Preventing Windshield Damage With Proper Glass Cleaning Methods

Car and truck windshields commonly become damaged by road debris and objects that fly through the air. The damage should be located as soon as possible so a windshield replacement can be completed. Once the work is done, you should try to protect your windshield as best you can to prevent future damage from occurring. Keeping your windshield clean is a good option to minimize breaks, so your wipers do not force hard debris against the surface of the glass. Proper cleaning methods are required though, so consider the tips below.

Use the Right Cleaner

There are many different cleaning products you can buy that are marketed for vehicle cleaning purposes. Some of these products contain chemicals like ammonia, alcohol, ethanol, and propane. Even homemade varieties contain strong materials like vinegar or lemon juice. Unfortunately, both strong bases and acids can cause the glass of your windshield to corrode. Corrosion generally occurs over time when household chemicals are used, but the process causes small openings or pores to form in the surface of the glass. In some cases, layers of the glass will wear away as well.

Instead of using strong chemicals or highly acidic materials to clean your windshield, use soap and water instead. Dish soap is gentle, and this makes it a good option to clean vehicle glass. Place about two tablespoons of the soap in a bucket filled with warm water to clean with. If grease, bird feces, or other tough materials coat the glass, then make sure to allow the soap to sit for several minutes before scrubbing your windshield. The molecules within the soap attach to the materials that make up the debris so water can rinse them away.

Invest in a Microfiber Cloth

Many people use old towels, newspapers, and scrub pads to clean their windshields after cleansers are applied. This is not wise, because the dirt is then forced across the windshield as the glass is cleaned. This can cause small scratches to form on the surface of the windshield. Once the scratches form, dirt and water can work their way into the openings. The debris can vibrate when you drive your car and larger cracks can then show up.  

You can avoid scratches from debris by purchasing microfiber cloths to clean your windshield. These cloths are made up of tiny fibers that are smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Polyester and nylon are commonly used to create microfiber cleaning cloths, and the materials are quite soft due to their small size. The fibers that make up the cloth also contain tiny holes in between each fiber. The holes help to trap dirt when you clean your windshield so it cannot scratch the glass. Also, the microfiber is extremely absorbent so it can pick up water from your windshield quickly.

Use Warm Water

When you finish cleaning your windshield, you may be tempted to use hot water to release all of the soap and debris from the glass.  This is not wise, because extreme temperature changes can cause the layers of your windshield to constrict and contract quickly. The movement of the glass can weaken the structure of the windshield for a short period of time. It can also cause small openings to spread across the surface of the windshield.

You can reduce damage by making sure to use warm water to clean your windshield. If you use a hose, then test the water with your hand first before you start to spray. Also, do not let your hose sit in the sun while you clean your vehicle. The sun will heat up the water within the hose and it will be extremely hot when you turn it on.

If you own a car, then you may need to invest in a windshield replacement at some point. Once a necessary fix is supplied, then you can work to prevent future damage by making sure your windshield is kept clean. You do not want your cleaning practices to scratch the glass though, so click here to investigate other options and follow the cleaning tips outlined above.