IF it’s not relentless mucky grit in the winter, it’s the lifeless bodies of squashed bugs in the summer.
Let’s face it, your windscreen never stays clean for long.
Fortunately, there are some glass cleaners out there designed to make light work of both oil and insects.
Not to get too puritanical, but clear windows are of utmost importance if you are to have a clear view of the road in front.
It’s the last thing you should do in the car detailing process, but it's important.
Once you’ve washed the car down with shampoo, paying extra attention to problem areas, such as wing mirrors, bonnet noses and the driver’s side windscreen, you should be good to get right to drying off and applying a glass cleaner.
If you have some really stubborn marks, like tree sap or bird poo, you may need a glass polish to shift the muck with ease, without doing damage to the windscreen or paintwork.
However, some of the choices on our list will be powerful enough to get rid of these tougher marks.
Whatever you choose, you’ll need to be armed with a decent set of clean microfibre cloths.
We love Halford's 5-pack microfibre cloths, as the mixed colours help keep track of what's being used where.
Top tip: use horizontal motion to clean one side of the glass, and a vertical motion to clean the other, so if there are any remaining streaks, you know where to work it a little harder.
Autoglym Fast Glass
- £7.20 from Halfords- buy here
Firm favourite of pro detailers, industry car mags and users alike, Autoglym Fast Glass is a very versatile choice, given its streak-free finish works household glass, as well as that on your car.
For use on acrylics, perspex and plastic windows – such as those on convertibles or garden gazebos – it quickly removes that nasty film of dirt and dust from the glasswork, leaving a crystal clear shine.
Insects, tree sap and bird droppings are also blitzed without effort on paintwork, the backs of wing mirrors and the windscreen glass.
Armor All Glass Wipes x 20
- £3.50 from Halfords- buy here
Not sufficient for a proper clean, Armor All Glass Wipes are a great way to keep windows clean in between washes.
Handily stored in the glovebox, they can be brought out at a moment’s notice – great if you find you've parked under the wrong tree, or if a tot has taken a shine to the interior rear window after chomping on chocolate.
For use inside and outside, leaving a relatively streak-free shine (though a quick follow-up with a microfibre cloth will leave a better finish), the resealable pack, will keep the wipes moist.
Dodo Juice Clearly Menthol Glass Cleaner
- £8.62 from Amazon- buy here
Recognising that alcohol is better at evaporating, leaving a more reliable smear-free finish than vinegar-based cleaners, Dodo Juice has created this mouthwash coloured and scented glass cleaner.
Though the minty smell may be overwhelming for some, this glass cleaner reigned supreme over other glass cleaners for years in the annual Auto Express product tests – only recently losing out to CarPlan (below) due to price.
Based on its effectiveness at dealing with grease and grime, this is still the best choice for those with a little more cash to spare.
Halfords Glass Cleaner 500ml
- £4 from Halfords- buy here
Specially formulated to work both in and out glass surfaces, Halfords Glass Cleaner is almost half the price of other quality choices on this list.
That doesn’t mean half the performance though. Effective on plastic, perspex & acrylic, it can be used around the home, as well as on the car.
Its streak-free, smear-free finish is a winner with fans, who take advantage of the periodic 3-for-2 offer. Great value in that 500ml size.
Spray on, wipe off and buff dry. Perfect finish every time.
Meguiars Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner 473ml
- £10.50 from Halfords- buy here
Another contender that finds itself useful in the household, as well as on the motor’s glasswork.
Meguiar's Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner prides itself on tackling tinted windows, where streaky finishes are more obvious.
Bird poo and baked-on bugs are quickly removed, as easily as road grime. The spray has a heavier formula, than, for example Auto Fitnesse’s 500ml spray, and the scent is far less intrusive than Dodo Juice.
Though it’s pricey, particularly for a slightly smaller measure, Meguiar’s fans swear by its anti-hazing formula to provide long lasting shine.
Auto Finesse Crystal Glass Cleaner 500ml
- £7.96 from Halfords- buy here
This tough solution from Auto Finesse is committed to giving you a smear-free finish using a highly concentrated solution, effortlessly removing greasy fingerprints.
This one is particularly smart for interior glass, where use of a sat-nav has left a funny ring and a patch of fingerprints in your direct eyeline for driving.
Useful on the exterior too, the solvents in this glass cleaner are gentle enough on all kinds of surfaces, including acrylic and plastic, but powerful enough to shift stubborn marks.
Your windscreen will look like it’s fresh out the garage.
CarPlan Screen Clean
- £3.58 from DIY.com- buy here
Quite the bargain, and carrying the prestigious title of Auto Express group winner, the CarPlan Screen Clean is both affordable and effective on interior and exterior windows.
If you vape in your car, this will shift the greasy build up from the exhalations.
The streak-free shine lasts a couple of weeks and will shift tougher debris, like bird poo and dead insects, without too much elbow grease.
It’s worth running a clean microfibre cloth over the surface, once it’s been buffed in, just to get the best results.
If you're in need of a new car interior cleaner, we've rounded up the best available.
Looking for more motoring recommendations? Check out our dedicated Sun Selects motoring section.
To browse our full range of Sun Selects recommendations, be sure to head back to the Sun Selects page.
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