what's your secret to cleaning inside car windows?

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squirm
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what's your secret to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by squirm » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:52 am

I still don't get great results. I use window cleaner from Stoner which I believe is pretty good, then take microfiber towels. I never do it when the windows are warm or hot, and not in direct sun.

I think the inside of car windows are hardest given the angles, how I need to twist my joints that don't want to be twisted, and the weird film that develops on them (I assuming from heating plastics. Back window always a pain.

I never get squeaky clean winders, just ok.
Last edited by squirm on Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Dude2
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by Dude2 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:58 am

Back in the day before tinting, it was so much more possible. These non-ammonia cleaners just suck, despite their claims; nevertheless, it's all you can do. I use old cotton washcloths that have been through the washer/dryer so many times there isn't any lint or anything coming off them. I end up having to re-clean the windows once a month from nothing but air getting on them.

TN_Boy
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by TN_Boy » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:27 am

squirm wrote:I still don't get great results. I use window cleaner from Stoner which I believe is pretty good, then take microfiber towels. I never do it when the windows are warm or hot, and not in direct sun.

I think the inside of car windows are hardest given the angles, how I need to twist my joints that don't want to be twisted, and the weird film that develops on them (I assuming from heating plastics. Back window always a pain.

I never get squeaky clean winders, just ok.
The back window is hard to get to. Try ammonia-based cleaner like Windex. Use wadded-up newspaper to wipe down after spraying (might be tough for the many who no longer get a printed paper I realize ...). The very mildly abrasive newspaper works great. The microfiber doesn't work great because it is completely non-abrasive, I suspect.

Nowizard
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by Nowizard » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:36 am

Windex works fine for me with paper towels.

Tim

Helo80
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by Helo80 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:50 am

Yeah, you're not supposed to use ammonia based cleaners (Windex) on tinted glass.

If you do not have tinted glass, Windex is fine.

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Kenkat
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by Kenkat » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:08 am

Damp chamois, mostly rung out. I prefer the natural chamois over the synthetic ones.

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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by Christine_NM » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:42 am

Distilled white vinegar bought by the gallon, diluted about 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Wipe on and off tinted window inside or outside with microfiber cloth. I don't need abrasion if I do it often enough. Don't get pure vinegar on the paint.
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:49 am

This has been a constant issue for me as well. I've gone through several spray and wipe cleaners meant for auto glass. The only one that's left the windows satisfactorily cleaned has been these tiny wipes from Armour All called "Glass Cleaner with Anti-Fog Wipes" which comes in a 15 wipe container. They've been far more effective at cleaning than the other wipes and sprays I've tried, but they're so tiny (6"x7") that it takes several to clean all the car windows. So they're not very cost effective.

harrychan
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by harrychan » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:52 am

Water and newspaper.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

Nowizard
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by Nowizard » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:00 pm

Windex never presented a problem over many years for us. However, we have never had heavily tinted glass and never really known if it was tinted at all.

Tim

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whodidntante
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by whodidntante » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:25 pm

Alcohol for spot cleaning. Clean microfiber rag for dust. Just curious, do you tend to touch the windows?

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BolderBoy
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by BolderBoy » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:36 pm

I asked my housekeeper what she uses to clean the windows: "Hot water on microfiber cloth. Dried off with clean, lint-free cotton towel." I scoffed. She said to try it on the inside of my auto windows, which are the hardest to clean, so I did.

I'll be darned - it worked!

"Hot water" = not so hot that it burns your hand. Some would say just "very warm".
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miketheboglehead
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by miketheboglehead » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:03 pm

I use isopropyl alcohol with a lint free cloth.

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xystici
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by xystici » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:05 pm

My secret is that I do not clean the car windows. But do not tell anyone though... :beer
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user5027
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by user5027 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:23 pm

squirm wrote: I think the inside of car windows are hardest given the angles, how I need to twist my joints that don't want to be twisted, and the weird film that develops on them (I assuming from heating plastics. Back window always a pain.
It was very hard to get the interior surface of the windows clear on our new 2015 Audi. There was an oily film that would only smear as you tried to clean it. After researching with google, I learned new car interiors (dash, console and door panels) give off a gas that causes the film. In time the problem went away.

Gives me another incentive to "buy and hold" and not fall into the 3 year lease routine. :idea:

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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by MotoTrojan » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:34 pm

TN_Boy wrote:
squirm wrote:I still don't get great results. I use window cleaner from Stoner which I believe is pretty good, then take microfiber towels. I never do it when the windows are warm or hot, and not in direct sun.

I think the inside of car windows are hardest given the angles, how I need to twist my joints that don't want to be twisted, and the weird film that develops on them (I assuming from heating plastics. Back window always a pain.

I never get squeaky clean winders, just ok.
The back window is hard to get to. Try ammonia-based cleaner like Windex. Use wadded-up newspaper to wipe down after spraying (might be tough for the many who no longer get a printed paper I realize ...). The very mildly abrasive newspaper works great. The microfiber doesn't work great because it is completely non-abrasive, I suspect.
+1 on newspaper. Weird how well it works.

Point
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by Point » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:39 pm

If you haven't cleaned them in a while and you can't see when you're on a long drive, coffee and paper towels cuts through the buildup quite well.

Otherwise winded and paper towels followed by newspaper does the job

Atilla
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by Atilla » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:48 pm

Full service car wash.
The Village Idiot - here for your entertainment.

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Toons
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by Toons » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:56 pm

The Best :happy
Wal-Mart

Image
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Ron
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by Ron » Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:19 pm

Don't secrete anything on them so you don't have to have a secret to clean them :twisted: ...

- Ron

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tennisplyr
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by tennisplyr » Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:22 pm

Nowizard wrote:Windex works fine for me with paper towels.

Tim
+1
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TBillT
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by TBillT » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:26 pm

I use the product Invisible Glass and I get it from Walmart. It is supposed to be very good, last I time checked.

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Downeastah
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by Downeastah » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:37 pm

Invisible Glass + newspaper = zero streaks and perfectly clear glass. I use it both inside and out.
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9liner
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by 9liner » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:43 pm

+ 1 on newspaper and Sprayway or Invisible Glass. Useful on all windows, not just auto.

Davistax
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by Davistax » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:44 pm

This is the best...and as any good Boglehead would appreciate, the cheapest.
harrychan wrote:Water and newspaper.

likegarden
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by likegarden » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:52 pm

I have my car only for 4 months, so window cleaning can wait a little. About tinted windows, here in NY state they are no longer permitted on cars, on SUVs and trucks it is permitted. Supposedly crooks in cars in NY city used the tinting to hide behind, probably did not drive SUVs and trucks. I could not get a NY state car inspection on the other car, had to get the tint removed with tinting removal costing the same as putting it on.

squirm
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by squirm » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:10 pm

Ron wrote:Don't secrete anything on them so you don't have to have a secret to clean them :twisted: ...

- Ron
LOL! On my laptop now fixed it, so much for writing from my phone!

piperkub
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Re: what's your secret to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by piperkub » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:26 pm

Ok folks, we've stooped to a new low- how to clean windows, the only thing I didn't see was how John Bogle would do it ? ...go to the car-wash and enjoy watching someone else do it for 20.00. After working your entire life saving and skimping to be able to enjoy retirement, it is the little things that make retirement worth it! And...you can pick apart the lousy job they did and they'll redo it for free!
For Clean Windows,
Piperkub

iamlucky13
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by iamlucky13 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:10 pm

user5027 wrote:It was very hard to get the interior surface of the windows clear on our new 2015 Audi. There was an oily film that would only smear as you tried to clean it. After researching with google, I learned new car interiors (dash, console and door panels) give off a gas that causes the film. In time the problem went away.
Hmmm...my Honda is 15 years old, and still develops a hazy film that doesn't wash off easily. Over the course of about 6 months it usually gets bad enough to cause glare issues from oncoming headlights at night and motivate me to clean again.

Windex just smears it around, but a dry microfiber and elbow grease seem to do ok at removing it.

Investtoski
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Re: what's your secret to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by Investtoski » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:53 pm

Diet Coke works like a charm and doesn't leave streaks.

Drovor
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Re: what's your secret to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by Drovor » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:13 am

Haven't tried this yet but when I got my windows tinted the owner recommended watered down baby soap (like Johnson and Johnson).

IowaFarmBoy
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Re: what's your secret to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by IowaFarmBoy » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:02 am

When they say not to use Windex on tinted glass, what do they mean by "tinted"? Are we talking factory applied tinting like that at the top of the windshield or are we talking about an aftermarket tinting film?

Thanks!

Dude2
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Re: what's your secret to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by Dude2 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:48 am

IowaFarmBoy wrote:When they say not to use Windex on tinted glass, what do they mean by "tinted"? Are we talking factory applied tinting like that at the top of the windshield or are we talking about an aftermarket tinting film?

Thanks!
I looked into this recently. There is a type of tinting that is inside the glass - put there by the factory, but it is rare, expensive, and doubtful that most of us have that. I got my car from the dealer with windows already tinted, and that saved me hassle. I'm sure it's a selling point. I would assume that if you have tinting (darker windows), it is aftermarket tinting. Therefore, you are not allowed to use Windex or ammonia-based products. I assume that it will damage it (eventually), and you'd probably need to get it professionally removed and replaced (hassle!).

According to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60X39Q8HEfM
-- a slight gap at the top of the window indicates aftermarket tint
-- only trucks and SUV's come with factory tint, and it is only on the back doors and back windows
-- cars do not come with factory tint

littlebird
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by littlebird » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:30 pm

user5027 wrote:
squirm wrote: I think the inside of car windows are hardest given the angles, how I need to twist my joints that don't want to be twisted, and the weird film that develops on them (I assuming from heating plastics. Back window always a pain.
It was very hard to get the interior surface of the windows clear on our new 2015 Audi. There was an oily film that would only smear as you tried to clean it. After researching with google, I learned new car interiors (dash, console and door panels) give off a gas that causes the film. In time the problem went away.

Gives me another incentive to "buy and hold" and not fall into the 3 year lease routine. :idea:
After decades of SUVs & minivans, I now have a Camry with very difficult sloped windows. I like to wash my own car, so I bought this - I believe on a recommendation on this forum - and I've gotten the film off, without cramping my elderly shoulders.

https://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Glass- ... B0017K69MA

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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by Ged » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:42 pm

Toons wrote:The Best :happy
Wal-Mart

Image
I agree. I learned about this product when Safelite came to replace a cracked windshield. The installer used this to clean the surface of the new windshield prior to installation to insure good adhesion. The installer left his can behind. When I tried it I was shocked by how effective it was.

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TnGuy
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Re: what's your secret to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by TnGuy » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:47 pm

"Money will not make you happy. And happy will not make you money." - Groucho Marx

Silverado
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by Silverado » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:28 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
user5027 wrote:It was very hard to get the interior surface of the windows clear on our new 2015 Audi. There was an oily film that would only smear as you tried to clean it. After researching with google, I learned new car interiors (dash, console and door panels) give off a gas that causes the film. In time the problem went away.
Hmmm...my Honda is 15 years old, and still develops a hazy film that doesn't wash off easily. Over the course of about 6 months it usually gets bad enough to cause glare issues from oncoming headlights at night and motivate me to clean again.

Windex just smears it around, but a dry microfiber and elbow grease seem to do ok at removing it.
Any chance you have to add coolant more often than you used to? Could be coolant leak in heater core that has taken ove from the new car smell.

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tetractys
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Re: what's your secret to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by tetractys » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:47 pm

Auto parts stores now sell clay impregnated wipes in small packages for about 60 cents each. I would guess three or four of them would do all the interior windows. They work like clay bars. -- Tet

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rustymutt
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Re: what's your secret to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by rustymutt » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:48 pm

Alcohol will remove the film (oils) that most glass cleaners merely dilute. Anyway, I've had good results getting everything off with it. Plus you can drink it while you're cleaning the windows. Have fun.
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MarkBarb
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Re: what's your secret to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by MarkBarb » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:04 pm

What is "newspaper"?

MrJones
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Re: what's your secret to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by MrJones » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:12 pm

MarkBarb wrote:What is "newspaper"?
Once upon a time, they used to print out the internet every morning.

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JPH
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Re: what's your secret to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by JPH » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:29 pm

I have a device that looks like a small kitchen mop with a microfiber pad on one end. It has a slightly curved handle about 18 inches ling that makes reaching the inside of windshield much easier. I don't remember where I picked it up. Auto parts store might carry it.
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FraggleRock
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Acid

Post by FraggleRock » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:36 pm

Christine_NM wrote:Distilled white vinegar bought by the gallon
Bingo!
I tried Windex. Was not effective.
Then I went to mineral spirits. Removes the goop on the window, but leaves its own film (mess).
Vinegar. Multiple applications. Works for me.

misterno
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by misterno » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:00 pm

Toons wrote:The Best :happy
Wal-Mart

Image
Walmart page say ammonia free

Sounds like it won't be as effective

mickeyvee
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Re: what's your secret to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by mickeyvee » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:28 pm

I use my winter leather gloves. The film wipes right off without streaking or damage to the gloves. I moved from Chicago to Arizona last year so I use them all the time now! 8-)
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TravelforFun
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by TravelforFun » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:51 pm

Davistax wrote:This is the best...and as any good Boglehead would appreciate, the cheapest.
harrychan wrote:Water and newspaper.
This is what I use too.

iamlucky13
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Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by iamlucky13 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:20 pm

Silverado wrote:
iamlucky13 wrote:
user5027 wrote:It was very hard to get the interior surface of the windows clear on our new 2015 Audi. There was an oily film that would only smear as you tried to clean it. After researching with google, I learned new car interiors (dash, console and door panels) give off a gas that causes the film. In time the problem went away.
Hmmm...my Honda is 15 years old, and still develops a hazy film that doesn't wash off easily. Over the course of about 6 months it usually gets bad enough to cause glare issues from oncoming headlights at night and motivate me to clean again.

Windex just smears it around, but a dry microfiber and elbow grease seem to do ok at removing it.
Any chance you have to add coolant more often than you used to? Could be coolant leak in heater core that has taken ove from the new car smell.
I actually do have a coolant issue I'm still getting around to taking care of, but it's not the heater core. It's probably the head gasket, as the symptom is excess coolant being pushed into the reservoir, and the radiator remaining pressurized after the car has cooled down, with whiffs of exhaust when I open the cap. A heater core leak should depressurize the coolant system over time, I would think, and there is no coolant odor in the cabin.

The hazy windows have been a perennial issue the entire time I've owned the car, where as the coolant issue is more recent.

daveydoo
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Re: what's your secret to cleaning inside car windows?

Post by daveydoo » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:27 pm

Ammonia + microfiber cloth (same ones I use to dry the car -- big bundle of yellow ones for next-to-nothing at Costco). Or ammonia + newspaper. I always assumed that the inside haze is from all plasticizers leaching out when the car sits in the sun. Makes a huge difference in visibility at night and in bright sun. I may not wash my car very often but this I do for my car and spouse's.

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