Our Top Pick for 2018: Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner
Read our full review.
Do you spend your weekends detailing your antique car for show? Do you just need something that will take crayon and ranch dressing off of the windows by the kiddie seats? Maybe you’re a professional detailer tired of the old blue watery window cleaner. Most likely, you fall somewhere in between and just like clean windows when you wash your car a couple of times a month. No matter which approach you take to auto care, you need a good window cleaner. Taking pride in your vehicle is dedicated work. From interior to exterior, trips to the car wash can be a half day project! Vacuuming, conditioning leather, shampooing carpets, washing and waxing the body, and protecting vinyl surfaces are all time consuming tasks, but when it comes to glass, you have double the job – inside and outside. Which products are worth your time and money? We’ve gone through them and found the best auto glass cleaners on the market so you can spend your time getting perfectly clear windows instead of standing in the store comparing products.
Quick View of Our 4 Best Auto Glass Cleaner:
|Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner - 19 oz, 91164||1,285 Reviews||from $4.10||Buy on Amazon|
|Meguiar's G8224 Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner - 24 oz.||382 Reviews||$11.88||Buy on Amazon|
|Rain-X 5071268 2-in-1 Glass Cleaner and Rain Repellant - 23 fl oz.||500 Reviews||from $13.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Stoner 90164 'Invisible Glass' Glass Cleaner Wipe||173 Reviews||from $6.25||Buy on Amazon|
#1. Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner
Okay, after three hours you’ve washed and waxed the exterior and detailed the interior of your car, and saved the windows for last. Oops. What are you going to do when you spray your glass cleaner and it runs down into the window cavity or onto your door or dash? Well, if you used Invisibile Glass Premium Cleaner by Stoner, you don’t have to worry about that (but just in case – clean your windows first next time)! You can just spray it on and it stays where you spray. Isn’t that perfect all in itself?
Invisible glass is a super powerful cleaner in an aerosol can that turns to a light mist when you spray it onto your windows and clings until you wipe it. It doesn’t contain any perfumes, dyes, foaming agents, or irritating soaps, so your car won’t be overwhelmed with that typical glass cleaner smell, you won’t have a weird residue on your hands after use, and you don’t have to worry about any of the usual staining or streaking. Working one window at a time, simply spray the cleaner onto your glass, then wipe with your detailing instrument of choice. Some users like disposable shop towels or newspaper to prevent lint, and some swear by microfiber cloths. Invisible Glass works with any of these, however, we do suggest a light spray and wipe with your “dirty” towel before a full clean with your “clean” towel if you choose the microfiber cloth, because you will accumulate the dirt and debris that you are cleaning off, which could lead to not allowing the product to do its job well by the time you reach your last window. Definitely work on small area at a time. Because this cleaner is alcohol based, it will evaporate quickly. The base is what sets this cleaner apart – some cleaners are made with ammonia or gasoline, but this alcohol base cuts through and removes bug guts, mud, finger prints, hard water, and sticker residue with ease and no awful smell. If it does evaporate before you get to it, no worries, just spray another light coating and continue cleaning.
Invisible Glass is safe to use on low-e glass, tinted glass, and chrome areas around the glass. It is perfect on fog free mirrors and even plastic instrument panels with no streaks. The product is formulated to repel rain from the exterior glass so it just beads up and rolls away, and a light spray and wipe each time you clean your car may actually begin to repel dust and lint from these interior surfaces after a while, allowing you to clean less often. We even like it on all of the chrome trim areas on your car, inside and out, for a beautiful brand-new gleam without buying a second chrome product.
There is no doubt you will be impressed with the streak free results you get with Invisible Glass. You just might think your windows are open when, in fact, they are just the cleanest they have ever been! You know that awful feeling in the pit of your stomach when you get in your car to drive home from the wash bay and you see streaks on the windshield? Don’t crash your car into the nearest pole – just use Invisible Glass next time! You won’t see any streaks or haziness after cleaning, which is worth its weight in gold, but this can will only set you back about 4 bucks for a big 19 ounce can. We love one reviewer’s comment about how Invisible Glass changes your “perception of clean” as you use it on surfaces you thought were already clean. We also saw some great advice about cleaning your windshield wipers with the cleaner, but we’ll let you test that one out.
Professional drivers and auto collectors all over just rave about this cleaner for its ability to easily and quickly remove grime, dust, bird droppings, smoke and smog from windows. When you truly care about a complete, detailed cleaning, you just have to add Invisible Glass Premium Auto Glass Cleaner to your bag of car wash tricks. In fact, you may need to pick up an extra can, because reviewers everywhere talk about gifting this product and letting others try it at the car wash!
#2. Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner
Meguiar’s is synonymous with car care. Actually starting out as a furniture polish lab, Barry Meguiar has turned his passion for all things shiny toward perfection in car care, and chances are you know of the high quality products that come from this 110 year old company. Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner is no different than any other of the products specially developed for a shiny, squeaky clean automobile, and the professional grade cleaner is readily available in stores everywhere.
Perfect Clarity takes second place because it is a bit more labor intensive than our winner, but we think it is worth the work. In fact, Meguiar’s actually guarantees that your auto glass will stay cleaner longer than with other brands. The liquid spray is formulated with a repellant to keep dust and dirt away from your glass, helping extend the time between cleanings. Perfect Clarity contains a special formula that allows your cleaning cloth to glide over the glass surface, ensuring an even clean without streaks. This is not a quick drying formula, so you won’t have any problems using it on the driveway without shade from the sun. However, the cleaner does require an application by one cloth and buffing with another. If you don’t buff the cleaner immediately after wiping it on, you will have haze and streaks – this is indicated on the user instructions, so it is not a downfall of the product – it is just important to know this is a two-step glass cleaner. Pick up a couple of microfiber cloths (perhaps in two colors so you don’t mix up your applicator with your buffer) when you purchase your cleaner and you will be good to go, as this product specifically requires the use of microfiber cloths.
Users report a pleasant fragrance to this ammonia free glass cleaner, and note the ease of removing bug and bird debris after use – the windshield wipers of your car actually become more efficient after the application of this glass cleaner because of the lubricant that is left behind after the buffing process. Just think of it – the application of a glass cleaner can help your wipers whisk away that nasty bug encounter on the highway? That is definitely worth the extra step. After all, the worst thing is hitting a bug or encountering a bird right after washing your car! Perfect Clarity is safe to use on tinted windows and specialty glass, but don’t use it on plastic lenses, such as instrument panel, radio face, or headlights. It is specially formulated for glass, and it will streak or haze on other surfaces.
Because this is a liquid spray with no propellant, you can fully use up all 24 ounces of this cleaner. We do recommend cleaning the glass before wiping car doors and dash, because of the liquid application. You wouldn’t want to ruin all of your effort by a drip of glass cleaner, right? So the cost may be a little higher, but the trade-off is more usable product in the bottle. After using Perfect Clarity, you will realize how perfectly clear your auto glass really can be and wonder why you didn’t notice it wasn’t completely clean before! This formula is one the professional detailers swear by, so go ahead and pick up a bottle to try on your car. At around $6, you really can’t go wrong with Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Auto Glass Cleaner.
#3. Rain-X 2-in-1 Glass Cleaner and Rain Repellant
Rain-X is one of those trustworthy companies that have been around for years and is a fairly common household name. We all know it as the company that provides an awesome vehicle coating that repels water. You know you’ve used it when you see water beading up and rolling off of your windshield without turning on your windshield wipers, which is just a fabulous innovation in a light rain. Maybe you’ve paid extra for Rain-X protection at the carwash, or used it as a final rinse after waxing. But did you know Rain-X now makes a liquid spray glass cleaner with its famous water repellent formula mixed in? We think it’s a fabulous time saving marriage in auto care, and you can pick it up at convenient retailers everywhere.
In the world of auto glass cleaners, there are certainly hundreds of choices. Getting through the elimination process to make our top 4 list is an honor, and Rain-X easily makes it because of its unmatchable consistency in results. Super easy to use, just spray it on and wipe with a cotton cloth, paper towel, or microfiber cloth. It cuts through dirt, grease, and grime quickly and easily without much effort, and just seems to dissolve junk on the window. One major advantage of the Rain-X cleaner is that you don’t have to buff this product with another cloth to prevent streaking or to activate the rain repellent – just spray and wipe for a streak free finish. We think rain repellent is a misnomer, because this Rain-X product certainly repels more than rain. It helps prevent dust and pollen from settling, makes it easier to remove bugs, sap, and bird debris from your windows, and it helps prevent ice buildup in the winter months. Definitely give your wiper blades a spray and wipe while you’re at it, to be sure you’re getting the best clean possible. What good is it to clean your glass but not your wipers? We will mention that this is not an interior cleaning product. It is specifically designed for exterior glass, so you will need another product for inside. This is why it is further down on the list, but we still believe it is a top notch product you should try.
Rain-X cleaner is convenient enough to keep in your car and spritz on your windows whenever you need extra cleaning. Just spray on and run your wipers for cleaning the occasional bug. Users in the Pacific Northwest, who see a lot of rain and salt in the air, say this product is irreplaceable, prevents damage from the sea air, and makes them feel safer on the road in the frequent rain and fog. As an added benefit, it works great on shower doors, preventing the need to clean shower glass for about 30 showers or so. Goodbye squeegee, hello Rain-X! Who knew? For about $5 you get a 23 ounce bottle of liquid glass cleaner (remember – no aerosol means no propellants, so you have a full 23 ounces of usable product) that doesn’t require buffing, cleans glass to transparent bliss, and offers future protection from water spots and other debris. Plus it doubles as a magical shower glass cleaner? We think that’s amazing. Pick up a bottle of Rain-X 2-in-1 Glass Cleaner and Rain Repellant to get clean and clear auto glass (and shower glass, too)!
#4. Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaning Wipes
Sometimes you just need the ease of a wipe for a quick job, or for the unexpected (kids smear a little peanut butter on the window? Your soda exploded when you opened it?), so reach for the Invisible Glass Cleaning Wipes and call it a job well done. After all, you can’t always keep a roll of towels and bottle of spray cleaner in your car, but a tub of wipes is super convenient.
Invisible Glass brings our favorite glass cleaner to a plastic wipe-filled tub. Easily wipe the tree pollen off of your windows or take care of a quick mess inside. Just like their sibling spray, the glass wipes cut through sticky stuff, smoke residue, bug and bird residue, and fingerprints. 28 big wipes come in a tub, which will provide many cleaning sessions. These convenient wipes are a strong, woven material soaked in the best glass cleaner out there. They require no buffing for a streak free clean, and they are safe to use on tinted and tempered glass. Perfect for quick cleaning in between trips to the car wash, these wipes are easy enough to keep in the trunk or glove box.
Users love the convenience of these powerful glass wipes in a tub, and many suggest keeping them in your home as well as your car for quick jobs like mirror and window wipes. We recommend wiping the glass surface until the wipe is dry to prevent streaks from the wet wipes, and to keep the lid tightly closed. A container of these glass wipes will last in your car for several weeks when kept tightly closed. The only con with the wipes is the possibility of drying out. The smaller the roll of wipes gets in the tub, the more air gets in. Some users have had good results by adding a small amount of water to the tub when this happens to restore moisture, but not all users have had this issue.
Over all, we think it is worth the approximate $4.00 price tag is well worth the convenience of having a tub of handy glass wipes loaded with the best glass cleaner on the market in your car for unexpected glass cleaning jobs.
You can weigh a product’s convenience, cost, and local store availability all day long, but none of that is as important as the ability to actually perform as promised. Cleaning your car’s glass is a time consuming project, so you want to be sure that it is perfect when it’s all said and done. Look for the most effective cleaner for the results you want. Whether that is a streak free clean, protection from future debris, or just sparkly clean glass, the cleaning ability is the number one thing to consider when purchasing a glass cleaner, even if you need to order it online.
Ease of Use
If you don’t mind spending a lot of time cleaning your windows before using a glass product and then buffing, there are some great products out there. However, unless you just want to beef up your biceps, you probably want a product that only involves one wiping of each surface area. That said, one of our products listed has a second buffing step, but we think the results are worth it. So consider how much time you want to invest in cleaning your car’s windows to help guide you in purchasing a spray, wipes, or a two step glass cleaner.
There are some really good cleaners out there that contain offensive, harsh chemicals, such as ammonia and gasoline. Yes, gasoline! The products we’ve included on our list are pretty much free of harsh stuff. Surfactants, fragrances, soaps, and foaming agents can all irritate skin and lungs, and you may not love the smell of these ingredients. Then again, if nothing seems to bother you, a harsher cleaner might be okay for you. Always examine the ingredients of a product you are considering, and make an informed decision that meets your needs.
Going out on a limb here to speak for all mankind, we will say that most people who take car care seriously don’t want to purchase cheap products from unknown brands. Sure, there are some great lookalikes and discount products that claim to be just like the big brands, but why waste the money on a product that’s not tried and true? Risking the possibility of scratching your glass with cheap ingredients or wasting time having to go back to the store for a dependable product, just to do the job over again, just isn’t worth it. Stick to the reputable brands, such as the products we’ve selected here.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
Your car is one of the most expensive single item purchases you’ll make. Keep it looking like new by washing and waxing, shining those tires, and making the glass windows gleam. Nothing feels better than having admirers whistle as they walk by and ask how you get those windows so perfect! Take the time to consider your needs and time commitment to your vehicle care and choose a quality glass cleaning product that will truly take your car care to the next level.