Can You Wash Your Car after Getting Windows Tinted?

There is always a heated debate on whether you can wash your car after getting window tints. Generally speaking, it’s not a crime washing cars with newly installed tints, because the film is placed to the inside of the window. However, some cleaning rules have to be followed. In this article, we will try to address this issue to finest detail and provide you with accurate answers on how to take care of a car with freshly tinted windows.

Can you wash your car after getting windows tinted?

Of course. As long as the film is installed to the inside of the window, washing the car’s exterior is safe, just make sure you don’t allow moisture inside by keeping the windows rolled up. When it comes to cleaning the car’s interior, you will have to act more cautiously. The tint glue needs time to dry. Hence, if you are impatient and decide to wash the windows shortly after installing the tints, you are going to ruin the glue bond, which can end up in loose and hanging tints afterwards. Car Audio City recommends to wash the car only after the adhesive has completely dried. To speed up the drying process, keep the windows rolled up and shelter the car from raining. Even having the windows rolled up, the rain slows down the glue’s drying.

Is rolling down the window safe when the glue hasn’t dried yet?

Rolling down the window immediately after tinting is not recommended. You should allow about 5 days for the adhesive that keeps the film in place to dry and provide a strong bond. If you do roll the window down shortly after the tint application, the friction created during the rolling can displace and scrape the film.

How to wash a tinted window?

After receiving an answer to the question “can you wash your car after getting windows tinted?” you may want to know how to wash tinted windows. You can proceed with the wash once the glue drying period has passed. Here are the products you need to clean the inside of the tinted car glass:

  • Ammonia-free foam cleaner
  • Soft cloth
  • Rubber squeegee or sponge

Using ammonia-based glass cleaners isn’t a big mistake, yet the final result will be less eye-pleasing. Moreover, extended use of ammonia lightens the tint and steals its shine. Ammonia-free cleaners leave almost no streaks and offer a wider choice of fragrances, which are more delicate and refreshing. Also, as Team Acme suggests, you are best off to use a cleaner in the form of foam, because it’s less likely to leave streaks.

So how do you wash the window? First of all, take a soft cloth and wipe the debris off the window. Then, dip a sponge in clean water and wipe the window with care. After that, apply some ammonia-free cleaner on the damp sponge and get down to gently scrubbing the glass. Make sure you perform top to bottom motions to minimize ugly streaks. Always work with one window at a time to prevent the detergent from drying and leaving spots.

Get a clean and damp sponge and wipe the detergent residue off the glass. Finish up by drying the car window with a towel. If you decide to use a rubber squeegee for covering wider sections at once, make sure the blade at the back of the tool doesn’t come into contact with the glass, as it may result in scratches. Also, avoid pressing the tool too hard to preventing denting the film. After all, you want to avoid everything that can damage or affect the visual appeal of the film somehow. That being said, stay away from abrasive products, including scrubbing pads and newspaper.

How to clean tint edges?

Tint edges are likely to accumulate many impurities, especially if your kids spend much time in your car. So never deprive this part of the window of the attention it needs. Run the sponge gently across the edge, slightly pressing on areas with stubborn grime. Much grease stuck on the tint edge shouldn’t be an incentive for you to use an excessive amount of cleaner. According to Simple Green, oversaturating the edges with detergent can lead to the latter getting under the tinting and weakening the adhesive bond. That’s why, use little cleaner and wipe repeatedly until the tough dirt disappears.

Can you steam clean tinted car windows?

No. Steam cleaning should not be a go-to option in tinted car glass maintenance. The main reason for it is the extremely high temperature that can easily tear, shrink and cause bubbles on the film. Moreover, the water vapours dripping off the window can soak up the car’s upholstery and encourage mold growth.

How often should you wash tinted car windows?

UV protection films don’t require frequent cleaning, because they are applied to the inside of the window, which keeps them away from outside mud and dust particles. However, cleaning the tints from time to time is still a necessity, as it helps preserve their shine and prolong their lifespan. You may have to clean them more often, if you use to drive the kids to school or go on family trips every week. It comes without saying that the more human traffic the car’s interior experiences, the dirtier it gets over a certain period of time. That’s why, make sure to check the cleanliness of your tints regularly and intervene with some glass cleaner when needed.

Final thoughts

Can you wash your car after getting windows tinted? If this question comes to your mind, you should know that the answer differs depending on each side of the car you intend to wash. Feel free to wash the exterior of the car shortly after applying new window tints. It won’t affect the film anyhow, because it is mounted to the inside of the glass. However, for interior cleaning, you will have wait for about 5 days until the adhesive dries. Follow the above maintenance tips to ensure you don’t damage the film while cleaning it.