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Ask any car detailing pro or enthusiast what their least favourite detailing task is, and 9/10 of them will say cleaning glass surfaces!
We do get why, but it can be something other than one of those tasks you dread, especially once you know how to get streak-free results with the best methods and products.
Streaky or dirty car windows are unsightly, not to mention dangerous if they get to a point where they impair your vision whilst driving. So, with this in mind, it's clear that cleaning your car windows is essential.
We've all been there, driving along when the sun is low in the sky and shines directly at you through the front windscreen, and all you can see are substantial smeary streaks, not only annoying but, as mentioned above, dangerous.
So, how do we clean our car windows correctly? Let me explain.
There are some essential things to have in place before we begin. The glass must be the final thing you clean during your wash process. Think about it, if you don't clean your glass last, you risk spraying something onto your freshly cleaned glass surface. For example, you've just washed and dried your car. You move on to cleaning the glass and then realise you still need to add some protection or quick detailer to the paintwork, so you reach for your favourite Quick Detailer, Nitro. When in use, you will likely see some overspray land onto the glass, ruining all your hard work getting the glass spotless in the first place. This also goes for interior cleaning. This is why we always recommend making the glass cleaning the final job when cleaning or detailing your car.
It is also vital to ensure that the vehicle is in the shade and that the glass surfaces aren't warm. This will cause your glass cleaner to dry almost instantly when sprayed onto a warm surface. This is not helpful to our glass cleaning process. It's also important to note that this is only relevant in hot or warm weather conditions. The car does not need to be moved into a shaded area if it isn't sunny or warm.
What products do you need?
Start by assessing the size of the glass surface. Often with good quality glass cleaners, less is more, and there is no need to over-saturate the surface with product. For your side windows, one spray is enough product to gain great results and two sprays for your front windscreen.
Once you have applied Optical to the glass, begin by wiping the product around the surface of the window using your Duel Glass Cloth, reaching all corners and sides efficiently. Then, flip over your cloth to reveal a dry and clean side and buff away any remaining product residues. You may also find it helpful to use two Glass Cloths, one purely for the initial wipe around of the product and the second only used for the final buff.
Top tip time and something overlooked by many is the area right at the top of the side windows, hidden by the rubber seals. To access this area, wind the window down a touch, clean and then rewind it up. You may need to go over the surface again with the side of or dedicated buff cloth as you may find some excess water from the wash process is deposited back onto the glass from winding the windows down.
Something else that we do to ensure the best results and avoid annoying streaking is to buff off the product residues in only one direction. For example, a left-to-right motion. Then when we clean the opposite side of the glass, we buff in a top-to-bottom motion. Why do we do this? It's pretty simple. If any streaks remain, you can easily see which side of the glass they are on. This will save you time chasing away streaks on the wrong side of the glass.
For the front windscreen, we need to repeat the process, but it's also beneficial to clean the wiper blades simultaneously this time. We recommend a Duel General Purpose Cloth as this can be a dirty job, and we want to avoid unnecessarily getting our dedicated glass cloths dirty.
To clean wiper blades, spray Optical onto your General Purpose Cloth, grip around the blade and run the cloth up and down. You will see black dirt and grime removed. Repeat this process until no more dirt is removed. At this point, you know your blades are also now clean.
Your car windows and glass are spotless, clean and, more importantly, streak-free!