How to Clean Inside Car Windows

Updated: Jun. 16, 2023

Follow these steps to clean glass on the inside and get rid of fingerprints, smudges and the dust generated by your dashboard and upholstery.

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An hour or less




Less than $20


Learn how to clean inside car windows with these simple step-by-step instructions.

Tools Required

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Reaching tool with a curved head (optional)

Materials Required

  • Interior glass cleaner

You don’t have to drive very far down the highway to notice how dirty your windshield gets. It feels like you’ve got to wash you car windows every time you stop to get rid of a think layer of dirt and bugs. You’ve probably noticed that the inside of your car’s windshield can get pretty filthy too, especially if your windshield fogs up regularly. Fortunately a good cleaning is pretty simple to achieve, in just a few steps.

How Do Car Windows Get Dirty on the Inside?

Condensation and dust inside of your car can create a cloudy film that builds up on the inside of your windows. Other factors can make the inside of your windows dirty too, including smoke, fingerprints and even something called off-gassing, i.e. the breakdown of plastic and vinyl components inside the car (it’s what gives a vehicle that new car smell.)

It’s important to keep the inside of your windows clean because it helps them defrost faster, and it’s just safer. A thick, filmy layer on the inside of your window can cause problems with the glare, making it harder to see the road. Discover what are these little black dots on your car’s windshield.

Fortunately, it’s easy to clean the inside of your windows. Just follow these easy steps.

Project step-by-step (4)

Step 1

Wipe the Windows with a Dry Cleaning Cloth

  • Wipe the inside car windows with a dry, reversible microfiber cleaning cloth, with a thick cleaning side and a fine drying side, working from top to bottom in an up-and-down motion. A microfiber cloth works best because it doesn’t leave lint or other fibers stuck to the glass the way paper towels or regular cotton towels can.

This prep step removes that nearly invisible filmy layer of dirt and dust particles that stem from the plastic, vinyl and rubber in your car’s interior.

Veronica Graham

Step 2

Spray Window Cleaner on the Glass

Just a few spritzes at a time should do the trick. Avoid spraying the cleaner directly onto the glass. Too much cleaner can make the glass hazy.

There are a number of glass cleaning products that will work, but we recommend one that’s specific for interior use in a car, such as Meguiar’s Perfect Glass, That will help you avoid exposure to chemicals like ammonia while inside your car.  Or make your own glass cleaner with equal parts distilled water and isopropyl alcohol, plus a capful of white vinegar.

Veronica Graham

Step 3

Wipe on the Glass Cleaner

  • Rub the cleaner-dampened microfiber cloth in a circulation motion, again working from top to bottom.
  • The lower corners of the windshields can be tricky and nearly impossible to reach, so a reaching tool with a curved head, such as the Xindell extendable windshield reaching/cleaning tool with a 14-1/2-in. reach, works well. This tool is optional.

Veronica Graham

Step 4

Dry the Glass

  • Wipe the glass dry with the other side of your dry microfiber cloth, or a fresh one, for a streak-free finish.
  • Repeat steps 2 through 4 until sparkling.