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Keeping your car clean is both important and satisfying, and no area is more important than your windshield. But, if it seems like the inside of your windshield is always dirty, even after repeated cleanings, you’re not insane. There’s a reason for that constant film inside your car windows, and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.

New car smell and windshield haze are one and the same

No matter what Rain-X, Meguiar’s, or ArmorAll try to sell you, there is no way to prevent that interior windshield haze. That’s because the haze itself isn’t the result of fogging or even dust. It’s chemical. Specifically, it’s the chemicals gassing out of the plastics and synthetics both on and under your dash.

Nearly everything inside a new car is some form of plastic, resin, or leather. And all of those substances gas off Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). The problem is made worse under the heat of the sun, and worse yet when there is no air circulation. So, the inside of a parked car is the worst possible scenario.

All of those evaporating chemicals have to land somewhere, and the inside of your windshield gets hazy and dirty as a result.

How do I get the haze off my windshield?

Cleaning a dirty windshield inside and out
Windshield cleaning | Garry Lotulung/NurPhoto via Getty Images

As we mentioned, there is no way to completely eliminate that interior windshield haze from happening. However, you can make life easier for yourself by using the right window cleaners to remove all of the haze as it happens.

Ammonia-based window cleaners work best, as they cut through the chemicals quickly and effectively. And if that is too harsh, rubbing alcohol or vinegar can have the same effect. (Safety tip: Do not mix ammonia cleaners with any acids, alcohols, or bleach to avoid creating toxic fumes)

Spray the entire windshield and wipe it with a clean, dry microfiber towel. Then, go over the window again with another dry towel, in a circular buffing motion until the glass is dry.

Keep the air inside your car moving

Inside of a hazy windshield
Windshield wipers battling rainfall | Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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Because stagnant air and heat both accelerate the accumulation of windshield haze, leaving the windows cracked can help reduce it. Furthermore, parking in the shade or a garage (if possible) will also slow down the time it takes for noticeable haze to cloud up your windows. Overall, though, the inside of your windshield will always wear the brunt of these wafting chemicals. So your best bet is to keep your favorite cleaner and some towels handy for a clear view.

Interior windshield haze is, unfortunately, inevitable

While there is unfortunately no way to prevent windshield haze, using these tips can help make your driving life easier (and clearer!). From garage parking and air circulation to constant cleaning with the right chemicals, you can reduce how dirty the inside of your windshield is for a safer drive.