There’s no question that your car is for all intents and purposes an extension of you. There are so many options in make, model, color and finish that truly no two vehicles on the road need to be exactly alike. Cars are our traveling office, our dining room on the go, our romantic getaway and our mobile home. So many of our best memories happen in the car, and to take full advantage of the investment there’s really no stopping people from upgrading as need be. And that is why people will spend the money to tint their car windows. It provides more than the standard amount of privacy. It can protect your passengers from the harmful UV rays of the sun, and help your air conditioning system keep the car cool much more efficiently. And let’s face, it also looks pretty sweet. But that expensive tint job won’t keep itself looking good automatically. It takes proper care and upkeep. Here are the top five tips for cleaning and maintaining tinted car windows.
First of all make sure you have the window tinting professionally installed. You don’t want to skimp on some cheap, do-it-yourself application, because the difference will be obvious. But regardless of how it is applied, you may end up with bubbles and imperfections that need to be addressed. Grab a credit card and a soft towel, place the card underneath and use that combination to slowly force the bubble towards the window’s edge. Take your time, and don’t push too hard. If you’re having trouble, use a small amount of water to lubricate the tinting.
Once you’ve got the bubbles handled you need to leave the tinted windows alone so they can set. As a general rule of thumb tinting takes several days to cure and seal itself to a window. So don’t even touch the window for at least five days after the installation. And don’t clean it at all for at least a month. The process could take longer, depending on the humidity in your location. Just try to keep the vehicle inside and out of the rain if at all possible, and certainly give it time before running the vehicle through any type of car wash.
Now that the tinting has settled, keep some general maintenance tips in mind. You cannot protect the tint from all imperfections, but a bit of forethought will save you some disappointment down the line. Be aware when you remove your seat belt, to make sure you don’t smack it into the glass. The metal head of the seat belt can easily scratch the window tinting. The same goes when pulling out your keys. You may also want to avoid parking in tight corners where you can easily bump the doors into walls or other vehicles.
From time to time you will need to clean those windows and what you use to clean them will make all the difference. Never use a newspaper, a brown paper towel or any other hard or scratchy material to wipe the windows down, even if it means you must wait until you get home to deal with some bit of nastiness. Instead, keep a sponge, a soft paper towel or light cloth with you. That way you’ll avoid ever scratching the material.
Anything that doesn’t wipe off with a dry sponge or soft cloth should be addressed with simple soap and water. Whatever you do, avoid products with ammonia at all costs. That even includes Windex, which will damage any type of car window tinting. You may not notice an issue right away, but over time you’ll end up with blotches and discoloration.