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Windshield has paint pen residue

I’ve got a new Ford Escape and whenever it’s damp, or I run the wipers, in the upper passenger window I see the residue from letters REBATE, from the dealer that had it originally (my dealer did a trade so I could have it). My dealer used a claybar to remove some other residue from the windshield, but the letters are still there. It almost seems like the paint pen from the original dealer melted into the glass while sitting on the lot for 8 months, so now it’s permanently embedded. Any suggestions on how to get the letters removed, shy of replacing the entire windshield? Thanks!

2 ideas , have your selling dealer contact the dealer that had the vehicle , call some local detail shops .

You could try Bon Ami if you can still find it or there are glass polishes and buffers as from Eastwood, but probably just taking it to a glass shop to have them polish it would be best.

Get this from your local store:

You will have to use quite a lot of elbow grease to polish the glass, so you better get some kind of attachment to the drill.

This thing will remove hard water deposits, old Rain-X film mixed with road grime, pretty much anything. Your marker residue does not stand a chance :slight_smile:

This stuff will remove Rain-X repellent too if you do not like it, or will prepare the glass to accept a new coat.

Can you use a regular foam buffing pad with a buffer with that stuff?

Sure, why not.
I was using just a foam pad and buffing it manually, it only takes few minutes to go over windshield, once you sweat - usually it’s enough :slight_smile:
I’m using it to remove old Rain-X coat before I put a new one on, and if I do not remove old coat completely, the new coat is not always free of grime residue.
Once I transitioned to the drill attachment, do not have that issue anymore.
I’m replacing Rain-X every other year, when it becomes visible that coat becomes contaminated.

The paint/grease pens dealers use leave behind a waxy film. You need to use a degreaser or solvent like acetone to clean it off.


I didn’t know you had to remove the old Rain-X, I just use it on my shower doors but before I started using it I got water spots that I think are etched in. I’ll maybe have to try it but would be nice to polish the car glass too for windshield wiper marks and so on.

A lot of complaints about Rain-X come from people who applied it without proper cleaning… quite often with bad results.

This Rain-X cleaner is a very mild polish, for scratches you would need to go with something much more abrasive.

Thanks for all of the suggestions - I appreciate the help and will update on what worked.

Acetone will attack the rubber parts. I suggest that you rinse with lots of water to dilute it. If you can’t find acetone anywhere else, look in the cosmetics department at the store. There should be acetone based nail polish remover. Note that it won’t dissolve the rubber immediately, but if you rub the rubber windshield gasket with acetone on a paper towel, it will create a black streak on the towel. Also, wet the paper towel, not the windshield. You can control the solvent that way.

I’d get a Mr Clean eraser and go over it with rubbing alcohol.

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