What caused filthy windows?

Certainly not life threatening but I thought it would be interesting to see your opinions. This summer, my daily driver 2000 Chrysler LHS has to live outside the garage since the wife’s car is brand new. Because of afternoon sun, I put one of those foil mats designed for your dash pad up there, and a towel across the back seat leather, and closed the sunroof. The car sat for a couple days and when I got in to run errands, the windows had a film on them like lots of cigarette smoke. I’m pretty anal about keeping windows clean and expected dirt OUTSIDE, especially since there’s a pine tree right above the car, but INSIDE? Took lots of elbow grease to get it all off.

Synthetic Materials Used To Make And “Glue” The Car’s Interior Do A Lot Of Out-Gassing When Heated To Temperatures Close To 200 Degrees, Basking In The Sun And Kicking-In The Greenhouse Effect.

All cars do this, some more than others. Possibly opening all windows a 1/4 to 1/2 inch, when weather permits, could help the situation.


Makes sense to me (especially if we’re talking about the foil pad) but the Chrysler spent its whole life in Dallas before I bought it five years ago and sentenced it to life in Ohio winters. The dash pad had a crack in it above the glove compartment when I bought the car (infinitely preferable to salt damage) so I’m thinking the interior has been assaulted by sun for many years. I’ll be curious to see if the goo comes back.

"I’ll be curious to see if the goo comes back."
I’m not gambling man, but I suspect it will return. My 97 Intrepid crudded-up pretty bad in the sun. The secret is to clean windows regularly, before they get too bad. I found that liberal amounts of window cleaner and a good clean terry-cloth towel made the job fairly manageable.


I had had amazing results rubbing off that haze with crumpled up, dry newspaper. No water, no Windex, nothing but dry crumpled newspaper.

Is the foil mat new? That could be what’s outgassing, especially if it was made in China.

Do you use Armor All or other silicone-based products? Those often have a similar effect. You’ll probably have better results with 303 Aerospace Protectant, applied as lightly as possible.

If you end up having to clean the front and back windows a lot, the Reach & Clean Tool from Invisible Glass might save you time and effort.

On another note, if you’re parking under a pine tree, make sure to keep a good coat of wax on the car. Drips of sap can be a pain to remove, so you want your paint protected as much as possible.

The mat isn’t new, but hasn’t spent all that much time in place since the wife rarely put it in place upon parking. Guilty on the Armor All (or similar products) and leather conditioner. My mom always thought newspaper was great for cleaning windows; here’s my change to try it.

Out gassing doesn’t stop, it slows down. The lighter molecular weight chemicals boil off first, then the higher molecular weight ones become more prevalent.

Nothing new about it, we called it “Vinyl Sweat”…The plasticizers boil off the interior plastic and the vapor condenses on the cooler windows…

I’ve also noticed that once cars get more than 10 years old interior materials start breaking down. That might be happening to this 15-year-old.

I don’t know what else is contributing, but I do know that Armorall will definitely give you a film on your window. Since the OP uses Armorall, it’s hard to blame anything else.