Motorcycle windshields are commonly made of Plexiglas or polycarbonate plastic. These materials are a lightweight, affordable, shatter-resistant alternative to glass that requires special care. Although it is far safer than glass polycarbonate, it cannot be cleaned like glass or it will quickly dull and scratch. Motorcycle windshields are often over-cleaned or cleaned with the incorrect materials which make a windshield appear cloudy. Cleaning a Plexiglas or plastic motorcycle windshield with extra care will assure the windshield does not scratch or cloud prematurely.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Clean soft cloth or towel
- Mild dish soap
Wet the surface of the windshield with a wet cloth. If the windshield surface is covered with stuck on debris or bugs set the wet cloth over the windshield to soak the dirtiest regions. Alternatively, fill a clean spray bottle with tap water and spray the surface of the windshield.
Ring out the wet cloth in clean water and gently wipe the windshield. Avoid using pressure during the cleaning process and allow the water to remove the dirt as much as possible.
Rinse the cloth and repeat wiping the windshield until the visible debris is removed. Do not scrub the windshield as this could grind dirt into the Plexiglas and create scratches. If the debris cannot be removed with just water dilute a small amount of a mild dish detergent in a bucket of water and use this dilution for cleaning.
Douse the windshield several times with clean water from the cloth. Repeat this process until all dirt and soap are removed. For extremely dirty windshields change the rinse water several times to avoid reintroducing dirt onto the windshield.
Dry the windshield with a clean cloth. Begin the drying process only after all the visible dirt has been removed. Pat the windshield gently and do not use excessive pressure while drying the plexiglass.
Tips and warnings
- Terry cloth towels work best for cleaning Plexiglas as they are soft and release dirt easily when rinsed. Never use clothes that have been used to clean with any chemical; any residue remaining on the cloth could damage the motorcycle windshield.
- Keep a clean cloth with you for cleaning of the windshield. Avoid using petrol station squeegees or any unapproved cleaner.
- Consult the motorcycles maintenance manual for a list of commercially available cleaners approved for cleaning the windshield.
- Never clean a motorcycle windshield with traditional glass cleaner. Products containing ammonia or alcohol will damage Plexiglas windshields on contact.
- Do not use paper products, such as paper towels, on a motorcycle windshield. Paper products contain wood fibres that will create fine scratches on the surface of the windshield.