Car Glass: Cleaning and Polishing — /DRIVE CLEAN

Car Glass: Cleaning and Polishing — /DRIVE CLEAN

LARRY KOSILLA: Today, I’m at
FMI, which is the Northeastern
vehicle press fleet management
company for GM, BMW, and Mini.
When the press need to review
their cars for their
publications, this is where they
come to check them out.
Coming up on today’s episode,
we are going to be talking
about one of my biggest OCD
pet peeves, a filthy,
contaminated windshield.
It’s all coming up today on this
episode of “Drive Clean.”
LARRY KOSILLA: Today, we’re
working on the 2013 CTS-V
Sport Wagon press vehicle
in the limited
edition Stealth Blue.
And this thing is a beast.
And I know it’s a beast because
it’s got bugs all over
the windshield, which I can
barely see through.
And as most detailers will tell
you, it’s a huge pain in
the butt to properly
clean glass.
And that’s what we’re going to
talk about today, all the
steps on removing the
contaminants and getting that
perfect shine, so when you’re
driving, there’s nothing that
you’re looking through.
Today, we’re going
to do just that.
There are a couple benefits to
having a clean windshield.
Well, obviously, in perfect
weather, you’re going to have
a great looking windshield, and
you can see right through
it, no problems.
But the big one is during
bad weather.
You want to prepare for that.
And the one thing is when those
little things that are
embedded and jammed in your
glass, they’re going to catch
the water, and it’s going to
stay on your windshield a
little bit longer.
So when you have a nice clean
surface, it’s going to fly
right off, making it safer
when you’re driving.

And another benefit is it
actually saves wear and tear
on your windshield wipers,
because if you have those
things sticking up, biting at
the windshield wiper, you’re
going to go through them much
faster, and you’re going to
have reduced visibility.

Before we can get started with
cleaning the glass, it’s
important to understand the
towels that you’re using.
And we have four of them here.
Well, this is a waffle towel.
And it’s really great at
scraping off the bugs.
I call this my all-in-one.
And it’s a waffle
towel because it
looks like a waffle.
Then we have our three
other ones.
We have a high pile microfiber
towel, we have a low pile
microfiber towel, and we have
a medium pile microfiber
towel, each of which has
different uses when
cleaning the glass.
All right.
The next thing you want to do
is pull up the windshield
wipers to get them
off the glass.
Then you’re going to take
your glass cleaner.
This happens to be Invisible
Glass by Stoner.
And what you’re going to do
is give a few squirts.
And right now, you’re using
that as lubrication.
So what I like to do is
just spread it in
just a little bit.
So you’re not actually cleaning
anything right now.
You’re just getting some
lubrication, because your next
step is going to be your
long reach razor blade.
And what’s important about
this is your angle.
So we’re going to make sure
that it’s not too
high and not too low.
What this is going to do is it’s
actually going to shave
the glass down.
And anything that’s sticking up,
kind of like your whiskers
here, it’s going to shave
everything off.
And it’s going to get the
closest clean that you
possibly can do.
See, there’s a bug
right there.
And if you’ll notice, going in
short little strokes, you can
see not too far down
and not too far up.
Right in the middle there.
If you notice, all this little
water that’s dripping down
here is full of contamination
and bugs.
So you’re just going to keep
moving along, kind of like
you’re plowing the glass,
if you will.

Sorry, guys.
This is taking– it’s a
big piece of glass.

Now that you’ve razor bladed
the glass, take your short
pile microfiber towel and just
clean it up real quick just to
get all the gunk off.
Look at that.
So that’s a clean
piece of glass.
Put this to the side.
You’re going to add your glass
cleaner, once again, as

Get that in there.
I like to spread it around
just a little bit.
And you’re going to take your
clay, lubricate the clay, and
now you’re going to put a
little bit of pressure.
Normally on paint, you
don’t use pressure.
It’s all about friction.
But because glass is very hard,
you still want to use
some friction, but you can also
put just a little bit
more pressure than you
would with paint.
Now, what this is doing is kind
of like when you have a
pimple on your face, you’re
going to pull
it out of the skin.
We shaved it with the razor
blade, and now you’re just
getting anything that you didn’t
get with the razor.
So you’re going to have really
clean and fresh glass.
Let’s take a look.
Yeah, there’s a bunch of
gunk right in there.
All right, you’re going to
take your short pile once
again and clean up the mess.

On to the next step.
Now, if you were going out for
a drive, this might be good
enough for just going out and
having a Sunday drive.
But if you want to go the
full steps, this is
what you would do.
So this, to remind
you, is a regular
microfiber cutting pad.
This is a little bit thinner
microfiber cutting pad.
This is a glass polishing pad.
As you can see, it’s
much thinner.
And the reason why is glass
is much harder.
So you’re not going to need a
backing plate to absorb any of
that pressure.
You want it all to go to the
glass so that you can polish
it properly.
So what we’re going to do is
grab a machine, put some
product on there, and
start polishing.
So now we’ve got a little bit
of glass polish on our glass
polishing pad.
Rub it in with our finger.
And much like polishing the
paint, throw the cord over
your shoulder.
You’re going to work a 2 by 2
area, which is basically we’re
going to go a little bit
more than half here.
So tap, tap, tap.
Just a little tap.
And now you’re going to turn
it on 2 and spread it in.

Turn it off.
Now boost it all the way up
to 6 on your DA polisher.
You’re going to put some
pressure down and just work it
in like you would paint.
Here, I’m using glass polish and
a glass polishing pad from
Griot’s Garage.
Also, notice that I’m using a
Porter Cable DA polisher along
with a backing plate with no
cushion and a glass polishing
pad with no cushion either.
The combination of no-foam
cushions increases the power
applied to the glass from the
machine and subsequently
allows me to use what’s regarded
as a less powerful
polisher according to
today’s standards.

Once you’re done polishing the
glass, there’s going to be a
bit of residue.
So that’s when you take your
high pile microfiber towel,
and you’re just going to scoop
all this off, like this.
Flip it over a few times.
There’s a nice shine on this,
but we’ve got a few more steps
to go through.
So now that I picked off all
that residue that’s in there,
you’re going to go
back to your low
pile microfiber towel.
Now we’re just going to clean
off all the edges and make
sure that it’s still
looking good.
There’s no leftover polish.
And you can actually feel
the difference.
It’s very smooth right now
compared to when I started.

So now that we’re done with the
polishing, we’re going to
do one more quick clean to
remove any of the polish.
You’re going to take your low
pile microfiber towel and work
it in again.
And one of the big questions I
get is about ammonia in the
glass cleaner.
Ammonia is typically a
home-based glass cleaning
product, because there’s lots of
grime on your house windows
and things like that.
And ammonia is a great
But in the automotive
industry, you
don’t really need it.
And there’s kind of a concern
when you have window tints,
because sometimes it adversely
affects the window tint.
So we don’t really
need ammonia.
And Invisible Glass by
Stoner is a perfect
solution for that.
So here we go.
Looks pretty good.
Now we’re on to putting a really
strong coating on this
glass, and we’ll move
to the interior.
My next step is to
add a hydrophobic
coating to the glass.
Now, most people know Rain-X.
But there’s tons of other
longer-lasting products
out there.
So what you do is you add
a few squirts to a foam
applicator pad, or this
little piece of
foam that I have here.
What you’re going to do is
you’re going to use small
circular motions.
I think by now most
of you know I’m
not crazy about circles.
But on glass, because you’re
trying to penetrate the top
layer of that glass, circles
is a good option.
Short, overlapping motions.
And you’re just going
to work the–
Here, I demonstrated using
Rain-X because it’s the
cheapest, easiest, and quite
frankly, the most
familiar one out there.
Nowadays, there are dozens of
other coatings, so pick the
brand you’re most comfortable
However, the application process
is basically the same.
A few more squirts.

And now the product is dry.
What you want to do is give just
a few little squirts of
your glass cleaner.
And you want to take off
the top layer of
this hydrophobic product.
And you’ll see it just
comes right off.
But sometimes it’s nice to add a
little bit of glass cleaner,
because this can dry to a little
bit of a hard haze, I
like to say.
Now you want to go, add a few
more squirts now that it’s
off, and really clean the
windshield nicely.
Now, my last little step I like
to do is I use the high
microfiber towel, I flip
it over, do one
quick little squirt.
And this will get off
any little streaks.
The idea is to move your head
and catch the light and see if
you see any odd streaks, because
there’s nothing worse
than driving down the
street and seeing
one line going across.
It’s super annoying.
And the microfiber towel is
really good at getting those
little spots.
This looks good to me.
The last thing you want
to do is pull up
your windshield wipers.
Now, my medium pile microfiber
towel, I’ll take a little bit
of glass cleaner, and I’ll
squirt it in a straight line
just like that.
And I’m going to take my fingers
and pinch the rubber
just like that.
So take it inside of the
microfiber towel, hold this
end, pinch, and wipe
all the way down.
And now you’re getting off
all the junk that’s
accumulated on there.
So now that your windshield is
clean, now your wipers can be
clean, too.
Now that we cleaned the outside
of the glass, it’s
important to focus on the
inside of the glass.
One of the big problems that I
see a lot of people run into
is they come from the
driver’s side seat.
So if you’re sitting in here
and you want to reach these
areas, you have to kind of
battle or fight the steering
wheel, which is not
a great option.
So what you need to do is come
from the passenger-side seat.
What you want to do is put your
left knee right in the
middle of the seat.
And eventually, you’re
going to put your
left hand right here.
But before you do that, you’re
going to take your cleaner,
two squirts on a rag.
And what you’re going to do is
take your glass cleaning towel
and get all the way
in the corner.
And go up and down, and then go
horizontally to get in there.
And if you notice, I put
my right hand here.
And as I go and clean that
corner, I flip it upside down
and put my left hand so that I
can get stable before I get
all the way to the edge.
Now, if you’re working before
from the seat, you just
wouldn’t be able to reach it.
One of the big things that I
get a lot in emails is, how
come I don’t spray the
glass just like this?
And the answer is when you spray
the glass, there’s mist
that comes down on
the dashboard.
And because we’re all OCD
watching these videos, is you
want to go, and you wipe
the dashboard.
But the big thing is
we’re going to
have it nice and clean.
There’s going to be dressings
on there sometimes.
And the plastic itself does what
we call gassing out, so
it’s going to release all
these plasticizers.
What you do is when you wipe it
and you put it back on the
glass, it’s going to
smear everywhere.
And basically, you’re
going to be what we
call chasing the glass.
It’s going to keep pushing it
around and never get it clean.
Two squirts.
Put it in your right hand Take
your right hand, flip it
upside down, and get
into the corners.
That’s what’s going to allow
you to clean the glass
properly without blowing
out your back.

Cleaning the inside of the
windshield is pretty
hard on your body.
And these little tools
actually make
it easier for you.
This is, I don’t know,
$5 or $10.
What you do is you can just
slide it down the glass, and
it’ll reach the far areas that
some people can’t reach.
And they actually work
pretty good.
Just get a microfiber, one or
two squirts, reach it down
there, and now that’s all you
have to focus on is the top
part of the glass, not
the lower part.
This will save your back.
Now, if your car has a door
frame like this one, all the
way to the top, you’re going to
put the window down a few
inches, take your towel, pinch
it, and just get the top of
the window before you
put it back up.
So we got all the
junk off that.
Pull it back up.
And then you’re going to do
a few squirts here, a few
squirts there.
And you’re going to work
the edges first.
One edge to one edge, up
all the way around.
And you’re going to go
right in the middle.
One, two, three, like this.
And then go back the
opposite direction.
Flip it over, dry side.

And now you’ve got a nice,
clean piece of glass.
Repeat that process for the rest
of the car, and you’ll be
looking good.
Although it can be time
consuming and hard work,
regularly cleaning your glass
will minimize buildup and
maximize visibility.
For a step-by-step PDF of how
to clean your glass, visit That’s
it for me, guys.
Thanks for watching another
episode of “Drive Clean” right
here on the Drive Network.
Here we go.

All right.


Just waiting to hear,
like [CRUNCH].

100 Replies to “Car Glass: Cleaning and Polishing — /DRIVE CLEAN”

  1. If the glass is polished in the same manner in which Larry polished the glass will it remove scratches?

  2. If it takes this guy (who works fast) literally 30min to clean a full windshield on the OUTSIDE, then how long would it take a normal person to clean the whole car, like this, including glass, inside and out?! Two full days !

  3. Okay so if you want to open your own detailing shop how do you start one and make money? And is there like a school you can go to to learn detailing cars?

  4. If you live in a cold area you should NEVER put your knee on the front seats! It will break the foil in the seat heaters in no time.

  5. Can you use Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) if you dont have specific glass cleaner ?

    Also, at 10:15 .. would the glass cleaner (or other chemical) not wipe/clean away the newly applied Rain-X ?

  6. Love your show. I hate having a dirty windshield. I see recommendations to use 0000 steel wool similarly to how you use the razor. Any thoughts on that for those of us without a good way to polish the glass?

  7. how long do you think it would it take for a professional to do this on a truck door window? I found a place that wants $63/ half hour.  I'm weighing the difference between buying the polish pads, glass pads and towels compared to having them do it. They don't wanna tell me how long it will take which sounds crazy for someone who does it for a living.   The window is more blemished than anything from years of the window going up and down against the weather stripping.  Not any deep scratches.

  8. I worked for this lebanese guy who put liquid wax on the outside windows and let it dry then wiped off with microfiber then took water spray bottle with newspaper on the inside, it looked absolutely perfect.
    I thought he was insane until I saw the results.
    I now use newspaper on the inside with water but dont bother with wax even though it looks amazing.

  9. What do you recommend to clean the rubber window seals on the doors? I hate it when I get the windows nice and clean then the gunk in the seals just makes them dirty again. Would you wind the windows all the way down and get some sort of rubber/vinyl cleaner inside the seals then do the windows?

  10. I like your videos. You are a serious detailer and it shows in your technique and work.

    I remember cleaning the meat and deli cases when I was just a high school kid working for a local grocer. I was given terry cloth hand towels, some paper towels and foaming cleaning agent. The towels left so much lint, I spent as much time wiping that off as I did the fish oil and fingerprints.

    A bit later someone got me using newspaper and vinegar and I have found nothing better. Leaves almost no lint and you don't smell anything after a few minutes. If you have glass cleaner, please use it, but I stopped buying it. Rather spend the money on quality tools. I also only use plastic razor blades so I have no chance of damaging the glass, but they only last a single use.

    Lastly, I would also leave any polishing of laminated services to a professional like yourself, the risk of DIY damage from concentrated heat is more than negligible IMO.

    Thanks for the video!

  11. I've found that my favorite results come from letting RainX dry onto the windshield, and then dry wiping it into the glass once it dries, and then cleaning the residue off with Stoner Invisible Glass and any clean microfiber towel.

  12. After cleaning the tops of the windows, it can help a lot to also give a quick wipe to the seal which the window edge seats into. So many times I've rolled up a clean window, only for it to roll down with fresh crud from a dirty window seal.

  13. Every time I use invisible glass or Rainx, it always seems to leave my windows looking greasy. Also, they say microfiber towels don't leave lint, but they do when I use them. Could I be doing something wrong?

  14. Hi,
    are there any solution to small "sand blasting" chips on the windshield? glass is original and i really don't want to fork out $600+ on a new windshield that's not cracked

  15. spent much of my life cleaning windows..not so much car glass..but similar..I wouldn't "drag" a razor blade backwards on the window..yes forward..with its sharp side..but don't drag can pick up a little hard piece of something and "scratch the glass with it as you drag the razor backwards…instead lift the razor off the glass in the back stroke

  16. I really hope this intro song of yours Larry decides to surface somewhere to download. Thank you for all that you share with us 🙂

  17. Does the polish only "fill" any minor scratches or does it "cut" them down for a permanent removal? Please note that I am only talking about very, very light surface etching, not deep scratches.

  18. Side windows needs cleaning on the upper part that is hidden in the rubber. always roll down the windows a couple of inches and clean that part, and roll it up again and wash the rest.


  20. If your car has heated seats, putting your weight on your knee in the seat will likely pull the wires from the heat elements. Not a good idea.

  21. clay bar works GREAT on glass ! I called Maguires and asked why they don't mention it on the box ? their reply was we tell people they can use clay on glass

  22. i guess glass is coming off when you polish it. do you just throw away the pads or is it okay to blow them clean? my windshield is peppered with tiny pot marks from fwy debris hitting my windshield. can this method remove or greatly minimize such defects in the windshield? my guess is no but we can always hope..

  23. never out rainex on your front and rear window because it fucks with your wipers. just makes them bounce and stutter

  24. With your knee on the passenger seat you may damage the seat heater matt inside of the seat. Every well teached car tecinican now this. Better you look for a other solution which is more professional. Br from Germany.

  25. At 14:40 how many exact squirts? You said 2-3 when you were inside the cabin, so how many on the left doors window? Thank you my friend.

  26. The best thing to clean the inside of your car windows is Dawn dish washing detergent with water. The inside of your car windows collect alot of grease, oils etc that dawn will easily remove and it will not leave streaks.

  27. I think I'm modeling how to get my car to show quality after your tips. This is beyond eye opening. Thank you so much.

  28. What do you think about using wax on windscreens? I switched from RainX and have been seeing a better result.

  29. I bought dedicate glass cleaning microfiber towels for glass. I wash them separately. But I still am left with thousand of tiny microfiber a on my windshield after I'm finished cleaning.

  30. 11:40 You are actually taking off the graphite coating from that wiper, which is there for a good reason. By doing that, you make the wipers wear more and cause the rubber to resonate while moving over the glass.

  31. Any tips for removing thin oil film from the inside of the glass? I switched from smoking to vaping and even though it’s a small device over time it coats my glass. I feel it just smears anytime I try to wipe it clean.

  32. Does anyone have a suggestion for years of highway miles & rock debris across the windshield? Nothing major that would ever turn into a crack. I feel like Larry’s method here would help, somewhat like scratching scratches out of a watch face.

  33. Wouldn’t using the razor make the clay less effective? Since clay grabs contaminants that stick out, I would think that shaving down bits that stick out give the clay less to grab hold of. Maybe it doesn’t make a big difference because the razor doesn’t shave it much, but then what is the point of the razor?

  34. Another great job, leaning so much from this channel, I actually think my phone screen got cleaner as the video whet on 😂😂😂 great tips as usual.

  35. I just discovered this channel. Nice video. My son is a new driver and I recently went through this process on a 14 year old car (his first) as he was complaining he couldn't see. 14 years of water spots, finite scratches, and wiper wear gone, plus getting rid of all the haze on the inside has made a night/day difference. It was a full day spent on all the windows but well worth the hard work.

  36. HELP!! At work the car wash guy thought my windows were very dirty and without asking for permission went ahead and used 2000 grit sandpaper to smooth out the windshield. Needless to say he ruined my windshield, I'll attempt to fix it myself, anything I should do apart from what you did in the video?

  37. How do you pick a good detailer in one's own area? Who to ask? Someone without the skills can do some damage. Any advice?

  38. This motherfuxxer needs to get himself a woman…….wow….thought I was a lil obsessed with detailing my car…but this guy takes this shit to a whole new level…..

  39. I heard applying Citrol to the windshield will help dissolve insect remains and other grime like embedded brake dust.

  40. I do everything you did except I lubricate windshield and use plastic card instead of the razor. Keep up the awesone vids!

  41. I have an old Volvo from 1997, and my driver side wiper is making a really high pitched squealing noise when I turn my wipers. This only happens in colder weather. I have been trying different kind of wiper blades, tried bending the wiper arm to get a different blade angle, but that doesn't help at all.
    Right now I have started to think that it happens because of dirty glass, but I'm not sure how to approach this. The windshield is actually clean, using regular towels and glass cleaner doesn't pick up anything. I'm thinking its wax / oils / bitumen that are really embedded into the glass. Any tips?

  42. Ever use CeriGlass to get rid of wiper marks or minor scuffs? Any tips or tricks if so please? Love your videos, thanks so much for making them!

  43. I really appreciate the quality in this video. Not only the quality in knowledge given but the quality in production of this video.

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