Best Windshield Cleaner 2023, Tested – Car and Driver

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Why is ammonia bad for car windows?

Ammonia isn’t bad for car windows—it’s bad for tinting. Tints can bubble, lighten, and crumble after prolonged cleaning with ammonia-based cleansers. For this reason, nearly all automotive glass cleaners are ammonia-free.

How do I clean the inside of my car glass?

Just like you do outside. Ideally, you want to remove as much dirt as possible from the window before polishing it to a high shine. Use a clean, lint-free microfiber cloth to wipe the cleaner in slow, circular motions. Avoid using paper towels, as they can leave tiny scratches on your windows. Be sure to roll down your window a bit to clear the very top as well.

What is ceramic glass cleaner?

Ceramic glass cleaners seem to be gaining traction in the automotive detailing world. This item features a combination of cleaner and ceramic coating to remove contaminants while leaving a water-repellent residue. Some ceramic squeegees boast that you don’t need to use the windshield wipers, as the water drops right off when you drive.

We found that ceramic glass cleaners took a little more effort to apply properly. You may need to do an additional spray-and-wipe cycle to get it really clear—and we had to use extra elbow grease to get rid of some of the pesky streaks and haze. The longevity of ceramic glazing varies between products, but using your wipers will reduce the life of the glazing.

Why trust us?

This test was conducted in an environment that provides the same test procedure for each product: the Car and Driver garage. We tested each glass cleaner on an equally dirty section of a large rear window, taking detailed notes on each cleaner’s performance, scratches, dryness, and residue. After calculating our findings, we agree that our tests provide sufficient information to recommend the option to our readers.

Hearst Autos combines the talent, resources and expertise of three of the world’s largest and most influential automotive publications. We don’t have to fight for traffic or promote a bad product to make a sale. We care about our heritage, our reputation and the trust our readers have Auto week, Car and Driverand Roads & Tracks to provide honest evaluations and expert opinions.

Read more about our product testing and evaluation process here.

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