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9 tips for a cleaner windshield

Cleaning the front and back windshields are the most important part of maintaining good visibility when driving.

A clean windshield can save your life. For better visibility — and a clear view of any road hazards — check out these nine tips for keeping your windshield and car windows sparkling clean.

1. Glass last

When cleaning your car, the glass should be the last thing on your list to keep it from getting splashed or dirtied while you work.

2. Stay in the shade

Working in the direct sunlight can cause glass cleaner to evaporate too quickly, leaving residue behind.

3. Work that windshield

Spend the most time on the windshield as it is the most important piece of glass on your auto. Use a microfiber towel with a non-streaking cleaner. Wipe up and down and side to side using long strokes. Flip the towel to the dry side for a final polish.

4. Get an edge

Roll the windows down about halfway so you can clean along the top edges.

5. Some order unimportant

It doesn't matter if you do the outside or the inside first. And whether you start with the windshield or the side windows is up to you, but if you quickly lose interest in a task, do the windshield first (see No. 3 above!)

6. Rinse, repeat

Extra dirty windshields splattered with bugs and bird droppings may take more than one cleaner or more than one time across the glass with the towel. Do whatever it takes to get the gunk off.

7. Practice your backhand

The backside of your hand can help you clean the inside of the back window, especially when it comes to cleaning the bottom of the glass.

8. Wax for your glass

Water evaporating off of your car leaves mineral deposits that can actually etch marks into the vehicle's glass or paint. To avoid practically permanent spots on your glass, use a quality glass polish to restore clarity to the windows. Apply the polish by hand or with a polisher. When the polish begins to dry, buff the residue away with a microfiber towel. You can use a sealant or rain repellent to protect your glass against future water spots.

9. Wash those wipers

Dry, aging wipers that have not been cleaned can damage your glass when turned on.

Be sure your wipers stay in tip-top shape by cleaning them regularly with a high-quality ammonia-free glass cleaner. And always use high quality washer fluid additives in your automatic window cleaner. Many additives leave a film, so look for highly concentrated additives (16-ounce bottles treat 16 gallons of washer fluid!) to add to your regular additive. That extra boost protects your windshield and keeps the view ahead pristine.

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