Car Doctor Q&A: A Not-Dumb Question About Streaky Windshields

Posted by

Carl Sagan said “There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question.”

John Paul’s correspondent this week has a cry to understand just why his windshield looks like it was smeared with peanut butter.

Q. This is probably the most non-technical question you have ever received and I hope you don’t think it is stupid, but here goes. My question is how do I clean my car’s windshield so it looks clean and is streak free?

My second question is how do I get my hand down into the bottom of the windshield near the top of the dashboard.

A. The first thing you need to do is thoroughly clean the inside of the windshield. The windshield tends to get a film on it from all of the outgassing of the plastics inside the car. The other cause of a filmy windshield is over use of vinyl treatments.

Clean the windshield first with a microfiber cloth with some alcohol on it.

To reach the bottom of the windshield wrap the microfiber cloth around your hand and use the back of your hand. Once the windshield is clean of greasy film then use a good window cleaner.

My unscientific study of good products (my wife approved) is Invisible Glass by Stoner Products and Sprayway. (Ed. Note: Invisible Glass also makes a Windshield Cleaning Tool that can make the reach to the bottom of the glass a little easier.)

Use the glass cleaner with low lint paper towels and finish off with a clean microfiber cloth. Do this on the inside and outside of the windows and you will be surprised how much better you will be able to see in both bright sunlight and at night. Dirty windows will cause glare in both bright sunlight and at night. By the way, no such thing as a stupid question!

(Ed. Note: We just reviewed Jay Leno’s Garage’s Glass Cleaner and Diamond Weave Windsheild Cleaning Cloths. They worked remarkably well).