Car shampoo is widely regarded as the most effective cleaning formulation for car washing. It provides enough lubrication to prevent scratches to the paint job and has a strong cleansing effect on dust, grime, grease, caked mud, and other contaminants. As a concerned car owner, you may wonder if car shampoo is likewise effective when used to clean car windows.
In general, you can use regular car wash soap on car windows. Thanks to its lubricative effect, car wash soap has a mild effect on car windows and doesn’t cause scratches. Moreover, dedicated car wash soap or car shampoo is the most effective cleaning product you can use to wash off dirt and grime.
While car shampoo is safe and effective for cleaning car windows, it must be properly applied to get the best cleansing effect. The methods of car window cleaning are further discussed in detail.
How To Clean Car Windows With Car Shampoo
Car windows are as predisposed to contaminants as the car’s body. From the viewpoint of safety, it becomes even more important to rid the windshield and car windows of these contaminants because they can compromise vision and affect the overall aesthetics of the car.
There are two different ways to clean car windows with car shampoo, and both methods involve using a washing mitt. Cleaning car windows is not a particularly complex endeavor. Still, there are some essential equipment and products needed for the washing process.
Tools and Supplies Required
Cleaning car windows with car shampoo is easy enough when you have the right equipment. Quite interestingly, you can get through the process effectively without sophisticated tools. These are some other essential tools and supplies needed for both cleaning methods.
Apply Snow Foam to the Window
To wash car windows with a snow foam formula, apply pH-neutral snow foam to the window with a foam gun or foam cannon. The major difference between both is the method of water delivery to the foam container.
Foam cannons are attached to high-pressure hoses from pressure washers, while foam guns make use of the simple garden hose attachments. In the absence of sophisticated equipment like a pressure washer, the simple garden hose attachment works just fine.
Snow foam is a car pre-wash formulation that lifts and removes a certain percentage of car contaminants before the main wash. Typically, snow foam is applied with a foam gun/cannon, but it is a decent substitute for car shampoo to clean car windows. It is also a versatile cleaning agent that’s safe to use on plastic, glass, and vinyl surfaces.
In my in-depth article on using car shampoo as snow foam, I made a detailed comparison of car shampoo with snow foam. You should check it out here.
Wash With a Microfiber Mitt
Once you have applied the snow foam to the windows and windshield, leave for a couple of minutes and then wash with a microfiber mitt afterward. Microfiber mitts are typically non-abrasive and won’t cause scratches to the windows.
Moreso, when you use a deep pile mitt, particles and contaminants that can scratch the window are absorbed deep into the pile where they are hidden from the glass surface.
Wash the windows and windshield surface in every direction and with consistent effort, ensuring that you don’t press against the windows and windshield excessively.
Pay attention to this!! Snow foam is not recommended for contact washing of cars. Snow foam is more commonly used as a pre-wash product or for a touchless wash. However, it is reasonably safe to use for contact washing of car windows and windshields.
Next, you should rinse off the snow foam residue after the washing process. Snow foam tends to dry quickly. As a rule of thumb, rinse off snow foam before it dries off to prevent streaks on the windows and windshield.
To further ensure a streak-free wash, rinse off the snow foam with a hose or a pressure washer. Nonetheless, you can also rinse with the good old bucket method.
Prepare the Car Wash Solution
The more common method of cleaning car windows is with car wash soap or car shampoo. For whole car washing, a pre-wash with snow foam will make hand washing significantly easier. However, that is not entirely necessary for exclusive window washing.
Prepare the washing solution by mixing car shampoo with water in a bucket. Check for instructions on how to mix on the car shampoo container. To make the process more effective when you have very dirty windows, you should adopt the popular two bucket method.
The two bucket method essentially involves using two large capacity buckets. The car wash solution is prepared in one, while the other contains water to keep the wash mitt clean during the window washing process.
Read further how to carry out the two bucket method in my in-depth article on the two bucket method vs. foam gun.
Wash the Window
Lather up the washing mitt by soaking it in the soapy solution and apply to the windows with as little force as possible. The foamy car wash solution does most of the job by soaking in the dirt Wipe down the windows and windshield surface, working from one side to another with broad strokes.
If you’re using the two bucket method, repeatedly rinse the mitt in the water bucket before dipping it into the shampoo solution to get rid of some particles that may get into the mitt.
Rinse the Windows
In general, each window should be rinsed before the cleaning solution has a chance to dry. Free-flowing water from a garden hose or pressure water will effectively rinse off all soap. Rinse the windows and windshield from top to bottom to prevent shampoo from flowing down into already rinsed portions.
The final step in cleaning car windows is to dry gently with a microfiber towel. Microfiber material absorbs moisture well, and it doesn’t pose a risk of scratching the glass.
Can I Use Vinegar To Clean Car Windows?
A vinegar solution can be used to clean car windows. Vinegar is an acid substance that effectively dissolves and loosens dirt from car windows. It is particularly suitable for cleaning windows and windshield interiors, as it can be applied with a spray bottle and easily wiped off.
Vinegar is a popular home remedy for different cleaning tasks. It is very commonly used for cleaning car interior surfaces. Regardless of its versatility, you should never apply vinegar to car paint because the acidic content will considerably degrade the paint job.
In my in-depth article on “can you use vinegar to clean your car?,” I have discussed the car surfaces that are safe to clean with vinegar. Check it out here.
Cleaning with vinegar is pretty straightforward. Prepare vinegar solution in a spray bottle by mixing with water. Spray it generously on the glass and leave for some time. In that time, the vinegar solution will break down the dust, dirt, and other contaminants.
Wipe the vinegar off with a microfiber towel afterward. The cleaning process should be repeated for as many times as removing all dirt from the windows.
The dashboard should be adequately protected when cleaning the interior part of a windshield. Before spraying with the vinegar solution, spread some fabric on the dashboard to catch drippings from the glass while you spray the cleaning agent.