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How To Clean Car Windows Without Streaking

How To Clean Car Windows Without Streaking

Clean car windows are essential for clear road visibility and improving your car’s aesthetics. And to most of us, cleaning car windows ranks high among easy automobile care routines. But few can do a thorough job without leaving streaks. 

If you’ve been cleaning your car windows but are constantly frustrated by the streaks that seem never to disappear, you’re not alone. 

Streaks can appear on your car windows for many reasons, including you’re using the wrong type of glass cleaner or cloth, or you’re using a dirty cleaning cloth.

To clean your car windows without streaks, make sure you use the right glass cleaner, use microfiber towels, and start by only cleaning one side at a time. Also, make sure you don’t clean them in direct sunlight.

Read on to find out more. 

Steps to Follow

Use a Good Auto Glass Cleaning Spray

If streaks always appear on your auto glass after you’re done cleaning, you’re better off using cleaning sprays designed to prevent filmy residues and streaks. Some examples include Dash & Glass and Hybrid Solutions Interior Mist. 

Additionally, avoid ammonia-based cleaners as they damage other car parts, including vinyl, rubber, or leather parts. They also tend to leave streaks on surfaces, including car windows. 

Use Two Sets of Thin Edgeless Microfiber Towels

Many car owners assume that a thicker microfiber towel works best for cleaning car windows.

In reality, thick towels have plush-pile fibers that remain behind when cleaning, leaving an even bigger mess. 

We recommend having two separate microfiber cloths or towels. You’ll use one for cleaning and the other to buff your finish. 

Start by Cleaning One Side First

If you’re cleaning your car windows without streaking, you must start by cleaning the exterior first and then proceeding to the interior.

A reason for the cleaning technique is that doing so allows you to identify the streaks’ location quickly. 

You don’t need to always start with the exterior side. Just ensure that you remain consistent with the cleaning order you go with. 

Apply a Generous Amount of Glass Window Cleaner

Always ensure that you’re using a glass cleaner designed specifically for use on auto glass windows. If you’re using a spray cleaning agent, apply it evenly on the surface and wipe it with a soft microfiber cloth.

If you can still spot some streaks on the surface, apply the additional cleaner and repeat the process. Just ensure that you apply it on one window at a time, as most cleaners dry quickly. 

Wipe With a Cleaning Microfiber Cloth

Wipe With a Cleaning Microfiber Cloth

Use a clean and debris-free microfiber cloth to clean the glass window. First, apply light pressure as you clean downwards to remove any dirt, stains, or fingerprints.

You can choose to use a circular cleaning motion or unidirectional cleaning. 

For the unidirectional cleaning, you’ll first wipe your window vertically, followed by horizontal motions starting from the topmost part of the glass window.

Buff the Finish With a Second Microfiber Cloth

Use a fresh microfiber cloth to buff the finish and leave your glass windows clean and streak-free. Ensure the cloth is clean and free of contaminants that may force you to redo the cleaning. 

Now Clean the Interiors As Well

Once you’re satisfied that your glass window exterior is clean and free of streaks, your next move would be to go inside.

Don’t worry so much about the streaks. It can be challenging to know their location before cleaning the interiors. 

Also, you’ll have to repeat the same cleaning actions as you did on the exteriors. 

Apply a Dirt and Dust Repellant

Once you’re done, let your windows air dry before applying a dirt and dust repellant.

The repellant keeps your glass windows cleaner for longer, as any water that drops on will roll right off.

Also, it makes it hard for stains to stick to your car windows, making it easier to clean them. 

Important Tips for Cleaning Car Windows

Avoid Cleaning Car Windows in Direct Sunlight

A reason why your car windows always have streaks after you’re done cleaning is that you’re cleaning them under direct sunlight.

Direct sunlight is generally unfavorable during cleaning, as it evaporates the cleaning solution without rinsing well.

Additionally, immense heat from direct sunlight can, at times, dry the glass windows before the cleaning agent washes off. In both cases, you’ll be left with streaks on your glass windows. 

Always Wash Windows Last

If you’re cleaning your car, ensure to clean your windows last. Car windows are transparent and should remain clear enough not to hinder your view of the road or surroundings.

Cleaning them last ensures that they don’t get soap residue, grime, or dirty water from the other parts of your car.

Use Low-Pile Microfiber Towels

It would be best to exercise caution and care when cleaning a glass window. Avoid any materials that have low absorbency or that leave lint and streaks on the surface.

One such common material is paper towels, which we commonly use in our homes. Instead, we recommend using a low-pile microfiber towel, as it’s more absorbent and leaves your glass windows streak-free. 

Use Different Wipe Motions on the Inside and Outside

We recommend wiping the interior of your car windows using a different motion than on the outside. In other words, wipe the outside with vertical wipes and the inside with opposite horizontal motion wipes.

In this way, you’ll quickly identify the location of the streaks. 

Final Remarks on Cleaning Your Windshield Without Leaving Streaks

No car window cleaning process is complete without dealing with the wiper blades. When wet, the wiper blades smear dirt and pollen across the windshield, smearing it further.

To clean them, use a rubber seal cleaner and wipe them down with a microfiber towel. Afterward, apply a wiper treatment product like 303 Wiper Treatment to keep them in good working condition. 


Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!