Best Windshield Treatments to Keep Your Eyes on the Road

Best Windshield Treatments to Keep Your Eyes on the Road

When bad weather hits, slick conditions make driving dangerous enough as it is. However, when you add decreased visibility from rain and snow to the mix, you end up with a recipe for disaster.

While wipers do a good job of keeping your windshield clear, they aren’t perfect. This is where a good windshield treatment can come in handy.

Why Treat Your Windshield?

Perhaps the most important consideration you should make regarding windshield treatments is determining why you should treat your windshield. There are actually a few good reasons for using windshield treatments.

To Provide Better Visibility

In slick conditions, it’s imperative that you’re able to see. Whether you’re driving in the rain or snow, a good windshield treatment will help you see better by allowing water to bead up and fly off the windshield, rather than sitting on the windshield obstructing your view.

Can Prevent Your Windshield From Damage

Don’t expect any miracles here, but having a treated windshield can increase its lifespan by preventing damage to it. Over time, your windshield will suffer from pitting, a natural form of wear resulting from dirt, sand and other small particles scratching the glass.

Pitting, in turn, can cause water to pool up in your windshield during rainy and snowy conditions. When pitting spots get bad enough, they can also cause blinding glares from sunlight and headlights at night.

Because windshield treatments provide a barrier between the particles and your windshield, it can slow down or prevent this wear from occurring.

Prolong the Life of Your Windshield Wipers

When you use your windshield wipers less, they won’t wear out as quickly. By using a windshield treatment on your car, you won’t need to use the wipers as often, thereby extending the life of your wipers.

Things to Consider in Windshield Treatments

Once you’ve decided that a windshield treatment is the right choice for your car, there are some things you should consider before purchasing one.

Type of Windshield Treatments

There are different types of windshield treatments, so you should consider what type would work best for your situation.

Silicone-Based

Silicone-based windshield treatments are the cheapest and most common option available. You can find also them in different forms, from traditional full treatments to washer fluid additives for treatment upkeep.

These treatments don’t bind with the glass, making them the simplest to apply and remove. But because they merely sit on top of your windshield to repel water, they won’t last as long as other types of treatments. This means you’ll have to reapply treatments more often.

Overall, silicone-based treatments are best for beginners and thrifty consumers.

Fluorinated Compound-Based

Some windshield treatments – like Aquapel – are made of fluorinated compounds called fluoroalkylsilanes, which actually bind to the silica in your windshield.

These treatments are typically regarded as mid-tier options in almost every aspect. They’re more expensive and harder to put on than silicone treatments, but last longer. Conversely, they won’t last as long as nanotechnology-based treatments, but are less costly and are a bit easier to apply.

You should also keep in mind, these types of treatments are much harder to take off than silicone treatments. If you’re worried about messing up the application, it’s a much safer bet to use a silicone-based treatment.

Nanotechnology-Based

Nanotechnology-based windshield treatments, also known as ceramic coatings, also bind to the windshield to provide a durable and long-lasting coating for up to a few years. Hendlex’s Nano Glass Pro is a good example of an effective nano-coating treatment.

In addition to the increased longevity of these treatments, they can also provide additional benefits, such as offering scratch and abrasion resistance. Of course, these come at a much higher cost than other types of treatments.

They’re also more advanced, and require more work and care to properly apply. Like fluorinated compound treatments, they are very hard to remove, meaning you should only use one of these treatments if you know what you’re doing.

Longevity of the Treatment

While the type of treatment you choose will play a large part in how long it lasts, you also have to remember that not all treatments are made equally. You should keep in mind how long a treatment lasts.

Amount of Treatment

In addition to the longevity of the treatment, you’ll want to pay attention to the amount of treatment you’re buying. Just remember that sometimes less is more. That’s certainly the case with Hendlex’s Nano Glass Pro, where a small 50ml bottle can provide multiple long-lasting treatments.

Now that you know what to look for, we’re going to take you through the best windshield treatments around.

Top 9 Best Windshield Treatments 2021

1. Best Overall Windshield Treatment: Rain-X 800002243 Glass Treatment

Rain-X 800002243 Glass Treatment

Why we like it: It's user-friendly, cost-efficient, and works great at keeping your windshield clean and clear.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Silicone-based
  • Longevity: 30-45 days
  • Amount: 7 oz

Rain-X is a trusted name in the automotive industry, providing consumer-friendly glass treatments at a modest price. Rain-X’s 800002243 Glass Treatment is no exception, offering an effective and cost-efficient means of protecting your windshield.

It offers an easy way to keep your windshield protected, making it great for anyone to use. Simply apply some to a microfiber cloth or paper towel and wipe it on. If you notice a haze on your windshield after applying this stuff, don’t worry! You can buff it away with a clean cloth.

One of the best things about this stuff is that it’s versatile. It’s great for all of your windows, as well as your headlights and mirrors, so you can really increase your visibility on the road. It also works well for keeping your home’s windows and glass shower doors clear and streak-free.

The only real drawback we can see with this windshield treatment is that it doesn’t last longer. Since it’s a silicone-based treatment, you’ll need to reapply it more often than other types of windshield treatments. Still, given its low cost and overall effectiveness, it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a great, easy-to-use windshield treatment.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Cost-efficient
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Doesn't work as long as other types of treatments

2. Best Premium Windshield Treatment: Rain-X Glass Treatment & Anti-Fog Combo

Rain-X Glass Treatment & Anti-Fog Combo

Why we like it: An effective combo pack that allows you to keep your windshield clear, inside and out.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Silicone-based
  • Longevity: 30-45 days
  • Amount: 2 7-oz bottles

The Rain-X Glass Treatment and Anti-Fog Combo works wonders on your windshield, inside and out. Since they work in all weather, they’re a great choice if you live in climates where rain and foggy windows are common.

The glass treatment is for the exterior of your windshield and windows. This will keep your windows clear of rain and frost, and should last 2 to 4 months per application, depending on the weather. On the other hand, the anti-fog is for the interior of your windshield, and should last for 2 months.

Not only do they keep your windshield clean and clear, but they can also work with other things like mirrors and home windows. They’re both also easy to use. Just be sure to exercise caution when putting them on, or you could make it harder to see.

The anti-fog seems to be the most problematic of the two. If improperly applied, it could cause streaking on your windshield and windows that could be difficult to get rid of. You’ll also want to make sure not to tip the bottles over, as they don’t seem to seal properly, even when closed tight.

Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a great way to keep your windshield and windows clear inside and out, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better combo.

Pros

  • Keeps your windows clear inside and out
  • Also works great for windows and mirrors
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • The anti-fog may cause streaks
  • Caps don't seal properly

3. Best Budget Windshield Treatment: Rain-X 5071268 Glass Cleaner + Rain Repellent

Rain-X 5071268 Glass Cleaner + Rain Repellent

Why we like it: Coming at a low cost, it cleans and treats your windshield at the same time, saving you time and money.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Silicone-based
  • Longevity: 30-45 days
  • Amount: 23 oz

Another great product from Rain-X, the 5071268 Glass Cleaner + Rain Repellent is a powerful 2-in-1 that will clean and treat your windshield at the same time. This makes it great if you want to quickly treat your windshield without hassle.

In addition to its cleaning and treating properties, it’s the most economical option we’ve found. Coming in a relatively large 23-ounce bottle, each treatment only requires a few sprays. That means this stuff could easily last years, depending on how often you use it.

Like other Rain-X products, it’s also versatile. On top of being a great windshield treatment, you can also use it on your home’s windows and glass shower doors.

One thing that’s different about this stuff compared to normal glass cleaners is that you’ll want to dry it after applying it. If you don’t, then you could run into issues with spots or hazing on the glass that can make it hard to see. However, if you use it properly, then this stuff will make your windshield shine and keep them clean through rain, sleet, or snow.

Given its low cost and effectiveness, it’s a great choice for anyone looking to treat their windshield.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Cleans and treats your windshield
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Can cause visibility issues if used improperly

4. Best Windshield Treatment Washer Fluid Additive: Rain-X White RX11806D Washer Fluid Additive

Rain-X White RX11806D Washer Fluid Additive

Why we like it: This stuff makes treating your windshield easy, and works great as a supplemental treatment.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Silicone-based
  • Longevity: 30-45 days
  • Amount: 16.9 oz

Most windshield treatments are products you apply to your car by hand and require a clean windshield. However, if you want the benefits of a treated windshield without the hassle, then you might consider the Rain-X RX11806D White Washer Fluid Additive.

This stuff mixes with your regular windshield wiper fluid to deliver a quick windshield treatment every time you use your car’s washer nozzles. And speaking of the nozzles, you shouldn’t have to worry about this stuff clogging your nozzles.

Since this additive is meant to be mixed in with your regular washer fluid, you’ll have to mix it properly for it to work correctly. Mixing it isn’t hard, but if you don’t want to risk mixing it improperly, you might want to opt for a pre-mixed concoction.

This product works well as a stand-alone product, but it’s not as effective as manual treatments like the Rain-X 800002243 Glass Treatment. However, manual treatments don’t offer the same convenience as this washer fluid additive. This stuff also plays nicely with manual treatments, making it a great supplemental purchase.

As with other Rain-X windshield treatments, it’s economical. That means you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank buying this stuff, and if you don’t like it, you’re not out a lot of money.

Pros

  • Quicker and easier to use than other windshield treatments.
  • Works great as a stand-alone or supplemental purchase
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Requires you to mix it
  • Doesn't work as effectively as manual treatments

5. Best Streak-Free Windshield Treatment: Invisible Glass Clean & Repel

Invisible Glass Clean & Repel

Why we like it: It cleans and treats your windshield, and it won't leave streaks behind.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: N/A
  • Longevity: 30-45 days
  • Amount: 22 oz

Stoner’s Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner with Rain Repellent is a great alternative to Rain-X products. This 2-in-1 glass cleaner and rain repellent works to clean and coat your windshield with an effective water repellent to keep your windshield clear of rain and frost.

Made in the USA, the Stoner offers a money-back guarantee to show that the company stands behind its product. And just like Rain-X, this product is great for not only your car, but around your home as well.

One of the main draws to this stuff is its streak-free formula. Commonly known as being better than Windex for providing a streak-free clean, Invisible Glass does wonders at leaving a clean windshield behind. Combined with its ability to repel mud and water after the clean, this is a superior product.

As far as performance compared to Rain-X products, it’s pretty similar. They both last roughly 30-45 days per application, and do a great job at keeping your windshield clear. The only real knock against this stuff is that it’s more expensive than Rain-X’s 2-in-1 spray. However, given the money-back guarantee and it’s stellar streak-free clean, it’s worth spending a few extra bucks.

Pros

  • Made in the USA
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Streak-free cleaning formula

Cons

  • More expensive than similar products

6. Best Haze-Free Windshield Treatment: Rust-Oleum 287337 NeverWet Rain Repellent

Rust-Oleum 287337 NeverWet Rain Repellent

Why we like it: It's a great alternative to silicone-based treatments and won't cause hazing that's common with cheaper treatments.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Other
  • Longevity: 30-45 days
  • Amount: 11 oz

The biggest problem with most windshield treatments is the haze they can create from improper application. Rust-Oleum’s NeverWet Rain Repellent is a good alternative if you don’t want to risk hazing your windshield.

Like other windshield treatments we’ve covered, this stuff works great for both your car and home. It also has the same longevity and works as effectively as silicone-based treatments like Rain-X. However, it comes at a cost other treatments don’t have.

Unlike silicone-based treatments, this stuff has a very strong chemical smell, meaning you’ll want ventilation when using it indoors. It’s also rather expensive, costing more per fluid ounce than other treatments like the Rain-X Glass Treatment.

If you don’t mind paying a premium for an effective stress-free windshield treatment, then you can’t go wrong with the NeverWet Rain Repellent.

Pros

  • Won't haze
  • Works as well as silicone-based treatments
  • Stress-free application

Cons

  • Strong smell
  • Expensive

7. Best Fluorinated Windshield Treatments: Aquapel Glass Treatment

Aquapel Glass Treatment

Why we like it: A single Aquapel treatment works for longer than cheaper types of treatments and comes in an easy-to-use applicator.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Fluorinated compound-based
  • Longevity: 6 months
  • Amount: 6 single-use applicators

If you’re looking for something that will last longer than silicone-based treatments, you might want to consider Aquapel’s Glass Treatment. This pack of 6 single-use applicators contains a small amount of treatment liquid meant to cover your entire windshield.

What’s nice about this stuff is that it’s easy to gauge how much you’ll need. Also, because it’s a fluorinated compound-based treatment, it will easily outlast silicone-based treatments like the Rain-X.

However, you will want to take care when using this treatment. The applicators have warnings and emergency phone numbers on them because this stuff is highly dangerous. Not only should you wear gloves and have proper ventilation, but you should also avoid getting it on your car’s body, as it can damage paint. It’s also significantly more expensive than silicone-based treatments.

Given its long-term effectiveness, it’s a good intermediate option that lasts longer than entry-level silicone-based treatments without the difficulty and lofty costs of nanotechnology-based windshield treatments.

Pros

  • Single-use applicators make it easy to dose treatments
  • Lasts longer than silicone-based treatments
  • Not as difficult as nanotechnology-based treatments

Cons

  • Dangerous
  • Can damage your paint
  • Expensive

8. Best Windshield Treatment Wipes: Rain-X 630021 Original Glass Treatment Wipes

Rain-X 630021 Original Glass Treatment Wipes

Why we like it: These are great for quick treatments as a supplement between full treatments, and work great if you frequently travel.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Silicone-based
  • Longevity: 30-45 days
  • Amount: 10 wipes

If you want to treat your windshield without the hassle of dosing the treatment, then you might want to consider the Rain-X Original Glass Treatment Wipes. They make it even easier to treat your windshield than the traditional Rain-X solution, saving you a little time and hassle.

Of course, they don’t exactly work as well as a full-on treatment. They’re also not as cost-effective as other Rain-X treatments. Rather, these are great to have for when you’re in a pinch and need to quickly apply a treatment, such as if you’re traveling or renting a car. They also work great as a supplemental purchase with other Rain-X products, such as the Rain-X White Washer Fluid Additive.

If you want something to touch up your regular treatments or just need a quick treatment, these wipes can certainly come in handy.

Pros

  • Quick and easy to use
  • Good for travel and other non-regular use
  • Works well as a supplemental purchase

Cons

  • Doesn't work as well as a regular treatment
  • Not as cost-effective as other Rain-X products

9. Best Nano Windshield Treatment: Hendlex Car Windscreen Coating Set

Hendlex Car Windscreen Coating Set

Why we like it: Being a nanotechnology-based treatment, a single treatment should last longer than other types of treatments.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Nanotechnology-based
  • Longevity: N/A
  • Amount: 2 50ml bottles

If you’re looking to avoid constant reapplications or just want a high-quality window treatment, the Hendlex Nano Glass Pro is the way to go.

This nano glass treatment will last longer than most other windshield treatments, thanks to the way ceramic coat treatments work. Not only does it more effectively bond to the glass, but it’s also more resistant to the elements than other types of treatments.

This tiny little combo pack features two small bottles of solution: a preparation cleaner and the nano coating. This stuff is the definition of “less is more,” with these 2 small bottles providing enough solution for 8 to 10 treatments.

For each treatment, you’ll only need a few drops. However, good luck trying to dose the treatment at just a few drops. For some reason, this treatment doesn’t have a dropper cap. Because of this, you might want to pick up a glass eye dropper to help with application.

You should also keep in mind this isn’t the most budget-friendly treatment option available. However, given its long-term effectiveness, it’s certainly worth considering if you want a high-quality treatment that will last.

Pros

  • Lasts longer than other types of treatments
  • More resistant to the elements than other treatments
  • Provides enough solution for multiple treatments

Cons

  • Doesn't have a dropper cap
  • More expensive than most other treatments

Everything You Need to Know About Windshield Treatments

looking through a hazy rain covered windshield in traffic

Now that we’ve covered the best windshield treatments we could find, let’s get a little more in-depth with them.

Factors That Determine a Windshield Treatment’s Longevity

Aside from the type of treatment you choose, there are a number of other things that can impact the longevity of a windshield treatment. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones.

How Often You Use Your Windshield Wipers

The more you use your windshield wipers, the quicker your treatment will fade. That’s because the friction with the wipers can rub the treatment off of your windshield.

Weather

You probably won’t use your wipers unless the weather calls for it. However, aside from increased wiper usage, rain and snow can slowly chip away your windshield’s treatment.

Condition of Your Windshield

The better the condition of your windshield is, the longer the windshield treatment will last. Generally, that means that applying a treatment to a newer car will almost always yield better results with any type of treatment.

That’s because the normal wear that occurs over time, called pitting, slowly makes the glass’s surface uneven. An uneven surface makes for an uneven treatment application, thus making it prone to wearing out quicker. Typically, the older the windshield, the more likely it is to have pitting spots of varying degrees.

Where You Park Your Car

Believe it or not, where you park your car can even impact the longevity of your windshield treatment. Direct sunlight, precipitation, and extreme temperatures can all take a toll on your windshield treatment.

For instance, if you leave your car parked outside all winter, a treatment won’t last as long as a car parked in a garage when it’s not being driven. The longer your car stays out of the elements, the longer your windshield treatment will last.

Tips for Improving Visibility

Thoroughly Clean Your Windshield Before Treatment

This seems obvious enough, but it’s also the most important step in properly applying a windshield treatment. Cleaning your windshield before treating them will result in less wasted treatment, a cleaner windshield, and increased longevity. If you want your windshield treatment to work as well as possible, you can “clay bar” your windshield.

While a spritz of glass cleaner and a paper towel will clean your windshield, using a clay bar  will change your definition of clean glass. The idea of clay barring your windshield is to remove anything and everything from the glass.

After cleaning with a glass cleaner, clay bar your windshield, and hit it with another clean with the glass cleaner. After all of that, your windshield is perfectly primed for any treatment.

Clean Your Windshield Wipers

While a good windshield treatment should reduce your need for wipers, you still need to keep them in mind. Treatments typically only work well for keeping your windows clear when you’re traveling fast enough for the beaded water to fly off (somewhere around 35mph). Not only will clean wipers make for a more effective wipe, but it will keep your treatment intact for longer with wiper usage.

To clean your wipers, just use hot soapy water or a little wiper fluid on a rag and wipe the wipers. Follow it up with a little rubbing alcohol on the rubber to soften them up and remove any soap or other remaining residue.

Add Water to Your Buff

After you’ve applied your treatment, you may notice a haze in your windshield. If you can’t remove the haze, even after buffing with a dry cloth, then you might try adding a little water to your buff. This will help the cloth pick up the excess treatment that’s causing the haze.

Treat Your Side and Rear Windows

If you want better total visibility on the road, then you should consider treating your side and rear windows as well. Of course, it will take more time than simply treating your windshield, but it’s well worth the increased visibility.

How Do I Remove a Windshield Treatment?

So you’ve applied a windshield treatment to your car and you don’t like how it looks. Whether you messed up or you just don’t like the way it looks on your car, removing a windshield treatment depends on the type of treatment.

For silicone-based windshield treatments, removing it is simple with a little white vinegar, warm water, and a microfiber cloth. For removing treatments like Aquapel or a nano-coatings, you’re going to have to resort to breaking out some nasty chemicals or abrasive polish that could end up causing damage to your car if used improperly.

Of course, this isn’t ideal if you aren’t experienced with this sort of thing. If you’re not experienced in using windshield treatments, you might want to stick with something like the Rain-X Glass Treatment to avoid any potential mishaps.

Wrapping Up

You’ll find that treating your windshield can have some great benefits. Not only will it keep you and your car safe, but it’ll keep your windshield looking great. Once you’ve found the right windshield treatment for your car, make sure you take proper care in applying. Then get ready to watch the magic keep your windshield clear and clean.