an obstacle. On the exterior be sure to lift the wipers and gently wipe them as well. The wipers tend to gather a lot of dirt as they remove moisture and exterior debris from your windshield. You may need to apply a little more cleaner to the exterior to tackle all elements that it’s exposed to, such as bugs and dust. If your windshield has tough, caked-on contaminants, use a spray detailer made for windshields and a clay bar to work out any stubborn water spots, bugs or bird droppings off the glass. Different products will vary, so follow the directions on the brand of your choice.

To prevent reduced visibility and preserve your windshield's surface, keep your windshield free from excess buildup. Make it a regular habit to clean inside and out and you’ll notice a big difference as you’re driving, looking through a clean windshield at the road ahead. Call Smiley’s Glass, your expert local glass shop for all your automotive glass needs.

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