Fuel for Thought


By Greg Huggins
Posted Nov 7th 2022 5:26AM

Drive. Fuel. Wash windshield. Repeat. Having clean windows is vital to your safety. Clean windows reduce glare from the sun during the day and will also reduce headlight glare during your night driving shift. Most truck drivers are in the habit of cleaning the windshield at the fuel island while they are pumping fuel. Some drivers will even take the time to clean side windows and mirrors. However, those fuel island squeegees can leave a lot to be desired. The scrubber side of the squeegee might be falling apart, the squeegee side can be brittle and leave a streaky mess, but we work with what we have. Mostly gone are the days of having a water hose to rinse the windows after scrubbing, there are a few places that still provide a hose, but not many and even fewer in the winter months.

One way to help combat this is to prepare your windows for the trip(s) ahead. 

Most hardware stores and even many Walmart stores stock #0000 steel wool. This is not kitchen scrubber steel wool. This is certainly not a Brillo pad or S.O.S. pad. It is steel wool, but a finer weave. It does NOT scratch glass. It DOES clean off residues and bugs that other scrubbers leave behind. This #0000 steel wool can also “even” out your windshield. By this I mean it can remove the ‘wiper sweep” lines. If you have ever cleaned your windshield and then when the rain came you could see exactly where the wipers sweep before you turn them on, this is the wiper sweep area that #0000 steel wool can even out. Do NOT use #0000 steel wool on plastic mirrors, it will scratch them, but it will NOT scratch glass. Make sure when you buy your steel wool it has #0000 on the package.

Now that you have an almost new windshield again (#0000 steel wool will not fix chips or cracks), add a coating of Rain-X. Your next cleanings, even with a fuel island squeegee will yield better results.

Now that you have the outside as clean as can be, move to the inside. Sun glare and headlight glare can come from either or both sides of the glass. Keeping the inside clean will also reduce the chances of it fogging up. 

Your windows produce a glare due to dirt and road film. Clean glass lets the light pass through thus reducing or eliminating the glare. Less glare means a safer trip.

It only takes a few minutes a week to clean your windows with #0000 and window cleaner. Depending on how much you drive, once a week or even once a month will make a dramatic difference in the clarity of your windows. 

Use #0000 steel wool just as you would any cloth and window cleaner. Then follow the steel wool scrubbing with a clean cloth and window cleaner. You will be amazed at the amount of film and grime that will be removed with #0000 steel wool.

#0000 steel wool is to windshields what buffing is to aluminum wheels (only much quicker and easier). Sure it looks good when “cleaned” but that extra polishing step really makes the difference.

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. 

   - Henry David Thoreau

See you down the road,