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As we move into the winter season, bad weather and reduced visibility can make driving more dangerous. To keep yourself and your passengers safe while you’re on the road, it’s important to keep your windshield clear and distraction-free. The easier it is to see out of your windshield, the less likely you are to hit another car or run over hazardous debris in the road. If your windshield has stubborn stains or discoloration, you’ll want to clean them up as soon as possible. 

Some marks are easy to erase on your own, but some more stubborn stains may take professional know-how and equipment to reverse. Luckily, Fast Glass Service has pulled together this helpful guide on windshield stains and how to get rid of them!

1. Window Tint

If you bought your car used or it’s older, you may have peeling or outdated window tint coating your windshield. It’s now illegal in most states to tint your windshield, so even if it’s not obstructing your view, you may want to remove it. 

To remove window tinting film you will need:

  • A hairdryer or heat gun
  • A plastic scraper
  • A clean rag
  • WD-40
  • Glass cleaner
  • Paper towels

Put your hairdryer or heat gun on the highest setting and hold it about two inches from the glass. As the edges begin to peel, lift them away from the glass with your plastic scraper. Work in small sections, heating and then peeling off the tinting film. Use your rag and WD-40 to rub off any remaining adhesive sticking to the glass. Clean with glass cleaner and paper towels and voila! 

2. Tree Sap

Tree sap can be a nightmare for your paint job and your auto glass. And it can be incredibly challenging to remove once it has hardened – especially if it was smeared by your windshield wipers. But luckily all you need to dissolve this stubborn mess is rubbing alcohol (or a strong bug remover) and a clean cloth. 

Note: Make sure that you dilute the rubbing alcohol properly by at least 15%. Using it at full strength can damage the paint on your car if it drips! 

Just pour a small amount of the diluted alcohol on your clean (non-abrasive) cloth, and lay it on the sap. Let it sit and soak for a minute or two. Then rub the cloth over the sap-stained area. Repeat until the sap is dissolved!

3. Spray Paint

Whether you got carried away with a crafts project in the driveway, the wind blew paint across your car, or vandals tagged your car – don’t worry. Spray paint does come off auto glass with patience and effort. You’ll need:

  • A plastic scraper
  • Acetone nail polish remover
  • A microfiber cloth

First, scrape as much paint off the windshield as possible with the plastic scraper. Be sure not to scrape back and forth. Instead use long, slow strokes in one direction to avoid scratching the glass. Then apply acetone to the cloth and rub away any remaining paint. Then thoroughly rinse our windshield and car to make sure you don’t leave any acetone behind – it can eat through paint and plastic finishes. 

4. Water Spots

Water is supposed to clean your car, but often mineral deposits left behind can calcify and form irritating hard water spots on your windshield. To get rid of them all you need is vinegar and distilled water – you can buy large jugs of distilled water in the bottled water aisle at the grocery store for cheap. Make a solution of equal parts water and vinegar. Soak and cloth in the solution and let rest over the water spots for a minute or two. Rinse and wipe dry with a paper towel!

If you have any tough windshield stains that just won’t seem to come out, contact Fast Glass Service! We’re here to answer your questions and help make your windshield look like new.