6 Motorcycle Windshield Washing Tips

woman riding a motorcycle

After taking a long ride, you will need to wash your motorcycle windshield to keep it from getting stained, cracked, or fogged up by all the debris that was picked up. Washing the motorcycle windshield is not as simple as using some Windex and a paper towel. There are some tips that you will want to adhere to in order to keep your motorcycle windshield looking new and without any scratches.

1. Special Cleaning Techniques

Since the motorcycle windshield is made up of a polycarbonate plastic material, there are some special precautions to take when cleaning it. The plastic material that makes up the windshield is quite strong and will hold up to a lot while driving down the highway with your motorcycle. However, one scratch, and it will weaken the integrity of the plastic enough where it can shatter with one well-aimed rock or other flying debris.

2. Use Soft Cloth Only

gloved hand holding a cloth

The common tendency is to grab a roll of paper towels and head out to clean off the windshield. The only type of material that you should use in cleaning off your motorcycle windshield should be a clean cotton cloth. This can be one that you purchase brand new from the store or an old cotton t-shirt that you can make into a rag.

3. Use Lots of Water

One of the biggest enemies of a motorcycle windshield is small particles of dust, grime, dirt, and other debris. If rubbed into the surface of the plastic, scratches can form. These scratches are a big problem, as they can continue to erode away into larger cracks that will shatter when impacted in the right spot. Water will serve as a way to wash off the dust and also form a protective buffer on the windshield. Make sure not to let it dry out and always rinse before you wipe it down.

4. Use Special Cleaners

One of the worst things you can do to your windshield is to wipe it down with Windex or other alcohol or ammonia based products. They will interact with the plastic and cause pits and small pieces of fog to occur. There are plenty of manufacturers that market specially formulated cleaners for motorcycle windshields.

5. No Circular Motions


Another common problem when washing the motorcycle windshield is that people will rub the surface in a circular motion. Using the cotton cloth in this manner will only grind in any dust that remained on the windshield and cause scratches. The best way to clean off the windshield is to use a side to side motion. Go from one side of the windshield to the other. This will make the water and cleaning agent push the dirt over the edge. Start at the top and move your way down to the bottom of the windshield.

6. Do Not Wash in Direct Sunlight

If you can, it would be better to wash your motorcycle windshield in a shady area out of any direct sunlight. As the sun beats down on the polycarbonate plastic, it can soften it and actually bake some of the cleaner into the surface. Many of the fogging problems are due to washing in direct sunlight.