How to Remove Wax Residue From a Windshield

Updated February 21, 2017

Automobile wax protects the paint on your vehicle and gives it a shiny, new appearance. In spite of its usefulness, a waxy residue can end up on your car's windshield after you've completed the waxing process. Trying to remove it with regular window cleaner can worsen the affected area. Using a degreaser is a simple way to rid your windshield of that stubborn, waxy film.

Put on a pair of rubber gloves and pour the recommended amount of degreaser that also strips away oil and wax residue into a gallon of water. A degreaser is a hydrocarbon chemical product that breaks up and dissolves water-insoluble matter such as waxes, greases and oils. Degreasers are typically found in hardware stores.

Spread the diluted degreaser onto your windshield with a large sponge. Work the solution in evenly with a saturated rag.

Be sure to cover the entire windshield with the diluted degreaser and work it into the corners if necessary.

Use the saturated rag to clean your wiper blades at the same time.

Pour clean water onto the windshield to rinse away the cleaner. Begin at the top of the windshield and rinse it several times to make sure it is clean.

Use a dry cloth to wipe away any remaining water and to avoid water spots when it dries.


Cover your windshield washer nozzles with masking tape prior to waxing your car.


Don't use tools that will permanently scratch your windshield to remove any kind of residue or wax build-up.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Degreaser with wax stripper
  • Bucket
  • Large sponge
  • Rags
  • Towels
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About the Author

Based in Olympia, Wash., Linda Mitchell has been writing education-related articles since 2001. She began as a journalist - covering education, business and entertainment sectors - at the "Drayton Valley Western Review" and the "Lloydminster Meridian Booster." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and psychology from Concordia University of Alberta.