How To Get Car Wash Wax Off Windshield

7 Effective Ways To Get Car Wash Wax Off Windshield

Last Updated on September 7, 2023 by Chase Manhattan

Is your windshield too muddy from spilled car wash wax? Well, this happens quite a lot to people who add wax. Whether you are doing it yourself or you pay a washing service, car wax will eventually accumulate.

Bits and pieces of wax on your windows will not bother you at first. But soon enough, it will impair your vision. So, how to get car wash wax off the windshield?

Car wash wax on windows and the windshield wipers can be removed with a strong degreaser like white vinegar, nail polish remover, isopropyl alcohol, and coke soda. 

I know that some of you may be scared to use these cleaning products on your car. When these products are applied correctly, there is nothing to worry about. Read the guide thoroughly to avoid any incidents.

[Benefits of Waxing Your Car]

Removing Car Wax From Windshield And Windows

Removing Car Wax From Windshield And Windows

Now, before you start cleaning, how much wax residue is there on the car’s windows? The cleaning solution you are going to be using depends on how much wax there is. Only in extreme circumstances – like when the film on the windshield won’t come off – should you look for other options, in most cases, a dedicated glass stripper product is ideal for the job.

For instance, if there are only a few bits and pieces of car wax. And, you have not smeared the bits all over the window, no need to go for something strong like acetonic polish remover. Probably, spraying vinegar over the bits will be enough.

On the other hand, if you have smeared wax all over the windshield. I think nail polish remover is your best option. Be sure to assess the necessary approach before beginning.

[How To Wax A Car With A Buffer]

Using White Vinegar

Car wax is exceptionally sticky, more so, it makes a thin film all over the glass. You will need a strongly acidic solution that will act as a degreaser. This will break apart the wax residue, making it easy to remove.

Vinegar should be strong enough to loosen up the car wax. So, you don’t want it actually touching your paint finish. It’s safe to use on automotive glass but not on the car’s paint job.

You can’t just spill white vinegar on the window and let it sit for a while. It will spill over the paint and some critical components. So, you need to be careful.

  1. Seal the edges on the windshield with masking tape.
    This is just to prevent any spills. If you can install something on the window to trap the spilling vinegar that would be great.
  2. Put white vinegar in a spray bottle.
    If you want to play it safe, you can dissolve the solution with warm water. The vinegar may not be that effective though.
  3. Spray on areas with wax residue.
    You can let the vinegar sit a bit but do not let it spill over the paint. You must wipe away fast.
  4. Wipe with paper towels.
  5. Repeat until the windshield is free from wax.
  6. Clean the wiper blades with a cotton bowl dipped in vinegar.
  7. Wipe with a clean towel dipped in water.
  8. Rinse with the wiper blades.

[Exhaustive Guide for DIY Car Wash Soap]

This is one way to do it, it helps remove bits and pieces. There’s another way though.

  1. Put white vinegar in a bowl.
  2. Dip a microfiber cloth in the bowl.
    You don’t want the cloth to be dripping wet, let it be wet enough so it will not spill vinegar.
  3. Scrub over the wax.
    Concentrate on the areas with wax residue, do not contaminate other areas. Wipe in small circular motions.
  4. Wipe with a clean damp soft cloth dipped in water.
  5. Clean the wiper blades.
  6. Rinse.

Method number two is our preference. It allows for greater control so the vinegar cannot damage any paint or components.

Using Acetone Nail Polish Remover

Pronto Acetone Professional Remover Product Image - Good for Auto Glass Wax

Some situations call for something stronger. I’m guessing some of you may have spilled a lot of car wax on the windshield. If so, you are going to need something way more acidic than vinegar, something like acetone-based nail polish remover.

This is also really bad for the paint job of the car, so be extra careful not to let it run down from the car windows.

  1. Dip a cotton ball with the polish remover.
    Not too much, do not soak the ball.
  2. Wipe over contaminated areas. 
  3. Repeat until the wax is dissolved.
  4. Finish cleaning with regular glass cleaner.
  5. Do not use acetonic acid on the wiper blades.

Notice how this is similar to method two above. Using a cotton ball gives you greater control over the cleaning solution.

Using Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing Alcohol for removing Auto Glass Wax - Product Image

Another cleaning solution you can use is isopropyl alcohol, also known as, rubbing alcohol. This is pretty strong, so it can loosen up the wax residue.

Again, rubbing alcohol can damage the paint job, avoid spilling it on the paint or some critical components.

  1. Put the alcohol in a spray bottle.
    I prefer spraying because it’s more effective. If you want to be safe, just dip a cotton ball or a soft microfiber towel in rubbing alcohol.
  2. Spray over the contaminated areas.
  3. Wipe with a dry paper towel in circular motions.
    Use several towels, don’t contaminate clean areas.
  4. Finish up with a glass cleaner.
  5. Clean the wiper blades with a cotton ball dipped in alcohol.

Since isopropyl alcohol is not as dangerous as an acetone nail polish remover, we can use a spray bottle for easy application.

Using Coca Cola

Now, this may sound weird but a coke soda can do the trick too. You probably know that Coca-Cola can clean rust off metals. So, it’s a good degreaser. It is the carbonic acid in coke soda that acts as a degreaser.

It may be a bit messy but you can try this method if you don’t have anything else.

  1. Pour Coca-Cola into a bucket.
  2. Dip a microfiber cloth in the bucket.
  3. Wipe the glass surface in circular motions.
    Don’t leave the coke to sit there for too long. The acid will get rid of the coat of wax but it will become too sticky.
  4. Wipe with a dry towel.
  5. Clean the windshield wiper blades with a cotton cloth and rubbing alcohol.
  6. Finish cleaning the glass with the blades and the wiper fluid.
    Make sure you have cleaned the wiper blades thoroughly before you do this last step.

Using Windex

Windex Product Image

Windex is another product that can remove the wax film from the windshield. It may not be as effective as vinegar and acetone on windshields. You may have to try wiping it several times before the wax is removed.

Just spray Windex on the windows and wipe with a clean microfiber cloth. Repeat this until you get rid of the wax. Make sure to clean the wiper blades with rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab.

We recommend using a clean microfiber cloth as a final step to remove any windshield streaks from the Windex.

Using Dawn Dish Soap

Dawn Dish Soap Product Image

Dawn Dish Soap is another efficient degreaser. You can use this to get rid of the wax but your windows will be blurry afterward. So, you will need to clean them with glass cleaner in the end. Follow the instructions for any of the cleaning solutions above.

  1. Mix hot water and Dawn Dish Soap in a bucket.
  2. Dip a soft cloth in soapy water.
  3. Wipe in a circular motion.
  4. Clean the blurry windshield with glass cleaner

[Can You Wash Your Car With Dish Soap]

Do note that Dawn Dish Soap will remove the wax from your paint if it is spilled. Be careful not to touch the paint of your car unless you want to apply more automotive wax.

Using WD-40

WD-40 is a great alternative for other chemical compounds. It is a common household item that is designed to displace water and prevent rust but also acts as a solvent so it will help you to easily remove wax from your windshield.

Automatic Car Washes

Depending on how bad the wax buildup is, you may need to take your car to a washing service. Honestly, this is the best choice by far.

All of these cleaning methods take a lot of effort. And, if the buildup is too bad, there still may be some residue left.

A professional car wash service, especially automatic ones, will get rid of the wax entirely. These places work with exceptionally hot water that will dissolve the wax.

Be mindful that automatic car washes can strip your paint of all automotive wax. If an automatic wash is used, be sure to apply more wax as necessary. Some more advanced technology, like a laser car wash, will do a better job at protecting your paint. Make sure you know all about laser car washes before making your decision. Ask a professional if you’re unsure.

[Best Car Wash Soap Alternatives]

How To Remove Car Wax From Windshield Wiper Blades

How To Remove Car Wax From Windshield Wiper Blades

[Turtle Wax: Wax and Dry Review]

Although we mentioned the wipers several times, I want to explain how to clean the blades. Despite the buildup on windows, there’s wax build-up on the wiper blades too because the same wax that was applied to the windshield, will transfer to the blades if they’re used at any point.

Before you clean the windshield, you need to remove the wax from the blades. The wax on blades will make a film across the windshield. It doesn’t matter if you clean the windows or the blades first, just don’t use the blades until everything is clean.

To clean the wiper blades you can either use rubbing alcohol or vinegar. Take a cotton ball, and dip it in the solution. With it, clean the blades with a sliding motion. This method can preserve the life of your windshield wipers by restoring the rubber and plastic components. Be sure to try this before replacing wiper blades.

[Simple Method for Cleaning Car Windshields and Glass]

Additional Tips

  • You will be working with strong acids, wearing cleaning gloves is recommended.
  • Try using clay bars to get rid of the already dissolved wax.
  • Work carefully, do not let the solutions spill on the paint surface.
  • You can use all of these methods to remove sticky dirt from house windows.
  • Do not use the wiper blades to remove wax from the windshield.
  • Consider switching to a Clear Bra or ceramic coating instead of wax.

Related Questions And Other FAQs

Is It OK To Wax Your Windshield

Yes, you can use wax on car windshields but not the one used for the paint job. Use a special wax for glass surfaces, Turtle Wax Quick & Easy Dash & Glass is the preferred product.

What Does Glass Wax Do

Glass wax protects and polishes windows. It keeps the windows clean longer, repels rain, and it makes the wiper blades less noisy. Some people choose to use a Rain-X Water Repellant product. Rain-X functions similarly to waxing your windshield as it will repel rain and help your windshield remain clean longer.

How Long To Wait To Wash Car After Windshield Replacement

After you have done windshield replacement for your car, do not go through a car wash for at least 24 hours. Rain, moisture, and hand washing your automobile are still fine.
Roll down your window an inch or two during this period so the air pressure will not cause the adhesive to leak. It is best to wait at least a few days to ensure that the urethane seal has extra time to dry before attempting a car wash.[Source]

Rain X Ruined My Windshield. What Do I Do?

Fortunately, Rain X can be removed using the same procedures as we outlined above. Since it’s a heavier duty product it may be necessary to use acetone or another stronger chemical during the process.

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