Many car people recommend to apply car wax to a car’s windshield. But why should you do this and how exactly do you go about applying it? Are there any alternatives to car wax? I did some research and here are my findings.
Applying car wax to a car’s windshield offers a thin layer of hydrophobic protection to the windshield. It prevents dirt from sticking to the glass and more effectively repels water. Car wax, moreover, keeps the windshield crystal clear so the windshield does not need cleaning quite as often.
Car wax offers some excellent advantages if applied to the windshield properly. You can also apply it to other areas of your car to reap great benefits.
Benefits Of Car Wax On A Windshield
As mentioned above, car wax protects the windshield very effectively. It puts a thin layer of hydrophobic wax on the glass to shield it from the elements.
Waxing the windshield offers the following benefits:
Glass is a quite porous material, which normally allows water and dirt to attach to it easily, making the windshield look dirty over time and decreasing the visibility, especially at night.
Applying wax to this porous glass fills up these pores, making the surface much smoother so water and dirt cannot stick to it as easily. Moreover, car wax acts as a hydrophobic material, meaning that it actively repels water. This means that your visibility in rainy conditions improves, as the water does not adhere to the glass but rather is repelled by the wax.
Another useful side effect is that you most likely will not have to use the windshield wipers at all during light rain. The slippery surface, combined with wind, will blow away most rain drops that land on the windshield.
Even if you do have to use the windshield wipers, they will make significantly less noise, as they will glide more smoothly on the waxed surface. Furthermore, the wipers work more efficiently to brush away water droplets to to the wax preventing water adherence to the glass.
A waxed windshield also offers great benefits during the Winter. A snowy windshield will now no longer be a problem and even de-icing the windshield is a thing of the past. Water from the air cannot adhere to the glass and, hence, cannot freeze onto it. This way, you will have a crystal clear windshield during Winter, even if temperatures drop below freezing.
Last, but not least, car wax also offers some UV protection. This is great for the interior, especially if you have leather seats. A waxed windshield will prevent the UV rays from damaging the leather and plastic, so they will look fresh and new for a long time.
Waxing Car Windows
Once you have waxed your windshield, you might wonder if the same benefits apply to the car’s side and rear windows.
Waxing car windows is very effective in increasing visibility and protecting the windows. Waxed car windows will stay clean for longer, repel water and dirt more efficiently, and stay crystal clear in rainy conditions. This increased visibility makes it safer to drive in harsh and wet weather.
So yes, waxing all of your car’s windows is an excellent option and is highly recommended.
The biggest advantage, though, once you have waxed the windshield, the windows, and the rear windshield, is the greater visibility during rain. Good frontal visibility is, of course, the most important while driving, but having clear side and rear windows will increase your situational awareness as well.
So, if you decide to wax your car’s windshield, take the time to also wax all of the windows as the effort will have marked results.
What Car Wax To Use
There are multiple different manufactures on the market with lots of different kinds of car waxes. So which one should you use?
Honestly, it does not really matter. You can use a fully synthetic wax or a natural car wax. Synthetic waxes might be harder to apply, but they last longer due to their increased durability.
Just make sure to use a high quality wax similar to what you would use on the car’s paint. Using a cheap wax might leave streaks on the glass, thereby actually reducing visibility. Moreover, cheap waxes do not last very long and are not as effective at repelling water.
Another downside to cheap waxes is that they do not leave behind as smooth of a surface. This means that the effectiveness is drastically decreased. It would be a real bummer putting in all the effort to apply the wax to the windshield and windows, only to see minimal results due to a cheap product.
It is much better to spend a bit more money on a high quality wax that will both provide better results and also last longer, so that you will not have to reapply it every month.
Alternatives To Car Wax
There is some good news for you if you do not want to buy car wax for your windshield or if there is, for some, reason a lack of availability. There are many effective alternatives to car wax that you can use to reap similar benefits.
There is actually a whole range of products that are specially designed to coat windows and windshields.
These can be divided into different categories:
Silicone Based Windshield Treatment
This kind of treatment is the cheapest and weakest of the three types of treatment.
Silicone does not bond to the glass chemically, but lies on the surface. It still repels water and dirt to a certain degree, but this type of treatment has to be applied regularly to the windshield and windows due to the low durability.
Silicone-based products are found in regular stores and are not necessarily dedicated to windshield protection. They are suitable for people who want to try out windshield coating without having to deal with high costs. Moreover, this kind of treatment is suitable for people living in areas without heavy rainfalls.
An example for a silicone-based product is Rain-X.
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Fluorinated Based Windshield Treatment
These kinds of treatments are more expensive, but also more effective and durable than silicone-based windshield treatments.
Fluorinated base windshield treatments bond to the glass chemically, making it a very durable solution. Moreover they are most often specially designed for windshield coating and are not found in every store.
If you live in an area with moderate rain falls and you want to protect your windshield and windows, a fluorinated based windshield treatment is for you. You can find these products online or have it applied to your car at your local detailing service.
An example of a fluorinated base product is Aquapel.
Nanotechnology-based Windshield Treatment
This is the most effective and expensive windshield treatment available.
The products used create a strong chemical bond with the glass, giving you great durability even if you drive off-road and have to deal with dust and sand.
A nanotechnology-based windshield treatment not only repels water very effectively, but also oils and dust.
These products are hard to source as a consumer and are usually only sold to dealerships and professional detailers. There are, nevertheless, some manufacturers like QTECHNIQ that sell their products directly to the consumer.
A nanotechnology-based treatment will cost around $60 or more, but will last for up to two years when applied properly. It is suitable both for people living in areas that experience regular and strong rainfalls and for those who enjoy off-road driving who need to ensure high visibility.