If you’ve ever engaged your windshield wipers only to have your visibility reduced as a result, you know the frustration of windshield streaks. There are two main culprits to this — the windshield itself and the wipers — making it a bit tricky to truly get everything clean. However, a streaked windshield is dangerous and should be taken care of as soon as possible.
In this article we’ll cover three methods for cleaning streaks of your vehicle’s windshield — using glass cleaner, cleaning the wiper blades, and adding a treatment directly to the windshield.
Method 1: Use Glass Cleaner on the Windshield
First, clean your windshield properly with glass cleaner. While you can use generic brands, it’s wise to pick up some automotive-grade solvent from your local auto part store. This comes in spray form and you should use a microfiber cloth to wipe everything away. To lessen streaking, start in a vertical pattern and then finish with horizontal cleaning. Circular motions can actually increase glare from the sun.
Here are the top three glass cleaners for cars according to Truecar.com:
Method 2: Clean the Windshield Wipers
Obviously when you have streaks on your windshield, you need to clean it. But one thing you may not realize is that your windshield wipers could be the culprit! And even if the wipers weren’t what caused the streaks in the first place, if they became dirty when you tried to use them to clean something off your windshield, they are probably still grimy.
Dirty windshield wipers can cause serious streaking, but you don’t always need to resort to replacing them. Using an all-purpose cleaner, wipe the blades up and down with a cloth and then clean the part of the car where the blades rest - either at the base of the windshield or the cowl.
While you’re at it, makes sure your wipers are in tip-too shape. Inspect the blades and if they’re chipped or torn, go ahead and replace them. Also keep an eye on the windshield wiper fluid levels and washers — make sure they’re functional and not clogged or dirty.
Method 3: Protect the Windshield
Once you’ve cleaned streaks off of your windshield, consider adding an extra layer of protection to your glass that might prevent streaks from happening in the first place. These are called glass treatments. They range from solvents to a transparent film that can be cut to fit your car’s windshield. While that’s a bit more expensive, it can be a smart investment if you live in an area with high levels of road debris.
Here are the top three windshield treatments according to Saferoad.org:
- Rainx 800002243 Yellow Windshield Treatment
- CRC 05346 Ice-Off Spray De-Icer
- Nano Safeguard Glass Windshield Treatment
Having a streak-free windshield is critical to having a safe ride. Keeps yours in good working order for optimal visibility when it matters the most.