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Auto Washing, Detailing & Paint Protection Discuss wax, polish, chamois, microfiber towels, simple cloth towel, scratch repair and paint protection. Use this Forum to discuss your cleaning tricks and techniques.

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Old 07-08-2013, 01:19 PM   #1
OrangePeel
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Post How to clean the Windshield or Glass Exterior.

OrangePeel's - How to clean the Windshield or Glass window Exterior.

What's this for?

For a long while I was a traveler, me and my Focus traversed mile after mile enduring rain, sleet, hail, and debris.
It's been through duststorms and just about all kind of bug splatter you can imagine. I longed for a better way to
maintain great visibility on the road and while I was living in Tampa, a kind gentleman told me of this method to
keep a very dirt ridden windshield clean.


When to repeat?

Front Windshield, Every 3-6 Months.
Other Windows, once a year.


Materials you'll need for this process.
  • Steel Wool 0000
  • Rain X
  • Shop Towels
  • Microfiber buffing cloth
  • Invisible Glass
  • Masking Tape


!!CAUTION!!

Do not use this technique on your side view mirrors as they are not scratch resistant and will be damaged!



Steps


1. Begin by masking off any sections of painted panels near your windows that your are cleaning. This will
be important because this can cause fine scratches to your paint if not done carefully. This is put in
place as a safeguard in the event you over extend your swipes.

2. Begin Rubbing Dry Windshield with Steel Wool in a circular motion starting at the top of the windshield
and follow it down towards the base of the windshield next to the cowl. Continue moving from top to
bottom and over until done with entire windshield or exterior windows.

3. Applying Rain-X
Begin by using a terrycloth towel to wipe off the residue that was removed from your windshield, you
noticed a deep shine and begin to notice any dirt, marks or smudges that may be on your interior windshield.

4. Noting to apply Rain-X above 40* temperatures, turn sprayer nozzle to on position.

5. Take a shop towel or a small folded dry cloth and apply Rain-X to it liberally.

6. Begin by wiping cloth/towel onto the glass beginning at a top corner and working your way down in a circular
motion overlapping each pass onto the previous.

7. Ensure a uniform coverage with first pass and allow Rain-X to dry into a haze.

8. Using the same motion apply a second coat of Rain-X reassuring a complete coverage.

9. Allow Rain-X to dry into a haze and wipe off with a dry Terry Cloth towel or something similar.

10. Spray water onto the windshield to ensure your process was completed successfully and wipe clean with shop towels.

11. Step back and wear shades to avoid being blinded by the new found shine.


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Old 07-08-2013, 02:07 PM   #2
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You could spend a lot less time and energy just using a quality clay bar and spray detail. Not to mention, I don't think you could pay me to use steel wool on my windshield. Whatever works for you, though.
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:37 PM   #3
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Clay bars work well, but are too expensive an option and aren't as reusable as the Steel Wool.

I have done both to the windshield on my Focus, my Mother's Stratus and my Father's Genesis. This has worked best for me for quite some time and I hope it will work well for others looking for a reliable way to keep their shields clean. :)
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:18 PM   #4
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The other problem with clay is that if there are small chips in the glass they will almost surely become filled with clay. Good luck getting it out after you are done...
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:07 PM   #5
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I try hard to never allow anything hard to touch the glass when dry. I cringe at the idea of rubbing steelwool overr the glass..dry.
Sorry it is njust not a good idea IMO.
It may clean the grung off, but Yikes!

I am a big fan of Rain X. and since using it, my last car windscreen was still like new after 13 years..
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:04 PM   #6
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Ivory liquid hand soap + claybar = cheap & über-effective! No harsh solvents in the soap, plenty of conditioners, won't eat up wax like palmolive.

But I've found that ammonia free window cleaner & the ultra fine steel wool are quick, easy, and super cheap. Just don't get crazy and swipe outside the windshield!
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:19 PM   #7
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First time I've ever heard of this, and its all over the internet. 0000 steel wool is very soft unlike the Brillo pads under the sink, so I don't see it doing any harm, I just wouldn't put a lot of pressure on it.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:29 PM   #8
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Steel wool is what we use at work to clean cars' windows. Though, we have always used it with glass cleaner but it works beautifully and doesn't damage the glass.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:06 AM   #9
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I'm glad to have brought up something different. As I said, test first if you feel unsafe in one of the corners out of view like under the cowl cover.

If you end up liking it then kudos. :)
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:31 AM   #10
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I've found that each time I wash the car I wipe and dry the windows with my synthetic chamois and then buff with a terry cloth then treat with RainX and buff them again. That method has even removed some stubborn hard water spots on my 4Runner too. I use Stoner's glass cleaner inbetween washes and never really had too many issues. I would use steel wool on a neglected older windhsield but on both my 1 hear old windshields I don't think I'd see a diff.
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