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Ways To Remove Smudges And Streaks On Your Windshield

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

The windshield allows you to have a clear view of the outside world. It is literally a window that enables you to see where you are going. Thus, it is essential that you know about ways to remove smudges and streaks from the windshield.




Windscreens can get dirty due to multiple things like mud, dry dust, bird dropping, stray leaves, insect splatter, and much more. In this article, we will discuss how you can keep the windshield and wipers clean. Take a look:

Things To Consider Before Cleaning The Windshield:

It is not only important that you keep the windshield of your car clean, but also to consider doing certain things that are beneficial for it. Here is a list of things you should consider before you begin cleaning the windscreen of your car:

  • Select The Correct Glass Cleaner

Many glass cleaners contain ammonia. This chemical can damage the protective layer of the glass. Select a glass cleaner that is free of ammonia. Also, select the one that does not leave any residue on the surface.

  • Select An Ideal Place For Cleaning

It is not a good idea to randomly park your car near a water source and start cleaning it in sunlight. It might not be beneficial for the glass as the liquid you will be using for cleaning will evaporate faster. Choose a place with enough shade to clean the car.

  • Get The Right Cloth

Consider using a good quality cloth to clean your car’s windshield. If you are using a microfiber cloth, ensure that it weighs at least 300 GSM as it will hold a large amount of water and is very smooth in texture.

Also, read: How To Get Rid of Mould in Your Car?

Easy Ways To Clean Smudges And Streaks On Your Car’s Windshield:

The windscreen is probably one of the most important parts of your car as it enables you to have a clear view while driving. It should be kept clean all the time if you wish to concentrate better on the road. 

List of things to clean the windshield:

  • Windshield cleaner

  • 2 Microfiber towels

  • Warm water

  • Clay bar

  • Regular car wax (optional)

Here is a step-by-step guide to clean the windshield of your car.

  • Step 1

Spray the windshield of a car with a glass cleaner. As mentioned earlier, avoid using any solution that contains harmful chemicals. Over a long period of time, this will cause discolouration of the glass or tint it yellow. Remember to spray only half of the glass with the cleaning solution that you chose. If you spray the whole area, it might evaporate till you finish with half of the glass. This may leave an unnecessary residue of the cleaner on the windscreen.

  • Step 2

Use random circular and straight motions to wipe the cleaner from the surface of the glass. This will help in scrubbing away any tough stains or dried substances like bird droppings, mud, or even food.

  • Step 3

Roll the cloth around your finger and go over the edges of the glass. Dirt and debris may accumulate between the glass and the rubber tubing. People often clean the larger area of the glass and forget about the sides. Cleaning these will help remove the dirt that later has a chance of flowing on the windshield if it rains or during car wash.

  • Step 4

Spray warm water on half of the windscreen and gently rub a piece of clay bar. This step will help clean the small particles that did not come off while using the windshield cleaner. Use random circular and straight motions to deep clean the glass with the clay bar. If you find that the clay bar is getting stuck or if it gets hard, then go over the same area until it glides smoothly.

Repeat Step 1 and 2.

  • Step 5

Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe the glass dry.

  • Step 6 (optional)

Use a car wax that you regularly use on the car and apply a thin layer on the glass with the help of a microfiber cloth. Wait a few minutes and begin buffing. This step will make your windscreen crystal clear and also repel rainwater.

Also, read: Car Driving and Maintenance Tips for The Hot Summer Weather

Ways To Clean And Replace Wiper Blades:

After the windshield is cleaned, the next important thing to keep it clean for longer is the wiper blades. All your efforts will go in vain if the wiper blades are not clean. They may leave heavy streaks on the windscreen that you just spent 30 minutes cleaning. 

  • Cleaning Wiper Blades: You will need a good quality cleaner, like WD-40, and a textured cloth, for example, an old sock, for cleaning the wiper blades. Open the wipers of your car and keep them in a vertical position away from the glass. Now saturate the cloth with a cleaning solution and go over the rubber of the wiper to remove the accumulated dirt and dust. Repeat this process until the cloth comes off clean. 

  • Replacing A Wiper Blade: You need to completely replace the wiper blade if you notice cracks, bumps in the rubber, or hear a screeching sound while the wipers are in motion. There are mainly three types of wiper blades – standard, flat, and hybrid blades. 

Depending upon the type of wiper blades of your car, you need to buy yourself the most perfect fit. Moreover, some cars have different sized blades for the driver and passenger sides. Consider these things while buying new wiper blades. There are mainly two types of attachments through which the blades are connected to the wiper arm. These two are the hook type and the pin type.

To remove the blades from the hook type wiper, you need to open the arm and locate the point of attachment. Hold the lock tab and rotate it to move the blade. Now firmly push the blade downward to free it from the arm hook. To install a new blade simply push the blade’s pin in the hook until you hear a click and then adjust the blade to straighten it. 

To remove the pin type wiper blade, locate the lock tab and pull it with your finger. A motion similar to removing batteries from a TV remote. Next, hold the pin and gently push the wiper blade sideways. To install a new one, position and secure the blade in the pin by slightly lifting the tab. Then lock the tab until you hear a click sound.

Streaking And Smudges Prevention:

The main reasons for smudges and streaks to form on your car’s windshield are not drying the glass completely after cleaning, and bad wipers. If you take extra care to eliminate these causes of streaking and smudging, half of the job is done. Use the methods mentioned above to clean the windshield and wipers as frequently as required. This will ensure there is no buildup of dirt or loose dust on the windscreen, enabling clear visibility and a clean glass.

What Makes Streaks And Smudges On Your Car Windscreen?

As mentioned earlier, accumulation of dust, wet dirt during the rainy season, bird droppings or feathers, insect splatter, etc. can cause streaks and smudge marks on the windshield. These can be easily removed with the help of a good quality cleaner, microfiber cloth, warm water, clay bar, and car wax.

Windshield Wiper Blade Replacement Vs. Windshield Repair:

One may need to assess the situation and damage caused to both the wiper blades as well as to the windshield of the car to decide the best course. Repairing or replacing the entire windshield may prove to be a costly affair as compared to replacing the wiper blades. However, if the windshield is damaged to a point where it needs a professional to intervene, then replacing the wiper blade will be of no use. Thus, always take an opinion from a trusted mechanic when in doubt about the car.

Frequently Asked Questions:

The windshield of my car is damaged in a minor accident and I need to get it replaced. How long will this process take?


An expert person can manage to replace the windshield within an hour’s time. However, the adhesive will take around 24 hours to fully cure. This process will help the new glass stick to the frame of a car firmly.

Is it okay to wash a car in the first 24 hours after replacing the windshield?


No, the adhesive on the windshield needs to remain completely dry for at least 24 hours after installation. If you wash the car, water will probably seep in through tiny gaps or cracks between the frame of the car and the adhesive. This can be dangerous for you in the future.

I can hear a whooshing sound while driving. What should I do?


This sound can be caused by a gap in any of the glasses of the car. Check all the windows and windshield for gaps, especially if you have recently replaced them. Visit a mechanic as soon as possible and get a professional opinion.

How frequently should the wiper blades be replaced?


Depending upon the climate, you may have to change the wiper blades twice a year. Weather plays an important role in how long a wiper blade remains useful. Heat and rain can ruin the rubber on these blades, making them less efficient to clean the windshield of the car.

Is it okay to rub an old wiper blade with sandpaper?


In a situation where you have no or limited access to new wipers, you can slightly increase the life of the current ones by lightly rubbing fine-grit sandpaper to reveal the soft part. Note, this is not an ideal or long term solution. Replace the wiper blades as soon as possible to avoid permanent scratches on the windshield.

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