How to Clean the Inside of a Windshield? – Car Care Guides

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

how to clean the inside of a windshield

Windshields collect a lot of dust, dirt, sand, and grime. If you do not clean it properly in time, there is a good chance it will spread the nasty contaminants onto your window and leave unsightly scratches during the process. So, as a car owner, it is necessary to know how to clean the inside of a windshield.

Cleaning the inside of a windshield is easier than you might imagine. In short, the three steps that you have to take are:

  • Prepping
  • Quick Cleaning
  • Deep Cleaning

For more details on each step as well as the required materials, read this article to the end. We will reveal to you the best way to clean the inside windshield.


What You Will Need to Have


You will need a pair of nitrile gloves and some rubbing alcohol. In addition, you will need to carefully pick out the following:

Microfiber Towels or Cloths

You will need five of them. Given the quantity, you may be tempted to get just any rag that you already have at home. However, it is very important that you get an auto-designated microfiber towel or cloth.

Why? Well, because these converge the ideal blend of stiffness and flexibility for dealing with a car’s surfaces. They are more absorbent than other ordinary towels/cloths, which makes cleaning easier. Plus, they are lint-free, producing minimal streaks and debris. Best of all, microfiber towels and cloths are plush and soft, thus, you never have to worry about abrasion and scratches. You can check out our detail guide how to clean car windows without streaks here.

Your vehicle deserves a quality microfiber towel or cloth. So, spare time to do your research and purchase one that you will not regret. If you do not know where to start looking, try browsing through these renowned brands: KIWEN, Chemical Guys, and Meguiar.

Windshield Cleaner

You will need to have a reliable windshield cleaner. When shopping for one, the key focus is on your product of choice’s formula and ease of application.

Steer clear from ammonia-based windshield cleaners. They do more harm than good. Ammonia is a compound that can hurt the integrity of your windshield. It is especially damaging for tinted windshields.

Products with nozzles and ergonomic design reduce hand fatigue and make any cleaning tasks less tedious.

Also, consider the brand and price of the windshield cleaner that you have in mind before making the final purchasing decision.

Homemade Solution

Instead of a store-bought windshield cleaner, you can also make one by yourself. Usually, a homemade solution will be cheaper and more eco-friendly.

For this, you will need a spray bottle, water, rubbing alcohol, and vinegar, which are all relatively easy to get. Even better if you already have them lying around your home.

In the spray bottle, mix water and rubbing alcohol with a 1:1 ratio. Then, add half a tablespoon of vinegar. Cap the bottle and shake well.

Glass Cleaner

There are a lot of options for glass cleaners in the market. When choosing one, consider the brand, formula, ease of application, and price. The best glass cleaner is one that satisfies your needs for all the aforementioned criteria.

Some solid glass cleaners that you can get are Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner, Chemical Guys Signature Series Glass Cleaner, and Invisible Glass Reach and Clean Tool Combo.

What You Will Need to Do


Step 1: Prepping

To begin, find a good place to work away from direct sunlight. Put on a pair of nitrile gloves and make sure that all the materials you need are within your hand’s reach.

Next, lay out a towel on the dashboard. This will collect falling dust and drips to keep any mess from enlarging.

Step 2: Quick Cleaning

Now, proceed to the windshield. Wipe it once with a fresh, dry microfiber towel or cloth. In this step, you are trying to remove any loose dust, dirt, and sand. Avoid applying too much force to not push contaminants deeper into the windshield or cause abrasion.

Step 3: Deep Cleaning

Moving onto a deeper clean, use the windshield cleaner that you have prepared or the homemade solution and spray it onto a new towel or cloth. Do not oversaturate!

Use that towel or cloth to do another wipe down of your vehicle’s windshield. This should remove any stubborn dust, dirt, and sand.

Start on one side and follow through to the other. So, working from the passenger seat and moving to the driver’s seat, or vice versa. Make sure you use broad wide strokes that go in a single horizontal direction. Keep in mind that, at the same time, it should be one after the other in parallel motions from top to bottom.

Next, apply a bit of rubbing alcohol onto another fresh towel or cloth and run it through the windshield to remove clinging grease. Let it work its magic for three to five minutes.

Then, spray the glass cleaner in your materials kit on one side of a new microfiber towel or cloth. Again, use just enough—do not oversaturate. Clean the windshield once more, making sure that you reach all the crevices. Let it sit for two minutes before drying it with another towel or cloth. Check that it is completely dry. There should be no remaining water or residue.

Voila! Just three steps and you have a cleaned car windshield! It was not too difficult, right?

Other Options to Consider

Using a Cleaning Service

There are plenty of professional cleaning services that you can seek. While these are typically not just for windshields, you can avail of an entire cleaning package which includes cleaning the inside of your vehicle’s windshield.

These are provided by experts equipped with the standard knowledge and skills. So, you can be rest assured of the quality cleaning services delivered. Just find a reliable service provider and put your faith in them.

Some cleaning services that you can rely on are Spiffy, Mr. Clean Car Wash, and Star Car Wash.

Using a Detailing Clay

You can use a bar of detailing clay to deal with any grime and grit lodged into crevices. A typical one weighs 3 to 3.5 pounds.

It is a good idea to use this even if you do not see any visible build-ups. It works like a charm for fine particulates.

To use this clay, start by misting your windshield with just water. This will assist the clay’s gliding motions in later steps. Hold the clay in your hand lengthwise, as if you are holding a bar of soap. Your middle and index finger should be on top while the remaining fingers are on the bottom side. Your thumb grips everything together on the side.

Position the clay on the windshield at the base of the hood, then glide it upward in long but even strokes all the way to the roof. When you have completed one vertical line, so another parallel one next to it until you have run the clay through the entire windshield.

When the clay picks up contaminants, it slows or sticks to the surface. When that happens, brush them off the clay before proceeding. Afterward, give the windshield a wipe down using a fresh towel or cloth. This removes any excess clay that may have gotten stuck during the process.

You can buy detailing clay from local auto shops or online retailers. It is not too expensive while providing you the cleaning capabilities that you need.

Using a Windshield Tool

You can also get a specially designed windshield tool to clean the inside of your windshield. Needless to say, it makes the job a lot easier.

You can easily find one online or offline for a reasonable price. Here are a few good brands that offer them, for your reference: X XINDELL, Invisible Glass, and Mallory.

Plus, they are not complicated to use. For more on how to handle a windshield tool, watch this video on Youtube.

Other Tips to Keep in Mind

Besides the steps above, here are a few tips that you should always remember.

  • When detailing your car and washing the exterior, clean the windshield last.
  • Choose and cool instead of a sunny and warm day to clean your car’s windshield. High temperatures entail quicker evaporation of your solution while you are working with it.
  • Use fresh towels or cloths. Used or old rags can worsen the oily film on the inside of your windshield.
  • Do not substitute a towel or cloth with paper towels when cleaning or drying your windshield. Always use microfiber products.
  • Clean your windshield as often as needed. At the very least, do not skip it when cleaning your vehicle’s interior and exterior. Regular maintenance will mean less work. Do not make it more complicated than it has to be.


With that, you have reached the end of this article. Was it easy to follow? Learning how to clean the inside of a windshield is not too difficult right?

To recap, these are the steps that you must take:

  • Prepping
  • Quick Cleaning
  • Deep Cleaning

If you have any follow-up questions or thoughts regarding this topic, feel free to let us know in the comments. We always look forward to hearing from our readers. So, do not hesitate, share this article with your family, friends, or anyone you think will appreciate the content. Also, you are welcome to check out other relevant tips, such as how to clean car windshield outside and how to remove paint from car window.

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