Cleaning windscreen, headlights and mirrors: a matter of safety

On the road, safety means seeing and being seen in all circumstances! This is why it is essential to clean the windscreen, headlights and mirrors regularly. Michelin tells you everything you need to know about how to maintain the glass surfaces of your vehicle, including frequency, methods, products to use and tips!
Cleaning windscreen, headlights and mirrors: a matter of safety
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An essential safety issue

Your windscreen, headlights and mirrors must be cleaned frequently, as they are subject to the weather, splashes from other vehicles, bird droppings, insect impacts and other dirt. On the road, you need to have optimum visibility, day and night, whatever the weather. A clean windscreen and mirrors allow you to see other road users properly, while properly cleaned headlights ensure that you are seen by other road users. A dirty or foggy windscreen also causes glare when you pass another vehicle. A very real risk for an accident! Annexe 6 of The Highway Code deals with vehicle maintenance and says, “windscreens and windows MUST be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision”. Failing to keep your vision free from obstruction could result in a fine and three penalty points. You could be held responsible if you are in an accident, and your car could fail its MOT.

When to clean your windscreen?

Regularly clean your windscreen as soon as it is necessary! You may have been at the car wash in the morning and was an unfortunate target for a group of birds or a shower of rain! Get into the habit of checking the condition of your headlights as soon as you get into your car. Once you are behind the wheel, ask yourself: does my windscreen and do the mirrors give me a good view of what is ahead and behind me? If not, take the time to clean these glass surfaces and then drive off safely. These good habitual reflexes can save you a lot of trouble!

How do you clean your glass surfaces properly?

Proper cleaning should leave no traces behind. You should use the right equipment and products that are therefore suited for this purpose. Otherwise, failure to do so can result in a greasy film on the surface that is just as annoying for visibility as it is ineffective on the original dirt! For a perfect result, it is advisable to use a microfibre cloth and a mixture of water, soap (washing-up liquid works very well) and a little white vinegar or Blanc de Meudon. Avoid alcohol-based products that leave behind a lot of streaks. Spray your mixture on your cloth and rub the surfaces. For the windscreen, it goes without saying that it must be clean inside and outside for a perfect finish. Rinse the surfaces with clean water and dry them properly with a clean cloth. One last little tip: pack your mixture into a spray bottle that you can keep in your boot with a microfibre cloth and a bottle of clean water so that you have them available when needed!

Special instance of resin or sap

In certain regions where pine and fir trees are common, you may find resin or sap on your windscreen, mirrors or headlights. This natural glue is very sticky and particularly annoying when it gets into your field of vision. Fortunately, there are specific products, generally based on acetone, which work very well to solve the problem. However, when using them, be careful not to get them in contact with the rubber of your windscreen wipers or seals, as this could cause them irreparably damage. Once the operation is complete, use your usual mixture to remove any residue or troublesome streaks.

As you can see, cleaning the glass surfaces of your vehicle is not complicated and can even prevent an accident. A simple gesture that should not be neglected for your own safety!