Home > Buying Guides >  

10 Best Car Glass Cleaners [Buying Guide]

The Top Auto Glass Cleaning Formulas For Streak-Free Perfection

Best Overall Choice

Meguiar's Perfect Clarity Window Glass Cleaner

Check Latest Price

Best Premium Choice

Chemical Guys Signature Series Car Glass Cleaner

Check Latest Price

Best Budget Choice

Mothers re|Vision Glass Cleaner

Check Latest Price

car glass cleaner

No one likes a dirty car, especially one with streaked, greasy windows. In fact, it doesn’t matter if the rest of your car is absolutely spotless—if you neglect your glass, your ride won’t shine to its full potential. Plus having dirty windows is a safety hazard as it can affect your visibility while driving. There’s an easy solution — a high-quality car glass cleaner will help you keep your windows streak-free and crystal clear. 

10 Best Car Glass Cleaners

Clean car windows are an often overlooked essential. You might not even realize how dirty they are until you break out the glass cleaner and go to work. These 10 top car glass cleaners will give your windows a spotless, residue-free shine.

Best Overall Choice

1. Meguiar's Perfect Clarity Window Glass Cleaner

Check Latest Price

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 which delivers a spotless, streakless showroom shine and windows so clean, you might actually forget they’re there.

This car window cleaner is specially formulated to keep your glass cleaner for longer, thus reducing the time and effort needed to keep your car showroom ready. It is also easy to use; simply spray and wipe away to leave your auto glass crystal-clear and residue-free.

One additional feature that car collectors are sure to love and that makes this product stand out from the other glass cleaners on the market is its dust repellent technology, which prevents dust from clinging to the glass surface.

It also includes a unique lubricant that reduces friction between the glass surface and your rag, making it even easier to ensure that no residue is left behind. And since it is ammonia-free, it is safe for use on tinted windows.

Best Premium Choice

2. Chemical Guys Signature Series Car Glass Cleaner

Check Latest Price

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. It is specially formulated to dissolve grime, grease, and dirt to increase your visibility out your windows and the clarity of your side mirrors.

Use it to erase fingerprints, smudges, streaks, spots, and stains from all of your auto glass. It contains no noxious chemicals or ammonia and delivers nothing but a streakless, spotless windshield. You can also use it on plastic, gauges, and navigation screens.

Apply this cleaner by spraying it directly onto your car glass or onto a microfiber towel. Then simply wipe it away, and it removes all the grime that had been obscuring your vision.

Best Budget Choice

3. Mothers re|Vision Glass Cleaner

Check Latest Price

This budget-friendly option from Mothers is specially formulated to remove tough grime, dirt, oily film, and fingerprints from virtually any surface. In addition to your windows, you can use this formula to safely clean mirrors, plastic, chrome, gauges, GPS screens, touchscreens, and other displays. 

The cleaner is safe to use on tinted windows as it is ammonia-free. Simply spray on and wipe off with a clean microfiber towel for a streak-free finish. This versatile glass cleaner is a great option if you want one do-it-all product to clean multiple surfaces in your car. 

4. Griot's Garage Ultra-Premium Foaming Glass Cleaner

Check Latest Price

Griot’s Garage developed the original invisible glass cleaner, so they know a thing or two when it comes to car window cleaner. 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 visibility. This powerful degreasing foam stays on the window longer allowing it to cut through even the most stubborn grime.

It even comes in 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.

5. 3M Car Care Glass Cleaner

Check Latest Price

3M Car Care Glass Cleaner is a powerful car window cleaner that is specially formulated to dissolve dirt, smudges, and bug splatter for crystal clear automotive glass.

It contains cleaning agents that have been chemically engineered to soften sticky grime and residue so it can be effortlessly wiped away.

Using this car glass cleaner is exceptionally easy, too. Its no-drip foaming action clings to vertical surfaces, providing a no-mess application and streak-free cleaning action. And it is safe for use on all car glass including tinted windows.

6. Stoner Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner & Rain Repellent

Check Latest Price

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.

This 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 and leaving unsightly mineral deposits but also enables your windshield wipers to work more effectively.

The superior cleaning offered by this product leaves nothing but a streakless finish and a surface that is ideally suited to repel everything from rain to bird droppings.

7. Hope’s “Perfect Glass” Glass Cleaner

Check Latest Price

If you have ever been frustrated by unsightly streaks on your glass, then you are going to be impressed by Hope’s “Perfect Glass” Glass Cleaner. It includes a specially designed zero-residue formula that dissolves road grime and polishes the window surface into a crystal-clear, high visibility showroom shine.

Additionally, the engineers at Hope’s understood that many people are going to use their product with paper towels, so they have designed Hope’s “Perfect Glass” to work exceptionally well with paper towels — though we still recommend using a good microfiber cloth. This is an ammonia-free solution and safe for use on tinted windows.

8. Stoner Invisible Glass Trio

Check Latest Price

If you’re looking for a complete car glass cleaning kit, check out the Stoner Invisible Glass Trio. The non-streaking cleaner will leave your glass nearly invisible. This powerful car window cleaner formula comes as both an aerosol spray and handy wipes that are specially designed to clean and protect the glass.

The Stoner Invisible Glass Trio is favored by professional detailers which isn’t a surprise. It 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 that removes road grime and greasy films from your car’s mirrors, windows, and windshield.

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. SprayWay Glass Windshield Cleaner

Check Latest Price

SprayWay Glass Windshield Cleaner is easy to use and works quicker than many other automotive glass cleaners on the market. In addition, it is chemically engineered to clean and polish all automotive glass surfaces without dripping, running, or leaving unsightly streaks.

Its cleaning agents are designed to foam on contact with the glass and dissolve dirt, grease, grit, and grime. Finally, it is ammonia-free and dries fast which makes it ideal for quick touch-ups as well as removing fingerprints and smudges.

10. DRIVEN Extreme Duty Glass Cleaner

Check Latest Price

DRIVEN Extreme Duty Glass Cleaner isn’t your typical glass cleaner. This aggressive car window cleaner attacks grease, grime, and even etched-in hard water build-up. It accomplishes this by combining acid and powerful abrasives into a cleaning gel that dissolves and scrubs away stubborn grease and grime.

It also features a full spectrum of industrial cleaning agents that enable it to power through even the most weathered automotive glass. Though you won’t necessarily want to use this to shine up your daily driver, it will come in handy if you need to clean stubborn, weathered, or antiquated auto glass.

How To Choose A Car Glass Cleaner

Though shopping for the best car glass cleaners might seem pretty straightforward, there are a few things to consider before buying a product:

Cleaner Type: Aerosol Spray, Spray Bottles, & More

The most common types of car glass cleaners come in aerosol spray cans or spray bottles. Aerosol spray cans typically spray foam, which makes it easier to see how much product you have applied to an area. Spray bottles, on the other hand, feature a squeeze trigger that does not splatter the liquid all over the cleaning area and may be more comfortable to use.

Some users also find that streaking and hazing is an issue when using aerosol cans. This can be due to misapplication as oftentimes streaking comes as a result of missed contaminants, in which case you’ll have to repeat the cleaning process and focus more on the stubborn spots.

Liquid cleaners can often be more cost-effective since they come in gallon containers, which makes them a better cleaning solution for a professional or somebody who often needs to clean more than one car.

For a quick one-step clean of your windshield or for quick touch-ups, pre-moistened car glass cleaner wipes can come handy. Just make sure you follow the instructions correctly. For persistent debris or grime, make sure that you are using clean towels, and you can also try a clay bar treatment that will give your glass a deep clean.

Ease of use

A cleaner that goes on easy and is fast to apply can make the whole process easier. Generally, foaming cand spray-on cleaners are convenient to apply and wipe off. You may want to avoid products that drip or run, as they could create a mess, especially when used on vertical surfaces.

Safe For Tinted Windows

Cleaners that contain ammonia can damage tint, fading or even changing the color. They make the film more susceptible to breaking down. However, even if a product is free of ammonia, you will want to make sure that the rest of the ingredients are also safe to use on tinted glass and will not cause any staining.

Non-Toxic, Non-Irritating Ingredients

Ammonia in high concentrations can cause eye irritation and upper respiratory problems. People who suffer from asthma or other respiratory issues should exercise caution when inhaling products containing potentially irritating ingredients. Always check the full list of ingredients before purchasing.

Also, some of these car cleaning products contain artificial fragrances that some people may be sensitive to. If you have broken or sensitive skin, always use rubber gloves while cleaning your car to avoid chemicals coming in contact with your skin.

Easy to Store

To avoid spillage, keep spray bottles standing right side up. In the case of spray cans, they should be kept in a cool and dry place away from extreme heat conditions. Although there is low risk of leaking, they should also not be stored upside down. In this sense, glass wipers are the easiest and safest to store.

How To Clean Car Glass

To get the most out of your car glass cleaner and achieve a showroom clean for your car, you will want to know how to effectively clean your car glass.

1. Collect your tools: 

2. Prep the window: 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.

3. Clean the window with soap and water: Combine the automotive soap and water in your bucket and wash the window with the sponge. This will remove any dirt and dust missed by the hose. Rinse away the soap once the window has been cleaned.

4. 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.

5. 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 towel. 

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 streaks.

Stay Safe With the Best Car Glass Cleaner

The safest automotive glass in the world won’t save you if you can’t see where you are driving. With one of the best glass cleaners, you can keep your auto glass as shiny and crystal-clear as it was the day it rolled onto the dealership floor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use a 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 shine, then you are going to want to purchase a car glass cleaner for the following reasons:  

Specially Formulated for Automotive Grime: Automotive stains and grime are not the same as common household stains. Auto glass cleaners are specially formulated with powerful cleaning agents and chemicals that eat through and dissolve stubborn road grime. 

Will Not Haze: Automotive glass, though it appears smooth, is actually riddled with microscopic pits and fissures that inadvertently collect mineral deposits giving the glass a hazy appearance. Car glass cleaners are specially designed to remove these mineral deposits from the surface of automotive glass without leaving any deposits themselves.

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 shiny after cleaning. This waxy, oily substance acts as a grime magnet when applied to automotive glass.  Auto glass cleaners, on the other hand,  won’t leave any residue on the surface of the glass.

What is the best cleaner for tinted car windows?

Let’s start from what you shouldn’t be using on your tinted windows and that is ammonia-based cleaner. Ammonia damages the tint and makes black plastics dry and dull.

Instead, choose a product that is labeled safe for use on tinted windows. Usually, these products will be labeled as ammonia-free.

If you purchased a cleaner concentrate, in order to prevent streaks and calcified spots on the tint, we recommend using distilled water to mix your glass cleaner instead of tap water especially if your home has hard water.

Also, avoid using abrasive products such as paper towels or newspapers. Use only soft fabrics to clean and dry the glass. This should help keep your tint in good condition.

Is glass cleaner safe for car paint?

Glass cleaner may not directly damage car paint, but it can strip off the wax from the finish of your paint. To avoid window cleaner coming into contact with car paint, spray the cleaner onto an absorbent cloth to apply it.

Glass cleaner can also cause plastic trim to dry up and wear out prematurely, so try to avoid getting excessive glass cleaner on your plastic trim.

Is Windex good for car windows and car paint?

Traditional household glass cleaners can contain harsh cleansing agents such as ethylene glycol, ammonia, and butane that can remove wax or any paint protection and strip the paint of your vehicle, causing it to yellow and cloud.

As a strong cleaner, Windex can damage the finish of your car and therefore we do not recommend using it to clean your windows. All-purpose Windex can also be too strong for your car windows and may leave a haze behind.

How do I deep clean my windshield?

First, rinse your windshield with water. Apply your favorite glass cleaner and wipe off any grime using a clean microfiber towel. Spray some water across the windshield and use a clay bar to wipe back and forth across the glass, feeling for any high spots. Then, wipe up the excess water and any of the dirt sitting on the surface.

Spray some glass cleaner on the windshield and clean the glass one more time. For our final step, we choose a carnauba-based butter wet wax that will produce a streak-free deep shine, providing a protective natural-looking coating against all sorts of road debris and even UV rays.

Apply a small amount of product to a clean soft towel and apply in small circular motions on the glass to spread the wax across the entire windshield.

Wait for it to dry and use a clean cloth to buff off all the wax on the surface. Clean your windshield off using circular motions and then up and down motions.

How can I make a DIY natural glass cleaner?

For DIY and green living enthusiasts or people who want to stay away from chemical-laden products, a homemade car glass cleaner is not just a healthier option but an effective and, in some cases, cheaper solution, too.

Our DIY recipe is as simple as it can be since you will only need two easy-to-find ingredients and a spray bottle.

The main ingredient is vinegar which is well known for its anti-microbial properties. Many people use it for home cleaning since it is a budget-friendly natural cleaning ingredient.

  • Mix 1 cup of white distilled vinegar with 1 cup of clean water in a spray bottle, and simply spray and clean.
  • For a very grimy glass, try prewashing the surface with some soapy water and then move on to the spray.
  • You can also do spot cleaning by dipping a cloth in vinegar or warming it up before use.
  • Wipe the glass using a clean microfiber towel or a soft cloth that is free of lint.

About Kristen Arendt

Kristen is a writer and editor based in Colorado. She came to motorsports by way of her husband's passion for track days, autocross, and fast cars and is now the proud co-driver of two E36 325s and an overland-in-the-making Lexus GX470. She is a volunteer driving instructor with the BMW CCA Rocky Mountain Chapter and enjoys any event that involves getting behind the wheel or navigating from the passenger's seat.

'); } });