We like to drive a clean car. Not only because a clean, well-groomed car looks much better, but also because it promotes safety. Especially when it comes to car window cleaning, as this ensures that you can see much better what exactly is going on around you. So what is the best way to clean the outside and inside of the car window? What do you do when the car window is frozen on the inside, and what do you do when your car windows are fogged up?
On this page, we take a closer look at car window cleaning, covering both the winter and summer months as well as explaining interior and exterior cleaning.
In what ways does the car window actually get dirty?
The outside of the car window
The outside of the car window can get dirty in numerous ways. You can think about sand being blown up, but also frost and snow can impair visibility. While driving, dirt also gets onto the car window, with the windscreen and rear window being the main victims. Fortunately, enough high-quality washer fluid works wonders, although you will never get the car windows completely clean this way.
The inside of the car window
The inside of car windows can also get dirty. This is often caused by greasy children's fingers, people grabbing the window when opening and closing the car door, and evaporation of moisture in the car that hits the windows as condensation. Dirty filters, such as the interior filter, can also cause dirt to get on the inside of car windows. Cars are not equipped with a system to clean the inside of the car windows, so there you will have to do more yourself.
Why is it so important to clean car windows the right way?
When car window cleaning is done with wrong tools, half-hearted approaches or not done at all, visibility only gets worse. A quick wipe over the inside of the car window will never ensure that the car window gets clean. Therefore, it is better to make some real attention here. If you clean a car window properly, you will not have to look at it again for a long time in normal circumstances.
Can I be fined for driving with dirty, frozen or fogged up windscreens?
You can be fined for driving with a frozen and/or fogged car window where the driver's vision is obstructed. Note: Is your left outside mirror also frozen or fogged up? Then you will get an additional fine on top of this. The interior mirror must also be clean together with the rear window or right exterior mirror. The combined fines can be up to €380. You can have an average windscreen scraper for less than a euro.
Car window cleaning in the summer months
Insects, sand and other dirt that drifts up because it is hot and dry outside, it causes the windscreen in particular to suffer. If you clean the windscreen regularly, it is easy to remove with a cloth or sponge with good detergent. Has it been a while since the windscreen was cleaned? Then you can use one of the following ways to get the insects off the windscreen:
- Make a suds with warm water and washing-up liquid. Soak a cloth in this soapy water and then place it where the insects are stuck on the windscreen. After half an hour, remove the cloth and you can easily use a sponge to remove the insects and dirt as they are now soaked loose.
- Purchase insect remover. Good sprays can also be used for the front bumper, which often has many more insects collected, including the blood splashes involved. Make sure you never use oil-based agents for car windows!
Cleaning car windows in the winter months
Defrosting the car window with hot water is a bad idea. Not only because the car window can crack due to the big temperature difference, but also because the hot water cools down and can freeze. Idling the car is a common method, which is also not recommended. A cold engine means a heater that barely gets hot. This method of defrosting is thus bad for the environment, your wallet (as a considerable amount of fuel is lost) and does not have the effect you want to achieve.
If you want to minimise the work involved in defrosting a car window, use window defroster or place an anti-ice blanket over the windscreen the night before. In all other cases, a good window scraper is the best solution to clean the car window during the winter months, preferably with a handle and grip so the ice does not get on your hand.
Want to clean the inside of the car window in sub-zero temperatures? Then use cleaning agents with alcohol and make sure the car is warm or in a garage. After all, you want to prevent the inside of the car window from freezing. Is the car window frozen on the inside? Again, you can use the window scraper or a cloth with a little washing-up liquid or window defroster. Want to prevent the inside from freezing? Then place a moisture trap in the car or an old sock filled with cat grit to absorb the moisture inside.
Fogged up car windows are best cleared with a clean squeegee. If you then turn on the heater at normal setting on the windscreen, this will ensure that the windscreen remains clear. Try - if possible - not to get into the car with wet or snowy clothes. The evaporation of moisture and snow will cause windows to fog up again.
Tip: Is frost predicted? Then turn up the windscreen wipers the night before so that they do not hit the car window. That way they won't freeze!
The difference between cleaning the inside and outside of the car window
The outside of car windows is considerably easier to reach than the inside of the car window. Especially when it comes to the rear window and windscreen, as chances are you will have to wriggle into awkward positions to fully clean the window. Therefore, set aside extra time especially for the inside of the car window. Are you using (more aggressive) cleaning agents? Then especially cover the interior of the car under the glass. Some cleaning agents (including methylated spirits and isopropanol) can damage the interior and cause permanent damage.
Some tips for cleaning the car window at a glance
- Do not clean the window in full sunlight. This can cause annoying streaks.
- Always dry the window after cleaning to avoid dry spots.
- Never use just any cleaning product and certainly not oil-based cleaners.
- Microfibre cloths are ideal for window cleaning, but do check beforehand that the cloth is completely clean. Dirt in the microfibre cloth can damage the window during cleaning.
- Regular car window cleaning is the best way to ensure that it only takes you a few minutes per cleaning.