How to remove streaks from a windshield: 12 steps (with pictures)

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How to remove streaks from a windshield: 12 steps (with pictures)
How to remove streaks from a windshield: 12 steps (with pictures)

Windshield marks are caused by the use of wipers on rainy days. They can limit your visibility, making driving dangerous. Fortunately, their elimination is simple. With the right tools and a little effort, your windshield will be like new in no time!


Part 1 of 3: clean the windshield

Remove Windshield Streaking Step 1
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 1

Step 1. Use glass cleaner

If you have a larger budget, consider purchasing a special car window cleaner, as the result is better despite being more expensive. However, conventional glass cleaners (like Windex) or cleaning foam (like ZEP) will also do the trick. Another option is to make your own cleaner, using a mixture of water and vinegar or simply rubbing pure ammonia on the windshield.

  • Ammonia is an excellent glass cleaner. Nonetheless, it can easily damage your car's paint, upholstery, or carpet. So be careful of the drops that fall when using it.
  • To make your own cleanser, mix a scoop of hot water with the same amount of vinegar in a spray bottle. Shake the mixture well before using it.
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 2
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 2

Step 2. Wash the windshield

To start, spray a thin layer of the cleaner on the windshield. If you can't cover the entire area at once, just clean one half, then move on to the other. Using a new, clean microfiber cloth, wipe the windshield in a horizontal, back-and-forth motion. Gently lift the wipers to clean the glass below them.

  • If you prefer to use ammonia, just pour a little onto a microfiber cloth before cleaning the windshield. Remember to wear gloves when handling this chemical compound.
  • If you don't have a microfiber cloth, you can use newspaper.
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 3
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 3

Step 3. Clean your windshield with a squeegee

If you don't have a microfiber cloth, you can use a squeegee. Spray the windshield with a thin layer of the cleaner. Use the sponge portion of the squeegee to remove dirt and grease from the windshield. Once the entire surface is soapy, turn the squeegee. Run its rubber part over the glass in sections while exerting light pressure to remove all the soapy liquid.

  • If you are using a squeegee, you may not need to use window cleaner. You can use hot soapy water directly. Dip the squeegee in this liquid and clean the glass.
  • Keep paper towels handy to dry (between strokes) the rubber side of the squeegee.
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 4
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 4

Step 4. Dry it

To do this, use a clean, dry microfiber cloth. If you use one that is used or dirty, you risk scratching the glass. Dry it using light circular motions. Apply light pressure as you wipe to remove any remaining dirt particles. Dry the glass in sections, but be sure to do this quickly, as new stains may appear if the cleaning fluid dries on its own on the surface.

  • If you don't have microfiber cloths, you can buff the windshield with newspaper. This type of paper will not leave marks and lint. Plus, the ink will polish your car windows and make them shine.
  • Do not let the windshield dry on its own. Remember, this is how the first unsightly spots appeared.
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 5
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 5

Step 5. Clean the inside of the windshield

Get in your car and repeat the above steps. First, spray your cleaning fluid on the windshield and clean the surface with a clean microfiber cloth. Then dry the glass in circular motions and make sure the surface is free of marks. Repeat the process if necessary.

  • Leave the doors of your car open to ventilate it, especially if you use ammonia, as inhaling chemical fumes can be harmful to your health.
  • Do not use the squeegee inside your car.
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 6
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 6

Step 6. Use windshield washer fluid when driving

Windshield wipers cannot remove all the dirt from the windshield. This waste can dangerously limit your visibility while you are driving. Be sure to consult your vehicle's manual to learn how to use windshield washer fluid.

  • Most vehicles have a lever near the steering wheel that activates the wipers. Pull the lever toward you to spray the washer fluid.
  • Check your car frequently to make sure this fluid is at the correct level. Never replace it with water.

Part 2 of 3: clean the windshield wipers

Remove Windshield Streaking Step 7
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 7

Step 1. Wash the windshield wipers

If your windshield is clean, but your wipers are dirty, there will still be stains on that glass. Gently lift them from their original position until they are vertical. Fill a small bucket with a hot soapy solution. Dip a clean cloth in it, then wring it out until it's damp. Then clean the wipers with the cloth in light, gentle strokes.

  • The wipers must be able to switch easily from their initial position to that of cleaning. If you feel too much resistance when moving them, stop and consult your vehicle manual.
  • If you don't want to ruin everything you've done so far, try not to splash the soapy water on the windshield!
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 8
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 8

Step 2. Dry the edges of the wipers

The most important part of these parts is the rubber edge. If this part is not flexible enough or is not dry, it means that it will not properly contact the windshield. Use a clean microfiber cloth to dry this edge, gently pulling on the eraser. Next, dampen a small portion of a clean microfiber cloth with isopropyl alcohol and rub the rubber side of the wipers to speed drying and cure the material.

  • Pinch the edge of the wipers with the rag as you dry it so that the rubber retains its sharp edge.
  • Dry the wipers in the same direction. Start at the part closest to the car and work your way to the end.
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 9
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 9

Step 3. Replace the wipers once a year

Sometimes we forget to do this, especially if we live in a dry climate. However, even the sun can damage the delicate rubber of the wipers, leaving stains and limiting visibility when driving. Prevention is better than cure !

  • If you are good with cars, you can try changing the wiper blades yourself. Just make sure to install the most appropriate models for your vehicle.
  • Many people prefer to change windshield wipers at the end of winter just before the spring rains start.

Part 3 of 3: prevent traces

Remove Windshield Streaking Step 10
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 10

Step 1. Use a waterproofing treatment

There are various water repellent treatments, such as Rain-X, that you can use to keep the windshield free from liquids and grime. Apply a thin layer of sealant after cleaning and drying the windshield. If this liquid does not come in a spray bottle, pour a small amount onto a microfiber cloth and apply it to the windshield in circular motions. Let it dry for about five to ten minutes.

  • Depending on the product, you may need to repeat these steps once a week.
  • If you see a residual layer on the windshield after the treatment dries, buff the surface with a clean microfiber cloth in circular motions.
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 11
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 11

Step 2. Use high quality washer fluid

It comes out of the nozzles under your wipers and splashes onto the windshield. The liquid will allow you to remove trash and dirt that you find on the glass while you are driving. Ask your mechanic to recommend a brand of washer fluid. You may have to pay a little more than usual, but it will be worth it!

  • Do not renounce the use of this product, as it is dangerous to drive without it. If you find mud or a viscous liquid on the windshield, your wipers won't be able to clean it completely, putting you at risk due to reduced visibility.
  • If you're running out of windshield washer fluid and don't know how to pour it into its reservoir, get help from your mechanic.
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 12
Remove Windshield Streaking Step 12

Step 3. Maintain your windshield wipers

Inspect them frequently to avoid cracking and corrosion problems. The rubber edge should be firmly attached to the metal part of the windshield wipers and should be free of holes or cracks that can cause marks. Pull the wiper lightly to make sure it is properly seated on the arm. If you notice any problems, talk to your mechanic so they can replace these parts.


  • Be sure to rub the windshield well with the microfiber cloth while cleaning it. Don't just wipe off the cleaning product!
  • It will be easier for you to stand on one side of the vehicle while taking care to first clean the half of the windshield that is close to you. Then move on to the other half.
  • Wash the car first and the windows last.


  • If you have tinted windows, make sure the cleaner will not damage the tint.
  • Some window cleaners can damage your vehicle's paintwork. So don't let it come in contact with her.
  • Use new microfiber cloths! Any dust or lint found on a used cloth can scratch your windshield.
  • Always wear gloves and work in a ventilated area when handling ammonia.

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