How To Clean the Inside of a Car Windshield

How To Clean the Inside of a Car Windshield

You can spend all the time in the world washing the outside of your car to perfection, but ignoring your interior is a bad decision. Basic cleaning, such as vacuuming and wiping down surfaces inside, can help keep your car looking and smelling fresh. But there’s one area that absolutely needs to be cleaned regularly–inside the windshield.

The inside of your windshield can accumulate dirt and dust over time, making it harder to see. Here’s a quick guide on how to clean the inside of your windshield.

Why does the inside of the windshield get dirty?

The outside of your windshield faces a daily onslaught of bugs, car exhaust and grime from the road. The inside of your windshield can be subjected to many of the same things, either through an open window or through your air vents.

If you smoke inside your car, the residue can build up and cloud your windshield as well. Your vehicle’s seats and carpeting may also experience off-gassing, where residue from the manufacturing process enters the air. Finally, and most disgustingly, there’s you, as a human being. Your breathing, sneezes, coughs, dead skin and more can reach and stick to the inside of your windshield.

How to Clean the Inside of a Windshield

Gather your materials and park your car in the shade. We’ll have the inside of your windshield clean in no time.

Prep the dash and windshield

Even the mildest glass cleaners can dry out or damage your dash, so it’s important to cover it before spraying anything. A plain bath or beach towel will do the trick as long as it’s large enough to cover the entire surface.

Spray glass cleaner onto your cleaning towel

Rather than spraying directly onto the glass and trying to catch it as it runs down, spray your microfiber towel or other cleaning cloth.

Clean inside of the windshield in sections

Don’t try to wipe or clean the entire windshield in one go. Start with half the glass first. Wipe smoothly and broadly—first vertically, then horizontally across the surface. Repeat on the other side of the windshield.

Polish the surface with a clean towel

Use a clean microfiber towel to clean up streaks and make sure the windshield is free of residue and debris.

Other Tips

Cleaning the inside of a windshield isn’t the most complicated process, but there are a few things you can do to make it even easier.

  • Park in the shade to prevent excess heat
  • Spray onto your cleaning towel, not the glass
  • You can use homemade cleaner. Mix a 1 cup to 1 cup solution of water and rubbing alcohol, and then add a tablespoon of white vinegar
  • If you’re detailing your whole car, clean the windshield last to prevent re-dirtying it
  • A microfiber cleaning cloth is ideal, but don’t substitute paper towels. They have a tendency to tear and have lint that can ruin your clean window


It seems like a pain, but don’t skip out on cleaning the inside of your windshield. A dirty windshield is a safety issue, but it also looks bad. Take a few minutes and make sure yours is clean.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Windex on the inside of my windshield?

You can, but there are a few things to keep in mind. If your windshield has a tint strip at the top, Windex can damage the material. It’s also vitally important not to spray Windex on your interior surfaces.

Can you use paper towels to clean car windows?

Paper towels are good for cleaning messes in your kitchen, but don’t use them on the inside of your windshield. They are designed to absorb water and can tear easily. They also contain lint that can stick to your windshield.

Is vinegar good for cleaning car windows?

Vinegar is good for cleaning car windows, but it needs to be mixed with water or water and alcohol to be effective.

About Bumper

At Bumper, we are on a mission to bring vehicle history reports and ownership up to speed with modern times. A vehicle is one of the most expensive purchases you'll likely make, and you deserve to have access to the same tools and information the pros use to make the right decisions.

Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.