When it comes to safe driving, keeping your vision clear is one of the most critical, yet overlooked elements. Which is ironic, as cleaning your windscreen is low cost, and failure to maintain its condition so that you can see safely could lead to a fine, points or even a ban.
If you have a chip or crack in your windscreen, it isn’t necessarily bad news; get in touch with a local windscreen repair specialist to see if it can be repaired or replaced. However, in this series we are looking at something far more basic than a damaged windscreen; we talk through how to keep your windscreen free of dirt, debris, mist and frost, to help you to drive safely and stop you from getting on the wrong side of the law.
Cleaning your windscreen
You don’t want to use lots of different products on your windscreen as these could add a layer to the glass which, when wet, can smear and impair your visibility. The easiest way to clean your windscreen, windows and mirrors is using a bunch of clean microfibre cloths and a good quality, alcohol based glass cleaner (be careful not to choose an ammonia-based one).
Before you start, check your handbook to see if you are able to lift your windscreen wipers from the screen, or if you need to use “wiper maintenance” mode. If there is a lot of dirt and debris on your windscreen – especially likely under where the wipers usually sit as they can act as a dirt trap – clear the bulk of the debris using warm water and a cloth or brush. Thoroughly dry the glass with a clean microfibre cloth, and you are ready to clean in earnest!
Liberally spray your glass cleaner on one half of the screen and wipe it off using another clean microfibre cloth. Long, firm strokes will help you to get good clearance and will help prevent smears. If you find stubborn marks, give them a good rub and they should soon disappear. Once done, tackle the other half.
Once your glass is clean, give your wipers a really good clean. Failure to do this will result in the wipers transferring dirt to the screen and undoing all of your good work; it will also help them to last longer. If you notice that the rubber on the wipers is perished or split at all, make a note to replace them or mention it to your garage next time your vehicle is being MOTed or serviced.
Once you have finished the wipers, give the windscreen a final buff with a clean cloth, and repeat the process on the inside using clean cloths.