You polish your paint, but do you really need to polish your glass? It may sound slightly excessive to most, but in order to get the best car glass possible, then you really need to polish it.
Glass works in a similar way to paint. It’s a lot tougher than paint when it comes to marks and scratches and you can use more abrasive cleaners to get a good finish. But, that doesn’t mean to say that they aren’t there.
So, a car glass polish will work in just the same way. It will remove those marks and scratches in the paint and allow for a crystal-clear finish. Trust me when I say that after a good polish, the glass will really set the car off, especially when combined with a full paint correction.
Why should I polish the windshield and windows?
The windshield in particular needs special care. There are deep-seated contaminants on the windshield that can’t be removed with a simple spray and wipe. Scraping the glass or using a clay bar will add some benefits and should be enough to clean the glass on newer cars.
But the act of scraping the glass will leave behind tiny scratches and pits on the surface of the glass. When viewed with a microscope, the glass surface will be rough and uneven. When light hits the numerous scratches and pits on the glass, the result is an obscured vision even if the glass is clean.
In order to remove those hairline scratches, polishing the glass using a machine and glass polish is the best and easiest remedy. The polish will essentially level the surface of the glass while getting rid of scratches, stains, and hard-to-remove contaminants. It is pretty similar to what happens when polishing the paint.
The good news is you don’t have to be an expert to polish the glass surfaces in your vehicle. But similar to the rudiments of polishing the paint, you need to arm yourself with the right tools.
It all starts with choosing the best car glass polish. In this article, I will present the best auto glass polishes and the best glass sealants. I will also give some helpful tips on how to polish the windshield and windows in your vehicle.
Ideally, you will use a DA polisher, a glass polishing pad, glass cleaner, and a set of microfiber towels. However, you are able to use all of these polishes by hand, albeit with slightly lesser results.
But before we get to that, here are the best car glass polishes you can buy today.
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Best Car Glass Polish – Top 3
Here are what I consider to be the best car glass polish on the market right now:
Contrary to what other people might say, getting rid of dirt and contamination on car glass requires a specific type of approach. If the glass is filled with hard-to-remove contaminants, polishing the glass is a faster and more effective option. With that in mind, the Gtechniq G4 takes the prize as the best car glass polish.
Unlike other glass polishing products, the Gtechniq G4 is formulated with Nano-sized abrasives and a citric acid cleaning agent. This formula works aggressively over glass and ceramic surfaces. The microscopic abrasives will quickly smoothen the glass while removing dirt and particles that were not removed during the initial cleaning process.
This glass polish also works extremely well when paired with the Gtechniq G6 glass cleaner. The proper step is to pre-clean the glass with the G6 glass cleaner, treat the surface with a clay bar or scraper, and polish the glass using the Gtechniq G4 glass polish to achieve excellent results.
And while the Gtechniq G4 Glass Nano Polish is not cheap, a little of the product goes a long way. You can expect to polish for many years and seasons to come with just a single bottle of G4 Glass Polish.
2) Auto Finesse Vision Glass Polish
If not for the price, the Auto Finesse Vision Glass Polish is a product that you should definitely check out. It contains an advanced polishing formula with light abrasives to safely restore clarity on glass and chrome surfaces.
The great thing about the Auto Finesse Vision Glass Polish is the versatility. It can be applied by hand or machine. It leaves behind a powdery residue that can be removed easily using a damp microfiber towel. However, this glass polish will stain rubber and plastic components. You need to be slightly careful when using this glass polish, so you won’t end up staining or contaminating the rubber/vinyl exterior trim in your vehicle. I recommend taping up first, just to be sure.
The Auto Finesse Vision might be pricey, but it can quickly restore the smoothness and clarity of car windows even without the help of a DA polisher.
3) Autoglym Car Glass Polish
The Autoglym Car Glass Polish is an excellent budget option. It contains specialist cleaning and polishing agents to quickly and easily clean and remove dirt and contaminants. Since the formula does not contain wax or silicone-based ingredients, this glass polish will buff cleanly with no traces of smears or streaks.
This new formula also contains anti-misting agents to allow the glass to clear quickly in cold and dampish weather. Similarly, to the Auto Finesse Vision, the Autoglym Car Glass Polish can be applied by hand or machine. This is no small feat given the hard surface of the glass.
If you don’t want to spend big bucks on glass polish, the Autoglym Car Glass Polish is a fantastic choice. It’s also worth noting that this product is formed and produced within the UK.
Best Car Glass Sealant
Remember when I said polishing the glass is similar to polishing the paint?
After treating the glass with a fine polish, you should finish it off by applying glass sealant. Think of it as applying a layer of wax after polishing the paint. The sealant will coat the surface of the glass and provide water-beading action. It also prevents water stains and water spots for enhanced clarity and visibility in any type of weather.
1) Gtechniq G1 and G2
After polishing the glass using the Gtechniq G4 Nano Polish, it is time for the next crucial step. The Gtechniq G1 is a Nano-coat sealant. It needs to be applied in three coats to offer maximum clarity and hydrophobic protection.
Here’s how you do it:
- Pour a small amount of the G1 Nano-coat into a small applicator pad.
- Rub the pad directly on the glass using small circular motions.
- Allow the first coat to dry for at least 5 minutes before applying a second coat.
- Again, allow the product to dry for another 5 minutes before applying a third coat.
- Allow the final coat to cure for 15 to 20 minutes to completely seal the surface of the glass.
After the curing process, pour a small amount of G2 residue remover in a separate applicator pad. Rub the pad gently on the treated glass to remove all traces of residue. The final step is to give the glass a light buff using a dry microfiber towel.
The best part? A single three-coat application of the Gtechniq G1 sealant will last for 20,000 to 30,000 driving miles. This glass sealant kit may be pricey, but it delivers marvellous results without the elbow grease.
2) Gtechniq G5 Clear Vision Glass Coat
The Gtechniq G5 should not be confused with the G3 glass sealant. The G5 is the same product albeit with a different name. Barring any confusion with the old product, the G5 is touted to offer the very best in terms of repelling water and dirt.
A single application of the Gtechniq G5 Clear Vision will reputably last for up to five months. It allows water, dirt, ice, and even bugs to remove easily without the need to scrape the glass. This is one of the best car glass sealants I have used thus far. It is easy to apply and easy to buff out.
After polishing the glass, make sure to follow up with a treatment of the Gtechniq G5 glass sealant.
3) Rain-X Water Repellent Glass Treatment
The Rain-X remains the best budget glass sealant in the market today. It works almost as well as the Gtechniq G1 and G5, but it comes with a lower price tag. Rain-X is formulated to repel rain, sleet, and snow to deliver clearer visibility in harsh weather conditions.
Rain-X is one of the most popular and mainstream car glass sealants in the market, and rightfully so. The alcohol-based formula is easy to apply:
- Pour a small amount of Rain-X in a small sponge.
- Rub the sponge liberally on the surface of the glass and allow to dry to a haze.
- Wipe off the excess using a damp microfiber towel and you’re done!
In terms of longevity, Rain-X is not the best. In fact, the hydrophobic protection won’t last long in extremely rainy weather. In my experience, the product lasted for about a week or two before the protection wears off. But considering the affordable price, Rain-X is still one of the best.
How to Polish Car Glass
It is important to deep-clean and decontaminate the glass prior to polishing. I have a detailed guide on the best way to clean car windows. It enumerates all the essential steps to effectively clean both the exterior and interior side of the glass. Keep in mind polishing the glass without pre-cleaning and removing hard contaminants might scratch the surface as you polish.
After decontaminating the glass, here are the steps on how to polish car glass.
Gather all the tools and materials. As I previously mentioned above, you’ll need a DA polisher and glass polishing pad ideally. The pads for polishing glass are thinner and don’t require a foam cushion and backing plate.
The reason for this is simple. Unlike clear coat paint, glass is a harder surface. Thinner pads will increase the power applied to the glass from the machine.
Pour a small amount (about three to five pea-sized drops) of glass polish to the polishing pad. The idea is to lightly saturate the pad with the polish. Spread the polish evenly on the polishing pad with your hand.
The same rule applies when polishing the glass by hand. Saturate the applicator pad with the polish before wiping the surface of the glass.
Using a low-speed setting, you can proceed to polish the glass. Work on a small section at a time. After two or three passes with the machine, adjust the speed setting to medium and give the glass a final pass.
Remove the residue using a medium-pile microfiber towel. Turn the towel over and buff the surface lightly. After this, you will feel a noticeable difference. The glass surface will be smoother and devoid of scratches/stains.
Spray a liberal amount of glass cleaner on the polished surface and wipe off using a low-pile microfiber towel. This will ensure all traces of polish are removed from the surface.
The final step is to apply glass sealant. Grab a small applicator sponge, pour a couple of drops of glass sealant, and apply using small circular motions. Allow the glass sealant to cure for 10 to 15 minutes or until the product dries to a haze.
Grab a damp microfiber towel and wipe the glass gently to remove the haze.