Can I use IPA 70% to clean windshield?

Messages
1,615
Location
Cincinnati, USA
You don't need IPA that strong, might as well use windshield washer fluid, the normal/winter formula with methanol in it. I keep a spray bottle full of that for window washing, though I mean outside glass, so it might just be due for a regular whole vehicle washing. If you have some severe interior glass problem, say tobacco (or marijuana, lol) tar residue, then an ammonia mix works best for that, whether in a homebrew concoction or pre-made Mr. Clean low % solution, etc then a second pass to wipe/rinse that off. AFAIK there are still some glass cleaners (like Windex) with ammonia in them but that's the far more expensive way to go... mixing it yourself costs pennies on the dollar. If you really must use the 70% IPA, I'd mix it about 1:3 with distilled water and put a drop of dish detergent per quart in it (varying the formula depending on what you need to clean off).
 
Last edited:
Messages
663
Location
New Jersey
Thread starter
Originally Posted by Propflux01
I use it all the time for windows. 91% as well.. Works great.
That's right. It cleans well and leaves no streak and smooth surface. But I heard some say it is bad for the windshield, not sure it is true or no I only use 70% IPA though...
 
Messages
663
Location
New Jersey
Thread starter
Originally Posted by PimTac
Alcohol in and of itself is not a good cleaner. Use a good window cleaner.
Why is it not a good cleaner?
 
Messages
663
Location
New Jersey
Thread starter
Originally Posted by Dave9
You don't need IPA that strong, might as well use windshield washer fluid, the normal/winter formula with methanol in it. I keep a spray bottle full of that for window washing, though I mean outside glass, so it might just be due for a regular whole vehicle washing. If you have some severe interior glass problem, say tobacco (or marijuana, lol) tar residue, then an ammonia mix works best for that, whether in a homebrew concoction or pre-made Mr. Clean low % solution, etc then a second pass to wipe/rinse that off. AFAIK there are still some glass cleaners (like Windex) with ammonia in them but that's the far more expensive way to go... mixing it yourself costs pennies on the dollar. If you really must use the 70% IPA, I'd mix it about 1:3 with distilled water and put a drop of dish detergent per quart in it (varying the formula depending on what you need to clean off).
IPA is easier to use because it is streak free and flashes off very fast.
 
All those windshield cleaners work good for "normal" windshield duty, but to clean off tree sap, wiper scum, rat bits, etc I use a mild cleanser like BarKeepers Friend, BonAmi, etc. I've even used Toothpaste. Works s great cleaning off the scum and does not harm windshields.
 
Messages
13,866
Location
...
Alcohol will clean light dirt and some films off of glass but the better choice is ammonia. Also, be careful as constant use of either one may result in discoloration and degradation of the plastic cowl or other trim. Ammonia will clean hard dirt and stuck on grime.
 
Messages
4,435
Location
Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
With each new bottle of blue windshield fluid I remove a few ounces and add 409 cleaner, and then check that I have added enough by shaking the bottle up and down and then seeing if foam forms on top. If it does then there is enough 409. It really cuts grease/oil if it gets on the windshield. Rarely a vehicle (usually going in the opposite direction) will splash a puddle that had some oil in it up and have some of it get on the windshield. With the 409 added to the windshield fluid it comes right off. 409 in the fluid also helps keep any oil film form ever building up on the windshield over time. I use the stuff in the white bottle with blue print. Sometimes you can find it as a refill in a big bottle that is cheaper per ounce, but often you can only buy it in a spray bottle that cost more, but it is worth it. It really makes a difference. Also, I have been using 409 in windshield fluid for many many years, and it has never caused any bad effects with the windshield pumps or hoses. I do not know if IPA in strong concentrations is safe for those parts.
 
Last edited:
Messages
431
Location
Daytona Beach
I use several solvent on my windshield to stop wipers from chattering. I usually start with windex (water based/ammonia) to get the bugs/dirt off. I then move to lacquer thinner to get the grease/road grim/tar off. Then I go to Isoproplyl Alcohol to get anything left behind by the other two. I've cured many wiper chatter issues this way, and at $75.00 per set, you really don't want to buy many pairs of OEM Mercedes Benz wiper blades. I'll clean the windshield this way about once a year. I don't use RainX. I'd say my cleaning regimen would likely remove that stuff too.
 
Messages
4,080
Location
Texas
I mix generic window cleaner ( Windex ) with rubbing alcohol to clean my eye glasses . Seems to work better than straight window cleaner .
 
Messages
693
Location
Under the hood
Considering the availability of excellent glass cleaners like IG and Sprayway, and the current scarcity of IPA, why use it as a glass cleaner? I've only recently seen IPA return to store shelves, and it gets snapped up when it appears. And that's for 70%, never mind 91%.
 
Messages
1,333
Location
Charlotte, NC
For what it's worth, I use Zep citrus degreaser diluted 4:1 with distilled water to clean my windshield. Then after wiping it down with that, I follow up with a glass cleaner. I got the idea from a youtuber by the name Dallas Paint Correction and Detailing (IIRC). He uses Citrol, but I figured I'd try Zep and it works well for me. Especially after road trips to the country and the windshield is loaded up with bug splattering. When time permits, I clay my windshield after cleaning with the Zep. Either way, clay or not the citrus Zep diluted 4:1 works great and is a wonderful tool as it relates to stopping chattering wiper blades.
 
Messages
663
Location
New Jersey
Thread starter
Originally Posted by bullwinkle
I'm assuming "IPA" means isopropyl alcohol, not India pale ale! Alcohol makes a GREAT cleaner, but you would have to work fast before it evaporates.
Yes, it's great and streak free. Very clean.
 
Messages
663
Location
New Jersey
Thread starter
Originally Posted by PimTac
Alcohol will clean light dirt and some films off of glass but the better choice is ammonia. Also, be careful as constant use of either one may result in discoloration and degradation of the plastic cowl or other trim. Ammonia will clean hard dirt and stuck on grime.
I am careful using the IPA. I don't use Ammonia base because it is not streak-free.
 
Messages
663
Location
New Jersey
Thread starter
Originally Posted by JohnG
I use several solvent on my windshield to stop wipers from chattering. I usually start with windex (water based/ammonia) to get the bugs/dirt off. I then move to lacquer thinner to get the grease/road grim/tar off. Then I go to Isoproplyl Alcohol to get anything left behind by the other two. I've cured many wiper chatter issues this way, and at $75.00 per set, you really don't want to buy many pairs of OEM Mercedes Benz wiper blades. I'll clean the windshield this way about once a year. I don't use RainX. I'd say my cleaning regimen would likely remove that stuff too.
I clay, clean with IPA 70%, then TWC SNS. No problems with chattering.
 
Top