BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — In Professional Carwashing & Detailing’s August feature, “The windows of opportunity,” Assistant Editor Maria Woodie writes about the importance of clear results when it comes to glass cleaning.

“Imagine: A customer takes his car to the local wash, pays an employee to thoroughly clean the vehicle and then sits back and relaxes while entrusting the cleanliness of the car to that business,” says Woodie. “Now, imagine once the car has been washed, the customer opens the door, puts the keys in the ignition and starts to turn onto the street while peering through the windows for any oncoming traffic. But wait. The customer notices a smear on the front windshield. And oh, is that a bug plastered right in the center of the driver-side window? Immediately he starts to question if the car was even cleaned at all.”

A glass cleaning service can make or break a customer’s feelings about a car care business. “Although the overall vehicle might be squeaky clean, a smudge or leftover residue on a customer’s windows, especially the windshield, can signal a lack of detail and professionalism,” she asserts.

In the article, Nathan Iverson, director of sales for Hi-Tech Industries, shares what he feels are the primary factors that can impact the quality of a glass cleaning service:

  • Type of towel used: Best for low to no lint results include waffle-style microfibers, microfiber glass cloths and surgical towels. Terry-style towels dry effectively (both cotton and microfiber), but tend to leave lint.
  • Cleanliness of the towel: If the towel is dirty and soiled, it does not matter what kind of towel or what type of glass cleaner you use, it will leave the glass streaked and dirty. Dirty cloth equals dirty glass.
  • Technique: Navigate the cloth over the glass in a grid or “cut-the-grass” pattern whereby the technician uses the same leading edge of the cloth over the whole window in a back and forth motion, similar to cutting the grass, that continually traps dirt and contaminants under the cloth. Note: Changing the leading edge of the cloth at the end of each pass may result in the release of lint and/or contaminants onto the glass.
  • Type of glass cleaner used: While effective, ammonia-based glass cleaners have a perception of harming tinted windows. This is only the case in rare situations, and ammonia-based glass cleaners are acceptable from a technical standpoint, if not from a perception standpoint. Non-ammonia glass cleaners are also quite adequate when used in conjunction with a properly selected, clean towel, as indicated above. Since nearly all modern glass cleaners (ammonia-based or otherwise) are competent performers, technique and towel selection nearly always trumps chemical selection.

Stay tuned for the August issue for more effective glass cleaning tools and procedures.

Did you miss the July issue, or just want to peruse through the features again? Check it out here.