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The Best Car Glass Cleaner 2020

auto glass cleaner

Using a dedicated auto glass cleaner to clean your car windows is far more effective than a standard car wash soap. The advanced formulas are able to leave a streak-free finish and remove dirt from the glass far more easily when compared to a soap. They are also available as a spray, aerosol or liquid gel and are designed specifically for automotive use.

The best car window cleaner is the Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity, which is a professional grade formula that provides superior cleaning power and leaves a streak free finish.

Auto Glass Cleaner Comparison

Auto Glass CleanerTypeAmmonia Free
Meguiar's G8224SprayYes
Adam's Polishes Glass CleanerSprayYes
Chemical GuysSprayYes
Driven Extreme DutyGelNo
3M 08888AerosolNo
Invisible Glass 92194SprayYes

When using a car window cleaner, it’s advised that you use a formula that contains no ammonia or alcohol. This ensures that it’s safe to use on all car windows as some strong solutions can damage tinted windows and perish rubbers or sealants.

Below is a list of the best car window cleaners that are easy to apply to the glass and provide a clean, streak free finish

The Best Car Window Cleaner


1. Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Auto Glass Cleaner

Meguiar's Perfect Clarity Auto Glass Cleaner
Meguiar’s are a highly reputable detailing brand that are well-known for their high quality products. Their Perfect Clarity car window cleaner is a popular option and is a professional strength formula that’s designed to provide a streak free finish each and every time.

A unique and desirable feature of this auto glass cleaner is the fact that it can be used in direct sunlight. Although you may be able to use some alternative car windows cleaners in the sun, many simply leave streaks or obvious residue marks.

Other features of the Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity include:

  • Anti hazing solution
  • Streak free finish
  • Can be used within direct sunlight
  • Fights bugs, tree sap, vinyl fog, road grime and droppings
  • Safe on all windows including tinted
  • High quality 24 oz spray bottle

Compared to many of the similar priced alternatives, the Meguiar’s is one of the best car window cleaners that combines performance and value for the money. It’s an anti-hazing solution that’s safe to use on all windows and provides superior cleaning power.

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2. Adam’s Polishes Car Window Cleaner

Adam's Polishes Car Window Cleaner
Adam’s is a premium detailing brand with a strong following from professional detailers. Their car window cleaner is available in different bottle sizes and is an eco friendly formula with no ammonia or alcohol, which means it’s safe to use on all windows.

It’s the brands new and improved formula that includes optical clarifiers for additional visibility and a “crisp” appearance. According to Adam’s, this is the main features that was missing from their previous cleaner.

Other features of the Adam’s Polishes Auto Glass Cleaner include:

  • Streak free finish with a spray and wipe
  • Improved optical clarifiers for extra visibility
  • Safe for tinted windows
  • Multiple bottle sizes
  • No ammonia or alcohol
  • 110% satisfaction guarantee
  • Made in the USA

Overall, it’s the best auto glass cleaner on the market but it does come with a premium price tag when compared with the Meguiar’s alternative. They have a similar formulation and spray bottle but if you are willing to pay the extra for the Adam’s Polish, it won’t disappoint.

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3. Chemical Guys Car Glass Cleaner

Chemical Guys Car Glass Cleaner
Another popular car window cleaner is the Chemical Guys Signature Series, which is a spray-on solution. The brand state that it’s safe to use on tinted windows and is completely free of ammonia, which makes it suitable for a wide range of glass surfaces.

According to the brand, it uses an advanced formula that breaks down any dirt and road grime. Once the dirt is dissolved, it simply wipes clear to leave a streak free finish.

Other features of the Chemical Guys Signature Series include:

  • Eco-friendly formula
  • Available in a 16 or 128 oz spray bottle
  • Safe to use on tinted windows
  • Easy to apply spray-on formula
  • Not suitable for direct sunlight usage
  • Doesn’t leave behind any scent
  • Made in the USA

The Chemical Guys Signature Series is a high quality and affordable car window cleaner. It ticks all the boxes as it’s safe to use, effective and easily wipes clean with a microfiber towel.

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4. Driven Extreme Duty Auto Glass Cleaner

Driven Extreme Duty Auto Glass Cleaner

If you are looking for the best car window cleaner for water spots, the Driven Extreme formula is the answer. It’s designed to tackle the toughest of water spots that are caused from the buildup of calcium and minerals. Although it’s a strong glass cleaner, it’s still completely safe to use.

In terms of the formulation, it’s a combination of an acid gel and abrasive chemicals that cut through water spots and removes all the dirt from the windows.

Other features of the Driven Extreme Glass Cleaner include:

  • Liquid gel based formula
  • Designed for water spots
  • Suitable for a range of other surfaces
  • Can be used multiple times
  • 16 oz bottle

The Driven Extreme car window cleaner is one of the strongest formulas on the market. It’s designed for tough water spots, lime scale, salt spray, rust deposits, mold, mildew and other formation of dirt. If you have tried some of other the glass cleaners without any success, this is the best car glass cleaner for you.

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5. 3M 08888 Car Glass Cleaner

3M 08888 Car Glass Cleaner
3M are a global brand that are well-known for producing premium products. This auto glass cleaner is a great example and is an aerosol with a no drip foaming action that clings to any  dirt upon the car’s windows.

According to the brand, it’s able to effortlessly cut through stubborn grit and grime to restore the shine back to the automotive glass.

Other features of the 3M Car Glass Cleaner include:

  • Aerosol application
  • Suitable for all glass surfaces
  • No drip foaming action
  • Streak-free finish
  • Also suitable for car wraps and plastics
  • Wipes dry immediately
  • 19 oz aerosol bottle

    The 3M auto glass cleaner is a fast acting and easy to use formula that’s completely safe to use. Although its slightly expensive when compared to similar aerosol glass cleaners, the no drip foaming action make it less messy to use.

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    6. Invisible Glass Car Glass Cleaner

    Invisible Glass Car Glass Cleaner
    The Invisible Glass Cleaner is a popular cleaner for both automotive and domestic use. This particular product is the improved “Premium” version that provides additional additives for tackling virtually any dirt found on car windows.

    It’s a powerful cleaner that the brand states uses no streaky soaps, scents or dyes. Invisible Glass also promises that the formula leaves zero residue on your glass too.

    Other features of the Invisible Glass Cleaner include:

    • 32 oz high quality spray bottle
    • Complete ammonia free
    • Suitable for a range of glass surfaces
    • Improves the shine and clarity
    • Safe on tinted automotive glass
    • Money back guarantee
    • Made in the USA

    The Invisible Glass Cleaner is an affordable yet highly effective solution for cleaning car windows. Although it’s suitable for a range of surfaces, it far outperforms the majority of all-purposes cleaners.

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    Car Glass Cleaner Buying Guide

    Although it often seems impossible to get your car’s window clean and streak-free, it can be done with the correct auto glass cleaner. Once cleaned properly, the clean glass helps you see out more clearly and also drastically improves the overall appearance of the car.

    Many people will be happy with the finish of their windows after using a car wash soap. However, you will often see streaks and dirt present on the glass surface that shows when in direct sunlight.

    To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below guide regarding auto glass cleaners.

    best glass cleaner for car windows

    No Ammonia and No Alcohol

    Many glass cleaners contain ammonia and alcohol in the formula and even though this is great for cutting through any tough grease build up, there are also several disadvantages.

    When you look at ammonia chemically, it’s used for rubber, plastic, leather and vinyl materials with the aim to dry them out.

    If you have car window tint in your vehicle, then you will also need to purchase a cleaner that is ammonia-free. You cannot use ammonia on tinted windows. The plastics will also lose their blackness and start to become dull. Although it can be revived via a car plastic restorer, you still don’t want to cause this sort of damage on purpose.

    Ammonia is also dangerous if it’s inhaled, therefore, being inside of your vehicle, in such a small space, you can end up endangering yourself when using this type of cleaning agent.

    Household cleaners often contain ammonia, so it’s advised that you try to avoid using any type of household cleaner for your car’s windows.

    Streak Free Finish

    There are so many people that prefer to use water to clean their windows, and even though it’s a safe method, it’s not considered the best method.

    Water doesn’t have the ability to clean deep to remove any bug remains or even any water tough spots. The best thing to do if you are only using water is to use a car drying towel to help and remove the difficult spots.

    When you are finished cleaning, make sure to turn the towel over to dry the window. This prevents any streaks forming and give you a clear view through your windows.

    After you have applied the cleaner, it’s vital that you wipe the cleaner off promptly. This helps to reduce the build up of residue and leave the windows clean with a streak free finish.

    car window cleaner

    Remove Grime and Avoid Hazing

    For perfect visibility from your car windows, it’s important that the auto glass cleaner is formulated to cut through grime and is an anti-hazing formula. Poor quality glass cleaners include soap and other surfactants that cause the hazing/cloudiness on the windows. Using any of the recommendations above remove the hazing for perfect clarity.

    How To Clean Car Windows

    Cleaning your car windows is a difficult process without the correct product. Below are some tips that you can follow to help you successfully clean your car windows:

    • Clean inside of your windshield while you are sitting in the passenger seat of your car. This prevents the steering wheel from getting in your way.
    • Keep your windows out of direct sunlight. When you are cleaning them in the sun, the heat will dry the cleaning agent from your windows.
    • Ensure you are using a high quality towel for cleaning the window.
    • Place the towel on the back of your hand, and use the back of your hand to clean the window. It will give you the right kind of pressure to clean the window and help you to reach the corners of the windows.
    • When you are cleaning the inside of your window, spray the microfiber towel first as this will prevent any type of over-spraying on the window. It also prevents any excess spray from getting on the dashboard..
    • Take your time cleaning. If you rush through, it’s more than likely that you will end up leaving streaks.
    • Make sure you roll the windows down, so you can clean the tops of the windows.

    What To Avoid

    It’s important that you take great care when using a car window cleaner on glass because it can scratch. Just like the paintwork, if you use a rough applicator or use an incorrect technique, you will cause scratching. Simply spray the auto glass cleaner and wipe clear, its as simple as that.

    If you do notice that the car window is full of scratches, you can use a car glass polish on the windows to remove the fine scratches.

    Conclusion

    Auto glass cleaners are a product that’s often forgotten about as people just assume that their car wash soap will do the job. However, this isn’t the case and once you have used a quality cleaner once, you will never go back. To conclude, the best advice to follow when it comes to purchasing a car glass cleaner include:

    • Choose a cleaner that’s ammonia and alcohol free
    • Stay away from household cleaners
    • Find a cleaner that’s specifically used for auto glass
    • Make sure that the cleaner is safe to use for all vehicles i.e. Tint Friendly

    There are so many different types of auto glass cleaners that can be found on the market. However, by choosing one of the recommendations, you have the peace of mind that they are completely safe to use and are suitable for all car windows.

    If the exterior glass contains stubborn dirt that the cleaners aren’t able to remove, we strongly recommend using a clay bar kit to initially capture the dirt. You can then follow up using a car glass cleaner for an improved finish.

    procarreviews author

    Written By Dan

    About the Author

    Dan is an automotive journalist and owner of over 10 cars ranging from supercars, tuned cars, classics and your good old beater cars. He always like to get his hands dirty with nut and bolt restorations or detailing sessions using the best products on the market.

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