Ranking the 10 Best Car Glass Cleaners 2018
The Best Car Glass Cleaners Currently On Sale
Updated August 15, 2018
No one likes a dirty car, especially one with streaked, greasy windows. In fact, it doesn’t matter if your car is absolutely spotless – if you neglect your automotive glass, your ride doesn’t shine at its full potential.
Why Use Car Glass Cleaner?
The main question surrounding car glass is whether or not it can be cleaned with regular household cleaners. The answer is “Yes”, however, you may not be providing the best possible clean you can get if you are not using a specially formulated car glass cleaner.
There are a number of high-quality all-purpose glass cleaners that will work moderately well on automotive glass, but if your goal is to achieve a showroom clean on your car glass, then you are going to want to purchase a car glass cleaner specially formulated to tackle dirty automotive glass.
Specially Formulated for Automotive Grime – Automotive stains and grime are not the same as common household stains.
The dirt, grease, grime, and dust that plague our vehicles are the result of harsh chemicals and substances that are used in road construction and maintenance, as well as all of the soot and grime created by the friction of millions of rubber tires on the road.
Your standard soap and water solution does not have the chemical cleaning power of automotive glass cleaners and tends to smear and spread automotive grime rather than remove it.
Auto glass cleaners are specially formulated with powerful cleaning agents and chemicals that eat through and dissolve stubborn road grime so that it can be easily wiped away.
Will Not Haze – When any substance is allowed to dry or adhere to the surface of car glass it is almost guaranteed to leave a foggy haze if removed with anything other than a specially formulated automotive glass cleaner.
The reason for the leftover haze is due to mineral deposits that are left on a surface after a substance has been allowed to dry on it.
Automotive glass, though it appears smooth, is actually riddled with microscopic pits and fissures that inadvertently collect the mineral deposits.
Car glass cleaners are specially designed to remove these mineral deposits from the surface of automotive glass without leaving any deposits themselves.
Pro Tip: Keep your car cleaner longer by preventing any substance from drying on your vehicle.
Will Not Streak – Many household glass cleaners are formulated to leave a waxy, oil-like substance on the surface of the glass to make it appear shinier after cleaning. Besides being counterintuitive, the waxy, oily substance acts as a grime magnet when applied to automotive glass.
Auto glass cleaners are designed to produce a showroom shine without leaving any residue on the surface of the glass that can cling to road grime and dirt.
Types and History of Automotive Glass
Automotive glass is nothing like a household or industrial glass because automotive glass has a history as sharp as its edge.
At the dawn of the automotive industry, a windshield was considered a luxury that would actually increase the overall price of the vehicle.
If a car included a windshield, it typically consisted of two panes of glass joined in the middle via several hinges that permitted the driver to fold the uppermost pane when dirty.
The windshield as it is today wasn’t incorporated into most vehicles until the early 20th century. However, even then the windscreen consisted of a single pane of glass that was, unsurprisingly, extremely prone to shattering.
Anyone who has experienced a fender bender, let alone a severe car crash, can attest to how violent the experience is. In the early twentieth century, before the advent of automotive safety measures, car accidents were even more violent.
It was commonplace for single pane windshields to shatter in even minor accidents and devastate the drivers and passengers inside the car, as well as pedestrians in the surrounding area with sharp broken glass. It was usually a very messy a volatile event, even at low speeds.
Shatter-resistant glass was invented in 1905 by French Chemist Edouard Benedictus but wasn’t incorporated in automotive use until the 1920’s. Since then there have been many advances in automotive safety technology, including improvements to the strength, weight and stress performance.
Tempered Glass – Tempered automotive glass is typically single-ply and manufactured using the process of repeated heating and cooling which enables the glass to be incredibly thin yet surprisingly durable.
Tempered glass is ideal for automotive purposes because, rather than shattering, it reduces into millions of blunted, pebble-like glass shards that lack any sharp edges.
Laminated Glass – Laminated glass consists of two panes of glass heat sealed together with a layer of clear polyvinyl butyral (PVP) which prevents the glass panes from flying apart when shattered in a car accident.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Glass – OEM glass is glass that is certified to be the original glass product that was used in the manufacture of a specific vehicle.
OEM glass is important to car collectors who want to be certain that they are replacing their original automotive glass with another original pane of glass.
Dealer Glass – Dealer glass refers to car glass purchased exclusively from the car dealership or approved by the auto manufacturer for use in a specific vehicle.
Aftermarket Glass – The aftermarket automotive glass industry is enormous, and aftermarket glass exists for nearly every make and model on the road.
Aftermarket glass is typically manufactured by aftermarket companies who contract directly with car manufacturers.
Aftermarket glass is made to the same specifications as OEM glass; however, it isn’t considered to be “original equipment equivalent.”
How To Clean Car Glass
To get the most out of your car glass and achieve a showroom clean for your car, you first need to know how to clean your car glass.
Collect Your Tools – Round up everything you may need to clean your automotive glass. That includes:
- A Bucket
- Microfiber Towels
- Automotive Soap
- A Sponge
- A Squeegee
- Car Glass Cleaner
Prep the Window – The next step is to prep the window so it can be cleaned. Remove excess dirt, dust and any debris that can easily be removed with a rinse from a hose or a splash of water from the bucket.
Clean the Window With Soap – Combine the automotive soap and water in your bucket and wash the window with the sponge as you would any other window. This will remove any dirt and dust missed by the hose.
Rinse away the soap once the window has been initially cleaned.
Squeegee Away the Water – Remember, it’s never a good idea to let anything dry on your car. Use the squeegee to remove any excess moisture from the window.
Apply Car Glass Cleaner- The exact application process may differ depending on the automotive glass cleaner you choose. Some may instruct you to spray the cleaner directly on the glass while others may call for you to apply it to the microfiber rag.
Regardless of the exact way the car glass cleaner is applied, it is recommended that you use an up-and-down or back-and-forth motion instead of a circular application, as this ensures full window coverage and reduces the chance of leaving a streak.
The Top Ten Best Car Glass Cleaners
There are a lot of demands placed on your car glass. It needs to keep you safe, but to do that you need to keep it clean.
The 10 car glass cleaners presented here are considered the absolute best on the market because the only thing they leave on your windows is a spotless, residue-free shine.
1. Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Window Glass Cleaner
Meguiar’s is one of the most recognizable names in car care, and it’s because of products like Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner.
Cleaning your car glass with Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner delivers a spotless, streakless showroom shine and windows so clean you might actually forget they’re there.
Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Window Glass Cleaner is one powerful car window cleaner. Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner is specially formulated to keep automotive glass cleaner for longer, thus reducing the time and effort needed to keep your car showroom ready.
Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner is easy to use; simply spray and wipe away to leave your auto glass crystal-clear and residue-free.
A feature that car collectors are sure to love and one that makes Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner stand out from the other car glass cleaners on the market is its dust repellent technology, which prevents dust from clinging to the glass surface.
Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner also includes a unique lubricant that reduces friction between the glass surface and your rag, making it even easier to ensure that zero residues is left behind.
Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner is formulated with no ammonia and is safe for use on tinted windows.
2. Chemical Guys Signature Series Car Window Cleaner
The Chemical Guys have done it again. Besides having a cool name and logo, the Chemical Guys really know their stuff when it comes to automotive care.
The Chemical Guys Signature Series Car Window Cleaner is the ideal car glass and auto window cleaner for professional detailers and regular car owners alike.
Use Chemical Guys Signature Series Glass Cleaner to erase fingerprints, smudges, streaks, spots, and stains from all of your auto glass. Chemical Guys Signature Series Glass Cleaner contains no noxious chemicals or ammonia and delivers nothing but a streakless, spotless windshield that provides as much visibility as possible.
Chemical Guys Signature Series Glass Cleaner is specially formulated to dissolve grime, grease, dirt, and filth to increase the visibility of your windows and the clarity of your side mirrors.
Chemical Guys Signature Series Glass Cleaner is applied in a few sprays directly to your car glass or your microfiber towel. Then it’s simply wiped away, and takes with it all the grime that had been obscuring your vision.
3. 3M Car Care Glass Cleaner
It seems as though every day the engineers at 3M develop a new product for our cars as clean as their trademark tape is strong. 3M Car Care Glass Cleaner is a powerful car window cleaner that is specially formulated to dissolve dirt, smudges, and bug splatter to reveal crystal clear automotive glass.
3M Car Care Glass Cleaner contains cleaning agents chemically engineered to soften sticky automotive grime and residue so it can be effortlessly wiped away.
Using 3M Car Care Glass Cleaner is exceptionally easy. Its No-drip foaming action clings to vertical surfaces, providing a no-mess application and streak-free cleaning action. 3M Automotive Glass Cleaner is safe for use on all car glass including tinted windows.
4. DRIVEN Extreme Duty Glass Cleaner
DRIVEN Extreme Duty Glass Cleaner isn’t your typical glass cleaner. DRIVEN Extreme Duty Glass Cleaner is the auto glass cleaner you break out for the auto auction.
DRIVEN Extreme Duty Glass Cleaner is an aggressive car window cleaner that attacks grease, grime and even etched-in hard water build up. It does this by combining acid and powerful abrasives into a cleaning gel that dissolves and scrubs away stubborn grease and grime.
DRIVEN Extreme Duty Glass Cleaner also features a full spectrum of industrial cleaning agents that enable it to power through even the most weathered automotive glass. DRIVEN Extreme Duty Glass Cleaner qualifies for the list of 10 best car glass cleaners for its ability to spotlessly clean even the most stubborn, weathered, or antiquated auto glass.
5. Hope’s “Perfect Glass” Glass Cleaner
If you have ever been frustrated by the unsightly streaks that accompany most car window cleaners, then you are going to be impressed by Hope’s “Perfect Glass” Glass Cleaner.
Hope’s “Perfect Glass” Glass Cleaner includes a specially designed zero-residue formula that dissolves road grime and polishes the window surface into a crystal-clear, high visibility showroom shine. Hope’s “Perfect Glass” Glass Cleaner is ammonia free and safe for use on tinted windows.
Hope’s “Perfect Glass” Glass Cleaner is innovative where other auto window cleaners are not. The engineers at Hope’s understand that most people are going to use their product with paper towels, so they have designed Hope’s “Perfect Glass” Glass Cleaner to work exceptionally well with paper towels.
On top of all these amazing features, Hope’s “Perfect Glass” Glass Cleaner was number 1 rated by a leading consumer magazine in 2008, 2011 and 2015.
6. Stoner Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner & Rain Repellent
All of the automotive glass cleaners featured on this list of 10 best car glass cleaners perform exceptionally well when compared to the rest of the car glass cleaners on the market.
The feature that sets the Stoner Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner & Rain Repellent apart, even from the high-performance auto window cleaners on this list, is the addition of a specially-designed rain repellent.
A rain repellent seals the microscopic fissures and pits that riddle the surface of your automotive glass. The sealing process fills the low areas of your auto glass eliminating the places where water can cling to your window. Rain repellent not only prevents water from drying on your automotive glass and leaving unsightly mineral deposits, but it also enables your windshield wipers to work more effectively.
The superior cleaning offered by Stoner Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner leaves nothing but a stainless finish and a surface that is ideally suited to repel everything from rain to bird droppings.
7. SprayWay Glass Windshield Cleaner
SprayWay Glass Windshield Cleaner is the only car glass cleaner on our list to include 4 specially-designed varieties that enable you to achieve the best possible clean, no matter the automotive glass surface.
SprayWay Glass Windshield Cleaner is easy to use and works quicker than most automotive glass cleaners on the market. SprayWay Glass Windshield Cleaner is chemically engineered to clean and polish all automotive glass surfaces without dripping, running or leaving unsightly streaks.
The cleaning agents in SprayWay Glass Windshield Cleaner are designed to foam on contact with the automotive glass and dissolve dirt, grease, grit, and grime. SprayWay Glass Windshield Cleaner is ammonia-free and dries fast which makes it ideal for quick touch-ups and removing fingerprints and smudges.
8. Stoner Invisible Glass Trio
Stoner makes the list of 10 best car glass cleaners a second time with its Invisible Glass Trio. The non-streaking cleaner leaves glass nearly invisible. The Stoner Invisible Glass Trio’s powerful car window cleaner formula is applied via an aerosol spray or handy wipes that are specially designed to clean and protect the glass.
The Stoner Invisible Glass Trio scores higher with professional detailers than any other automotive glass cleaner on our list, which isn’t a surprise. Stoner Invisible Glass Trio dissolves dirt, dust, fingerprints, haze, oil, grease, and sap easily from any automotive glass surface.
The Stoner Invisible Glass Wipes are saturated with powerful invisible glass cleaner and are easily dispensed from a flip-top canister that keeps the wipes moist until you need them.
The Stoner Invisible Glass Aerosol releases a grime-cutting foam auto glass cleaner that removes road grime and greasy films from your car’s mirrors, windows, and windshields.
Stoner Invisible Glass Clean & Repel features a built-in polymer glass protectant that fills in microscopic grooves and valleys and enables water to bead and roll off.
9. Griot’s Garage Ultra-Premium Foaming Glass Cleaner
Griot’s Garage developed the original invisible glass cleaner, so they know a thing or two when it comes car window cleaner, and keeping your car glass showroom ready. Griot’s Garage Ultra-Premium Foaming Glass Cleaner is the latest in a line of powerful auto glass cleaners.
Griot’s Garage Ultra-Premium Foaming Glass Cleaner is a well-rounded auto glass cleaner that works exceptionally well on bug residue, grease, and automotive grime.
“Bug-jerky” and “smokers fog” can leave your windows covered in a disgusting film that dangerously reduces window visibility. The powerful degreasing foam stays on the window longer allowing it to cut through even the most stubborn grime.
Griot’s Garage Ultra-Premium Foaming Glass Cleaners foaming action even produces a fresh citrus scent so you can enjoy the smell of oranges while you watch the powerful cleaning agents dissolve every last inch of road grime from even the most weathered windows.
10. Safelite Glass Cleaner
When your windshield breaks you call the experts at Safelite to replace it. Safelite is the trusted name in auto glass, so it comes as no surprise that their specially formulated car window cleaner ranks among the 10 best car glass cleaners.
Safelite Glass Cleaner is easy-to-use and features a fast-acting foam the breaks up tricky grease and grime stains and clings to vertical surfaces for the most effective clean possible.
Safelite Glass Cleaner is specially formulated with denatured alcohol instead of ammonia and cleans as fast as it dries. You won’t even have to rinse the window afterward.
The automotive glass industry has come a long way since the days of optional windshields and dangerous single pane windows. The advancements that have been made to auto glass keep us safe during a collision and provide maximum visibility.
However, the safest automotive glass in the world won’t save you if you can’t see where you are driving. This is why it is incredibly important to keep your auto glass as shiny and crystal-clear as it was the day it rolled onto the dealership floor. To make that happen you need to purchase a comprehensive and powerful car window cleaner.
The 10 car glass cleaners featured here are considered the 10 best automotive glass cleaners on the market today. All work exceptionally well on grease, grime and even antiquated, weathered car windows, which makes it hard to determine which one is actually the best.
Your car won’t care whether you use number 1 or number 8 on our list, so long as you use one on its windows and mirrors as often as possible.