How to clean glass on old vehicle?

Old 02-25-23, 08:58 AM
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How to clean glass on old vehicle?

I have a 2000 Silverado that I have had since Sept. '99. Over all of those years the glass on the sides and the back window have gotten some kind of film or whatever on them that windex just doesn't clean off. I have tried to take a pic to post but it just doesn't show up. It looks similar to what the soap scum build up on bathroom show doors looks like. I have tried using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, that didn't work, and I have Mother's Mag and Aluminum polish with a soft rag and that didn't work either.

So here I am asking if anyone has any suggestions or methods that might work.

Old 02-25-23, 09:04 AM
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I have good results using RainX. It really cleans glass and removes hard-to-remove deposits. Just clean the glass with glass cleaner and then apply the RainX following the instructions. It also provides a slick surface that beads up water.

I have also heard that using steel wool does a good job. There are many videos about it but I have never tried it.

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 02-25-23 at 09:49 AM.
Old 02-25-23, 09:45 AM
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A rag damp with mineral spirits or gasoline might work.
Old 02-25-23, 11:16 AM
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I use Bon Ami on the windshield when the bugs are bad but for a film, I would think a solvent would be a better choice - WD40, rubbing alcohol or Mark's mineral spirits suggestion would be my choices.
Old 02-25-23, 11:18 AM
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If it's hard deposits, I'll use a razor blade at a shallow angle. Usually once you get used to it, there is no issue with the corners.. You can file the corners slightly to minimize potential for them to dig in. If the edge of the blade doesn't "catch" on the problem, then it's something that has reacted w/the glass below the surface.

I've also used 0000 steel wool w/Windex for general cleaning, but it rides over hard deposits. I never press too hard with it because of the risk of scratches.

Follow-up w/Rain X for the win. Never have to use your wipers!
Old 02-25-23, 12:02 PM
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If it's hard deposits, I'll use a razor blade at a shallow angle.
As long as you use something to lubricate, like wax and grease remover or alcohol.

I would avoid anything with abrasives, steel wool or bon ami. Once you do that there are micro scratches that you will see at night with the glare of lights!
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Old 02-26-23, 09:53 AM
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Test these cleaning agents a very small amount at the very edge of the glass, rinsing thoroughly before trying the next one.

* DishwashING liquid. (Not dishwashER liquid or dishwashER detergent).
* Grocery store 5% vinegar by itself. (Not Home Depot or other 20% or 30% vinegar.
* Simple Green or 409.straight out of the trigger bottle or undiluted from the gallon of concentrate..

Do not use the following:

* Strong acids such as muriatic.
* Strong oven cleaner containing hydroxide or lye
* Drain cleaner (such as Drano).

Don't let any material sit on the glass for more than a few minutes before rinsing off.

Some windshields are laminated, with a resin between two glass layers. The resin can become cloudy or discolored over the years starting at the edges, making for an irregular frosty border that cannot be cleaned off.
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Old 02-28-23, 07:09 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I will give some of them a try. Just a note: The problem is on the side and rear glass and the windshield is not an issue. It has been replaced a couple of times. Thanks again.

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