Q&A with Kit Foster: February 26, 2015

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Q. You asked what others use to clean car windows (Dec. 4). I use a small bucket that holds about a gallon of water. I put in one drop, sometimes two, of dish washing liquid and fill the bucket about 3/4 full with warm water. I use part of an old towel from my rag supply, cut to about one foot square, to clean the windows. For the inside I get the rag wet, squeeze out as much water as I can, and clean the window. I use the remainder of the towel to dry the window. For the outside I don’t squeeze out as much water before I clean the window and either use a squeegee to remove the water or dry the glass with the towel.

The rear window on my 2011 Mustang is hard to reach since it slopes back a lot, and using the rag with most of the water squeezed out keeps the cleaning solution from running down the window.

— Bob Nist, Glen Burnie, Md.

Q. You asked “What do others use to clean car windows?” Well, I have found the ultimate, fast and easy way to clean all glass…the Norwex Microfiber cleaning cloth and window cloth set. I know, you’ve heard it all before about microfiber cloths. So have I. I have purchased them through the years at car shows, etc. So when I came across this one, I was hesitant to say the least, but I tried it. It is unlike any other cloth or microfiber cloth I have ever used. All you do is wet the blue cloth, wipe the windows or windshield down and then lightly wipe and buff with the “window” (purple) cloth. Absolutely no streaks, no smudges and no scrubbing. Best of all, I will never have to use cleaners again. Every person I have let borrow my cloth set (neighbors, friends, even my dentist) has purchased one — or more. It’s that good. I purchased mine from independent consultant Val Young (www.valyoung.norwex.biz). The product is the “Basic Package,” which consists of the Antibacterial Microfiber Cloth and the Window Cloth for $31.99.

I know, it’s not necessarily cheap, but if you do some research (I did) you use it to clean everything, not just glass. The company, Norwex, has been around for 20-plus years. It’s becoming known across the country, and in several years, will be a household name. No more paper towels or chemicals. The microfiber cloth also has silver in it, and kills bacteria trapped in it within 24 hours. You should see how shiny my wife gets our flat stovetop with the cloth. We use it on almost everything.

— Fred Meiners, via e-mail

Q. After trying everything from “magic” cleaners to newspapers, I found a simple solution (no pun intended), especially for the harder-to-clean interior windows. Take a wash cloth, fold into quarters, make it wet (but not dripping) with warm (not hot) water and run two or three thin lines of Joy or other dishwashing liquid over the cloth. Apply to the interior windows. Be sure that the windows are cool and the vehicle is in the shade or garage. You might be wise to do only a couple of windows at a time, since you do not want the soaped windows to get dry. Next, take a couple of additional wet clean wash cloths and remove the soap from the windows. You may have to rinse three or more times since you want to get all the soap off. Then, immediately dry with a clean towel. You should have sparkling clean windows, plus your car won’t smell from of ammonia, alcohol, etc.

— Royal Krieger, Oakland, Calif.

Q. I was part of the crew that hand-washed cars back in the late ’50s ties and early ’60s. One of the older guys taught me to place my cloth under the end of the gas pump hose and pump just enough to wet the cloth. Using this method the windows were always free of grease and other streaks. No doubt that this method would be frowned on today, but it was very effective back then.

— Tom Byrd, via e-mail

A. Yes, gasoline is an effective, if hazardous, solvent, but today’s “ethanol” is corrosive. Jimmie Clark says to put half a cup of sudsy ammonia, a pint of rubbing alcohol and a teaspoon of dish deteregent in a gallon of water. B.A. Tomlinson likes Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner from Stoner (“the cleaner works wonders,” invisibleglass.com or 717-786-7355), while Elbert Field prefers Safelight glass cleaner (safelight.com). Mark Axen says “Check out the products at Griotsgarage.com. Glass clay bars, polishes, and microfiber cloths are some of the items offered.” Bruce Thomas cautions against wiping with newspaper, as the ink will mar light-colored interior trim. I’m still bullish on ammonia. Thanks to all who responded.

To submit questions to this column: E-mail angelo.vanbogart@fwmedia.com or mail to: Q&A, c/o Angelo Van Bogart, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990-0001.

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