Routine Windshield Cleaning Prevents Foggy Build-up
Want a simple way to reduce eye strain, glare from the road and extend the life of an expensive piece of equipment? Keep your windshield clean.
“You wouldn’t wear sun glasses to drive at night,” said Dr. Larry Beaver, vice president of technology for RSC Chemical, the company behind GUNK, Motor Medic and many others. “Yet, we drive with dirty windshields and mirrors.
“In strong sunlight or at night, dirt on a windshield is a distraction and in certain circumstances a real danger. Dirt can also hide chips and cracks that need to be repaired,” he said.
Outside, glass comes under constant assault from smog, road grime, salt and bird droppings. Inside, moisture and fumes combine with dust to create window haze.
“The best cleaners are more than just soap and water,” Beaver said. “They contain ingredients that lift dirt from the glass surface and prevent redeposition during wiping.”
Soap, water and ammonia-based window cleaners are not useful on freezing mornings, Beaver said. Look for cleaning products with antifreeze that prevents spray nozzles from seizing up in frosty weather.
“A fluid without antifreeze will freeze faster on the windshield if the vehicle is moving,” Beaver said. “Wind chill works the same for the windshield as it does for you. The faster the ‘wind’ the quicker the fluid freezes.”
Deicers come in especially handy during the winter, Beaver said. Keep a can and a squeegee in your trunk to melt layers of ice off your windshield all winter long.
“Keeping windshields, windows, and mirrors clean is not complicated–just use the right product,” he said.
Doell offered the following tips and suggestions to choose the right product for your windshield.
- Use an “Ammonia-free” blend. Moreover, ammonia damages after-market tints. If your tint is sandwiched between two layers of glass then a cleaner with ammonia will be fine. However, if your tint clings to the inside of the window then ammonia will degrade the adhesive.
- Keep a box of wipes in your vehicle. Use a lint-free cloth to remove filth while reducing streaks.
- Add a can of de-icer and a squeegee to your winter road kit, especially if you live in colder climates.
- Consider using windshield wiper fluid that contains antifreeze. Note: Such products are not legal in all areas because they contain environmental contaminants.