According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 43,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2021. A clean windshield in your car is more than just about hygiene and aesthetics. When dirt or grime builds up on the windscreen, it is likely to affect your ability to see people, vehicles, and objects on the road and may result in an accident with serious consequences. A dirty windshield can also affect your visibility when bright light from oncoming vehicles, streetlights, or the sun hits the glass due to the reduction of contrast. You should clean your car or truck windshield weekly or more frequently, depending on quickly it becomes dirty. A few handy tips for a squeaky-clean windshield:
Plan the Cleaning
Cleaning the windshield is not rocket science, but you can make it hard for yourself if you do not plan it well. The first thing is to move your car out of the sun and ready all the cleaning materials like water, glass cleaner, a microfiber cloth, and a step-stool for better access. A hot windshield is difficult to clean as the cleaner evaporates before you can wipe the glass. Having all the materials at hand ensures a smooth operation.
Start With the Windshield Exterior
Spraying the windshield exterior with a garden hose or pouring a bucket of water or two on the windshield can help if your screen is dirty and has a lot of gunk and debris. Before starting to clean, you should lift the wipers off the windshield to access the glass fully. If you have front windshield stickers you want to remove, you can try peeling off the sticker with your fingers. You can remove the remaining paper backing and adhesive residues using warm soapy water. Apply enough soapy water to soak it, and wait a few minutes for the glue to absorb the moisture. Use a plastic scraper to remove the residues. If you still see some glue sticking to the glass, you can use a paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol to remove it. Use a fresh microfiber cloth to buff the glass and leave it sparkling. Be careful not to use any kind of polish on the exterior of the glass, as it will prevent the wipers from working effectively.
Clean the Inside of the Windshield
The process of cleaning the interior of the windshield remains the same as that of cleaning the exterior, but you need to cover the dashboard with cloth and be careful not to splash too much water inside the car. The most effective way of cleaning is to dust the inside of the glass with a clean and dry cloth and then spray a glass cleaner onto the surface. Wipe the glass with vertical and then horizontal movements. Buff the glass with a clean cloth to remove any streaks.
Cleaning the car windshield may seem like a lot of effort, but you can do it easily if you are organized and do not let the glass become too dirty. Taking care to park in the shade but not under trees can make your work easier.