How to Care for/Clean a Fogged and Scratched Car Windshield

- How to Care for/Clean a Fogged and Scratched Car Windshield
Latest update date: February 25, 06

After using a car for a long time, the car's windshield often becomes blurred or has small scratches. This not only affects the driver's vision, but can also lead to traffic safety risks. Therefore, caring for and cleaning the windshield is an important task for every car owner.

Proper windshield maintenance is important to ensure driving safety and prolong the life of your vehicle. This article provides expert advice on how to clean, de-fog and repair scratches on car windshields, based on research and industry statistics.

The importance of windshield maintenance

According to data from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 11.000 accidents each year are attributed to poor visibility. A clean and well-maintained windshield is essential for:

  • Ensure clear visibility when driving
  • Maintains the structural integrity of the vehicle
  • Prevent small problems from becoming costly repairs

Clean the windshield that is dusty or dirty

1. Step-by-step instructions

Preparing instruments:

  • Microfiber towels
  • Specialized glass cleaner for cars
  • White vinegar or lemon juice
  • Clean water

Cleaning inside:

  • Use a dry microfiber towel to wipe off dust
  • Spray glass cleaner on the cloth, do not spray directly on the glass
  • Wipe in circular motions, then wipe straight to avoid streaks

Cleaning the outside:

  • Wash the glasses with water to remove dirt
  • Spray glass cleaner and wipe with a microfiber cloth
  • Use another towel to dry

Final Polishing:

  • Mix water and white vinegar or lemon juice in a 1:1 ratio
  • Use a clean microfiber towel to absorb this solution and wipe again to create shine

2. Tips from the experts

  • Avoid using newspaper: Although once common, newspaper can leave behind ink and scratch the glass.
  • Clean regularly: The windshield should be cleaned at least once a week to avoid dust buildup.
  • Use the right products: Avoid using household cleaners as they can damage car windows and window film.
Clean the windshield that is dusty or dirty
Clean the windshield that is dusty or dirty

De-fog on the windshield

Fogged windshields are caused by condensation when there is a significant temperature difference between the inside and outside of the vehicle. Here are effective methods to quickly clear the fog:

1. Use an air conditioning system

Effective: 90% of modern cars can de-fog within 30 seconds using this method.

  • Set the temperature to the highest level
  • Turn on the air-conditioner
  • Make sure the airflow is directed toward the windshield
  • Turn off air circulation mode
Use an air conditioning system
Use an air conditioning system

2. Use the defrost button

For vehicles without air conditioning:

  • Find the defogger button (usually marked with a windshield icon)
  • Set the fan to highest speed
  • Wait 3-5 minutes for the windshield to clear fog
Use the defrost button
Use the defrost button

3. Homemade de-fogging solution

  • Anti-fog spray: Use a commercial anti-fog product every 2-4 weeks.
  • Shaving cream: Apply a thin layer, wipe off after a few minutes. The residual layer helps prevent fogging.
  • Silica gel desiccant packets: Place several packets on the dashboard to absorb excess moisture.

Repair scratches on windshield

Small scratches can often be repaired at home, saving time and money. Here are the methods based on the severity of the scratch:

1. Light scratches

Method of using toothpaste:

  • Use white toothpaste, not gel
  • Apply with a damp cloth in circular motions
  • Rinse and repeat if necessary

Cerium oxide powder:

  • Mix cerium oxide powder with water to form a paste
  • Apply with a soft cloth in circular motions
  • Rinse and check

2. Deeper scratches

For scratches you can feel with your fingernail:

Windshield repair kit:

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions
  • Usually involves injecting resin into the scratch
  • Harden with UV light

Professional repair:

  • Recommended for scratches longer than 15cm or deeper than 2mm
  • The cost is from 1-3 million VND, compared to 5-10 million VND for a new one
Clean scratches on the windshield
Clean scratches on the windshield

Precautions

  • Replace windshield wipers every 6-12 months
  • Maintain a safe distance to avoid debris from other vehicles
  • Park in a covered area when possible to reduce exposure to the elements

Regular windshield maintenance is important for safety and visibility. By following these expert tips and techniques, you can keep your windshield in optimal condition, saving on repair and replacement costs in the long run.

Remember, if you are unsure about the severity of damage to your windshield, it is best to consult a professional. Your safety on the road depends on clear visibility and a structurally sound windshield.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

1. How often is the optimal windshield cleaning frequency?

According to recommendations from automobile experts, windshields should be cleaned at least once a week for vehicles that are used regularly. For vehicles that are rarely used, the frequency can be reduced to once every 1 weeks. However, in dusty or rainy environments, it is necessary to increase the frequency to 2-2 times/week to ensure the best visibility.

2. Should household glass cleaner be used to clean car windshields?

Absolutely do not use household glass cleaner on car windshields. These products often contain ammonia which can damage the protective coating of the glass and cause stains. Instead, use specialized car glass cleaner, which has neutral pH and does not contain substances harmful to the glass surface. Refer now Convenient quick windshield cleaner 32ml Genuine, best price on the market.

3. How to prevent fog from forming on the windshield?

To prevent fogging, you can:

  • Using anti-fog agent: Apply once a month
  • Place silica gel desiccant bags in the car: Replace every 2-3 months
  • Keep the car interior dry: Avoid leaving wet items in the car
  • Regular maintenance of the air conditioning system: every 6 months

4. Is there any way to remove insect residue on the windshield?

To remove insect residue:

  • Soak the affected area with a wet towel for 5-10 minutes
  • Spray specialized glass cleaning solution
  • Use a soft plastic scraper to remove residue
  • Wipe clean with a microfiber towel

Note: Do not use hard materials to scrape, it may scratch the glass.

5. When should a windshield be replaced instead of repaired?

Windshield replacement is necessary when:

  • The crack is longer than 15 cm
  • Cracks deeper than half the thickness of the glass (usually >3mm)
  • There are more than 3 cracks on the same glass panel
  • The crack is in the corner of the glass or obstructs the driver's vision
  • Cloudy glass cannot be fixed by polishing

6. Can toothpaste be used to polish small scratches on the windshield?

Toothpaste can be used to treat small scratches, but the effectiveness is limited. The process is as follows:

  • Clean the scratched area
  • Apply a thin layer of toothpaste (grain-free)
  • Use a soft cloth to gently rub in a circular motion for 30-60 seconds
  • Wipe clean with a damp cloth

Note: This method is only effective with very small scratches, depth <0.5mm.

7. How to protect the windshield from UV rays and high temperatures?

To protect the windshield:

  • Apply high quality heat insulation film: Reduce up to 99% of UV rays, 70-80% of heat
  • Use a sunshade when parking: Reduces interior temperature by up to 20°C
  • Park in the shade or garage when possible
  • Clean regularly to remove dirt and heat buildup

8. How to treat windshields that have become yellow over time?

To treat yellowed glasses:

  • Clean thoroughly with specialized solution
  • Use a mixture of water and white vinegar (1:1 ratio) to clean the glass
  • Use specialized polishing cream for car windows
  • If it doesn't work, consider using a professional polishing service
  • In cases of severe yellowing, the windshield may need to be replaced.

9. How to know if the windshield needs to be replaced?

Signs that your windshield needs to be replaced:

  • Cracks spread quickly (>2mm/day)
  • A “bull's eye” (circular crack) appears at the point of impact
  • The glass is cloudy and cannot be fixed by polishing
  • Cracks obstruct the driver's vision
  • The glass is deformed and no longer flat

Read the article now: The Common problems with windshields & a quick, effective fix recommended by many experts.

10. Is there any way to fix small cracks on the windshield at home?

Small cracks (<15cm) can be repaired yourself using a windshield repair kit:

  • Clean the cracked area
  • Place the pad over the crack
  • Inject epoxy glue into the crack through the gasket
  • Let the glue dry for 1-2 hours
  • Remove excess glue with a plastic razor

The success rate when self-repairing is about 75-80% for small cracks.

11. How to avoid windshield freezing in winter?

To prevent glasses from freezing:

  • Coat the glass with anti-freeze solution: The effect lasts 1-2 weeks
  • Cover the glass with a specialized shield when parking outdoors
  • Park in a garage or covered area when possible
  • Do not let water stand on the glass before the temperature drops
  • Turn on window heating before starting the car in the morning

12. How to increase the life of wipers and reduce friction with the windshield?

To increase wiper lifespan:

  • Clean the lever regularly: every 2 weeks
  • Replace wipers every 6-12 months depending on frequency of use
  • Avoid operating wipers on dry glass
  • Use specialized lubricant solution for wiper rubber: every 3 months
  • Do not expose the wiper lever to direct sunlight when parking

Complying with these measures can extend wiper life by up to 25-30% compared to normal.

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