It is important that you take good care of your windscreen and keep it clean to maintain an unimpaired vision while driving.
Even with normal driving conditions it does not take much for dirt to cling to the windscreen and cleaning should be regular not to prejudice road safety.
How to clean your windscreen
A windscreen that resists cleaning with ordinary soap and water probably has oil or grease on it. You could use methylated spirits diluted 1:1 with water.
Always use a soft, clean cloth and wash the dirt away gently.
Dangers of poor windscreen care
Avoid the use of harsh chemicals and abrasives so as not to scratch the windscreen or damage the paint.
Using water to substitute washer fluid has some disadvantages. If the windscreen is not properly cleaned it may become a safety hazard as a result of poor visibility. Also, washer fluids are formulated to withstand freezing, while water expands when freezing and may damage the washer system pipes.
It is cheaper to replace windscreen wiper blades than to replace a scratched or damaged windscreen.
Take care of your windscreen wipers
Inspect the blades of your windscreen wipers regularly to ensure that they are always clean and in a good condition. Dirt that builds up on your wiper blades can be smeared across your windscreen and can even scratch it.
A clean, damp cloth should be effective to wipe dirt from the blades.
If the rubber of the blades starts deteriorating they should be replaced. Some authorities recommend replacing the blades at least once a year. Also, ensure that you replace it with good quality blades.
Winter weather and ice on the windscreen
Keep in mind that you will need an extra five to ten minutes to de-ice your vehicle on a very cold morning. Include it in your time planning.
Be careful when you use lukewarm water. If it is too hot it can crack your windscreen. Rather use a 1:1 mixture of water and ethanol to spray onto the windscreen after you have turned on the vehicle’s engine, setting the heater/air conditioner temperature to high and the defroster fan to low. Use a proper ice scraper to remove the ice.
To prevent ice forming on the windscreen it is better to park your car in a garage overnight or cover the windscreen with a plastic hood or even a blanket.
Frost can also be prevented from taking a grip by spraying the windshield with the water-ethanol mixture before you go to bed.
The windscreen near the sea
Demisting fluids are available, but they require constant reapplication. The most convenient method to demist a windscreen is to use the heater with the blower fan to clear it quickly, and then switch to cold air to prevent further misting.
Never use the recirculate setting on your heater or air conditioner because that will allow water vapour to build up in the car and will make your problem worse.
It is a good idea to keep a black board brush in your vehicle to wipe away mist on the inside of the windscreen.