Streak Free Window Cleaning | Car Detailing Tips

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As we are out detailing customer vehicles all throughout San Diego we get two questions all the time.

  1. How long have you been detailing cars?
  2. How do you get the windows so clean without streaks?

The first question is nice… I always wonder if the customer enjoys getting to know more and more about our business/services, or if they just want to make sure they don’t have a rookie working on their car. Which i can understand.

The second question is definitely more related to past struggles of their own window cleaning experiences. Although there are some great products out there, what works best for us is a mixture of premium Micro Fiber Towels and good old H20. We find that 99% of windows have a film on the interior that causes all of the issues when you are driving home after work, make a turn and get blasted by the low angle of the afternoon sun. Some of this film is just accumulated over time, but other times it from someone improperly cleaning the window.

When Cleaning your windows, you should always do it in the shade. We don’t have that luxury all the time when performing a mobile detail because sometimes the vehicles location is hundreds of miles away from any shade (or at least it feels that way some times), but if you can it drastically reduces the dry time of the window which allows you to properly buff out any left over product.

Here is our window cleaning process:

  • First, make sure to have removed the majority of dirt, dust, etc..
  • Take 1 Micro Fiber Towel and get it nice and wet (fold by 4… take the towel and fold it in half and then fold it in half again
  • Rub the wet Micro Fiber on the window to remove any left over smudges, streaks, etc…
  • Quickly switch to a dry Micro Fiber (also folded by 4) and dry the window with long strokes. Start on the perimeter of the window and work your way in. I like to flip the towel to the dry side and give it one last buff.
  • If you are working on a larger piece of glass like a windshield, take your time. Especially when cleaning the interior of a windshield, I like to do one half at a time. This makes it so i control the drying process. If i were to do the whole thing at once, the window will dry before i am able to wipe it down removing all the streaks.

A few thing to remember… If you insist on using a window cleaning product, MAKE SURE IT DOES NOT CONTAIN AMMONIA. Ammonia can damage window tint film and the only way to fix it is to pull it off and re-tint. As annoying it is to have to pay for new tint, trying to get the old tint off is even worse! You can buy specialty window Micro Fiber Towels that have a very low nap, not required, but they are nice to have. A nice waffle weave MF towel also helps achieve a streak free finish. Always remember to care for you MF Towels. Use a very gentle detergent and NEVER use a fabric softener as that will actually ruin the towel.

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