If you love a good car-washing technique and often find yourself in the driveway giving “Betsey” a good ol’ polish, then surely you’ll want to know if it’s safe to use Windex on your car. The blue-tinted glass cleaner is often known for windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces, but what about your car?
Is it safe to use Windex on car paint? The short answer is no. You should only use cleaners that are specifically designed to be used on cars to ensure you don’t ruin the paint or materials.
Read below to discover how using Windex on car paint will affect your car.
Will Windex Hurt Car Paint?
Applying Windex to car paint hurts it because it is too harsh. When you clean your mirrors, you may notice the removal of dirt and grime with a streak-free shine, but Windex will eventually strip away the finish when used on a car paint surface.
What Does Windex Do to Car Paint?
Household cleaners like Windex contain harsh and powerful chemicals that are typically too abrasive for paint. It may seem like a car would be as durable as glass, but the paint is not. Windex is abrasive enough to clear the coat, fade the paint, cause corrosion, discoloration, and more.
Like most car owners, you’ll want to go the extra mile to protect your car’s exterior by using products that were made to clean the paint without damaging it. Unfortunately, Windex is not included in that list.
As a family company, Windex believes transparency is essential when choosing safe and effective products for your home. It has stood the test of time, adapting to lifestyle changes and updating its formula since its 1933 inception, so let’s break down what makes it what it is.
Windex has water as a liquid base, fragrance, Liquitint® Sky Blue Dye, and Sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate as a wetting agent. It also includes the following cleaning agents:
- Ammonium Hydroxide
- Lauryl Dimethyl Amine Oxide
Can You Use Ammonia-free Windex on Car Paint?
Before you add the Ammonia-free version of Windex to your cart, beware! The Ammonia-free version is still linked to strong fumes that will irritate vehicle paint. However, you may not see the damage immediately as the paintwork will dry and chip over time.
However, you can use it on certain parts of your vehicle. The Windex parent company SC Johnson recommends using Windex® Ammonia-Free Glass Cleaner in the following areas:
- Car windows
- Stainless steel
- Vinyl surfaces
Is It Okay To Use Windex on Car Paint Once?
It’s a warm sunny day, and you decide on a whim to skip the luxury car wash station and quickly clean your car yourself before you hit the road. The only product you have on hand is Windex. You must consider if using this product once will cause permanent damage.
Glass cleaners like Windex strip the paint on your car and may even dull the finish. Although the damage will only be minimal if you use it once, it’s not a good idea to use it regularly.
Unfortunately, many car owners use whatever they find around the house to clean their cars, which hurts more than it helps. Therefore, it is necessary to purchase cleaners specifically made for vehicles and safe for car paint to have on hand for these instances.
Is Windex Safe on Car Interiors?
While Windex is not advised for exterior car paint, it is an excellent cleaner for inside your car, helping eliminate built-up gunk on windows, dashboards, and mirrors.
According to Windex.com, it’s recommended to clean your car windows when it’s cool, like in the early mornings or evenings when the sun is not shining directly on your vehicle for that streak-free shine.
What Cleaners Are Safe on Car Paint?
Because repainting your car can be expensive, it is best to clean it with cleaners that are safe for car paint and won’t ruin it.
Some people use DIY cleaning alternatives like laundry detergent, baby shampoo, and dish soap, but finding a car cleaning product that performs well shouldn’t be a challenge with so many options on the market. Below are some highly-rated car cleaning products you can use on your ride.
Clay Bar & Luber Synthetic Lubricant Kit
It’s the perfect way to take your detail to the next level! This clay bar pulls out dust and contamination as you rub the clay across your vehicle’s paintwork. Customers are surprised at how the clay removes surface contamination like pollution and brake dust plus makes their car feel smooth to the touch.
Carfidant Scratch and Swirl Remover
This best-seller includes a buffer pad and uses a compound that was specially formulated to allow the user to remove years of wear and tear from your vehicle’s paint and overall appearance. Customers say it’s easy to use and saves hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repair costs.
Stoner Car Care
Stoner is made in the USA and is safe to use on paint, clear coats, and chrome. It works using advanced cleaning technology to break down tough grime in seconds for easy removal. Tar on your car? Just spray this on and watch it melt away in seconds.
Car enthusiasts rejoice! This kit is well-priced and nicely packaged with everything you need to detail your car like a pro.
Turtle wax is a leading car exterior cleaner that repairs light to heavy scratches, swirls, water stains, and more. This popular go-to is a tried-and-true performer that works quickly! A reviewer stated it took 30 seconds and no elbow grease to remove a paint transfer after hitting another car in the parking lot.
Butter Wet Wax
Like butter to toast, this is something you want to melt on your ride. It’s described as a smooth, liquid creme wax that melts into the paint. The easy wipe-on, wipe-off application cleanses the paintwork with the highest level of shine within minutes.