How to Clean Inside Car Windows - So They Stay Clean

Nothing is more frustrating than dirty streaks or oily smudges on the inside of your vehicle's windshield. Dirty windshields, windows, and mirrors are not only a safety hazard but can be downright annoying.

Keeping your car's windows clean both increases visibility and improves your driving experience. So it’s important to understand what makes a windshield dirty, what the best products to clean your cars windows are, and how you should go about cleaning your car's windshield from the inside out. Below, we will answer all of these questions and more.

Article Structure:

Section 1. - What Makes the Windshield Dirty

Section 2. - Best products to Clean Windshield

Section 3. - How to Clean the Inside of a Windshield

What Makes Your Windshield Dirty?

There’s many things that can muck up the inside of your vehicle's windshield. Learning what causes that aggravating buildup of dirt and debris is the first step toward finding a viable cleaning solution. Let's take a look at some of the worst offenders when it comes to streaky and smudgy car windshields on the inside of your car, truck, or SUV.


Smudging can be caused by skin to glass contact, objects touching the inside of a windshield, our hands, feet, and even just breathing. Ever have someone put their feet up on the dash as you drive? Touching the windshield and windows transfers oils from hands and feet directly to the interior glass while foggy breath moistens the glass allowing dust and dirt to adhere to it.

Environmental Factors

Seasonal types of pollen, dust and other small particles in the air can also be a big contributor. If you work in a rural area, chances are that tiny dirt particles will adhere to the inside of your vehicle's glass over time. This is especially true for work trucks or long distance drivers who often travel on dusty dirt or unpaved roads. Defroster and heating vents can aid in the adhesion of fine particles to a windshield.

Smog and Exhaust Fumes

Another surprising contributor is actually made by your vehicle and the vehicles around you. Smog and exhaust fumes can cause a filmy or oily buildup on the interior and exterior of your automobile's glass and surfaces. If you're driving on busy roads or freeways, these pollutants can get in through dirty air filters and open windows.

Smoking or Vaping

Another contributing factor comes from tobacco products. Cigarette smoke and even e-cigarette vapor can cause a filmy buildup on your windshield and windows. These products can have a variety of oils and particles that love to subtly build up on the glass of your vehicle over time.

The Wrong Cleaning Products

Finally, one of the most common causes of smudges and streaks comes from our attempts in cleaning the windshield. Using the wrong substances to clean your windows and windshield can actually make them up to 10 times more prone to streaking and smudges. Many products may look like they have done the job at first, but within a few hours, tell-tale streaking and a cloudy film will start to show.

For more information about what makes your vehicle's windows and windshields dirty or filmy, check out this link.

What Are The Best Windshield Cleaning Products?

Now that you know what’s making your windshield dirty, we can move toward solving the problem once and for all. Finding the right cleaning products is the next step you'll want to take toward cleaning the windshields and windows of your car. There's a pretty extensive range of window cleaning products out there; let's go over a few of the best options.

• Microfiber towel - A critical tool for removing dust and dirt without causing scratches.

• Degreasing agent - Will be used to break up oily smudges and greasy build-up.

• Windshield cleaners - Help prevent streaks and debris buildup after cleaning.

• Windshield sealant - Offers long-term protection to glass.

How Do You Properly Clean The Inside Of a Windshield?

Even if you have the right cleaning products on hand, you'll need to know how to use them. Following the proper steps can help get your windshield clean, and keep it that way. Here are the steps you should take, in order, to clean your automobile's glass from the inside out and leave it sparkling, crystal clear and completely clean.

Step 1. Prep and Remove Dirt

Think of this all as a sweep, mop, polish method. The same way that you'd clean any hard surface but with a few tweaks. Using a microfiber towel, wipe all dirt off of the glass surfaces in your car. This ensures you don't scratch the glass and that you'll get a better clean.

Step 2. Break-up Oily Film

Use a degreasing agent to get rid of any oils on the glass surfaces. There are lots of options here, but alcohol-based products, soap and water, or even magic erasers work well. Anything that breaks up oil deposits without damaging tint or glass will work fine.

Step 3. Use a Cleaner

Once you've washed and dried the windshield and window glass, you'll want to use a cleaner specially designed to leave windows clear and streak free.

Ammonia-based cleaners usually work well, but there are also quite a few specially tailored products out there that will leave your windshield clean, clear, and protected.

Step 4. Optional: Use a Sealant

Certain kinds of sealants are also available that can repel dirt, debris, and oil. These sealing products usually require slightly different steps in the cleaning process. They will be applied last and coat a windshield for better long-term protection.

If you'd like to see an in-depth tutorial on the interior window cleaning process, just watch this video:


So there you have it! Now you know how to clean your windshield right. Still have questions? Comment below!


• Identify the problem

• Obtain the proper cleaning products

• Clean your windshield correctly.

In no time you'll find that your windshield is crystal clear!