CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Windshield grime/wax

I’ve been washing my car at a car wash and they have this wax option you can use. Well ever since using the “wax coat” my windows have streaks that go from top to bottom like large cracks about 1 inch apart from each other. How do I clean this junk up? I’ve used rubbing alcohol, baking soda, windex, invisble glass, and even scrubbin bubbles for bathtubs! I read amonia might work, but thats why I’m here asking you guys! Any ideas?.. Oh and i have made sure I’m not touching the plastic and rubber around the windshield.

Ammonia is a good choice. Windex has some in it, but straight ammonia is worth a try - outside. I’ve had pretty good luck getting soap scum off shower doors with Brasso, too.

Why don’t you ask the car wash how to remove the streaks? Just about anything else you use might attack the rubber. The products you used so far won’t attack the rubber. One product that will dissolve the gaskets is acetone, aka nail polish remover. There’s a lot of gasket there, so a black streak on your paper towel isn’t going to lead to leaks.

Ammonia works super well on cleaning off any wax residue, etc. However, do not forget to clean your wiper blades or they’ll just redeposit any wax on them back onto the window. Wear latex gloves, soak a section of a paper towel with ammonia, grasp the blade and work the paper towel back and forth until no more residue is left behind on the towel. You’ll notice a lot of oxidation comes off the blades too. You can extend the use of wiper blades and have them perform like new if you clean them like this periodically.

If cleaning the outside of the window and the wiper blades does not solve the problem- make sure it’s not on the inside. All kinds of “oils” accumulate on the interior surface. The absolute best and cheapest method is crumpled up newspaper. Use only black and white print and you’ll get the best, streak free cleaning you ever had.

If OP’s successful cleaning the sreaks off the window, I would just put on a new set of blades, avoiding any chance of re-contaminating the windshield.

Most people don’t know they can be contaminated and/or oxidized. They clean the window, run the wipers and the problem reappears. Replacement is absolute and without question the best solution. Even so, cleaning is something you can periodically do to keep them in top condition rather than suffering with a slow decline in performance up until the point you can’t take it anymore and replace them. Something I discovered some time back and thought I’d mention. If you’ve never cleaned a blade, you’ll be amazed at what comes off of it even when they look OK.

I agree 100% - once I discovered that while working at a gas station (back when there was no ‘self service’) I’ve always cleaned the blades.

Some people use Bon Ami cleanser to clean glass. I always forget if it’s the gold label or the yellow label that won’t scratch glass, so you’ll have to search around to answer that one.

Okay, so i used the ammonia and it didn’t seem to work… man that was some tough smelling stuff. I used papertowels and rubbed in circles and up and down. I asked a local carwash place here and they didn’t seem to know what to do. They suggested i use a razor blade to try and remove it… I’ve heard about the Bon Ami too… I’m probably going to try that next and if any more suggestions come up. Thanks guys.

I just read about using a clay bar and lubricant (the kind you use on paint) for cleaning windshield grime - might be worth a try. Is the streaking something you can get off with your fingernail?

Some people use Bon Ami cleanser to clean glass. I always forget if it’s the gold label or the yellow label that won’t scratch glass, so you’ll have to search around to answer that one.

The YELLOW not the Gold is the correct one. It reads “It hasn’t scratched yet” The gold can stuff like any other such product can damage the window.

I have a similar problem, and have found NAPA blades the best for a month or 2 but then have a greasy windshield with spots from wax I guess, for the first 20 or 30 seconds. I have tried everything but rainex and BonAmi. Is your windshield a replacement windshield like mine?

Don’t forget the idea of trying Brasso. It worked great with a power buffer to clean old soap scum off shower doors, without scratching.

Which Brasso should I try? Noxon 7 Metal Polish and Multipurpose Metal Polish. I’m leaning towards the Noxon. What do you think?

I’m new to this whole posting thing…but I’m going to repeat myself. I worked in a detail shop…and Martha Stewart, Rachael Ray and most people going green will tell you…half and half mix of white vinegar and (distalled) water will help clean windshields, home windows coffee pots etc… Oh and a good way to recycle newspaper is to use it as a cloth or papertowel to clean your windows. Look up any green org and they will show you how to do this. If I posted my response twice, I apologize. Do please ignore errors…suffer a bit from tremors

Wax to remove wax might work. Spray wax from Turtle Wax is what I use on all the glass except the outer glass on the windshield. I liked ammonia for cleaning windows a long time ago, both sudsing and non-sudsing. Parsons Ammonia. It was good for bug removal and it was cheap. I just saw the comment about vinegar and it will probably work. We always used it to take wax off floors.

OK… I’m learning the hard way…can’t mention those people like…ummmmm good cooks, craftsmen, and all things creative. There is a “green” site that gives you all the ways to make your own cleaners…but having worked in a detail shop…and as a homemaker I can tell you that white vinegar and water (50/50) will help you. In addition instead of rags…use wadded up newspaper to clean glass not only in your car, but in your home.

Sorry, but in the old days when newsprint was lead based, it was used by professional window washers because the lead would buff the glass. There is no lead in news print anymore. It’s all soy-based, which means it cpontains oils, and will only add to the problem.