Should You Ditch Fancy Car-Cleaning Products For Dish Soap?

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website.

You’ve just pulled into the driveway after an off-roading trip, and your car windows are a mess! Someone has even written “wash me” on one of them. And while you don’t have any car window cleaner, you do have dish soap on hand. But will dish soap work to clean your car windows? 

Dish soap is an excellent car window cleaner as long as you mix it with water and only focus on one window at a time. You should also let your car cool down before you begin and use a microfiber cloth if you want to avoid leaving streaks on your windows.

Curious about other methods for cleaning your car windows? Let’s look at the proper way to wash your car windows with dish soap, as well as some other cleaning solutions you might want to use. 

Can You Use Dish Soap to Clean Your Car Windows?

Car wash

Normal every-day dish soap (example on Amazon) is a great solution to use for cleaning your car windows. Not only is it cheaper than specific window cleaning products, but you likely already have it on hand. 

Dish soap breaks down dirt, kills germs, and, when applied properly, can give you the streak-free shine you need to get the best visibility possible as you drive. 

What Supplies Will You Need?

While you might want just to squeeze a little dish soap on your windows and then call it a day, this is not the best way to clean your car windows. Below are other supplies you should gather before you begin for the best results. 

While you may not need all of these (as the last two on the list are optional), you need the first four to clean your car windows successfully. 

The Best Techniques to Avoid Streaks

The last thing you want after you clean your car windows is to have streaks in your view as you drive. So check out the following techniques, which will help you avoid streaks as you clean your car windows. 

Mix Soap with Water

Mix your dish soap in a bucket of warm water and apply gently to the windows using a microfiber cloth. This will ensure you don’t leave a residue behind as you clean, as you would with a paper towel or other cleaning method. 

Park in the Shade

Washing your car in the shade will prevent the soap and water from drying too quickly. In addition, this will give you more time to wipe off the soap and water solution without leaving streaks.

Focus on One Window at a Time

If you apply soap and water to all the windows and then go back and dry them, you may find that the first window has already dried partially, leaving streaks as you try to wipe away the water. Focus on cleaning just one window at a time for the best results. 

Wait for the Car to Cool

Maybe you pulled into your driveway annoyed at how dirty your car windows are. As tempting as it is to wash the right away, allow your car to cool down a bit before you begin, as this will keep streaks from forming instantly as you clean. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Car Windows?

It can be challenging to know how often to clean your car windows. Generally, you will want to clean them at least every other week to ensure you have the best visibility. 

Of course, if you go off-roading or on a road trip that results in filthy car windows, you will want to clean them more frequently whenever you feel that you cannot see out the windows enough to drive safely. 

What Are Some Alternatives to Dish Soap? 

Dish soap isn’t the only way to clean your car windows, and depending on your preferences, you may even find a different solution that cleans better.

Be careful, however, as not all solutions are safe for your car windows, especially if they’ve been tinted, so ensure you double-check before using any of the following products for the first time. 

  • Isopropyl Alcohol (mixed with water)
  • Vinegar (mixed with water)
  • Glass Cleaner (ammonia-free)
  • Lemon Juice (mixed with vinegar and water)
  • Non-gel toothpaste

The last item on the list may seem a bit strange, but non-gel toothpaste can be used to get the grit off your windshield. Rinse it with water afterward and pair it with another cleaning method for best results. 

Note: Using glass cleaner or isopropyl alcohol on windows with a tint treatment is not recommended. 

Final Thoughts on Using Dish Soap to Clean Your Car

Male hand with tool for washing windows

Overall, dish soap is a great product to use to clean your car windows. It’s inexpensive, easy to use, and safe for your vehicle. There are some techniques to using it, so ensure you look at these before you begin achieving that perfect streak-free shine. 

For those who don’t have dish soap on hand, this isn’t the only method you can use on your car windows, so don’t be afraid to branch out and try something new. 

Leave a Comment