Best way to clean inside car windscreen UK

Driving a car with a dirty windscreen is a bit like walking around with grubby, smudged eyeglasses — you’re far more likely to miss something and get into an accident. Windscreen dirt can build up for all kinds of reasons… whether it’s splashes from your morning iced cappuccino, your toddler’s sticky fingertips, or just the general dust and residue that come in through the windows. But no matter how it got there, it’s a good idea to clean your windscreen regularly to make sure you’re always driving with the clearest view possible.

So what is the best way to clean inside a car windscreen? And what products will you need to do the job properly? Well, stick with us and we’ll have your windscreen sparkling in no time.

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How to clean inside car windscreen

If you’ve ever tried to clean inside a car windscreen, you might have noticed it’s a bit of an awkward angle. Not only that, but without the right cleaning materials, much of the grime often just gets smeared around. Sound familiar? Well, here’s our foolproof method for a gleaming windscreen with minimal effort and stress.

What you’ll need:

  • An empty bottle with a spray nozzle.
  • Microfiber cloths — if you can get the “lint-free” ones, you’ll avoid those pesky specks of dust that stick to your windscreen as you clean.
  • Glass cleaner. Quick note: Avoid anything ammonia-based as this can damage your car’s interior.
  • Rubbing alcohol, although shops sometimes label this as surgical spirit, isopropyl alcohol, or ethyl alcohol, so just ask at your local automotive or hardware store if you’re unsure.
  • White vinegar — not the kind you put on your chips.

Once you’ve got all these bits, you might be wondering how to clean a car windscreen using them. Well, for the best results, you’ll want to bring out your inner mad scientist at this point and get mixing. Effective solutions include 50% alcohol, 50% water, and a capful of white vinegar (easy on that capful or your car really will smell like a fish and chip shop). Or 70% water, 15% window cleaner, and 15% alcohol. For greasy, smudged-up windscreens, alcohol’s your best friend. But vinegar is especially great for dissolving sea salt if you often take long drives by the coast with the windows down. Whichever solution you choose, just tip them into your spray bottle, give it a shake, and you’ll be ready to get cleaning.

What comes next:

  • Hop into your passenger seat and start with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. You’ll want to buff in small circles, collecting any surface residue as you go — don’t forget those corners!
  • Using a new cloth, spray some of your cleaner onto the window and work from the outside into the middle using those same buffing motions. If your cloth starts to get mucky, just swap it out for a new one.
  • For the final step you’ll need another (you guessed it!) fresh cloth. This time, spray your cleaner onto the cloth itself and wipe up and down across the glass until it’s gleaming and streak-free.

And that’s how to clean inside of a car windscreen! For bonus points, make sure you wash the outside of your windscreen first so you can see which smudges are on the inside when you get to that bit. It’s also important to use fresh cloths — as a rule, nothing that touches the outside of your car should touch the inside. You don’t want to end up with more muck and dirt on your windscreen than you started with!

Quick note: If this sounds like a bit too much effort and you’re in a hurry, you might be interested in paying for a valet to help out instead. Why not check out our article on: ‘How much does car detailing cost’.

How to remove small scratches from car windscreen

So let’s say you set about cleaning your windscreen and come across a scratch — what then? Well first things first, you’ll need to work out whether it’s a scratch or a crack. A scratch should be smooth, while a crack in the glass will feel rough to the touch. If it’s a crack, you may not be able to drive your car and you may need a windscreen replacement. If it’s a scratch, then you’re in luck! Here are some tips on how to remove scratches from a car windscreen:

  • Purchase a glass repair kit online or at your local automotive supplies store. These cost around £20 and can work on surface scratches that are relatively deep, but not cracks that could compromise the windscreen. They work by layering a chemical compound over the scratch which seals and bonds it together.
  • Clear, acrylic nail polish can be a quick, easy fix for the smallest of scratches. Just brush a small amount over the scratch and it will harden, preventing the scratch from deepening. You can also buy acrylic scratch removers that do the same thing.
  • Toothpaste can sometimes be used to buff and polish surface scratches. Just get a small amount of the non-gel kind and apply it to the windscreen. Buff it in using a microfiber cloth and then wipe away. It works by levelling the glass around the scratch (though you can also buy glass scrub compounds that do this with a bit more oomph).

If you’re not feeling confident about repairing a scratch yourself, or if you’re worried it might be something deeper, you might want to seek professional help. Professionals have buffing tools to repair scratches, plus, they’ll be able to advise you on whether your scratch is just a scratch or something more.

A few final tips…

To keep your car windscreen clean in the long term, it’s a good idea to let fresh air circulate through your car, and where possible, park in shaded, cool spots. That’s because of something called “off-gassing” where the plastic and vinyl components in your car’s interior break down in the heat and form an oily residue on your windscreen. Keeping the air fresh and cool will help keep your windscreen clean!

For more tips on car maintenance, check out: ‘How long does a full car service take’.

New car owner? Read up on: ‘How early can you MOT your car’.