How to Clean a Car Window Without Streaks

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How to Clean a Car Window Without Streaks

Cleaning windows on cars and trucks is an important part of the detailing process. Crystal clear windows complement a shiny body and improve visibility for the driver. Yet, many car owners struggle to achieve a streak-free shine on their car windows, so they give up and pay someone else to complete the job. Fortunately, with the right tools and knowledge of proper cleaning techniques, these owners have everything they need to clean their car windows without leaving unwanted streaks.


Gather the Right Tools for the Job

Streak-free windows start with the right set of tools for the job. Individuals cleaning windows must find a quality cleaner and set of towels designed to reduce streak formation.


When choosing a cleaner for the job, consumers must carefully read the ingredient list. Some cleaners marketed as auto window cleaners contain ingredients like alcohol, ammonia, and detergents that actually leave streaks on the windows. These ingredients also dry out or damage window tint, which leads to costly repairs. For best results, consumers must select ammonia-free cleaners designed for car windows that are safe to use on tinted windows.


Cleaning Solution



Commercial automobile window cleaning solution

Formulated to remove all dirt and grime

Chemicals may damage tint

Damage environment


Environmentally friendly

Kills bacteria and mold

Safe for tinted windows

Harsh smell

Does not remove oil-based residue


Safe for tinted windows

Does not remove oil-based residue or bug parts


Window cleaners designed for home use are too harsh for car and truck windows. These cleaners typically contain chemicals that damage tint and leave streaks and residue behind.


The best window cleaners in the world are useless when used with poorly constructed towels. Auto detailers recommend surgical towels for the task. These highly absorbent, lint-free towels effectively remove the cleaner without leaving streaks. Another popular choice is microfiber towels, which gently scrub the windows during the cleaning process.

For hard-to-reach places like windshield corners, many people opt for specialty glass cleaning tools designed to clean these areas. Individuals need to properly care for the towels they use for cleaning car windows and reserve them for this purpose. Towels used for cleaning tires or applying wax do not work for this job because they leave behind dirt and grime.

Terry Cloth

Newspaper, paper towels, terry cloth towels, and rags do not effectively clean windows. Paper towels and terry cloth leave lint behind, and old rags typically contain remnants of detergents and chemicals from previous uses. Although many people use newspaper to clean windows, it typically does not work well, and leaves messy ink on hands.


Find a Good Spot for the Job

Cleaning car windows in the sun is challenging because the heat makes the cleaner evaporate quickly and increases the chance it leaves residue behind. Individuals need to find a place out of direct sunlight, like a garage or the shade of a tree, and avoid cleaning windows during the hottest time of day.


Learn the Technique

Most individuals choose one of two approaches to cleaning car windows. Either they clean both sides of each window before moving on to the next, or they clean the exterior sides of all the windows before completing the interior sides. Either approach works, so this is a matter of personal preference.

The first step is to apply the glass cleaner directly to the glass. This gives the cleaner time to start cutting through the grime on the windows. Then owners must use one towel to spread the cleaner. Using an up-and-down motion, they need to work from the outside edges toward the middle. Before the cleaner has time to completely dry, owners must use a clean towel to dry the windows and buff them to a shine.

Tips for Cleaning Windows

Some people discover they need more than one cleaner to completely remove spots, film, and bug parts from their windows. In most cases, these individuals just need to use plain water for the second cleaning. This removes traces of detergent and other residue left behind by the first cleaner.

The windshield is the most important window in the car since the driver must look through it to see the road ahead. As such, many owners spend more time cleaning this window and do everything possible to ensure it is as clean as possible.


How to Buy Car Window Cleaning Supplies on eBay

Cleaning your car or truck's windows is easy when you have the right supplies, and you can find them from reliable sellers on eBay. Simply type a general term like "auto glass cleaner" or "microfiber towel" in the search box and review the results. As you review the listings, read the sellers' descriptions carefully and ask the sellers for more information or photos so you can determine if the products meet your needs. Some sellers also offer cleaning supplies in lots or bundles that help you get more for your money.


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