Best Glass Cleaners: I Can See Clearly Now

Vivek Nayyar
by Vivek Nayyar

Top 7 Best Glass Cleaners

Washing the exterior and cleaning the interior of one’s car is a great way to spend an afternoon – at least in your author’s increasingly muddled mind. Making sure the windows are clear enough to mistake for open sky is also a delight. If they’re as clean as they should be, then there stands the chance you’ll try to retrieve your extra tasty crispy entree at the drive thru without first lowering the window. At which point you’ll have to clean it again.

We’ve scoured Amazon (pun intended) for some of the best ways to clean that glass in your car. After all, a spotless car with dirty windows is like wearing a fresh suit with muddy shoes.

Now go find your favorite cleaning cloth (you do have a favorite cleaning cloth, right?) and take a gander at these options for scrubbing your car’s windows.

Table of Contents

1. Editor’s Choice: PERSIK Pure-Sky Window Glass Cleaning Cloth

In this age of saving all the turtles and refusing to disturb Johnny Polar Bear, it’s become fashionable to use as few chemicals as possible, no matter the task. Your author is a lot more green and granola than he cares to admit, so it stands to reason he’d drink from this particular trough of organic thought as well.

Which is why I spent my own money on this product. This cloth cleans glass with only water, its special twin-layer microfiber construction somehow provides a streak free shine without detergents. From personal experience, it can be confidently asserted that this thing also works on chrome - real chrome, not plated plastic though it will shine that stuff as well - along with mirrors. It purports to work fine on infotainment screens as well but your author prefers to use a different cloth for that purpose.

Pros

  • No chemicals, saves on paper towels, it makes the turtles smile

Cons

  • Costly for a single cloth

2. Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner

This product is found in many big retailers, including several gross amounts at most Costco stores. It’s ubiquity means that most of us have used it at some point in our lives, assuming you’re all gearheads with a neat streak like me.

The company claims that this cleaner is safe to use on tinted windows but it would be a very good idea to test it in an inconspicuous area first if applying it to aftermarket tint. A pair of 22oz bottles should last an entire summer of detailing unless one practices an almost psychotic level of detailing on their car. There are no soaps or dyes in the formula, according to Invisible Glass, which is why it makes the claim of providing a streak-free finish on windows.

Pros

  • Popular, no streaks, has the word ‘stoner’ on the label

Cons

  • Kinda following the crowd with this choice

3. Griot's Garage Glass Cleaning Clay

If you’re keen on deploying a product that there’s a good chance no one else on the team will own, you could do worse than this glass cleaning clay from Griot’s. The seller says it removes mineral deposits dried on glass, as well as oily road residue. The former point means you’ll have to take care your significant other doesn’t spirit it away for use in the bathroom shower doors.

Working in a similar fashion to a clay bar, this clay is a good first step before the actual polishing of the glass itself. Road film, tar, water spots, and other day-to-day road dirt is removed but it is important to note that, like a clay bar, some sort of lubricant is needed. Griot’s, of course, recommends its very own Speed Shine. The bar itself is 100 grams.

Pros

  • Unique take on glass cleaning, the picture looks like a smurf is trapped in the bottle

Cons

  • Extra-cost lubricant is required (hold the jokes, please)

4. Chemical Guys Signature Series Glass Cleaner

The crew at Chemical Guys have a wide ranging catalog of products, so it should surprise no one they have an ammonia-free glass cleaner. Despite the company’s name, this cleaner is said to contain no chemicals at all and is preferred by people who clean cars for a living.

Lack of ammonia means this cleaner has no harsh smell, and the company says it’s safe for use on tinted glass. In a fit of specificity, Chemical Guys say they developed the cleaner for use on plastic surfaces and navigation screens. Their unique formula uses cleaners that are purported to “clean faster” while also repelling dirt and dust by reducing static cling. The latter claim can be easily tested, at least.

Pros

  • Great brand name, no harsh smells

Cons

  • Several worrying reviews

5. Invisible Glass Reach and Clean Tool

While not technically an outright cleaner, this reach and clean tool permits those of who not blessed with outrageously long arms the ability to reach that part of the window all the way back there without having to resort to acrobatics and stretching exercises.

The triangular head, a great shape for getting into corners, is on a pivot and is said to contour to the shape of whatever glass you’re trying to clean. There is an 18-inch reach to the handle, giving a great amount of extra reach. One could simply wet the microfiber bonnet for a quick clean but the seller recommends an actual glass cleaner for getting rid of anything more than light dust.

Pros

  • Best thing for extra reach since Inspector Gadget’s arms

Cons

  • Requires another cleaner to do the best job

6. Adam's New Glass Cleaner

We’re not sure from where the "new" part of this product name hails, other than to say it is a freshly formulated version of cleaner in the Adam’s Polishes line of car care gear. This green-tinted cleaner is specifically said to be safe on aftermarket tinted windows, so go ahead and use it on your Sunfire hooptie.

Using the too-great name of optical clarifiers, the seller asserts this product keeps glass clear while providing a “crisp” appearance that shine freaks all crave. In a typical bit of upselling, Adam’s says customers should spray and wipe the cleaner with their green glass towel to give one’s vehicle an invisible glass look.

Pros

  • Works great with a glass-specific towel

Cons

  • Small bottle

7. Wurth Glass Cleaner

As one of the only foamy glass cleaners on this list, the Wurth product stands alone in terms on the way it works and the container in which it is packaged. Said to eliminate haze on the inside of vehicle windows and zap through tree sap on the outside, this can is filled with a bunch of powerful stuff. Online reviews are consistently positive.

There is no ammonia in this cleaner, nor any ozone depleting chemicals (even though it’s more fashionable to worry about turtles than ozone right now). Wipe clean with a dry cotton or microfiber towel - no special cloths required.

Pros

  • Great customer feedback, 19oz can should last for ages

Cons

  • Other family members will rob it for household use

FAQs

What cleans glass the best?

Using a good-quality glass cleaner from a reputed brand is the best approach if you want to get a shiny window with absolutely no streaks. However, if you don’t have access to such a cleaning agent or don’t want to invest in any of them, you can try a homemade solution that includes rubbing alcohol, vinegar, cornstarch, and warm water as its ingredients, mixed in an appropriate ratio.

Regardless of the type of cleaner you choose, using a good quality squeegee and a chamois or microfiber cloth is essential to wipe the glass clean.

What do professionals use to clean windows?

Professionals use the correct tools from a trusted brand and glass cleaning agents or chemicals to clean the windows. A brief description of these elements is given below:

Tools

Squeegee + Chamois

The T-shaped wiper that the professionals use to rub and clean the glass to get rid of the liquid solution after the application is called a squeegee. The best way to use a squeegee is to press it against the glass and pull down or move it horizontally. As for chamois, it is a piece of cloth that is used to wipe the windows clean.

Cleaning Solutions and Chemicals

Even if you have quality tools, without an effective cleaning agent, they are useless. The glass cleaners that most professionals use include trisodium, etching salt, phosphate along with chemicals with anti-freezing, staining, and fogging characteristics. When these solutions and chemicals are applied for cleaning, the glass gets as clear and shiny as new.

On the other hand, if you are a DIY enthusiast and want to get sparkling clean windows without investing in any glass cleaner, you can prepare a cleaning solution at home using the following ingredients:

Dishwashing liquid – 1 tablespoon

Water – 2½ cups

Vinegar – 1/3 cup

After preparing the solution, you can use:

Funnel – to pour the fluid into

Spray bottle – so it’s easy to spray the solution on the glass and then use

Squeegee – to clean the glass before using

Chamois or Microfiber Cloth – to wipe the window to get a shiny look

What is the best way to clean glass without streaks?

The method that professionals use to clean glass is considered pretty appropriate for the job, and you can do the same to get a shiny window. All you need to do is, take care of the following few things:

Water Quality

Even though you can use tap water as many others do, the best approach is to use distilled water instead. Because purified water doesn’t include harsh minerals that are usually found in impure water, you can be sure that it won’t end up giving you streaks on the glass.

Have Limited Suds

Make sure not to use a large quantity of suds to prepare the cleaning solution as it may get tough on the glass and leave some streaks after you are done cleaning. Mixing distilled water with an appropriate amount of suds should do the job well.

Vinegar

Consider mixing some white vinegar with an equal amount of warm distilled water. Because vinegar is considered to be an all-rounder ingredient for everything including edible products, washing, etc., using it to prepare a cleaning solution gives you streak-free glasses.

Use Chamois or Microfiber Cloth

The key point is, you should avoid using paper towels and use a chamois or microfiber cloth instead to wipe out the leftovers to get a streak-free sparkling glass.

What is better than Windex?

Although a quick online search would lead you to several links with varied products each of which claiming themselves the best, a solution that has received a decent number of positive reviews on Amazon and is considered an overall good cleaner is:

Invisible Glass 92194 32-Ounce ( Buy here!)

This glass cleaner comes in a spray bottle and leaves no residue upon application. Because the solution contains no ammonia, it can be used on both tinted and non-tinted glasses without causing them any harm.

If you are looking for a cleaner that produces a large amount of foam, you can try:

Invisible Glass 91163 15-Ounce ( Buy here!)

This cleaning solution comes in a bottle with a spray-thru cap. Other than this, the glass cleaner possesses the same qualities as the previous one does.

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main photo credit: FotoDuets / ShutterStock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

Vivek Nayyar
Vivek Nayyar

More by Vivek Nayyar

Comments
Join the conversation
2 of 3 comments
  • Brn Brn on Mar 14, 2022

    The Invisible Glass cleaning wand does a great job of getting rid of that film between cleanings.

  • Drnoose Drnoose on Mar 15, 2022

    Don’t waste you money on any of this junk. A slightly damp house towel will clean your windows just fine. If it is not too soaked, just use the towel you just dried your car with.

  • 3SpeedAutomatic Once e-mail was adopted by my former employer, we were coached about malice software as early as the 90's. We called it "worms" back then.They were separating the computers that ran the power plants from the rest of the system in the early 00's. One plant supervisor loaded vacation pictures from a thumb drive on his work PC. His PC was immediately isolated and the supervisor in question was made an example of via a disciplinary notice. Word spread quickly!!Last I heard, they still had their own data center!! Cloud Computing, what's that?!?! 🚗🚗🚗
  • 3SpeedAutomatic At this time, GM had a "Me Too" attitude towards engine development:[list][*]the Euro luxury brands have diesels, so can we via an Olds V8[/*][*]variable value timing, welcome to the brave new world of Cadillac V8-6-4[/*][*]an aluminum block V8 engine via the HT4100, the go-go 80's[/*][*]double overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder, no sweat, just like the Asian brands via NorthStar. [/*][/list]When you mindset is iron block and cast iron heads, life if easy. However, each time, GM failed to understand the nuances; intricate differences; and technical difficulty in each new engine program. Each time, GM came away with egg on its face and its reputation in ruin.If you look today, the engines in most Cadillacs are the same as in many Chevrolets. 🚗🚗🚗
  • 3-On-The-Tree I don’t think Toyotas going down.
  • ToolGuy Random thoughts (bulleted list because it should work on this page):• Carlos Tavares is a very smart individual.• I get the sense that the western hemisphere portion of Stellantis was even more messed up than he originally believed (I have no data), which is why the plan (old plan, original plan) has taken longer than expected (longer than I expected).• All the OEMs who have taken a serious look at what is happening with EVs in China have had to take a step back and reassess (oversimplification: they were thinking mostly business-as-usual with some tweaks here and there, and now realize they have bigger issues, much bigger, really big).• You (dear TTAC reader) aren't ready to hear this yet, but the EV thing is a tsunami (the thing has already done the thing, just hasn't reached you yet). I hesitate to even tell you, but it is the truth.
  • ToolGuy ¶ I have kicked around doing an engine rebuild at some point (I never have on an automobile); right now my interest level in that is pretty low, say 2/5.¶ It could be interesting to do an engine swap at some point (also haven't done that), call that 2/5 as well.¶ Building a kit car would be interesting but a big commitment, let's say 1/5 realistically.¶ Frame-up restoration, very little interest, 1/5.¶ I have repainted a vehicle (down to bare metal) and that was interesting/engaging (didn't have the right facilities, but made it work, sort of lol).¶ Taking a vehicle which I like where the ICE has given out and converting it to EV sounds engaging and appealing. Would not do it anytime soon, maybe 3 to 5 years out. Current interest level 4/5.¶ Building my own car (from scratch) would have some significant hurdles. Unless I started my own car company, which might involve other hurdles. 😉
Next