Log in

23 November 2008 @ 11:54 am
Cleaning cigarette smoke off of windows  
I don't smoke, but my boss who I used to ferry around for my job smoked like a chimney, and usually in my car. Unfortunately, it's left a weird, smeary residue on my windshield that is only getting worse with the windows fogging up with the cold. I've tried Windex, and I've tried vinegar, but I've just succeeded in smearing it around worse, and it's making driving at night difficult. Does anyone have any suggestions for getting this cigarette residue off my windows before I schlep home on Wednesday night for the holiday? I'm getting fantastically desperate. Help me, hip_domestics, you're my only hope!
Current Mood: coldcold
Current Music: Iron & Wine: Flightless Bird, American Mouth
a girlivymae on November 23rd, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
Dish soap and hot water worked for me, since it was the oil that was making it impossible. Put down towel on the dash to keep from getting soap spots, and then just wash and rinse over and over until the oils are gone. You will probably want to do a quick windex clean at the end, to get rid of any glare.
Wednesday Addams in Grad School: Dean//darlin' I've been aroundlittlewings04 on November 23rd, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
That's a pretty easy fix, I'll give that a shot. Thanks!
kaerieindigodreamer on November 23rd, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
My advice would be to make sure the car is warm and try the windex and/or vinegar again -- neither of those things will have an easy time working on cold glass. Do your errands with the defrost on and leave it on when you are cleaning afterwards. Use enough towels/paper towels (that should help with the smearing it around.) Good luck!

Also, if this doesn't work, a detailing place will definitely be able to solve the problem. It's pretty gross that your boss did this to you. If you can't get it clean yourself I say have it professionally done and send him/her the bill. (Have them notate that it was for cleaning cigarette smoke residue.)
Wednesday Addams in Grad School: Supernatural//life is a highwaylittlewings04 on November 23rd, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've been trying to clean it since summer, and so I've made the attempt on warm glass and cold, it didn't really seem to do any good, just smeared stuff around. I've thought about detailing, and if nothing else at all works, I reckon I'll just have to shell out for that. Oh, the joys of car ownership.
Jelemmennope on November 23rd, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's from the smoke, but from the car itself, maybe the A/C. I say this because I get it on my windshield too and I am a non-smoker (and would never allow someone to smoke in my car - yuck.)

The best thing I have used is a car window-specific cleaner I got from an auto parts store and wadded up newspaper. It does eventually come back though. I think I might try a little dish soap next time though, as suggested in one of the other comments. That would be a cheap-easy fix if it works.
Nicolai The Hand Grenade of Courteous Debate: Owl_nicolai_ on November 23rd, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
Ultimately the air in your car comes from outside, so you'll get some amount of fine dust and perhaps even oil in the air whatever happens. If your car has a fine air filter (often advertised as a "pollen filter") then you should check to see if it needs replacing.
If you really think your air conditioning ductwork is contaminated with oil deposits, try asking an air conditioning specialist to check the compressor, inlets and ducting and if possible clean them out (sometimes they can be steam-cleaned to remove oil deposits).
Wednesday Addams in Grad School: Dean//can't brain need coffeelittlewings04 on November 23rd, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm going to give the dish soap a try. I'm really not convinced it's the A/C, the filters are clean, and changing them hasn't seemed to make an impact. I might have to go look for the car-specific window cleaner, see what that does for me.
Nicolai The Hand Grenade of Courteous Debate: Owl_nicolai_ on November 23rd, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
I had some sticky residue on my car window recently and removing it took quite a lot of window cleaner and elbow grease; you may have to scrub at it with kitchen towel or clean rags and use a lot of window cleaner. I used a well-known brand of window cleaner, I found that random cheap window cleaner did not work very well and only moved the residue around.
Wednesday Addams in Grad School: Supernatural//mom's a babelittlewings04 on November 23rd, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Windex is the magic bullet usually, it's just not working for me at the moment, I don't know why. It's proven exceedingly frustrating.
cajilee on November 23rd, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
Mr. Clean magic eraser?
Wednesday Addams in Grad School: Dean//go down swingin'littlewings04 on November 23rd, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC)
Can you use that on glass? I don't want to scratch anything.
cajilee on November 24th, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC)
cynthiagould.comcyn on November 23rd, 2008 07:03 pm (UTC)
vodka. it eats through anything on glass.
however, you might want to follow that up with windex & let the car air out a lot so that you don't get busted for drunk driving!

for future reference, you are under no obligation to ever let people smoke in your car, no matter who they are. it's your space.
Wednesday Addams in Grad School: Dean//endurancelittlewings04 on November 23rd, 2008 08:11 pm (UTC)
Vodka is a good idea. I'll give that a go.

I know I wasn't under an obligation to let her smoke, but to be honest, pissing her off was worth my job, so I just kept my head down and did whatever I was told. Mercifully, I'm back in school now, but telling her no wasn't exactly an option. There's a reason I left that gig as soon as it was realistically feasible.
tappangatappanga on November 24th, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
Are you using paper towels or newspaper? When I worked in the rental car business, we'd of course get cars with windshields like that. A bit of Windex and newspaper and they were good to go.