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Best car glass cleaners 2018

Clear windows are vital if you’re to remain safe on every journey, so we've hunted down the best glass cleaner on the market

Glass is the final step in car cleaning, because it can be completed without affecting the finish on other surfaces. Shampoo can get most of the grime off the outside of windows, but the inside still needs doing, plus those often-forgotten strips tucked inside the glass runners will need tackling.

If your windows have tough-to-shift marks such as baked-on bugs or tree sap, consider using a polish. Try working top to bottom on one side of the glass and left to right on the other to help track down smears – the shape of the mark should then make it clear which side of the glass needs revisiting. 

And it is those oily smears that were the focus of our test of glass cleaners. We used a smear of oil on a side window painted black on one side to reveal any traces left. We made multiple attempts with each cleaner using limited wiping, assessing how much residue was left. Price played a minor role in the results.

Verdict

  1. 1. CarPlan 
Screen Clean

Reviews

CarPlan 
Screen Clean

Price: Around £5Size: 750mlRating: 5.0

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As so often with glass cleaners, the results were very close, even after multiple tests to ensure repeatable results. In the final reckoning, price swung it for Screen Clean. There was very little to choose between CarPlan and outgoing champion Dodo Juice on the test glass, but Screen Clean edges ahead once price is taken into account. The big pack with a price around a third of its nearest rivals’ secures the win in this close-fought test for CarPlan.

Buy now from Amazon here

Dodo Juice 
Clearly Menthol

Price: Around £8 Size: 500mlRating: 4.0

Former champion Dodo Juice has to settle for a recommendation this time around, but it remains a superb cleaner. The jokes on the label about Oliver Reed’s mouthwash are gone, and no bad thing, as this is no jokey cleaner trading on a minty, if a little harsh, perfume. It edged the results on the window glass, but at more than twice the price for a smaller pack, it was always going to struggle to top the cost-effective CarPlan contender. It’s our money-no-object choice.

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Buy now from Amazon here

Autoglym Fast Glass

Price: Around £8 Size: 500mlRating: 4.0

This veteran glass cleaner has long been one of our favourites, regularly finishing at the top of the results, and this year is no exception. It pushed Dodo Juice hard on the test glass, often leaving little or no traces of the oil, despite limited wiping. Like Clearly Menthol, it is not the cheapest on the market and was always going to find it tough when results are so close against much more cost-effective rivals. It can also be used on sat-nav screens. 

Buy now from Amazon here

Armor All Glass Cleaner

Price: Around £5 Size: 500mlRating: 4.0

Just as with the Autoglym, we’ve seen good performances from Armor All’s glass cleaner in previous tests. It falls somewhere between our winner and the top-performing Dodo Juice, cleaning well, but usually left a little more oil than the other recommended products here. Still, combine an overall performance that topped other rivals’ with a great price and you get our final glass cleaner recommendation. 

Buy now from Amazon here

Further glass care

Keeping a car’s glass clean helps you stay safe on the road. But, sometimes, glass cleaner isn’t enough for screen and windows.

That’s where these two products come in, Meguiar’s new Glass Polishing Compound and Quixx Glass Scratch Remover. Both do what they claim. Quixx made progress on the scratches, but it was slow, and although Meguiar’s left a smooth finish, heavy damage was beyond it.

How we tested them

We masked off sections of a screen with light and deep scratches from wipers, and then used each product according to the instructions. Each was applied to different levels of scratch, with control sections to monitor progress.

Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Glass Polishing Compound

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