What Glass Cleaner Is Safe for Tinted Windows?

Male worker cleaning car window after applying tinting foil

When cleaning standard car windows, you can use standard glass cleaners without too much fear, but things are different when cleaning tinted windows. That’s because tinted windows are more delicate than standard windows. Window cleaning with the wrong cleaning solution or the wrong cleaning tool can scrape or scratch the tint, create air bubbles, or fade the tint. That’s why it’s essential to choose the right glass cleaner and the proper cleaning tool for tinted windows. 

When cleaning tinted windows, you must use ammonia-free glass cleaner applied with a microfiber towel. This is the safest cleaning method for tinted windows, and it’s what automotive professionals use for optimum results. 

Just knowing the basics of which type of glass cleaner and cleaning tool will help you avoid doing harm to your tinted windows, but you should spend more time considering different cleaning products and the proper technique to ensure you get a professional clean on any tinted windows you have. 

How to Clean Tinted Windows

Cleaning car windows isn’t that much different than cleaning home windows, except when cleaning tinted windows. Tinted car windows are coated with a special film that is more sensitive than glass. If you don’t take extra precautions, you will damage that film. 

Choose the Best Glass Cleaner for Tinted Windows

There are many automotive glass cleaners that work well for cleaning car windows, but only some can be used on tinted windows. When selecting a cleaner, look for a label that says tint-safe or ammonia free. A favorite cleaning product that auto detailers often use is Invisible Glass, but there are many options that work well. 

Test different proven cleaners that are free of ammonia and meant for tinted windows until you find the option you prefer most for your own vehicles. Once you have the right cleaner, you need to pair it with high-quality microfiber towels to achieve the best clean. 

Pair a Good Cleaner with Microfiber Towels

Home windows are cleaned with harsh scrubbers and a squeegee. Tinted windows on a car are cleaned with microfiber towels. Obtain several high-quality microfiber towels, and begin cleaning by spraying a towel with one of the best window cleaners for tinted windows. 

Wipe the towel gently using a circular motion to loosen dirt and debris. Finish cleaning the window by drying it with a second microfiber towel using vertical or horizontal motions. Continue this process until the windows are clean and clear. If a single cleaning doesn’t get your windows spotless, repeat the process on the same window until it looks good. 

Wash Your Microfiber Towels Properly for Future Use

Take care to clean out your washer and dryer, and only wash your microfiber towels with another microfiber cloth to avoid lint and particles. By grouping all your microfiber together, you’ll keep the material clean and ready to use at all times. 

Why Is Ammonia Free Window Cleaner Not The Best Option for Tinted Windows?

Ammonia is a powerful chemical that’s used in many commercial window cleaners today. Even many homemade window washing solutions include ammonia for its cleaning properties. Ammonia-based cleaners dry fast, and they cut grease effectively. Ammonia isn’t safe for tinted windows, though, for a few reasons. 

Ammonia can fade some window tint formulations. Even when the tint is resistant to damage from ammonia, the ammonia can get behind the tint and damage the adhesive holding it in position. This leads to air bubbles and other unsightly problems. 

An ammonia-free window cleaner for tinted windows is meant to offer nearly as much cleaning power to your windows without damaging the tint. The cleaners rely on other chemicals like alcohol or specialized surfactants that are safe on tint while still helping you get cleaner windows. 

What Can You Not Clean Window Tint With?

When cleaning tinted windows on your vehicle, you must be careful to avoid using ammonia-based cleaning solutions and harsh abrasive scrubbing tools. Don’t use sponges, standard towels, scouring pads, or any other scrubbing tools on your windows. Instead, only use clean microfiber towels. They have soft fibers that won’t harm your tint layer and that won’t leave behind lint. 

Is Armor All or Windex Safe for Tinted Windows?

Armor All is a popular automotive cleaning brand, and when you select Armor All Glass Cleaner, you can use it safely on tinted windows. The cleaning product makes use of isopropyl alcohol instead of ammonia for its cleaning power. This makes it safe for use on most glass surfaces around your vehicle. 

Windex is a well-known glass cleaner that’s only safe on tinted windows when you purchase the ammonia-free variety. Standard Windex comes with ammonia, which is what gives it that distinctive smell you’re probably familiar with. You can never use standard Windex on tinted windows. If you obtain ammonia-free Windex, it is safe to use on tinted glass, and you can use it with confidence that it will clean without doing any harm to your vehicle. 

How Do I Know If a Window Cleaner is Ammonia Free?

If you’re searching for a window cleaner that’s ammonia free, it’s essential to look for an indicator that says ammonia-free cleaner. You should use this strategy when selecting any cleaner to use on tinted windows. 

What Do Ammonia-Free Cleaners Use Instead?

If you select an ammonia-free glass cleaner, you’ll get a product that relies on other chemicals and substances to cut through grease and dirt instead. Some utilize alcohol or vinegar, but many also rely on special chemicals known as surfactants that break down the surface tension of water and help lift away dirt more capably. 

While some cleaners without ammonia won’t clean as well, there are many sensitive auto cleaners safe to use on tinted windows that do the job well. Pair these cleaners with microfiber towels, and you can achieve professionally-cleaned tinted windows

How S&K Can Help Maintain Your Windows at Home

With the right glass cleaner and microfiber towels, you can clean your car’s windows effectively. It’s hard work, but obtaining high-quality results on these smaller windows isn’t too time-consuming once you know what you’re doing. The same isn’t true for your home windows. They’re larger and harder to reach, but they must be cleaned as well. Talk with S&K Building Services about how to get your home windows cleaned professionally.

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What is the best window cleaner for ceramic tint?

When choosing a window cleaner for a ceramic tint, be careful to get an ammonia-free automotive glass cleaner. Many options exist, but Armor All Glass Cleaner and Invisible Glass are both popular. 

What is the best ammonia-free glass cleaner?

There are many ammonia-free glass cleaners available for tinted windows and automotive windows in general. The best options are open to debate, but Armor All Glass Cleaner and Invisible Glass are two favorites. Test top cleaners yourself and decide on your own favorite option. 

Which ammonia-free glass cleaner is right for tinted windows near Missouri?

Missouri car windows get coated with dirt, ice, slush, and snow throughout the year. They should be cleaned with a powerful automotive glass cleaner that’s ammonia free and that uses a tough alternative like high-strength isopropyl alcohol. 

What ammonia-free glass cleaner is right for tinted windows near Illinois?

Illinois is known for dirty, damp, and cold weather conditions. The cars throughout the state get dirty windows that need regular cleanings. For best results, apply a well-known ammonia free glass cleaner like Invisible Glass or Armor All Glass Cleaner with a microfiber towel. 

What are common ammonia free glass cleaner ingredients?

Two common ammonia free glass cleaner ingredients are isopropyl alcohol and vinegar. Other cleaners rely on surfactants as well, but most have one of those two ingredients listed above as well. 

Is it okay to use glass cleaner on tinted windows?

You may be tempted to use a standard glass cleaner on tinted windows, but you must make sure it is ammonia free before using it. Ammonia is harmful to tinted windows. Select an ammonia-free cleaner or an auto tint safe cleaner for your windows instead. 

Is Sprayway glass cleaner toxic?

Sprayway glass cleaner is designed to be safe for humans when used as advised, but the formula can be toxic if ingested. Be careful to avoid excessive skin contact with the cleaner, and never ingest the cleaner if you can help it. 

Does Windex have ammonia in it?

The original Windex formula gets its cleaning power from ammonia, but not all Windex solutions contain ammonia. If you are searching for an ammonia-free Windex cleaner, look for a bottle of Windex that states it is ammonia-free. 

What is a homemade window cleaner for tinted windows?

Combine two tablespoons of white vinegar, one cup of isopropyl alcohol, and one cup of distilled water to create a homemade window cleaner that’s safe for tinted windows. Pour the cleaner into a spray bottle and spray it onto a microfiber cloth to clean your windows. 

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