How to Wash Car Windows Without Streaks

Washing the front side window of a car

Driving with hazy or dirty windows can be risky, as it limits your view of the road. So it makes sense to clean them often. But beyond safety, windows play a crucial role in a car’s appearance and overall aesthetic appeal. But not everyone knows how to do a proper job.

When windows aren’t well cleaned, streaks may be left behind. This could be frustrating, especially when you’ve just spent hours cleaning your window. But not to worry, this problem can be solved. This article will show you exactly how to wash car windows without streaks, so you can feel proud of the results next time you go wash n roll. Before we get into that, here’s everything you’ll need.

Materials You’ll Need

To achieve a streak-free finish when washing your car windows, you’ll need the following materials:

Two Sets of Lint-free Towels or Mitts

While it may be tempting to grab any old piece of clothing to clean up your car windows, they’re far from ideal as they could scratch the glass surface. For the best results, you should use microfiber towels or mitts. They’re gentler on both glass and paint and are far less likely to cause streaks and scratches. They’re also more absorbent than traditional towels or rags, making for an easier and faster cleaning process.

If you prefer to wash with mitts, check out our review of the best car wash mitts. However, if you’re more of a towel person, you might want to consider the Chemical Guys premium microfiber towel. And unlike mitts, they can also be used to dry up your car after washing.

Chemical Guys premium microfiber towel
  • Scratch-free, lint-free, and swirl free
  • Long-lasting microfiber
  • Effective for wet and dry conditions
  • Silk banded edges
  • 100 percent machine washable

Auto Glass Cleaner in Spray Bottle

Investing in quality auto glass cleaners will go a long way in helping you achieve that streak-free look. Think of them like the icing on the cake. The best options make your car look newer and ensure you have perfect visibility on the road.

While there are dozens of glass cleaning products, you can’t go wrong with the Stoner Invisible glass spray cleaner.

Stoner Invisible glass spray cleaner
  • Comes in 15-ounce aerosol cans
  • Convenient spray-through cap
  • Clear, dry formula
  • Ammonia-free

Step-by-Step Process To Clean Your Windows Without Streaks

With the above materials in your arsenal, it’s time to get to the main business of cleaning your windows without streaks. Here’s a step-by-step process to help you pull it off like a pro:


While this is a general guide, for the best results, you should read the application instructions on your chosen glass cleaner to learn the exact usage method.

  1. Find a suitable location before you delve into action. A clean and spacious place without direct sunlight or strong winds should do the trick.
  2. Once in a suitable place, brush off dirt, dust, or sand from all the windows with the first cloth. This will prevent such debris from digging into the glass and causing scratches.
  3. Gently spray the cleaner on the window surface and rub it off with the microfiber cloth using up-and-down or back-and-forth movement patterns rather than circular or zig-zag motions. For the best results, spray and wipe in sections to prevent the solution from drying and leaving spots.
  4. Sometimes, you may encounter hard stains—apply more pressure during the cleaning process. If the stubborn debris is made of splattered bug guts, bird droppings, or tree sap, you may need to use a bug and tar remover first. In that case, spray over the dirt and wait for a short time (see bug spray container for details). The stains will loosen up, and you can wipe them off easily. Work your way through all the windows, including the windshield and rear glass.
  5. Once you’re done, use a new and fresh cloth to wipe down and buff the solutions for a polished finish. This will maximize shine and clarity.
  6. After you’ve finished with the outside of the windows, move inside and repeat the process. However, unlike with the outside, spray the cleaner on the cloth rather than straight to the glass. This will prevent droplets from getting to areas that are not liquid-friendly.
  7. Finally, leave the windows to air dry. For long-lasting results, you could apply a water repellant to the windows. This will prevent water droplets and even stains from sticking to your windows. The Rain-X glass water repellent is a good option.
Rain-X glass water repellent
  • Easy and fast application
  • No hazing and buffing required
  • Works on wet windshields
  • Improves wet weather driving visibility
  • Repels rain and reduces snow adhesion 

Top Tips for Cleaning Your Car Windows

Here are some top tips to help you achieve the most streakless results when cleaning your car windows: 

Always Clean Your Windows At the End

When washing your car, leave the windows for last to avoid ruining all of your efforts.

Park in the Shade

A significant mistake that people make is that they wash in the sunlight. The sun can dry out the cleaning solution on your car windows before you have time to wipe it completely, leaving streaks. Always park in the shade or use an umbrella to keep your automobile and cleaning supplies cool until you’re ready to start.

Use Soft, Clean, and Lint-free Cloths

Reusing the same towels or cloths used to clean other parts will deposit dust, dirt, and debris on your windows. Instead, use soft, clean, and lint-free cloths to protect from streaks. If you’ve already used the cloth for something else, wash it thoroughly before cleaning the windows.

Spray on Your Towel When Cleaning the Interior

When cleaning the interior windows of your automobile, it is essential to remember to spray your towel first and then wipe the windows. This will prevent the solution from dripping or splashing into other interior parts. 

Use a Special Glass Cleaner

When cleaning your windows, use a special cleaner for the best results. It’ll help prevent and remove streaks while keeping the process as straightforward as possible. 

Keep Your Window Wipers Clean

If your window wipers aren’t cleaned regularly, the dirt on them may taint your excellent work. Apply the glass cleaner to the cloth, then rub it along your windshield wipers multiple times until they’re clean. Finish by wiping them dry until no residue is left behind.

Roll Down the Side Windows

While cleaning your car windows, flip them down to ensure you’re not missing the top. Then, clean the bottom portion of the window once it’s back up. Without this step, you’ll have visible streaks on your windows when rolling them down. 

Never Clean In Circular Motion

The circular motion is a major no-no when it comes to cleaning windows. Circular motion cleaning spreads the dirt and grime around, leaving streaks. So, clean your windows in a back-and-forth motion. 

Replace the Shield Washer Solution

Check whether your screen wash fluid tank is full after cleaning your windows. If not, fill it up. This can serve as a quick way to clean your windows while driving. It also comes in handy against bad weather.

Streakless Windows Should Be the Norm

Follow the steps above to achieve clean and streak-free windows. Just ensure to get appropriate towels and use the right solution, and you too could enjoy a crystal clear view while inside your car.

Haroun Adamu
Haroun Adamu is the founder of TorqueDial. He followed the automobile industry for several years before covering it officially for HotCars and Vehicle History. This experience would spark a chain of reactions, eventually leading him to create this site. However, the final push to launch TorqueDial was his first car purchase, and he’s not looked back since.

1 Comment

  1. Your article is very helpful to me, I will bookmark your website so that I can read it better in the future.

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