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Clean windows and headlights: cleaning and polishing windows, mirrors, reflectors and lamps, removing insects and scratches

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  1. Clean windows and headlights: cleaning and polishing windows, mirrors, reflectors and lamps, removing insects and scratches

It is not only a question of aesthetics, but above all of safety – clean and clear windows and headlights are essential for safe driving. How do you keep them in good condition without damaging them. How to restore scratched and matted windows and headlights?

New original headlights are expensive and alternative replacements are often of poor quality. A car’s technical inspection is often refused due to matted headlights.

Scratches on the windscreen are most noticeable in bright sunlight or when the glare of oncoming traffic is on the windscreen – in other words, when the human eye has trouble seeing the traffic situation. In the worst scenario you may not see another road user and cause an accident.

The same applies to matted headlights. Their effectiveness is noticeably reduced when driving after dark, can play a decisive role in spotting danger early enough.

Of course, the best practice is to simply prevent scratches on glass and matting on plastic. However, if your car has scratched windows or matted headlights, you don’t have to think about replacing them but to consider restoring their former clarity. What are they? Keep reading!

STEP 1 – Summer challenge: insects, bird droppings, tar and tree sap

From spring to autumn, there is an issue of insect residue on your car. Often not only windscreen wipers but even car washes cannot remove them. Insect debris reduces visibility, the range of headlights and has a negative effect on your car’s paintwork. Delaying removal makes cleaning even more difficult.

How should I deal with insect residue on the bodywork? Firstly, use the correct summer screen wash and maintain its level. Using your wipers on a dry, dusty and insect covered windscreen shortens the life of the blades (and wipers are often not cheap). When your windows are heavily contaminated it’s better to go to a petrol station and use a squeegee than keep rubbing with the windscreen wipers.

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photo A decent screen wash: safe for paintwork and plastic, with additives to help remove insects and a spout for easy pouring.

Secondly, it is worth regularly applying the so-called invisible wiper, which creates a transparent, hydrophobic coating on the windscreen which can last up to 6 months depending on the weather conditions. It repels water and also reduces insect residue adhesion to the glass and makes them easier to remove.

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photo Apply the invisible wiper to a clean, thoroughly degreased windscreen.

Thirdly, when removing insect residue from the car body, it is worth using a dedicated product which makes the job much easier. Begin by rinsing your car bodywork thoroughly with water. Continue with spraying the front, including the windscreen and mirror housings, let it work and then proceed to wash. It can also be applied on a dry car before entering a car wash. When choosing an insect remover, make sure it is safe for paint, chrome, plastic, headlights and rubber. We don’t recommend cleaning your car using household products as they may have a detrimental effect such as paint fading and also remov wax layer.

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photo An indispensable product for the summer – which makes removing insect residue from the entire car body (including windows) much easier.

And while we are talking about wax – it is worth remembering that insects can be removed from a waxed surface much faster. Caution! Only use a dedicated sponge or soft clean cotton cloth. Rubbing the paintwork with a standard sponge or – even worse – with a kitchen scourer, probably will lead to a lot of damage. If there are still some insect residue on the car body after washing, it should be washed again or a clay bar should be used (after wetting it with water with shampoo).

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STEP 2 – Clean windows and lights all year round

Washing the windows as well as glass and plastic headlights is a separate issue. Here, too, it is essential to thoroughly clean the bodywork with dedicated products using a sponge or a microfibre glove, and to rinse off any remaining dirt and detergent with water. After drying the with a soft clean cotton cloth, the windows and lamps should be cleaned additionally with a glass cleaner – either liquid or foam. Check the product compatibility according to the manufacturer’s recommendations before cleaning LED and xenon headlights.

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An alternative can be multi-purpose interior cleaners, formulated for a wide range of applications – from glass and plastic to upholstery. The advantage, is that you can clean the whole car without them taking up too much space, in your boot, on a shelf or in the garage.


photo Glass cleaner and an alternative (right), i.e. a multi-purpose cleaner for interior parts (glass, plastic and upholstery).

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Remember to clean not only the outside of your windows but also the inside (dirty windows exacerbate fogging), as well as the headlights, rear lamps and mirrors. You may also be tempted to apply two useful products. First of all, the windscreen can be treated on the inside with an anti-fogging product, which protects against condensation in autumn and winter (remember that air conditioning does not work at sub-zero temperatures). Secondly, it is a good idea to apply the already mentioned invisible wiper to the outside of the windscreen to help the water run off during rain and also to reduce further build-up of dirt.

Of course, when it comes to the windscreen, it’s impossible not to mention windscreen wipers – it’s best to change them once a year or even more often and choose high-quality products from reliable manufacturers. Saving on windscreen wipers can have a detrimental effect, not only reduces visibility and safety while driving in harsh weather conditions, but in extreme situations can even lead to deep scratches on the surface of the windscreen. When washing the car body, wiper blades should be cleaned with a dedicated wipe to improve their effectiveness and prolong their life:

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Removal of scratches from glass

Glass is not easy to scratch, but it is also not easy to polish. Although the product itself may cost a fortune, glass polishing is a tedious operation lasting several hours which requires not only equipment (polisher, felt, good lighting) but also preparation and know-how. For these reasons, it is best to have your windows repaired by professionals.

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