How do I clean the back window and windshield of a 1998 Trans Am? - LS1TECH - Camaro and Firebird Forum Discussion



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How do I clean the back window and windshield of a 1998 Trans Am?

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Old 12-07-2017, 09:14 AM   #1
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Default How do I clean the back window and windshield of a 1998 Trans Am?

I've searched all over this forum, and can't seem to find out what I'm doing wrong. I've used water/soap on the outside of both the front and back windows, and I've tried using Rain-X glass cleaner with a double sided micro-fiber / buffing rag. My door windows and T-Tops look like show-room perfect, but no matter what my back window and windshield are smudgey pieces of ****. I can wipe and wipe, wet and wet, wipe and wipe, and it still looks like garbage. I can barely see out of my windshield every morning from moisture build up when I drive to work until enough sun comes out, no matter how much I try to clean it. Do I have to take a razor blade and steel wool to it or something? (I would be scared to do this on the back, with the defrost heating elements.) What am I doing wrong here?
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:48 AM   #2
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Dunno what you're doing wrong but I know this - cleaning the front and back glass on these things sucks a high hard one.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:50 AM   #3
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Try a solvent to remove the oils like acetone or paint thinner, then go over it with windex.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:09 PM   #4
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I don't exactly understand where your issue is, outside or inside? I thought you were referring to the outside, but then I see you mention being worried about the heating elements on the back glass, but those are only on the inside and cannot be damaged by anything done to the outside of the glass.

But let's assume your issue is with the exterior portion of the glass. If you have film that won't come off with normal soap/water/glass cleaner, then you might have hard water stains or something else that's baked on. You can use a glass polish for this (Zaino makes a great one), and/or rubbing compound or metal polish. Some folks also have great luck using a clay bar for this. I've done some restoration work with old glass sealed beam headlights and found that fine grade steel wool, with a rubbing compound as a lubricant, can remove most issues without damaging the glass. But this is very labor intensive for an entire window and will leave metal dust everywhere, so I wouldn't go to this step until after trying rubbing compound/glass polish/clay bar first.

Having said that, it's entirely possible that your issues might be on the inside of the glass. Interior window film build-up can be a real issue on modern cars with big plastic dashes and/or vehicles that are smoked in, etc. But there should be no reason to need heavy cut compounds or polishes on the inside glass as it's not exposed to the elements. For this sort of film/haze, my favorite product is Dirtex by Savogran - this is a window/tile/mirror cleaner which cuts through just about anything that would typically be found on interior glass. It contains ammonia though, so don't use it on tinting paper unless you want to remove it.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:44 PM   #5
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The best way to clean glass and remove smudges is an old school technique. Crumple up a bunch of newspaper/junk mail fliers and use that instead of a micro fibre cloth. Then spray the glass with your normal Windex. Zero smudges. Been doing this my whole life. Haven't found anything that has worked as good as this does.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:58 PM   #6
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The best way to clean glass and remove smudges is an old school technique. Crumple up a bunch of newspaper/junk mail fliers and use that instead of a micro fibre cloth. Then spray the glass with your normal Windex. Zero smudges. Been doing this my whole life. Haven't found anything that has worked as good as this does.
For simple smudges/film/haze, Dirtex and a low lint cloth (premium linen diapers, microfiber, etc.) works even better IMO.

For conditions such as extreme hard water stains, paint overspray, or anything else that's highly bonded to the surface, you'll need more than just a spray glass cleaner and towels or newspaper to get it back to perfect.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:24 PM   #7
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If it's tinted, don't use anything with ammonia in it. The tint will turn purple.

I've always preferred the less is more approach. A half & half distilled white vinegar and water (Tap water if you don't have hard water, distilled otherwise) in a spray bottle with a good terry cloth to remove any existing films. Then BUFF with a NEW microfiber towel before it dries completely.

For maintenance, use a lift technique to remove finger print oils on the first pass (do not smear it around), then flip the terry cloth to spot clean with the diluted vinegar, then buff with a fresh micro.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:31 PM   #8
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Tri-sodium-Phosphate... if its really really nasty.. Don't leave it on the paint..
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Old 12-10-2017, 03:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batman View Post
The best way to clean glass and remove smudges is an old school technique. Crumple up a bunch of newspaper/junk mail fliers and use that instead of a micro fibre cloth. Then spray the glass with your normal Windex. Zero smudges. Been doing this my whole life. Haven't found anything that has worked as good as this does.
Hahahaha.....dude, I was gonna post this but figured everyone would laugh.

Newspaper is absolutely the best thing to clean the glass. There;s nothing made that comes close. I was an auto glass mechanic for 2 years while in high school part time......its all we used in the work trucks. Regular glass cleaner and friggin newspaper. This was back in 1986 when I was in high school....

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Old 12-10-2017, 07:29 PM   #10
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Newspaper is absolutely the best thing to clean the glass. There;s nothing made that comes close.
Agree to disagree. I've actually tried this (newspaper) before, just to see if the "old time" hype was true; it's not IMO. I get better results from premium linen diapers (they are very low lint and glide easier than microfiber, better job overall than newspaper with no ink left on your hands.)

But I also don't like the "regular" glass cleaners, they just don't work as well as Dirtex (though, again, don't use Dirtex or any other ammonia cleaners on tinting paper.)
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Old 12-11-2017, 01:10 AM   #11
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RPM gave some excellent suggestions. I was going to suggest using clay.
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Old 12-11-2017, 04:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM WS6 View Post
Agree to disagree. I've actually tried this (newspaper) before, just to see if the "old time" hype was true; it's not IMO. I get better results from premium linen diapers (they are very low lint and glide easier than microfiber, better job overall than newspaper with no ink left on your hands.)

But I also don't like the "regular" glass cleaners, they just don't work as well as Dirtex (though, again, don't use Dirtex or any other ammonia cleaners on tinting paper.)
I was actually cleaning it in preparation to getting it tinted, so I might try this Dirtex stuff.
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Old 12-11-2017, 09:34 AM   #13
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If you are cleaning the inside of the window for tint prep, what a lot of tint shops use is 409 and some black trash bags up on in the sun for a while. But we are still not sure what you are trying to clean exactly.
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Old 12-11-2017, 11:29 AM   #14
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Both. I'm cleaning the inside and out.
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Old 12-11-2017, 08:43 PM   #15
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Maybe take some pics of what it is so we can see exactly
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