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Is it really necessary to clean car windows from the inside without streaks? After all, it’s mainly the external dirt that catches the eye on windshields and not only looks unsightly, but also robs the view. But when you see the streaks and streaks on the inside of the windshield at night in the backlight, you realize: Car windshields have to shine on the inside, too. We explain to you step by step which tools you need for cleaning and how you can regain your vision even with greasy dirt.

Why do I have to clean the inside of my car window?

The outer windows of your car are constantly exposed to the influence of wind and weather. It’s no wonder, then, that over time a murky, stubborn film of dirt forms from streaks of rain, leaves, bird droppings, and snow, obstructing your view of the road ahead. Dirty car windows pose dangers and risks, and the same goes for the car’s interior.

Even if the inner car windows are not exposed to the weather conditions unprotected, numerous contaminations occur there. They are formed, among other things, by air humidity, heating and breathing air, body temperature, dust, or unclean cleaning work that spreads the dirt even further.

At the latest when driving at night or against the light, these spots, streaks, and stripes bother you, stretching across the glass like a spider’s web, limiting visibility, creating glare, and endangering road safety.

Cleaning the car windows from the inside without streaks is therefore just as important as cleaning the outside and should not be put off for long.

After all, the more dirt builds up, the more time-consuming it is to remove it.

What can I use to clean car windows from the inside?

You don’t need many tools to clean your car windows without streaks.

In any case, your list of cleaning utensils should consist of the following items:

  • A bucket of water.
  • Two or three microfiber cloths for wet cleaning.
  • One or two microfiber cloths for drying and polishing.
  • Newspaper, blankets, or cloth towels to cover the fixtures and upholstery.
  • A glass cleaner or a suitable car window cleaner.

Other possible tools to clean the windshield:

  • Cleaning dough

This is often used in car and paint cleaning. It gently removes stubborn dirt and can be used even without special expertise. Its mode of operation is similar to that of a polishing machine, but it is only used after thorough pre-washing and cleaning on the still damp surface or in combination with a lubricant. You can use the cleaning clay to clean your car windows gently and without streaks.

  • Dirt eraser

These are also helpful car and window cleaners that are used inside in conjunction with water or detergent. Dirt erasers are open-pored sponges made of melamine resin and absorb the smallest dirt particles during cleaning thanks to their resin particles.

Cleaning car windows from the inside without streaks: step by step

When you have all the tools ready, first open the doors of the car and carry out the cleaning in a shady place if possible. Otherwise, the cleaning fluid dries too quickly in direct sunlight and can lead to streaks. After all, you want to clean your car window without adding new streaks.

Step 1: Cover the dashboard and upholstery

It would be annoying if you want to clean your car windows properly and end up discovering new stains on the dashboards or seat upholstery. Especially if you work with cleaning agents that damage leather or plastic upholstery. So cover your dashboards and seats as thoroughly as possible with newspaper, dry blankets, or cloths. This will also ensure that you can concentrate fully on the windows.

Step 2: Dusting

There can also be almost invisible grains of sand and dust on the inside pane, which leave tiny scratches and micro-cracks in the glass when you clean it thoroughly. To prevent this, a rough pre-cleaning is necessary. To do this, start with a dry microfiber cloth and wipe the entire surface of the glass with it. You don’t have to be very thorough here, since only the superficial dust should be removed.

clean windshield

Step 3: Damp rough cleaning

In the next step, take a damp, but not too wet cloth. It should definitely not drip to avoid unnecessary watermarks but should be just damp enough to pick up coarse dirt. Wipe with the cloth from left to right if possible.

Damp pre-treatment is particularly recommended for smoker’s cars. The nicotine is deposited on the window and can only be removed by damp pre-washing. To pre-treat it, you can also dampen newspaper with glass cleaner, press it against the heavily soiled areas, and let it work for a few minutes.

Then, either let the window dry with the window open or gently rub it with a dry microfiber cloth.

Step 4: Wipe the window with a microfiber cloth

Now it’s time to clean the inside of the car windows without leaving streaks. To do this, you will need one or two microfiber cloths and glass cleaner in the form of a spray or foam. Spray the glass cleaner onto the inside of the windshield or onto the microfiber cloth and carefully wipe the entire surface of the windshield. Again, the wiping direction should be from left to right or circular if possible.

Be sure to change the side of the cloth if it has already picked up a lot of dirt. Replace the cloth with a fresh one during cleaning if the window is more heavily soiled. This will prevent dirt particles from spreading even further over the glass.

Instead of using a microfiber cloth, you can also fall back on a tried and tested household trick and use a kitchen crepe. Simply spray glass cleaner onto the paper, crumple it into a ball and wipe the car window thoroughly with it.

Step 5: Drying and polishing

After the wet cleaning, it’s time to dry off. You can use a dry microfiber cloth for this. Rub the cloth over the glass until no residue remains.

If you really want to make the glass sparkle, a tried-and-true household tip can also help. Take a piece of newspaper, crumple it into a ball and polish the glass with it. This takes a little effort but produces convincing results. Wipe until there are no streaks or streaks on the glass. You can usually tell you’re nearing the end of the cleaning process when the glass starts to squeak as you polish it.

Extra tip: Cleaning dough and dirt erasers

Another good option for removing stubborn dirt deposits, such as those that form on windows in smoker’s cars, are the cleaning kneads and dirt erasers already mentioned.

With the cleaning clay car, windows can be cleaned very thoroughly from the inside. To do this, you need to moisten the window with either water or glass cleaner after pre-treatment. Form the clay dough into a flat disk and move it over the glass without exerting much pressure. The pane should be wet enough for the dough to move without sticking. The cleaning clay is used during the damp wash and before polishing and ensures dirt-free surfaces.

Dirt erasers are open-pored sponges made of melamine resin and also pick up stubborn dirt. The dirt eraser should also be used during the damp wash and before polishing. Moisten the eraser sponge first. The moisture causes the fine resin structure in the sponge to break down, allowing the resin particles to pick up dirt. Rub the eraser over the glass, but if possible only over the dirt areas in question. As with a real eraser, the sponge wears out visibly during cleaning and should therefore only be used selectively.

Cleaning car windows without streaks

What helps with greasy car windows?

A layer of grease usually forms on the inside of car windows due to incorrect cleaning or handprints. To get the windshield free of grease, you can add a dash of methylated spirits or benzine to water, dampen a microfiber cloth with it, and then clean the car windows without streaks. You can also support a thorough, degreasing cleaning with cleaning clay or dirt erasers.

How can I clean the windshield on the road?

Particularly when you’re on the road in the fall and winter, the windshield can mist up from the inside after you get in and out of the car. Cold air cannot absorb as much moisture as warm air. This causes the cloudy condensation film on the windshield and reduces visibility. Quickly clearing your view with a cloth or your hand can lead to even worse visibility.

But how can you clean the inside of your windshield on the road without having to go to great lengths? Keep a cleaning sponge especially for car windows in the glove compartment. Window cleaning sponges consist of a conventional sponge side and a window leather side.

This is how you proceed:

  • Step 1: Wipe away moisture

First, wipe the fogged window with the sponge side to absorb the moisture.

  • Step 2: Polish with chamois leather

For optimal visibility, polish the window with chamois leather.


Alternatively, you can keep an old newspaper in your car during the cold season. Rub the crumpled paper over the fogged window, and you can clean your car window from the inside without streaks and in the shortest possible time. If you have nothing else to hand, it also helps to turn up the heating and open the windows. This lowers the humidity, balances the temperature, and results in clear windows.

And here’s another tip: If you want to combat misted-up windows in fall and winter, it’s worth using automatic climate control.

How To Really Clean Your Inside Windshield - Video

David Muench (Carnes Mechanical)

David Muench (Carnes Mechanical)

Hey, I’m David. I’ve worked in a cars store for 6 years. I write reviews and guides, helping people to choose the most suitable technicals and best product for them. I’m happy to finally share my knowledge of the industry here, on CarnesMechanical.

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