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Thread: Cleaning car windows

  1. #1
    Licorice eater Strange's Avatar
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    Cleaning car windows

    A dirty windshield drives me batshit. Particularly if the schmutz is on the inside. You really notice this at night when facing oncoming headlights, or in bright sun. Aside from the annoyance and distraction of stuff disturbing my visual field there's something that really offends my sensibilities about a less-than-pristine windshield.

    The problem is that I have yet to find a cleaner that doesn't leave streaks and smudges, as if the cleaning didn't actually remove the schmutz but just smeared it around. Unacceptable. What I want is something that will effectively degrease, degunk, and deschmutzify the glass while leaving no residue, no streaking, nor any other form of less-than-perfection.

    What to use? I used to think that Windex would do the trick but goddamnit it doesn't. It looks fine while you're using it but the first time you face a bright light you see all manner of swirlies and streaks that just should not be there. I've tried 90% ethanol, same story. I vaguely considered naphha but worried it would damage the body paint if any got loose. There's got to be some form of degreasing detergent that cleans without leaving a residue, but for the life of me I don't know what it is. IWL braintrust, hit me with your wisdom stick!
    She said I was the apple of her eye so I told her she was the rutabaga of my duodenum.

  2. #2
    b& m8 CanadianStraps's Avatar
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    You need 2 towels, and Windex is fine but dilute it by about 50%. Clean the glass first, and then to make it invisible, lightly spray the diluted Windex directly onto the glass, not the towel. Wipe it off with one towel up and down or sided to side, and then immediately buff win the second, clean and dry towel.

    Use microfiber towels that weren't previously used for something else, and when you wash them, don't use fabric softener: the liquid in the wash or the sheets in the dryer. Don't use old t shirts, paper towel, or newspapers.
    It is now my duty to completely drain you.

  3. #3
    Random guy vinylgreek's Avatar
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    I use a bucket of dirty water and a torn squeegee and often look disconnected from reality.

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  5. #4
    Licorice eater Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianStraps View Post
    You need 2 towels, and Windex is fine but dilute it by about 50%. Clean the glass first, and then to make it invisible, lightly spray the diluted Windex directly onto the glass, not the towel. Wipe it off with one towel up and down or sided to side, and then immediately buff win the second, clean and dry towel.

    Use microfiber towels that weren't previously used for something else, and when you wash them, don't use fabric softener: the liquid in the wash or the sheets in the dryer. Don't use old t shirts, paper towel, or newspapers.
    I'll give that a try, but from my previous efforts I remain skeptical of Windex's ability to degrease without leaving a residue. If your method works I'll be pleasantly surprised.

    I guess I need to invest in some microfiber towels, hadn't even occurred to me before to use them.

    One thing I've noticed is that for cleaning the exterior of the windows the stuff they have at my local filling station works really well if you get there first thing in the morning while the soapy water is still clean. It degreases really well, and doesn't leave a residue -- I'll have to ask them what they use. If you get there by midday the water is filthy and all the soapy suds are gone. Bleah.

    While we're on the subject something that really annoys me is the squeegees they typically have at filling stations are beat to hell, and leave all kinds of streaks on the windows. This makes me crazy. I may have to invest in my own squeegee and just carry it in my car.
    She said I was the apple of her eye so I told her she was the rutabaga of my duodenum.

  6. #5
    Big Member Chase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post

    While we're on the subject something that really annoys me is the squeegees they typically have at filling stations are beat to hell, and leave all kinds of streaks on the windows. This makes me crazy. I may have to invest in my own squeegee and just carry it in my car.
    Google 'California Squeegee'

    And pick up one of the original ones, not the knock-offs.

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  8. #7
    Member CamB's Avatar
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    It is one aspect of car cleaning that I am yet to master either!
    Regards Cam

    Watches
    Omega Speedmaster 3510.50, Oris 1965 Diver, Tissot Visodate, Helson Blackbeard, Seiko PADI Turtle, Tag Heuer F1

  9. #8
    Licorice eater Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chase View Post
    Google 'California Squeegee'

    And pick up one of the original ones, not the knock-offs.
    Is this


    the doohickus of which you speak?
    She said I was the apple of her eye so I told her she was the rutabaga of my duodenum.

  10. #9
    Try using an old newspaper to finish off - you'll be surprised.

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  12. #10
    Isopropyl alcohol neat on a clean microfibre.
    This will degrease the screen.
    After that, use any glass cleaner you want but DON'T apply it to a hot screen or in the sun.

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