Tinted windows add undeniable sex appeal to just about any car, truck, or SUV—as long as you keep them clean. Neglecting your tinted windows will result in water spots and dirt, which can give your entire vehicle a run-down look, and may even lead to tint film damage. In any case, you spent good money to tint your car windows, so taking a few minutes to learn about window tint care and cleaning is time well spent.
How to Clean Window Tint
Believe it or not, there is a right way and a wrong way to clean tinted windows. Following a few basic tips and guidelines will prevent all sorts of window tint problems in the future such as scratching, fading, bubbling, and peeling.
- Use the Right Cleaning Solution – Window tint film can easily be damaged with the wrong chemicals, and unfortunately these are the same chemicals a lot of people use when they clean off their car windows. Ammonia-based window cleaners (most of the blue bottles beneath the sink) can deteriorate the film. For best results, always use a window cleaner specially formulated for automotive window tint film.
- Employ the Two-Towel Method – One of the secrets of professional auto detailers is the two-towel method for cleaning car windows. Use one microfiber towel to wipe down the window and the second towel to buff away any remaining cleaner or moisture. This is the best way to ensure a streak-free finish. Using microfiber towels will also prevent scratches and swirls in the tint film like you might get using paper towels or regular cotton towels.
- Give Opposite Final Wipes – When you switch to the second microfiber towel to finish wiping off the window, give the outside of the window a horizontal wipe and the inside of the window a vertical one. This way you can quickly spot a smudge or missed spot and know immediately whether it’s on the outside or inside of the glass based on whether it’s horizontal (outside) or vertical (inside).
How to Prevent Window Tint Wear
Standard hybrid film (contains dye and metal deposits) generally lasts about five years, while most high-end metallized window film can last twice as long. Carbon and ceramic tint films are even longer lasting, often coming with a lifetime warranty. However, regardless of the type of window tint you have on your car, you need to be careful if you want to get the full lifetime use and value out of your tinted windows.
- Never use ammonia-based window cleaners
- Clean off tree sap, bird droppings, and other damaging substances as soon as possible
- Avoid coarse paper towels and cotton washcloths
- Be careful not to fling your seat belt off, which can scratch the film or even chip the glass
Aftercare Tips for New Window Tint
If you just had your car windows tinted or are planning on having it done soon, these aftercare tips will come in handy and help make sure you’re completely satisfied with the results.
- Leave the windows up for at least 48 hours after the tint film is installed. This time is necessary for the tint to adhere to the glass so it will not peel away when the window is rolled down.
- After 48 hours, wipe the windows down with a non-ammonia cleaner; or better yet, wipe the windows down with a cleaner specifically formulated for tinted windows.
- Note: bubbles may appear and are normal for the first few days after the windows are tinted. You may also notice tint that appears cloudy, hazy, and has water pockets. These will go away as the film dries out; if they don’t, return your vehicle to the shop that performed the installation.
If you want to upgrade your tinted windows or get your car windows tinted for the first time, Auto Super Shield in Boca Raton is the ultimate destination for premium window tint in South Florida. Contact us online or call (561) 367-0101 to get a free quote on window tint installation or to learn more about the premium tint brands we carry.