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A friend once said: "Glass cleaning is an art", which puts it all into perspective. Clean glass is important if only because dirt and other problems are more obvious on window glass.

There are any number of glass cleaners available, most of which contain ammonia, that do a good job of cleaning glass. Home made recipes are popular and effective however. A simple one consists of 1/3 white vinegar and 2/3 water, with some people adding a teaspoon of car wash detergent. A more complicated concoction is:
  • 1/2 cup sudsy ammonia
  • 1 pint 70% isopropyl alcohol
  • 1 tablespoon dish washing detergent
  • 1 gallon water

Others insist plain water is best, and some go to the trouble to use distilled water or collected rain water.

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A thorough glass cleaning is actually a three part process. First, wash the glass with soap and water along with the rest of the car. Then use your chosen cleaner to clean both the inside and outside of the glass. Cleaning the inside is particularly important for newer cars, as interior plastics release gaseous materials (popularly known as "that new car smell") that leave a film.

Microfiber towels can work wonders when it comes to glass cleaning techniques. Click here for more information on microfiber towels.

The last step should be a dry pass, again on both the inside and out. Use a clean cotton cloth or paper towel without any cleaner. If you use paper towels, stay away from any that have a design printed on them. While doing the dry clean step, inspect the glass carefully from various angles for residue and other imperfections. Done properly, you should be able to eliminate all streaking.


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Glass cleaning should never be attempted in direct sunlight or if the glass surface is warm. Use plenty of towels so that you will have a fresh one for each portion of the glass.

Some detailers use old newspaper to dry clean automotive glass, which has a polishing effect.

Rain X Here's a product that we've used and have learned to like. Rain X can be thought of as a wax specifically designed for your windshield. If you live in areas where it rains a lot or there is a rainy season, this is the stuff to get. Water will bead up just like the wax on your car's finish. Depending on the amount of rain and your speed, you might not need your windshield wipers at all. When you do turn them on, Rain X will help your wipers to do a better job. Your glass will be easier to clean. There are down sides however. It does wear off, so if you want to constantly enjoy the benefits, you'll find yourself reapplying it often, depending on your driving habits. It also takes some effort to apply; be sure to follow the directions and be prepared to cough up some elbow grease when you treat your glass.

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