When it comes to the options I have for cleaning my car’s windows, most people to compare these two products: Windex and Invisible Glass. The blue liquid spray that is a household staple, vs the relative newcomer that comes in an aerosol can (or spray bottle) for slightly more money.
In this review, I’ll share what makes each of these products unique, and list some pros and cons followed by what I would recommend for most people looking for the clearest glass possible.
Is Windex Okay for Cars?
Regular Windex is an ammonia-based cleaner, so you don’t want to use it on painted surfaces. If you do use it on glass, it can cause streaking and smell pretty strong since it contains detergents, solvents, and fragrances in addition to ammonia (which also smells really strong). That’s the main turnoff for me, especially when cleaning any interior windshield or window.
Keep in mind that ammonia-based cleaners like regular Windex should not be used on tinted windows. Ammonia will eat away at anything attached to glass (like film) over time, which is why you want to avoid it with any kind of tinted surface.
With that said, Windex does make a huge line of products nowadays, including an ammonia-free product that is safe for all windows.
Where Windex Shines
The reason why Windex is a preferred product for cleaning household glass, is because it’s capability of breaking down tough, stuck on grease and grime using ammonia and other chemicals. It’s also a very economical choice for cleaning mirrors and other surfaces since there are many generic versions of this product.
If you are doing some offroading, or just have a winter beater that stays pretty filthy, it’s not really a bad choice to keep in the toolbox.
However for most people, the ammonia and other chemicals are a little overkill. Especially since these products are to be applied to clean, dry surfaces after washing bugs and mud off.
- Good for removing stuck-on substances
- Regular Windex contains ammonia (bad for tint, strong smell)
- Streaks more than other auto glass cleaners
- Not to be used or contacted with leather, vinyl
Invisible Glass: Why It’s Better for Car Windows
Invisible Glass is really all you need for car windows, because it does not streak like Windex can. It also is ammonia-free and is safe to apply to tinted windows, since it will not eat away at this film over time.
The thing that I like about using invisible glass it that it it foams when applied in the aerosol form, which I think allows the product to work better at absorbing contaminants like grease, etc. It just seems to reveal a more clear surface when compared to Windex.
The only thing I don’t love is using the aerosol to spray the inside of my windshield. It’s just hard not to get overspray on the dash itself (which I don’t like), so I’d probably opt for the Invisible Glass spray for this reason.
I’ll probably just apply some to a towel for those areas where I don’t want dried droplets of product to remain afterwards.
Keep in mind, if the inside of your windshield is covered in a thick haze, this is likely offgass (which is not what Invisible Glass is meant to remove). Check out this post: What Causes Windshield Haze and How to Remove It to learn more.
Invisible Glass Spray or Aerosol. – What’s Better?
According to the makers of Invisible Glass, both of these products contain the same formula, so there really is no difference. Many people prefer the aerosol due to its foaming action, but it is really up to you.
Tip: Don’t Opt for Wipes
If you’re looking for a truly ‘invisible’ finish to your windshield, skip on the wipes. While these can be a lot more convenient, and okay for offroad vehicles that stay dirty, they tend to leave particles behind and streak more than the original spray or aerosols do.
- Less rubbing to achieve clarity
- No streaking
- Great reviews among glass cleaners in this category
- Pleasant smell
- Not as effective at removing some substances compared to others
- Some have said it can leave a film if not removed properly
- Can be expensive depending on where you buy it
Now you know the differences between these two, I’d definitely recommend Invisible Glass by Stoners for most car enthusiasts. I’ve been using the aerosol spray for a while now, and can say that it does do a much superior job on dry surfaces than Windex does at achieving streak-free clarity.
All of these products streak if applied wet based on my experience, so just make sure you apply them dry.