Glass & Windscreen Care
Fogging of the inside of the glass during cold periods or when raining can also show how truly dirty your interior glass is. Using your wipers in the rain can also show you when your windscreen is in need of stain removal through polishing. This is not just to keep your car looking good. Unlike other steps, paying close attention to your glass and windscreen is a safety issue. Let’s take a look.
Everyone hates smears and streaks on glass and windscreens. It can drive us all mad. Just when you think the glass is perfectly clean, in certain light you see smearing.
We found smearing occurs when cleaning glass due to two areas;
- The Cloth
- Has reached its limit for absorption of oils
- Is a shaved pile rather than a looped pile
- If it is used without a cleaner to lift, separate and suspend the oils for the cloth to remove
- The Glass Cleaner
- Too much IPA (isopropanol alcohol) content causing it to evaporate too quickly before oils can be removed
Breaking down the main issues led us to take a good look at the cloths we were using. Yes, I said Cloths… as in more than one.
The first issue we wanted to address was the absorption of oils. We need a cloth that had the following characteristics;
- Highly absorbent
- A looped pile that was not shaved (as softer paint and bodywork microfibre cloths) so that it doesn't lint
- A pile that allowed for slip over the surface so it would not grab.
This led us to the waffle weave. Only problem was our drying towel was 60x90cm and too heavy/thick a pile. Then we found it. A lighter waffle weave, that is 40x60cm from a quality Korean manufacturer, using a heat split fiber of the highest quality.
The Waffle Weave Microfibre Cloth
Our Waffle Weave glass cloth became the perfect cloth for us to use, totally striping all the oils from the glass with the combination of the low strong weave, using a moderate amount of glass cleaner. Absorbent enough to hold all the glass cleaner and oils from the glass and able to complete the entire vehicle.
Removing oils from the surface, Check!
This cleaned the glass well however didn't leave it 100% streak free all the time. So we now we need a cloth that has an even stronger weave and an extremely low pile to make sure the glass is left streak free.
The Ultra Glass Cloth Microfibre Cloth
We knew the best streak free glass cloth is the Aquatouch Ultra Glass Cloth, with a super tight and strong tricot weave it clears up smears easily. This cloth is now perfect to use after the Waffle Weave Glass Cloth with a light spray of Glass Cleaner as lubrication.
Why not just use two of the Aquatouch Ultra Glass Cloths?
We tried that, worked well however we found that extra absorbency from the waffle weave allowed it to clean better for longer. Using the Ultra Glass Cloths after the oils have been removed, allows them to not get filled with oils as quickly as to remove any fine smears from the glass.
Can I use any Glass Cleaner?
The short answer is no. Please stay away from cleaning any automotive glass with ammonia. Ammonia is a great glass cleaner when used at home and many retail glass cleaners for use around the home contain it however not suited to cars as it will;
- Attack the material in the tinting film attached to interior tinted windows
- Release harmful gases and when used in an enclosed space, such as inside a vehicle, can be dangerous
- Comprises of chemical component that can dry rubber, plastic & seals causing them to corrode.
A good quality glass cleaner can be found in Stoner Invisible Glass, Poorboy's Glass Cleaner or CarPro Eraser and move up to the amazing Swissvax Crystal and Polishangel Agent for a streak free finish. Scholl Concepts ICE is a gel formulation, that will not run down interior windows onto adjoining trim.
For the exterior you can also use a glass cleaner the add protection. Here look for Stoner Invisible Glass with Rain Repellent and move up to Polishangel Diver. For a more durable protection product for your glass look at CarPro Flyby30 or Polishangel RAIN 9H
How do I clean my windows without streaks?
Using a two cloth method for cleaning windows is how best to attack your glass for a streak free finish.
Take your Waffle Weave Glass Cloth folded into an approximate 20x20cm size and liberally apply your chosen glass cleaner. Using the Waffle Weave towel, wipe the window or half the windscreen, with light pressure in a controlled manner to remove all the oils, fogging and stains until dry. Continually refold your cloth to a fresh surface for every new area you clean.
Now with your green Glass & Windows cloth, folded into 20x20cm, lightly mist the surface of cloth. This will provide the lubrication for the cloth as well as the added cleaner to remove any remaining oils or streaking from the previous step. Again, wipe with light pressure in a controlled manner to reveal your perfectly clean glass. As with the waffle weave glass cloth, continually refold your cloth to a fresh surface for every new area you clean.
How do I remove water spots from my windscreen and glass?
Another headache for glass is staining and the dreaded water spot. Staining can be in the form of build-up from pollutants or waters pots which can be either a surface deposit or an etched in mark.
Most staining is actually surface deposits are minerals left over from when water has evaporated. This is relatively easy to remove with a dedicated water spot remover such as CarPro Spotless. It can sometimes be removed by using a detailing clay bar and lubricant or a good quality glass compound/polish such as CarPro Ceriglass, Zaino Z12 Clear View Glass Polish, Detailer's Pro Series High Performance Glass Restorer or Polishangel Cristal.
Etched in watermarks are different story. Here the minerals and pollutants have eaten into the glass can caused a crevice. The same concept as removing scratches from paintwork is required, levelling the glass surface to lower than the water spot. An abrasive glass compound is required such as CarPro Ceriglass, a glass polishing Velcro disk CarPro Glass Polishing Pad and lots of patience.
Regular cleaning, polishing and protecting of glass will also aid in increasing your visibility especially a night or when driving in the rain.