Should You Use Windex To Clean Car Windows?

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If you’re like most people with cars, you always want the windshield to be clean. And unlike removing dirt from the outside of the windshield, you need a few items to clean the inside, including a microfiber towel and rubbing alcohol. But can you use Windex?

Yes, you can use Windex to clean your car windows. However, if your car has tinted windows, Windex may damage the tint material. Windex can leave streaks if you don’t use a microfiber towel. Avoid using paper towels, which will leave streaks and shreds of towel/dust behind.

So if you cleaned your car, but there’s a haze in the windshield, you should pay attention to everything below. And now, let’s learn more about how to clean the inside of your windshield correctly so it will look good as new!

Can You Clean Car Windows with Windex?

Man cleaning window in a car

Indeed, you can use Windex to clean car windows, especially the inside of the windshield. While some advise you to skip Windex if you have tinted windows, this only applies if the tint material is of poor quality.

Most factory tint is high-quality and is not damaged by the ammonia in Windex. However, while applying the Windex on the inside of the windshield, you should pay attention and ensure it does not get on any leather surfaces.

Just follow the proper procedure, and you’ll have clear windows. A microfiber towel will help you apply the Windex on the windshield without smearing it on other surfaces. In addition, it will help you avoid any streaks, leaving you with clear windows.

You should get a reach-and-clean tool for the parts you cannot reach on your windshield. Also, when applying, use a circular motion, then finally wipe vertically to get rid of streaks.

Does Windex Damage Tinted Windows?

One of the major concerns people have against using Windex is the possibility it could damage tinted windows. However, despite debate on whether Windex is suited for automotive use, there’s no evidence it causes damage to tinted car windows.

On factory tint, Windex cleans excellently and does not damage the surface. However, if you have a third-party tint, which could be of lower quality, you might want to play it safe.

Check the windows first to know if you can use Windex without damaging the tint. Note that if you’re applying Windex on the inside, you should ensure it does not get on any surfaces that are not made of glass.

This is because it will discolor other interior finishes. If you don’t fancy a DIY job, you could get a professional to help clean the windshield and other windows. This is crucial if you don’t have the tools required for the job.

Is Ammonia Bad for Car Windows?

Even at auto shops or auto-glass replacement vendors, there are no reports of problems identified when glass is routinely cleaned with a cleaner containing ammonia. Glass is an impervious material that can withstand many things, including acids like hydrochloric acid.

While an automobile windshield is made through a lamination process that binds layers to a vinyl layer at the center, the outer surfaces are still solid glass. Therefore, you can clean these surfaces with a cleaner that contains ammonia with no issues.

The only precaution you should observe is the use of the right materials. These include a microfiber towel, which will help you apply the cleaner to the glass.

However, if the windows have after-market tinting material, inquire if the material can withstand a cleaner like Windex. Factory-tinted windows will show no problems when cleaned with Windex or other cleaners containing ammonia.

Paper Towels vs. Cloth: Which is Best?

The best option for cleaning vehicle windows is soft microfiber cloth towels like this option (on Amazon). This is because a microfiber cloth towel does not leave smear or lint on the windshield. Also, it will not cause minor scratches, which can make the windshield have a permanent haze.

What you must avoid is paper towels, as these have the opposite effect. These types of towels will leave your windows with smears and lint, and they can cause tiny scratches. Eventually, you could damage the windows as they will develop a permanent haze.  

How to Prevent Streaks While Cleaning

Car window cleaning outside

You must follow a few steps to clean your vehicle’s windshield effectively. First, you need to get the required items for the job. These include a microfiber towel, a store-bought glass cleaner, and some rubbing alcohol.

  1. Wipe the windshield with a microfiber cloth to remove any dirt.
  1. Get another cloth and apply rubbing alcohol to remove grease from the windshield.
  1. Spray the glass cleaner on your microfiber cloth. Then, use the microfiber cloth to wipe the glass in a circular motion.
  1. Dry the glass with a clean towel. Don’t leave glass cleaner on the windshield as it leaves streaks or residue.


To maintain your car in perfect shape, you must also ensure you use the right cleaning products. For the windows, a product like Windex is a good option. Apply the cleaner with a microfiber towel to ensure even application. It removes all the grease and leaves a sparkling clean surface even if your car has factory tint.

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