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Let’s call glass what it truly is: a dirt collector. Inherent in its genius as a protective see-through viewing medium is its insistence on showing every speck of dust, dirt, skin shed, saliva spray, hair, and other earthly scum. To establish a clear view, both the inside and outside of the windshield need to be cleaned properly.

Regularly dusting the glass is only part of the process of keeping the inside of your windshield clean. Dirt and dust stick to grime, so it’s also important to regularly degrease the window, as well. This can be accomplished in a few ways.

Everybody has personal preferences and levels of cleanliness, but these steps should even satisfy the sticklers. We discuss what cleaners to use, what tools you’ll need, and tips for keeping your car in good shape. Follow The Drive’s unsoiled editor’s easy steps to a clear road ahead.

The Basics of Cleaning Your Interior Windshield

Estimated Time Needed: Less than a half-hour

Skill Level: Beginner

Vehicle System: interior

Safety

Cleaning solutions can be harmful to your skin, open wounds, or your eyes, so as a safety precaution, it’s best to use protective equipment: 

Everything You’ll Need To Clean Inside A Windshield

Prepare for the job with the right kit.

Tool List

  • New microfiber towels
  • Microfiber extension hand tool
  • Spray bottle
  • Dish soap
  • Alcohol Solution
    • Alcohol
    • White Vinegar
    • Water
  • Auto-specific glass cleaner
  • Towel

Organizing your tools and gear so everything is easily reachable will save precious minutes waiting for your handy-dandy child or four-legged helper to bring you the sandpaper or blowtorch. (You won’t need a blowtorch for this job. Please don’t have your kid hand you a blowtorch—Ed.)

You’ll also need a flat workspace, such as a garage floor, driveway, or street parking that’s also well-ventilated. Check your local laws to make sure you’re not violating any codes when using the street because we aren’t getting your ride out of the clink.

Here’s How To Clean Inside A Windshield

Unless your dog loves to squat on the dashboard and lick your windshield, it’s unlikely that it’s going to get so dirty to the point of needing deep cleaning on a regular basis. To clean off that lightly dirty window, follow these steps: 

Prepare

  1. Park in the shade. It’s always best to clean on cool surfaces.
  2. Lay a regular towel down on the dashboard to collect drips and falling dust.
  3. Lightly wipe the windshield with a dry microfiber to agitate dirt and collect surface dust.

Quick Detail Cleaning

  1. Spray your ammonia-free auto-specific window cleaner directly onto the microfiber towel or window cleaning tool.
  2. Starting on one side and working your way to the other, wipe the glass vertically until halfway through the glass.
  3. Using broad wide strokes, wipe the same side of the windshield horizontally.
  4. With a dry microfiber towel, wipe that side of the window clean and dry in long even swipes.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 on the other side.
  6. Now go take care of the outside of your car.

Deep Cleaning and Degreasing

A glass cleaner should do the job most of the time, but some people prefer to use their own homemade cleaning solutions to ensure complete grease removal. Use one of these DIY cleaning solutions in a spray bottle: 

  • One cup water, one cup rubbing alcohol, 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • One part vinegar, one part water
  • Four parts water, one part vinegar, a few drops of dish soap
  1. Spray your cleaning solution directly onto the microfiber towel or window cleaning tool.
  2. Starting on one side and working your way to the other, wipe the glass vertically until halfway through the glass.
  3. Using broad wide strokes, wipe the same side of the windshield horizontally.
  4. With a dry microfiber towel, wipe that side of the window clean and dry in long even swipes.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 on the other side.

Sometimes You Need a Certified Mechanic

As much as The Drive loves to put the “you” in do-it-yourself, we know that not everyone has the proper tools, a safe workspace, the spare time, or the confidence to tackle major automotive repairs. Sometimes, you just need quality repair work performed by professionals you can trust like our partners, the certified mechanics at Goodyear Tire & Service.

Pro Tips For Cleaning the Inside of a Windshield

The Drive’s editors cleaned our cars thousands of times. Here’s what we’ve learned through our experience:

  1. Use the towel on your dashboard. It’s a simple step that prevents adding time-sucking messes to your job.
  2. No ammonia in the cleaners! It could damage your car’s interior.
  3. Don’t use paper towels when cleaning your windows, microfiber towels always.
  4. Don’t use too much dish soap in anything, it’ll take forever to get all the suds off.

FAQs About Cleaning the Inside of Your Windshield

You have the questions, The Drive has the answers!

Q. So, How Often Do You Need To Clean the Inside a Windshield?

A. As often as needed to keep your windshield clear. Or, if you’re looking for a general rule, every time you clean your car interior.

Q. Do I Need a Windshield Tool To Clean the Inside of My Windshield?

A. It makes it a lot easier, trust us. They’re super cheap. Or, pro tip: Use part of your Swiffer and attach the microfiber towel to that.

Q. How Do You Clean the Inside of Your Windshield Without Streaks?

A. Sometimes a window cleaner is not enough to remove the gunk. Use the tools and suggestions above, and you shouldn’t have streaks to worry about.

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