7 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Cleaning Car Door Panels And Windows

7 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Cleaning Car Door Panels And Windows


In cleaning door panels and windows, there’s a right and wrong way to do the job. 

If you do it correctly, you can avoid premature damages. Otherwise, your car will experience wear and tear earlier than it should. 

We don’t want you to wonder why the car you bought last year looks like you had it for 5 years already even though you wash it regularly. 

Today we’re going to talk about the right process of cleaning car door panels and windows. (The way the glass windows are cleaned can be applied to the windshields too)

This includes talking about common mistakes you might not be aware of. 

We’re going to cover:

  • Why door panels, windows, and windshields get dirty
  • The 5-step cleaning process
  • 7 mistakes you should definitely avoid

If you want to have the best looking door panels and windows, this post is for you. 

If you’re ready, then let’s get right to it.

Why Door Panels, Windows, And Windshields Get Dirty

Door panels, windows, and windshields get dirty from dust, dirt, and smudges from doggie noses and fingerprints. 

It’s important to know what makes the surface contaminated so you’ll know the right cleaner to do the job. 

Speaking of the right cleaner, we’ll also touch a bit on the surface’s material. Different surfaces call for different kinds of care. What you can do with vinyl does not always work with glass windows and windshields. 

Anyway, back to the contaminants. 

Did You Know

Off-gassing is also another reason for the car interior getting dirty? The “new car smell” from vinyl and plastic interiors later on breaks down leaving an oily residue on window glasses and windshields.  

No doubt, your car gets easily dirty especially if you use it daily. Cleaning it regularly won’t only sustain its pristine look, it also helps you avoid accidents on the road. 

Imagine how you would feel if you ended up miscalculating the distance of the car to your left because of your hazing window. Getting infuriated with the scratches your car gets is one thing, but another fuming driver will make your hair stand on its ends. 

How To Clean Car Doors

Step 1: Remove Bottles And Papers On Door Cup Holders And Pockets

Take out soda cups and bottles that have seen better days. Take out random paper and receipts you forgot are in the door pockets for ages. I’m pretty sure there is loose change too, that should head to the piggy bank. 

You might be shocked to find that the grocery list you argued with your wife last month was just sitting between documents and receipts on the door pockets. 

Step 2: Vacuum Corners, Crevices, And Trims

Just basically vacuum every nook and cranny on the car door including the rubber trims where dust creeps in to take out loose dirt. 

But if you have a car cleaning gun you can skip this part. The car cleaning gun will dislodge every loose dirt, get in engaged in the high air pressure and trap it on the inside of the nozzle. 

Clean Car Doors And Windows Using Car Cleaning Gun

Step 3: Brush Crevices And Corners

Because of the irregular shape of door panels, you’ll have a lot of corners and crevices to work on. Plus most door panels have pockets for documents and cup holders. 

Dust, dirt, and debris love hanging out in these areas, especially cup holders. Cup holders usually get wet with the drinks you put into them. The water mixes with the dust and magnets more dust to form a thick filthy layer of gunk. 

You have to brush every corner and crevice on the door panels. Just be careful with the window button because there’s electronics underneath it.

If you take at least 10 minutes to clean each crevice with stubborn dirt, you’ll spend half of the day cleaning your car. 

This is where the car cleaning gun gets handy again. The car cleaning gun can remove stubborn gunk almost immediately so you can get done with this part of cleaning the car in a jiffy. 

It’s great for every nook and crevice because tight spots are no barriers when it comes to giving your car interior a thorough clean. 

The car cleaning gun’s power is not just the compressed air, but also the cleaning solution, and built-in brush so you’ll be working with 3 cleaning powers at one time. 

Car Cleaning Gun For Car Doors

Step 4: Wipe Off Plain Surfaces With Microfiber Towel And Automotive All-Purpose Cleaner

Car door panels usually have the same material used on dashboards, so you can use the same cleaner for both these parts. 

Mistake 1: Using oily cleaners. Oily vinyl cleaners can evaporate creating a layer of haze in the car’s glass. 

However, if there are leather or fabric accents, do a spot test first by using the solution in a less obtrusive spot of the panel and testing out how the chemical would react to the surface. 

Car Door Leather Accent


Some automotive all-purpose cleaners can work with leather accents too, but if after doing the spot test it had an aggressive reaction like discoloration, it’s better to use leather cleaners instead. 

To make the work faster and more efficient, use the car cleaning gun for this part too. Using the car cleaning gun, steps 2-4 will be rolled into one, bringing you into another leather of speed when cleaning the interior without compromising the quality. 

A car cleaning gun gets you a thorough clean in the shortest amount of time. 

Mistake 2: Forgetting about the door jambs. Since it’s the most greasy portion of the door, getting in contact with dust, it becomes a thick gunk. In the long run, it makes the door squeaky rather than helping it open and closes smoothly. 

After applying the degreaser and all-purpose cleaner wipe it dry and grease it again. It doesn’t just smoothen the opening and closing of the doors, it’s also a corrosion inhibitor. So don’t forget this step. 

Car Door Jamb Detailing

Step 5: Polish

Polishing the car is an optional step. However, I’d recommend you do it because it protects the surfaces against scratches. 

Use a clean and dry microfiber towel and apply it in a circular motion. 

Use another towel to wipe off the excess product. 

How To Clean Car Windows And Windshield

Remember what I told you about off-gassing leaving an oily residue on windshields and windows? For this, you have to start cleaning windows and windshields using a degreaser. 

Spray the degreaser in a microfiber towel and to a spot test first. Most windows and windshields use plastic tints so you have to check first how the product reacts to the plastic film. 

Mistake 3: Using chamois for glass. Microfiber towels will have better results for your glass than chamois. 

After covering the windows and windshields with the degreaser, wipe off the excess product and move on to cover the area with glass cleaners. 

Mistake 4: Spraying the product directly on the glass. Instead, spray it on the towel to reduce streaking. This also prevents getting the product on other car parts with different materials. 

After cleaning the entire window, roll it halfway down so you can wipe the top edge too. A great detailer is meticulous with every part of the car, so don’t forget to clean this part too. 

Finish off the cleaning process by wiping the glass dry. 

Mistake 5: Washing the car under the direct heat of the sun. Doing the car wash in a shady place will help avoid rapid evaporation of the cleaning solution so streaks won’ develop. 

Mistake 6: Not testing the water first. Some places have water sources rich in magnesium, calcium, lime, and other minerals. These can cause crisp build-up to where you can see spots in the glass. 

Before using the water in your area, check how it dries on your window or windshield first. 

Tip: If you’re confused about whether the streak is on the interior or the exterior, wipe one side vertically and the other horizontally. 

Mistake 7: Not checking the windshield wipers. If the wipers are not in good condition (old or damaged) it can leave streaks that damage the glass. 

Greatly cleaned car doors and windows are spick and span to the detail. But manually cleaning each crevice is exhausting and time-consuming. Using a car cleaning gun will make life better for you. 

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