How Long After Windshield Replacement Can I Wash My Car?

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

how long after windshield replacement can i wash my car

Your windshield protects the inside of your vehicle from dust particles, so you can view the road clearly, rain or shine.

But if your trusty barrier gets damaged and needs a replacement, there is something that you need to watch out for.

You should ask yourself, “how long after windshield replacement can I wash my car?” Generally, you should wait at least 24 hours before doing this task.

If you want to learn the reason why, continue reading to find out.

How Long to Wait to Wash Car and Why Do We Need to Wait?


When it comes to replacing your front glass, you need to be well informed about the before and after windshield repair and replacement steps, so you know the dos and don’ts.

During the process, a special adhesive called urethane is usually used for the installation of the new glass. This special glue is what attaches the glass to the frame in your car. Thus, it is a decisive factor in whether your front shield is successfully placed or not.

Just like any other glue, urethane also needs time to settle in the frame, so you have to wait for your windshield glue to dry completely before subjecting it to the elements or strong forces.

Such actions may include lying on the new glass barrier, slamming the trunk, and others.

Most of the time, technicians leave tape on after windshield replacement to hold it in place for as long as needed or until the urethane dries.

The procedure should not take too much time, especially if it is done by a professional. For example, Safelite windshield replacement time can take 60 minutes or less, but depending on the type of urethane, the glue may take 1 to 24 hours to settle.

After replacing the glass, you must not get a car wash. Getting a car wash, especially one that uses pressure washers, can disrupt the drying process before it can fix your front glass in place.

Even online forums like Reddit and auto glass service providers will recommend waiting for a couple of days before getting a car wash.

Note: If you are still unsure, you can always ask your technician the best time to do a car wash after windshield replacement.

In the event that you have to wash the glass, handwashing should be fine if and only if you don’t use a high-pressure hose.

Now that you know this, it is critical that you abide by this rule every time you change your front glass and think twice before trying a windshield replacement car wash.

Dos and Donts After Windshield Replacement


Just because you have a brand new windshield installed doesn’t mean that it’s done. There are some things that you should not do after windshield replacement.

  • Remove the tape The tape used to hold the glass should be left untouched until your windshield is fully cured.
  • Closed windows Leave your car windows slightly open to avoid pressure buildup that may affect your windshield. Internal pressure can lead to cracks, and it would be expensive to get a chip repair when you just got a new windshield.
  • Park in a sunny area – Do not leave your car under the sun or a hot place for too long as this may affect your glue’s condition. You should pick a shaded or covered area when parking.
  • Drive on rough roads – After your windshield has cured, you can take an after windshield replacement drive, but avoid passing through rough roads with many bumps. Even if the urethane has settled within 24 hours or less, it is still susceptible to pressure and can loosen, so drive carefully.
  • Tip: You have to follow your technician’s advice, as they know how long the glue needs to cure. For example, with Safelite instructions, you can already drive your car two hours after side window replacement, as long as you are careful.

Can a Windshield Get Wet After Being Replaced?

Yes, it can. If you think about it, windshield replacement aftercare is quite easy to do. You just have to treat your vehicle delicately for a day or two.

Follow our tips on the waiting time above, and you can wash car after windshield replacement. But if you’re impatient and your vehicle is very dirty, maybe clean it before getting a glass repair?

What if It Rains After Windshield Replacement?


Even if the weather suddenly turns bad and the sky is dark, your new windshield can handle the rain and moisture.

Unlike the pressure from a pressure hose, rain usually has a gentle force that will not disrupt the urethane.

If you think about it, you can treat the rain as an alternative method of car cleaning, one that is basically hassle-free with no cost.

How Long Does It Take for Windshield Adhesive to Cure?

A windshield adhesive, depending on the type used, can cure for 1 hour, but for the urethane to reach its full strength, you must let it sit for at least 24 hours.

The higher the quality of your adhesive, the stronger the bond. Some glass applicator products like SikaTack Drive are even designed with a quick set feature, which offers 60 minutes minimum drive away time.

Other brands have their own set times, but for better results, the more time you give the windshield to sit, the better.


You may have got a new windshield because your old one is damaged, or perhaps, the aged window has too many blemishes that affect your vision.

Either way, if you want to change the glass at the front of your car, you also have to think about its aftercare.

With that, we hope that upon reading this article, you no longer have to ask, “How long after windshield replacement can I wash my car?”

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