It may not be the most fun part of washing your car, but cleaning a vehicle’s windows is still important. Driving around with windshield haze, smudges and streaks from dirt and grime instead of clean glass surfaces can be seriously annoying, but driving with a filthy car windshield can also easily become dangerous. So it’s important to know how to properly clean a car window in order to get a perfect streak-free shine. The first step to dazzlingly clean car windows is the best car glass cleaner.
The good car glass cleaners are designed to clean your glass easily and efficiently, leaving no streaks or residue behind.
These products are designed to clean your glass easily and efficiently, leaving no streaks or residue behind. They also have special formulas to help break down dirt, particles, and grime normally associated with everyday driving. Some products will also protect your glass with some form of repellent, helping it stay clean even longer.
Why Buy Car Auto Glass Cleaner?
- Supplement your regular car-washing routine. Running your car through an automated wash or even hand-washing it yourself isn’t always enough, especially if the dirt and grime is on the inside of your car. Let’s face it, if you’ve got kids or pets, chances are high that you’ve had more than your fair share of fingerprints, nose prints, paw prints, and who knows what else on your car’s windows.
- Safely see out of your windows while driving. Being able to see around you in all directions is key to driving safely. While a little bit of dust here and there isn’t going to hurt anyone, major streaks, debris, bug guts, and grime can be distracting and can cause you to miss seeing something important.
- It’s versatile. Glass cleaner, whether it’s intended for your automobile or around the house, can be used for a variety of other purposes. After you clean all the glass in your bathrooms, try the cleaner on your glass stovetop, your microwave and toaster, and even your glass-top coffee table.
- Touch up your vehicle. Whether you drove through a cloud of bugs or just need to clean the dog slobber from your rear windows, glass cleaner can help. We don’t recommend using it as an exterior detailer, but it will clear up headlights as well.
- Remove hard water spots from your car. The chemicals found in tap water can stain glass surfaces over time. The same can be said for water that may sit on your vehicle. Even most clay bars will have a hard time getting the water stains off your paint, so invest in glass cleaner instead.
- Safely clean computer screens and other electronics. You can spray glass cleaner onto a microfiber towel and then wipe your computer screens, phone screens, and even keyboards down to clean them. If you’re worried about any residue, simply purchase a can of compressed air.
How to clean a windshield properly
- Ideally, make sure the glass is at a tepid temperature: You’ll have far better success if your car’s windshield and windows aren’t piping hot or incredibly cold. Hot temperatures can cause products to dry too quickly and smear. Cold temperatures can lead to fogging as you work on the glass surface.
- Use enough glass cleaner spray: This one depends on the auto glass cleaner product, but if you find more of the product works better, do it. If a little goes a long way, go that route for clean car windows.
- Up and down, left and right: Try not to make swirls in the windshield. Instead, sweep the product and your microfiber cloth or paper towel from left and right, or up and down to push the glass cleaning product around.
- If needed, follow up: One pass might not be enough if your windshield is really dirty. You may need to make a second pass with your windshield cleaner to clear up any remaining remnants of dirt or smudges.
- Use a clean towel on each window: If you use paper towels, rip new ones off for each window. If you’re using a microfiber towel, try to use a clean side on each separate window when cleaning.
Car Window Cleaner Types
- AEROSOL SPRAY CAN: Many glass cleaners out there today are compressed into a spray can for easy application. The replaceable cap is useful for storing and using the glass cleaner at a later time. Aerosol glass cleaners typically foam up and thus require a bit of shaking to prime. We don’t recommend storing spray can glass cleaners upside down. Keep them in a cool, dry place where they can stand right side up.
- SPRAY BOTTLE: Another popular way to package glass cleaner is in your typical spray bottle with a squeeze trigger. Many bottles range anywhere from 19 to 32 ounces and should be stored right side up, as you would with aerosol glass cleaners. You might find the squeeze trigger easier to use than the spray nozzle since there is more surface area for your finger to contact. Glass cleaner in spray bottles is not compressed, so there’s less of a chance of it exploding in extreme circumstances. Be sure to store it in a cool, dry place when not in use.
- WIPES: Glass cleaner wipes are probably something you’ve seen used for cleaning eyeglasses. We don’t recommend using them on your entire car since you’ll easily go through at least three or four wipes, making them a less economical option than spray cleaners. However, they can be useful if you’re trying to see out of your windshield/side mirrors or need to clean off your headlights for safety reasons. Wipes typically come in resealable packs that can be easily stored in a door pocket or behind the seat.
- NON-TOXIC: Knowing what’s in your glass cleaner can mean a world of difference if you have tinted windows. Choosing a cleaner that’s ammonia-free ensures your window tint won’t break down and degrade faster than it should. Alcohol allows the glass cleaner to evaporate quickly, but such an ingredient may adversely affect your senses. If you’re worried about other chemicals that might be found in glass cleaner (such as alcohol), check the label before you buy.
Best Auto Glass Cleaner
First, we’re going to show you our five best picks that we’ll talk about what you should look for before buying a car glass cleaner.
let’s get started
Stoner Invisible Glass Cleaner
This premium automotive glass cleaner is the most popular item on Amazon under glass care products. The Stoner Invisible Glass is available with a variety of options including an EZ Grip bottle and packaged with microfiber cloths. You can also purchase multiple 19-ounce cans at one time to save a little bit of money.
Tired of glass cleaners that don’t really clean? Inferior cleaners leave streaks and residue or simply smear the dirt around – but Invisible Glass Cleaner doesn’t. Our ammonia-free cleaner with fine mist spray clings tight to glass, providing a streak-free shine with no residue, no lingering aroma, and no mess. You put a lot of pride into making sure your home or car looks great, so it makes sense to use a premium glass cleaner that’s engineered to perform at the very best.
Plus, Invisible Glass is ideal for tough stains and spots that other glass cleaners can’t clean, including bug guts, salt, bird droppings, and more. No more scrubbing – Invisible Glass’s unique formula nestles deep into hard-to-reach places for an effortless glam that’s spotless. Give your home or your car the very best with a glass cleaner that works as hard as you do. It’s safe for tinted and non-tinted windows for the ultimate clean!
This product offers a no-drip, fine mist spray that sticks to glass and won’t run, a waste product, or end up on your dash when you use it. It’s formulated to dissolve and remove the thin layer of film that builds upon the interior of your windshields. It’s ideal for removing bug splats, smoke haze, bird droppings, salt spray, and road grime and is safe for indoor and outdoor use.
- Foaming action,
- No-drip fine mist spray,
- Ammonia-free, price
- Strong smell
- The spray nozzle could be problematic
Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner
Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner comes from years of working with professional detailers to find the quickest and most effective way to clean glass and mirrors. This unique formula spreads and wipes off quickly, with a superior cleaning ability to tackle even the dirtiest glass. This car glass cleaner easily removes vinyl fog residue, road grime, smoker’s film, bird droppings and bug splatter. Since it’s a pro-strength glass cleaner spray it easily removes dirt, grime, grease and film while still being safe for use on all tinted windows. Anti-hazing properties also work to deliver amazing, streak-free results on all auto windows to get glass perfectly clear. Ideal when used with Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Glass Towel. Also in a 19-ounce aerosol version.
This product is safe for use on all tinted windows and its chemical formula contains a lubricant for an easy slide effect with no residue. It can also serve as a dust repellent, helping keep your glass surfaces cleaner and longer.
- Trusted car care brand
- Anti-hazing formula,
- Dust repellent,
- Safe on tint
- Strong smell
Sprayway Glass Cleaner Amazon
A close second, Sprayway’s Glass Cleaner wins our value pick this time around. A favorite among professionals, Sprayway gives a nod to the environmental folks with their recyclable cans that are actually made of recycled steel. It just goes to show that you can clean your windows and save the environment at the same time.
In all seriousness, Sprayway brings a strong, no-drip formula to the table. With zero ammonia and ozone-depleting chemicals, you won’t have to worry about damaging your tinted windows or the ozone layer. Sprayway’s glass cleaner has little to no aroma. With a replaceable cap and ergonomic can shape, Sprayway glass cleaner offers up a small-but-mighty product.
Like almost any aerosol can, losing the nozzle means the can become a dud. Without any way to release the glass cleaner within the can, your only choice is to dispose of the product. Aerosol glass cleaners are harder to store since they have to be upright and can be awkward to stuff behind a seat or in the trunk. For all intents and purposes, however, Sprayway is a product nearly any driver can use.
Sprayway’s glass cleaner won’t leave behind any film and has a nice, fresh scent.
This product comes in a 19-ounce bottle.
- Ammonia free,
- Streak and residue-free,
- Foaming action
- The smell may be displeasing to some
Rain X Window Cleaner + Rain Repellent
If you’re looking for a versatile product you can use on different glass types, this might be a perfect choice for you. The Rain-X cleaner is ideal for all kinds of vehicles and windows around the house. You’ll be able to clean glass surfaces rather quickly and effortlessly.
The Rain-X cleaner features an efficient formula that removes snow, ice, bugs, dirt, water sports, and other residues. It also leaves a protective coat that repels rain. The application is super easy—you just need to spray the liquid on the surface and wipe it off. No extra buffing is required. Also, the product leaves no residue behind, so you won’t notice those annoying streaks after cleanup.
The main drawback of this product comes from the powerful formula. It might damage the tint on the inside glass of car doors, so make sure to use it with extra care. Also, some buyers complained about getting bottles that leaked during shipping.
- 2-in-1 formula with rain repellent,
- Streak-free cleaning,
- Well-known brand
- Can leave residue behind if not wiped away quickly and properly.
- Repellent doesn’t last as long as normal products.
Chemical Guys Signature Series Glass Cleaner
Chemical Guys is a reliable company that never fails to deliver high-quality products. This time, it offers a highly efficient glass cleaner that can be used on car windows, mirrors, computers, phones, and more. With such a wide application, it’s one of the most versatile cleaners on the market. You can use it on your vehicles as well as around the household.
What makes this product stand apart from others is a unique streak-free formula. The liquid sprays and spreads on the surface with ease, removing dirt, dust, debris, bugs, and other types of residue without leaving streaks. The formula is also non-toxic and ammonia-free, which makes it safe to use on all kinds of surfaces. You can even use it on tinted windows. Additionally, the cleaner leaves a fresh smell that lingers.
There are a few things to keep in mind with this cleaner, though. First of all, it might leave some streaks on the exterior if not wiped off carefully. It might require some extra elbow grease. Secondly, some users noticed that the nozzle tends to loosen up after a while.
Chemical Guys says this unique formula uses advanced cleaners which also repel dirt and dust by reducing static cling.
- Variety of sizes, professional-grade formula,
- Non-toxic, ammonia-free,
- Reduce static cling,
- Safe on tinted glass
- Some users report streaks,
- Leaves behind a haze
Armor All Auto Glass Cleaner Kits
There’s nothing wrong with going the budget route for a car wash kit, and if you want to, Armor All’s Premier Car Care Kit comes with eight items ready to help you clean up a car. What we really like is the inclusion of a multi-purpose cleaner and Armor All’s interior protectant in addition to a glass cleaner. That way you can really clean an interior well. As for the exterior, you miss out on proper car wax, but instead, get the company’s wash and wax combo car washes soap to cleanse paint as well as wheel cleaner and tire shine. For someone perhaps looking to dip their feet into detailing, this car cleaning kit is an excellent option.
- Everyone’s heard of Armor All.
- Reasonable Price.
- Solid results instantly.
- Some users say it leaves streaks
3M Car Care Glass Cleaner
Another household name in cleaning products, 3M Glass Cleaner comes in a 19-ounce, easy-grip aerosol bottle. It features a no-drip foam that expands on contact and clings to auto glass. Simply wipe the cleaner across the surface—it won’t leave any streaks. Use it on all auto glass surfaces, including side glass, mirrors, windshields, and side windows.
The solution is tough enough to cut through stubborn dirt, dried bug splatter, and smudges. The 3M Glass Cleaner provides a crystal-clear finish, revealing the original look of the glass without the residue. You can also use it safely on both tinted and non-tinted glass. The only downside to the cleaner is that it leaves a strong odor.
The 3M Glass Cleaner’s Streak-Free Formula removes all Stains, Filmy Residues, Grime and Fingerprints. Ready to Use and Safe on all Glass, Metal and Plastic Parts as Superior Solvents ensure Quicker Removal of Contaminants with Minimal Effort. It is a Zero Ammonia Formulation that has No Unpleasant Smell and is Safe for the User as well as the Environment.
- Trusted car care brand,
- No drip foaming action,
- Can also be used to clean vinyl and interior plastic,
- Works quickly
- Streak Free
- Strong odor
Griot’s Garage Speed Shine
Griot’s Garage Speed Shine, a brand synonymous with auto detailing products, also makes a really good glass cleaner. This car-care product allows you to enjoy a haze-free experience on the inside and outside of your vehicle. The large 35-ounce spray bottle contains zero ammonia, dyes, or fragrances, so it’s safe for tinted windows and those with sensitive skin.
As with any auto glass cleaner, use a lint-free towel or microfiber cloth to achieve the best results when using Griot’s Garage window cleaner. For the best value, we recommend getting the 1-gallon container. Simply pair it with a good spray bottle and you’ll be set for automotive glass cleaning for a long time.
With Speed Shine, you can detail your car in 5 minutes. Specially formulated lubricants lift dirt off the surface so you can safely wipe it away. Leaves finish glossy and smooth. Great for any painted surface. Perfect for a quick wipe down before or after you hit the road.
- Safe and Effective Quick Detailing
- Detail a car in just minutes
- Cleans All Exterior Surfaces
- Countless uses around the home and garage
- Its too good for minor dart but its took time for heavy dart
Windex Glass Cleaner
What list of top-quality glass cleaners would be complete without a product from Windex? Windex is probably the largest and most well-known manufacturer of reliable glass cleaners in the world, and the Windex Glass and Window Cleaner are perfect for use on automobile glass. It starts working right away to deliver a top-notch streak-free cleaning.
This glass cleaner is also an excellent choice for use on multiple surfaces, such as mirrors, sealed granite and marble, stainless steel, UV-protected windows, glass stovetops and shower doors, bathroom surfaces and fixtures, plastic, tile, vinyl, aluminum, and more. With a bottle that’s made from 100 percent recycled ocean-bound plastic, it’s also an environmentally friendly option. Be sure to use a lint-free cloth or dry paper towel to get a streak-free finish. Other materials may leave streaky residue behind.
Recycled plastic bottle body made of 100% Ocean Bound Plastic* in partnership with Plastic Bank: Ocean Bound Plastic, in partnership with Plastic Bank, is post-consumer recycled plastic collected within 30 miles of an ocean or a waterway leading to an ocean, in countries with high volumes. Windex Glass Cleaner leaves an unbeatable streak-free shine. Bottle made from 100% recycled plastic. Perfect for cleaning glass, windows and more. Windex Disinfectant Cleaner Multi-Surface Citrus Fresh kills 99.9% of germs*. This disinfectant spray quickly lifts dirt and smudges for a fast and effective clean. Kills 99.9% of germs, viruses and bacteria on hard non-porous surfaces. Great for cleaning bathrooms, kitchens, tiles, stainless steel, and more.
- Safe and Effective Quick Detailing
- Kills 99.9% of germs, viruses and bacteria
- Cleans All Interior and Exterior Surfaces
- Environment-friendly product and 100% recycled plastic
- No bad report we get of this product
Driven Extreme Duty Glass Cleaner
This cleaning product gives you the power to remove the toughest dirt, dust, and smudges even if they have etched themselves into your vehicle’s glass. It combines an acid gel and cutting abrasives to ensure that the worst stains on your glass can come off quickly.
Drive Extreme Duty handles salt-spray deposits, substantial limescale, mineral buildup, and even mold so that you can see clearly once again. Use this product on a vehicle that has been sitting for a while to restore its windows’ luster.
Driven Extreme Duty Glass Cleaner was designed to remove the very toughest, etched-in, hard water build-up and stains from any glass surface. By combining an acid gel, with our Extreme Cutting Abrasives and a full spectrum of industrial-strength cleaners, Driven Extreme Duty Glass Cleaner has the power to clean the most severely weathered glass surface. Safely Removes Severe Hard Water Spots, Calcium and Mineral Buildup, Heavy Lime Scale, Salt Spray Deposit, Rust Deposit, Alkali, Mold & Mildew, Paint Over-spray.
- Clean heavy dart easily
- Cleans water spots on glass
- Removed acid rain spots
- Mainly Cleans water spots on glass
Look for Before Buying Car Glass Cleaner
Let’s see a few things you should look for before buying a car glass cleaner:
- Street free: Glass cleaners only work when they leave your windows looking new choose the streak-free formula so you don’t have to climb in out and around your vehicle trying to make sure you wipe away all the haze glass cleaners that leave a residue behind are notorious for causing streaks so avoid these products if you can.
- Pre-mixed: Versus concentrates if you’re someone who likes to buy in bulk choosing to purchase concentrates might be a more cost-effective alternative to ordering pallets of aerosol cans at the same time you’ll have to mix your glass cleaner and have it ready to go before you clean your windows it’s not the most convenient solution but it is budget-friendly.
- Cloths: While it’s important to buy a streak-free car window cleaner having superior microfiber cloths goes a long way a good microfiber cloth will be soft with short fibers they come in a variety of colors depending on the manufacturer if you can budget for it it’s better to purchase microfiber cloths in bulk because you can easily use them to dust around the house as well.
- Application: Applying glass cleaner to your vehicle shouldn’t be the hard part choose a glass cleaner that goes on easy in whichever way you choose whether it’s via a spray bottle aerosol can or glass wipe spray bottles tend to be easier to use but you may find the spray nozzle on an aerosol can to be less demanding of your hand multiple spray patterns aid in the quick application as well.
Can I Use a Household Window Cleaner on My Car?
When cleaning your car’s glass surfaces, we would recommend using a product that is specially designed for automotive use. Household cleaners have a different composition to car glass cleaners because car glass is exposed to a lot more nastiness than most household glass, and they can leave unsightly streaks.
It’s also important to note that many household glass cleaners contain ammonia, which is not only bad for some of the surfaces in your car like vinyl and leather but is harmful to human health. Ammonia can also be detrimental to tinted windows.
Automotive Glass Cleaners Vs Household Glass Cleaners
- Ammonia: Many household glass cleaners, like Windex, are made with ammonia. While it’s a great chemical cleaner for household mirrors and windows, ammonia has been shown to deteriorate automotive tint. And if you have tint on your windows, you know how expensive that can be. Automotive glass cleaners are designed specifically to be ammonia-free for this very reason.
- Streakin: No, not like on a Friday night. We’re talking window streaking. Household glass cleaners, especially those with ammonia, can leave streaks if exposed to direct sunlight during the drying process. This occurs when the ammonia dries on the window before its chemical evaporation process can begin. If your windows are really gunky, household glass cleaners might not be able to handle the build-up of contaminants, and they can leave streaky residue behind. Reports of fogging the inside of a windshield are also not unheard of.
While automotive glass cleaner is designed to clean streak-free, results vary by brand. Along with that, not all automotive glass cleaners are ammonia-free—it’s essential to double-check the labeling of the one you choose.
Even if you aren’t an every-Saturday car-wash kind of person, regular window scrubbing offers huge benefits to your safety on the road. That’s why we’ve compiled five of the top-rated window cleaners you can buy—because we believe seeing is important.
Car Window Cleaning Tips
- Use a two-bucket wash method: You should use one car wash bucket for your water and car wash soap, and another with only water to rinse your sponge or wash mitt out. This keeps dirt and debris away from the soap bucket and lessens the chance you put that dirt back on your car’s paintwork while washing.
- Wash in the shade: It may not be possible but try to keep your car out of direct sunlight while washing. Water spots can be a real annoyance when heat bakes water on your car’s paint.
- Clean interior windows first: When it comes to detailing the inside of a car, do the windows first with glass cleaner and a microfiber towel. If you get overspray from an interior detailer product on the dashboard, it’s alright. You still have to dress it anyway. You’ll save yourself from doubling back later.
- A little goes a long way: With really any cleaning product, you don’t need to use copious amounts. Make sure you check a product for proper instructions, but you typically don’t need gobs of car shampoo, liquid wax, wheel cleaner, interior cleaning product or whatever car cleaning product you’re using to vanquish grime.
Now that you know all you need to know about top-quality car window cleaners, it’s easy to see why we chose Invisible Glass Glass Cleaner as our top pick. Not only does it provide a pristine, streak-free clean, but it also comes in a comfortable, user-friendly bottle and is offered at a great price point.
If you’re looking to get the biggest bang for your buck, however, check out Sprayway’s Glass Cleaner. It’s a favorite of not only budget-conscious consumers but professional auto detailers as well.
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