Posted by on November 18, 2021

         Here’s my question: what is that substance that refuses to be cleaned off the glazing of my car?  Whatever it is, it’s persistent.  And deeply annoying.  It seems that no matter what approach I use, the glass always comes out smeary.

         Windex?  You would think that the product created specifically for cleaning glass would do the trick, but I’ve found it to be very disappointing.  It was my first choice, but I have no faith in it any more after the countless chances I’ve given it to prove itself.  I’ve used it with clean paper towels and cloth rags.  I may have even used it with newspaper (there was a time many years ago when a page from a newspaper, used in combination with vinegar, was believed to be the secret to crystal clear glass, but, since I don’t use it today, I’m inclined to think that it didn’t work all that well either).

         During my most recent glass-cleaning evolution I was using Windex with cloth rags.  I used two rags, one to wipe the Windex off the windows (it would turn wet, of course) and the other, which stayed dry, theoretically to “buff” the smeary remains off (except that the smeary remains remained).  It dawned on me later that perhaps the smeary remains were actually coming from the fabric softener we use when we launder our towels, underwear, and other things (like rags) that we enjoyed having fluffy and soft when we use them.  So I went back to using clean paper towels.  Why I thought that returning to something that didn’t work before would start working now just because I figured out why another thing didn’t work, I don’t know.

         Not too long ago I was discussing this frustration with a neighbor who said that he had found a glass cleaner that really worked well for him.  He sent me a picture of the aerosol can so I could look for it.  It’s called Sprayway.  It promotes itself as the “World’s Best Glass Cleaner” and touts its “foaming action.”  It’s ammonia-free and leaves a “streak-free shine” with a “clean, fresh scent” (all of this information directly from the can). 

         I can attest to the clean, fresh scent.  I can also attest to the foaming action, which makes it easy to see where you’ve sprayed the cleaner.  However, I can’t attest to any better cleaning than anything I’ve used before.  I’m not lazy with my cleaning – I make sure that I’ve rubbed everything off the windshields, and yet I still see smeary lines the next time I’ve driving.  To me, that’s not only frustrating, given all the effort I put into making sure that I’ve done everything I could to get the glass clean, but in some situations, it’s also a safety concern.  When I’m out driving early in the day, and the sun is low in the sky (as it is most of the time in the fall and winter), those smeary lines show up really well and lessen my ability to see as well as I should be able to.

         I’m not sure if I’ll ever find something that really works.  Am I expecting too much?  Should I set my goals lower than totally clear glass and be content with what I get?  My car’s glazing is doomed to be smeary forever, I guess.  The best I can do is clean the actual dirt off and hope that the smeariness doesn’t block my vision too seriously.

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