How to Clean the Inside of Your Windshield, Even at its Greasiest

How to Clean the Inside of Your Windshield, Even at its Greasiest
Photo: Denis Torkhov, Shutterstock

It’s no secret that the outside of your vehicle’s windshield can get very dirty, very quickly. Having windshield wipers and fluid in place for on-the-go cleaning definitely helps, but sometimes, the smudges that are making it hard to see are coming from…. inside the vehicle.

The inside of your windshield doesn’t necessarily seem like something that would get touched a lot, but between fingerprints from pointing out directions, hand prints from wiping fog away, and dog noses and tongue prints, it can get pretty greasy and gross. Then there’s the dust, hair, dead skin and saliva mist that comes with having humans inside a vehicle. And that’s not even taking into consideration situations where someone smokes inside their car.

So how do you clean the inside of your windshield to make sure your drive is as safe as possible? Here’s what to know, courtesy of Tony Markovich at The Drive.

What you need

Start by gathering the supplies you need, both for safety and to do the job. These include:

  • Safety glasses
  • Nitrile gloves
  • New microfibre towels (avoid paper towels)
  • Microfibre extension hand tool
  • Spray bottle
  • Dish soap (but not too much, because it will take forever to rinse off)
  • Alcohol Solution (made of alcohol, white vinegar and water)
  • Auto-specific glass cleaner (no ammonia)
  • Towel

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What to do

Start by parking the car somewhere on a flat surface in the shade, and placing a regular towel over the dashboard (this is to collect any debris and drips). Now, take one of the (dry) microfibre towels and lightly wipe the windshield to remove as much dust as possible before getting into the wet cleaning.

From here, there are two routes you could take: one for a regular, routine cleaning, and the other to deep-clean and de-grease your windshield. Here are both options, courtesy of Markovich at The Drive:

Routine cleaning

  1. Spray your ammonia-free auto-specific window cleaner directly onto the microfibre 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 microfibre 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.

Get rid of that grease

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
  • Spray your cleaning solution directly onto the microfibre towel or window cleaning tool.
  • Starting on one side and working your way to the other, wipe the glass vertically until halfway through the glass.
  • Using broad wide strokes, wipe the same side of the windshield horizontally.
  • With a dry microfibre towel, wipe that side of the window clean and dry in long even swipes.
  • Repeat steps 1-4 on the other side.

Ideally, you’ll get to the point where you’ll only have to do the quick version — but that means cleaning the inside of your windshield on a more regular basis. Editors at The Drive suggest doing it every time you clean/detail the rest of your car.

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