Car Care

The 10 Best Windshield Cleaners of 2021

Best Windshield Cleaner

Photo: Invisible Glass

Vehicle safety encompasses many things, but one that is easy to overlook is keeping the windshield clean enough.

While many motorists often use regular soap and water to clean their windshields, this is not always very effective. For fast and effective windshield cleaning, you need the best windshield cleaners.

Windshield cleaners have a unique formula for cleaning glass, and they will leave with a clear windshield to ensure excellent visibility. Also, they protect the glass from the elements to ensure long service life.

To help you choose something effective at cleaning your windshield below, we review 10 top-rated windshield cleaners and explain the vital factors to watch out for when shopping for one.

10 Best Windshield Cleaners - Review

IMAGE

PRODUCT

FEATURES

Invisible Glass 91164 Glass Cleaner

1. Invisible Glass 91164 (Best Overall)

  • Deep-cleaning foaming action
  • Ammonia-free formulation
  • Ideal for both tinted & non-tinted windows
  • Delivers a deep clean with a nice shine
Rain-X 800002243 Glass Treatment

2. RainX 800002243 (Best Water Repellent)

  • Water-repelling formulation
  • Removes haze & discoloration
  • Improves wiper blade performance
  • Super easy to apply
Meguiar's G8224 Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner

3. Meguiar's G8224 (Best for Perfect Clarity)

  • Delivers streak-free clarity
  • Safe for tinted windows
  • Anti-hazing formulation
  • Spreads & wipes easily
Rain-X 5080217 X-treme Glass Cleaner

4. Rain-X 5080217 (Best Budget)

  • More budget-friendly
  • Removes haze & discoloration
  • Restores headlights & clear plastic
  • Improves wiper blade performance
3M 08888 Glass Cleaner

5. 3M 08888 (Best Aerosol Cleaner)

  • Quick & easy aerosol application
  • No-drip foaming action
  • Great for all glass surfaces
  • Non-dripping formulation
Windex Ammonia-Free 679593

6. Windex Ammonia-Free 679593 (Best Spray)

  • Convenient spray bottle
  • Does not contain any ammonia
  • Removes fingerprints & smudges
  • Leaves streak-free shine
Rain-X 5071268

7. Rain-X 5071268 (Rain Repellent)

  • Water beading technology
  • Streak-free cleaning
  • Prevents & removes all road grime
  • Fast & easy to use
Invisible Glass 92164 Premium Glass Cleaner

8. Invisible Glass 92164 (Residue-Free)

  • Clear dry formula does not leave residue
  • Suitable for a variety of glass surfaces
  • Non-abrasive & non-foaming
  • Convenient trigger spray bottle
Chemical Guys CLD_202 Signature Series Glass Cleaner

9. Chemical Guys CLD_202 (Tinted Window Safe)

  • Safe on tinted windows
  • Lots of cleaning solution - 128 fluid ounces
  • Ammonia-free & non-toxic formulation
  • Streak-free & pleasant smell
Glass Plus Multi-Surface Glass Cleaner

10. Glass Plus 1920089331 (Multi-Surface)

  • Works on a wide variety of surfaces
  • Ammonia-free formula
  • Streak-free shine
  • Leaves a pleasant shine

PRODUCT

1. Invisible Glass 91164

(Best Overall)

Invisible Glass 91164 Glass Cleaner
  • Deep-cleaning foaming action
  • Ammonia-free formulation
  • Ideal for both tinted & non-tinted windows
  • Delivers a deep clean with a nice shine

2. RainX 800002243

(Best Water Repellent)

Rain-X 800002243 Glass Treatment
  • Water-repelling formulation
  • Removes haze & discoloration
  • Improves wiper blade performance
  • Super easy to apply

3. Meguiar's G8224

(Best for Perfect Clarity)

Meguiar's G8224 Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner
  • Delivers streak-free clarity
  • Safe for tinted windows
  • Anti-hazing formulation
  • Spreads & wipes easily

4. Rain-X 5080217

(Best Budget)

Rain-X 5080217 X-treme Glass Cleaner
  • More budget-friendly
  • Removes haze & discoloration
  • Restores headlights & clear plastic
  • Improves wiper blade performance

5. 3M 08888

(Best Aerosol Cleaner)

3M 08888 Glass Cleaner
  • Quick & easy aerosol application
  • No-drip foaming action
  • Great for all glass surfaces
  • Non-dripping formulation

6. Windex Ammonia-Free 679593

(Best Spray)

Windex Ammonia-Free 679593
  • Convenient spray bottle
  • Fresh scent with no ammonia scent
  • Removes fingerprints & smudges
  • Leaves streak-free shine

7.  Rain-X 5071268

(Rain Repellent)

Rain-X 5071268
  • Water beading technology
  • Streak-free cleaning
  • Prevents & removes all road grime
  • Fast & easy to use

8. Invisible Glass 92164

(Residue-Free)

Invisible Glass 92164 Premium Glass Cleaner
  • Clear dry formula does not leave residue
  • Suitable for a variety of glass surfaces
  • Non-abrasive & non-foaming
  • Convenient trigger spray bottle

9. Chemical Guys CLD-202

(Tinted Window Safe)

Chemical Guys CLD_202 Signature Series Glass Cleaner
  • Safe on tinted windows
  • Lots of cleaning solution - 128 fluid ounces
  • Ammonia-free & non-toxic formulation
  • Streak-free & pleasant smell

10. Glass Plus 1920089331

(Multi-Surface)

Glass Plus Multi-Surface Glass Cleaner
  • Works on a wide variety of surfaces
  • Ammonia-free formula
  • Streak-free shine
  • Leaves a pleasant shine

1. Best Overall Windshield Cleaner: Invisible Glass 91164   

Invisible Glass 91164 Glass Cleaner

Photo: Invisible Glass

The Invisible Glass 91164 is our best overall windshield cleaner as it is a premium-quality product with a deep-cleansing foam.

This deep-cleaning foam will ensure the product scrubs deep to remove all kinds of windshield contaminants, including bird droppings, salt spray, smoke haze, bug splats, plasticizer film, and road grime.

This top-rated windshield cleaner is perfect for both tinted and non-tinted windows, and it will be more eco-friendly as the formula does not contain any ammonia. Also, the formulation does not have soaps, dyes, additives, and scents. 

This product is easy and convenient to use thanks to a non-drip formula and does not make any mess or leave streaks on your windows. Also, this cleaner is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.

Although the nozzle seems to dispense a little slowly, this will hardly be a significant concern for most motorists.

Note: You can also get this windshield cleaner as part of a combo kit, the Invisible Glass 99031. This kit will include everything you need to clean your windshield, including some microfiber glass cleaning bonnets.

Pros:

  • Deep scrubbing formula removes all contaminant types
  • Ammonia free formulation
  • Provides a streak-free shine
  • Does not leave any residue behind
  • Safe on all windows

Cons:

  • Slow dispensing nozzle

2. Best Water-Repellent Windshield Cleaner: RainX 800002243

Rain-X 800002243 Glass Treatment

Photo: Rain-X

The RainX 800002243 glass cleaner is the perfect option for motorists looking for a cleaner that repels snow and rain. This product uses a water-repelling formula to ensure you maintain excellent visibility in any weather condition.

Many motorists love that besides improving visibility, this windshield cleaner will also enhance wiper blade performance to make driving under inclement weather more effortless.

Also, it removes discoloration and haze to restore headlights and clear plastic. And the use is straightforward as you only need to squeeze a little to a cleaning cloth and then use it to wipe the windshield or headlights.

Although 7 fluid ounces is relatively little compared to what other options in our automotive glass cleaner review provide, its formulation ensures that a little goes a long way. And the scent is still okay once you get used to the product.

Pros:

  • Repels water to improve visibility
  • Improves wiper blade performance
  • Also great for headlights
  • Super easy to apply

Cons:

  • Little product in the bottle
  • Not the most pleasant scent

3. Best Windshield Cleaner for Perfect Clarity: Meguiar's G8224 

Meguiar's G8224 Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner

Photo: Meguiar's

Meguiar’s G8224 is one of the best car window cleaners out there, not only because it is from a reputable company but also thanks to a unique formulation that delivers a perfect streak-free clarity.

This high gloss formula not only cleans windshields but will also leave tires looking nice and shiny. Its formula has water-resistant polymers and anti-hazing technology. Hence, it can deal with the dirtiest glass.

What's more, this cleaner spreads and wipes off quickly and is safe for tinted windows as well. Using Meguiar’s G8224 will also take care of the premature aging of glass. And motorists will love that it makes driving safer, thanks to the anti-hazing formula, which clears the mirror. 

When using this product, sometimes it can dry with few water spots, but they are hardly noticeable, and you can easily buff them off.

Pros:

  • Leaves the window with superior clarity
  • Safe to use on tinted windows
  • Spreads and wipes fast and easily
  • Deals with premature aging and cracking of tires
  • Made of anti-hazing formula

Cons:

  • Dries with a few water spots

4. Best Budget Windshield Cleaner: Rain-X 5080217

Rain-X 5080217 X-treme Glass Cleaner

Photo: Rain-X

The Rain-X 5080217 is a more budget-friendly windshield cleaner for motorists shopping for an affordable but still highly effective glass cleaning solution.

This glass cleaner removes grime, dirt, and dust build-up from windshields and most other glass surfaces. Plus, you can also expect outstanding results when using it on headlights and clear plastic.

Rain-X 5080217 is ideal for removing haze and discoloration to ensure excellent driving visibility. And besides cleaning the glass, this cleaner also leaves it streak-free and with a pleasant shine.

One more thing that makes this an outstanding product is its usefulness in improving wiper blade performance to ensure you will always get even better driving visibility.

Using this windshield cleaner will require quite some elbow grease, but the results make it worth the effort. The instructions are not very good, but you should not have any issues using the product.

Pros:

  • Relatively more affordable
  • Enhances driving visibility 
  • Effective for discoloration and haze removal
  • Wipes off road grime and residue
  • Keeps the wiper blade in peak performance

Cons:

  • Using it requires some elbows grease
  • Instructions are lacking

5. Best Aerosol Windshield Cleaner: 3M 08888 

3M 08888 Glass Cleaner

Photo: 3M

If you want a windshield cleaner that will give you an easy time during application, the 3M 08888 is perfect, thanks to the nice aerosol container.

This cleaner is ideal for most glass surfaces, including mirrors, windows, side glass, windshields, automotive vinyl, chrome, metal, and plastic, and it will also leave them with a pleasant gloss and streak-free.

With the no-drip foaming action, this windshield cleaner will cling to vertical surfaces to ensure you can clean them more effectively. 

While this cleaner has quite a strong odor that might be super annoying for some motorists, you should not have any issues if you use it outdoors. Although you also need to do some scrubbing, this should still not take a lot of effort.

Pros:

  • Easy to apply
  • Works on most glass surfaces
  • No drip foaming action
  • Leaves streak-free shine behind
  • Removes stubborn grit and grime effectively

Cons:

  • Strong odor
  • Still require some scrubbing

6. Best Spray Windshield Cleaner: Windex Ammonia-Free 679593

Windex Ammonia-Free 679593

Photo: Windex Ammonia-Free

With the spray bottle that will also include a nice trigger, the Windex Ammonia-Free 679593 is quite a convenient windshield cleaner as it gives motorists a much easier time.

Besides being convenient, this windshield cleaner has a potent formula that effectively removes fingerprints, smears, and smudges from glass surfaces. Better yet, the glass cleaner cleans without leaving any streaks.

Because the formula is ammonia-free, you will never have to worry about a choking ammonia smell lingering for hours after application. You will be happy to know the bottle is 100% recycled plastics if you are an environment-conscious motorist.

The scent seems to be a little too overpowering, but the good news is that it dissipates quite fast, and so you should not have any issues if you are in a well-ventilated room.

Pros:

  • Spray bottle is more convenient to use
  • Does not leave any streaks
  • Effective for removing smudges, fingerprints, and smears
  • Ammonia-free formula
  • 100% recycled plastic bottle

Cons:

  • Scent can be a little overpowering

7. Rain Repellent Windshield Cleaner: Rain-X 5071268

Rain-X 5071268

Photo: Rain-X

If you drive in rainy conditions a lot, the rain-repellent Rain-X 5071268 will serve you well. This cleaner allows water to bead up and roll away, leaving your windshield clear to maintain excellent visibility.

With this cleaner, you will never have to worry about unsightly streaks on the glass as the formula always leaves the surface streak-free. Applying this product is a breeze as you just need to spray and wipe off with almost no buffing required.

Besides cleaning your windshield, the Rain-X 5071268 helps remove and prevent snow, ice, sleek, and all kinds of road grime from sticking in the glass.

While this windshield cleaner will sometimes leave a thin film on the glass, this is something that you can easily remove with a little buffing.

Pros:

  • Causes water to bead up & roll away
  • Does not leave any streaks
  • Easy to spray on
  • Prevents dirt from sticking on the glass

Cons:

  • Can sometimes leave a film on glass

8. Residue-Free Windshield CleanerInvisible Glass 92164 

Invisible Glass 92164 Premium Glass Cleaner

Photo: Stoner

Invisible Glass 92164 glass cleaner is one of the cheapest options on our windshield cleaner review, but what truly makes it stand out is the residue-free formula. With this clear dry formula, this cleaner will not leave any dyes, scents, or streaks on the glass.

This Invisible Glass is also highly effective for removing dust, grime, grease, fingerprints, smoke haze, smudges from windshields, and other surfaces like chrome.

The formula does not contain soaps or toxins, making it safe for both users and the environment. And the cleaner is both non-abrasive and non-foaming to make it even better for your windshield.

While the smell might not be the most pleasant, it is also not the worst compared to others out there. Also, the minor streaks, if any, are easy to remove with a little buffing.

Pros:

  • Does not leave any residue
  • Removes grime, dirt, fingerprints, and smudges
  • Contains no soaps or toxins
  • Non-abrasive and non-foaming
  • Highly affordable

Cons:

  • Smell is not very pleasant
  • Still not 100% streak-free

9. Tinted Window Safe Windshield Cleaner: Chemical Guys CLD-202 

Chemical Guys CLD_202 Signature Series Glass Cleaner

Photo: Chemical Guys

The Chemical Guys CLD-202 is the perfect choice for those with tinted windows, as the formula is safe and effective for this glass type. But the formula is also ammonia-free and non-toxic to ensure that it will be safe for you and the environment.

This cleaner delivers a streak-free finish, and it makes removing debris, grime, dirt, and fingerprints easy. Also, this is a perfect product for use on motorcycles, boats, and even motor homes. 

Once applied to the windshield, this cleaner will leave a pleasant smell that lingers for a long time.

While this might be among the priciest item on our list, you get 128 fluid ounces of glass cleaner, and hence it is worth every buck you pay. And given there is a lot of it in the container, this model will be perfect when you have a lot of cleaning to do.

Pros:

  • Safe to use on tinted windows
  • Ammonia free and non-toxic formula
  • Streak-free formulation
  • Pleasant smell

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive 

10. Multi-Surface Glass Cleaner: Glass Plus 1920089331

Glass Plus Multi-Surface Glass Cleaner

Photo: Glass Plus

Glass Plus 1920089331 gives users something that is not only effective at cleaning windshields but is also a multipurpose product. You can clean computer screens, granite, stainless steel Plexiglas, fiberglass, and many other surfaces with this product.

With this Glass Plus product, the windows also get a pleasant shine without any streaks. And the application is straightforward as all you need to do is spray the solution, wipe off, and enjoy an excellent gloss.

Plus, you can use this cleaner to remove fingerprints and smudges on every surface. As the product is ammonia and bleach-free, you can use it without worrying about your safety and the environment.

The smell is also quite pleasant, and so you can be sure that it will not leave any unpleasant scents in your car. Although the spray bottle quality is a little wanting, it should still work well enough and last until you finish the product.

Pros:

  • Suitable for use on various surfaces
  • Gives streak-free shine
  • Doesn’t leave an unpleasant smell
  • Does not contain any ammonia

Cons:

  • Spray bottle quality is wanting

How to Buy the Best Windshield Cleaners

How to Buy the Best Windshield Cleaner

Photo: Chemical Guys

1. Size

The windshield cleaner size is an essential factor to consider to ensure you get the best value for your money.

Given that you will need to use this product quite often, you should choose an option with enough cleaner to last several uses.

Depending on the brand and price, you can get windshield cleaners in bottles that are small as 5 fluid ounces or as large as 100 or more fluid ounces. Hence, it is up to you to decide the size you need.

But a 128-ounce bottle like the Chemical Guys CLD-202 will always give you great value for money.

2. Multi-surface

Besides cleaning your windshield, a good windshield cleaner is one that you can also use to clean different surfaces like the Glass Plus 1920089331 as it will be handier to have around.

Something you can use to clean fiberglass, Plexiglas, mirror, stainless steel, computer screens, tablets, smartphones, and other glass surfaces will be very useful. Also, it should be ideal for use on both interior and exterior surfaces. 

3. Eco-Friendly

You cannot overlook the impact that the product you use will have on the environment because it can even land you in trouble in some jurisdictions.

It is crucial to ensure the windshield cleaner you buy does not have any harsh or harmful chemicals or ingredients that can harm animals or plant life. 

The best idea is to avoid products with things like ammonia and bleach, as they are bad for both the environment and the user.

4. Ease of use

The windshield cleaner must be easy to use. And this implies that the product should neither be too sticky nor too runny as both can give you problems during application.

An easy-to-use windshield cleaner will come with a good spray bottle that lets you adjust the nozzle to control the flow. If the cleaner also comes with a free cleaning cloth, it will even be better.

How to Clean Your Windshield 

How to Clean Your Windshield

Photo: Invisible Glass

Here is how to clean both the exterior and interior sections.

Exterior

  • Step 1: Wipe the outside section of the windshield with a soft cloth to remove any large debris and dirt.
  • Step 2: Spray the cleaner on the windshield and make sure you cover it adequately.
  • Step 3: Next, take a microfiber towel and wipe off the surface. Do this vertically, moving up and down from one end to the other.
  • Step 4: Once you finish, you can proceed to the horizontal wipe down. Start from the top and wipe back and forth. If you cannot cover the entire length in one swoop, you can divide it into two sections. 
  • Step 5: The last step is to give the windshield final touches as you might have missed some sections. Make sure you never use a circular motion as it will leave an unsightly look.

Interior 

  • Step 1: Start by wiping the surface with a clean cloth to eliminate any loose debris and dirt.
  • Step 2: Spray the cleaner on the windshield generously and try to cover as much of it as possible.
  • Step 3: Now, take a clean microfiber cloth and use it to wipe off the cleaning agent. But, if you think the glass is too dirty, you can use a scrub pad instead.
  • Step 4: Lastly, take a clean microfiber towel and use it to dry the whole windshield. Make sure there is no residue left behind.

Conclusion 

If you want your car glass to look clean and shiny for better visibility to ensure safer driving, you need to invest in the best windshield cleaner. 

With this guide to help you, finding an effective cleaner for your windshield should now be quick and super-easy. From our list, the Invisible Glass 91164 is our top recommendation thanks to the highly effective deep-cleansing foam.

But, if you want something that will help save you some cash, the more budget-friendly Rain-X 5080217 is what we recommend.

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