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Glass Cleaning Secrets: Delete Streaks with this Tip


I will be the first to admit that cleaning glass is my least favorite part of detailing. It used to seem like no matter what I do, or how clean it looks in the shop, I see streaks everywhere on that morning driving to work with the sun gleaming in. Little did I know, I was one small tweak away from achieving the clear streak-free glass I was looking for. We shot a short video describing our process and how we have taken this phantom streaking out of our shop. Take a look and let me know any tricks YOU use in the comments section.

Bonus Tip: We did not include this in the video but another great way to improve your glass cleaning is to improve your inspection process. We use our Scangrips pointed into the vehicle so we can see streaking that is hiding. It can also be helpful to grab a friend to check for streaks from the outside and guide you as you clean up the interior glass. They can point you to streaky areas you cannot see from the inside, mostly in the corners.

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Matt Carter
Detail Peoria
Peoria, IL
March 10th, 2020 | Glass

17 comments on Glass Cleaning Secrets: Delete Streaks with this Tip

  1. David G. says:

    I thing I noticed, not to do, is clean your exterior window outdoors when the temperatures are below 45-50 degrees.

    No matter how clean those windows, you will encounter streaks, especially when night falls and you that first glare appears from all that hard work.

    Hope this helps!

  2. John says:

    Try a final wipe down with distilled water to remove any cleaner residue.

  3. Charles Reynolds says:

    Great job on windows notice you didnt use a glass ceramic coating do you that ceramic is necessary

    • Matt Carter says:

      I have ceramic coatings on all my windshields and love it. Nothing bothers me more than water sitting flat on the glass when I am trying to drive in the rain. The ceramic coatings have lasted years on my glass, so it is nice not to have to reapply multiple times a year.

      • Joe Van Seeters says:

        Can you utilize normal glass cleaners on windows that are ceramic coated using a dedicated window coating? Will a potent glass cleaner; like Angelwax Vision for example; remove the coating? Or will it remove the coating or diminish it over time?

        • Reece @ DI says:

          Joe – In general, glass cleaners are pretty light cleaning options and will not hurt coating layers beneath them.

  4. David McElroy says:

    I always roll the window down a little or open the door enough to clean the top part of the window that goes in the channel/gasket. Give it a good clean, roll the window up, and finish the window. Customers don’t always roll their windows down all the way. OCD yes, but it’s all in the details.

  5. Ryan Buckner says:

    I use 50% isopropyl alcohol and two microfibers and I have no issues anymore with streaks. I don’t own any glass towels and have been using the round microfiber wax applicator pads from Advance for a few days since they will never roll up on you like microfiber towels do.

    • Matt Carter says:

      IPA is a fantastic glass cleaner, just more expensive. Try folding your microfiber towels into 4ths and holding the leading edge with your thumb to keep them from bunching up on you. That’s not to say your applicator pad isn’t a good solution, just limits your area to absorb cleaner when you aren’t working with something like IPA which mostly evaporates.

  6. Robert Street says:

    Matt that is the exact method I have used for years. I have always used the “original” windex to stay consistent
    For final inspection assistance I do the final wipe vertically on the exterior and horizontal on the interior so during final check if something appears which will occasionally it is quicker to determine which side to redo..
    Robert Street

    • Matt Carter says:

      I love original Windex and at home I use it on my windshields and glass around the house, but stick to other more tint safe cleaners on my side glass. The 2 towel method is what I have had to use to deal with the stuff that doesn’t flash quite as well. The waffle weave drying towels were the game changer for me on glass.

  7. SF says:

    I spray Windex on Mr Clean magic eraser and work it up down & side to side to clean the the film off the inside and outside of glass and wipe with waffle style towel.
    I would not use on tinted side of glass, but it is amazing on all other glass and super cheap.

    • Matt Carter says:

      Yeah if the film is built up, I will use windex on the windsheild and have heard the magic eraser works well but have never used it myself. I find that as long as I get the glass really well every wash or two, it cleans up the film fairly easily. Those waffle towels were the key for me and really what I wanted to highlight in the video. They are the best final glass drying towel I have found for my process.

      • SF says:

        Agreed. I have also learned the hard way to wash my waffle towels separately from my other towels and pads to keep the wax, sealers and chemicals from getting on them.

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