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2012 Outback 2.5i Premium
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26 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Have tried Windex, and the cleaning brush at a gas station to get it off, but have noticed what seems almost like a film on my windshield, which has been casuing bad glare when headlights hit it. Anyone else have this? Not sure if it's a protective coating the dealer put on when I bought the car or if it is wax from a drive though car wash.
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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Have you tried something like denatured alcohol or ammonia to remove this 'film'?

If you placed anything that sticks to your windshield, it would seem to me that there would, in fact, be some kind of adhesive left after removing whatever it is that was adhered to the windshield.

Are you certain it is on the exterior?
 

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2012 Outback 2.5i Premium
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26 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
positive it's on the outside. can only see it at night or in low light conditions. film may not have been the right word, it looks almost like a coating. you can see an opaque film on the outside of the windshield, like it had been waxed or applied, and it refracts the light (like a dirty windshield on the inside when headlights hit it).
 

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13 Outback 2.5 Premium CVT
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We did a job at a paper mill and all our truck windows were coated with some sort of film, no amount of washer fluid or glass cleaner would touch it and it was really getting hard to see, finally asked one of the guys working there and they said it was alkili and you can take it off with any soap product, he reached in the back of the work truck and pulled out a bottle of vinegar and a rag, the film wiped right away.

Don't leave the vinegar on your finish, it is acidic
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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Did you purchase the car new?
Was it like this from the beginning, or did this seem to start after you applied something to the windshield?

Do you happen to use the expensive Rain-X windshield cleaner-deicer?

I used Rain-X once and would never use it again. Yes, it did just as it said it would do, cause the rain to turn into tiny droplets of water that are supposed to just blow off, thus supposedly not needing your wipers anymore.

However, as soon as I turned on the wipers, the water beads were so fine, instead of an even sheen of water on the windshield, I ended up with these extremely fine bubbles after each wiper pass which could best be described as pouring milk across the windshield then trying to use the wipers to remove it.

I ended up washing the Rain-X off by using a strong glass cleaner solution and adding more ammonia than usual. I not only cleaned the windshield but also the squeegee part of the wiper blades. Several good washings and a lot of elbow grease and the rain then sheened again after each wiper pass.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5i Premium
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26 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Bought the car new in August. Haven't put anything on the windshield, but this is really the first time i've driven it at night, and in the rain (yeah daylight savings time...lol). No rain-x, as I had tried it on my old Forester, and experienced the same issue you described.
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, Mystic Blue Pearl
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4,940 Posts
Sounds crazy, but good ole OOOO steel wool is a great way to get this sort of thing off. Try to test it in an inconspicuous area first, but the steel wool is a little softer than the glass and should take the stuff. This is and old trick for removing hard water stains.
 

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2019 Forester Sport. Love the Orange.
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Back in the day I worked in an insulated window maufacturing plant. One of my jobs was to "catch" pieces of glass coming out of the washer and inspect them very quickly for any type of dirt, spots or defects in the glass. I could instantly identify weather the spots were on top or the bottom side of the glass so nothing was sealed inside the window. I must admit I see spots on glass that most cannot or ignore.

I was involved with cleaning all types including coated and laminated glass products. The washer used a soapy solution with alcohol in it to dry quickly after running under a blower. The go-to glass cleaner was made by Sprayway. At the time it was industrial only but has made it's way to residential use. It is sold almost everywhere. Costco, grocery stores etc.

As rockhopjohn has stated 0000 steel wool works well but be very careful as it is softer than glass but not the laminating film on windshields. Make sure the windshied has plenty of cleaner and the steelwool is saturated. Do not bear down and scrub in one area as you can scratch the surface. Never use it on Subaru outside rearview mirrors. They are so soft you can scratch them with a t-shirt if you rub hard.

Which leads back to the OP. Subaru windows and windshields are the most difficut to clean I have ever seen. There is some sort of film that smudges and smears especially on the front and back glass. They also hard water spot badly. Almost like etching with acid rain. And the offgassing or whatever on the interior is brutal. In almost two years and two different OB's I have yet to clean the glass to a level I consider acceptable. My wife joked: What did you clean with? peanut butter.
 

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06 Outback 2.5i, 06 BMW 325xi wagon, 02 2.5rs, 82 CB750, Polaris XC SP 500, and a single speed bike.
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876 Posts
I've used Bar Keepers Friend on my windshield to get a film of road grime off, and it works great. Use it on my headlights occasionally too to keep them clear.
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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Just about every car I purchased new had the new car odor, which is basically gases coming out of all the plastic and rubber and other things man-made. I have noticed that, along with that smell comes interior windows that get coated with residue. In the sunlight, you can easily see it, just rub your finger or your knuckle where the window appears to have the inside-haze, and if you just made a 'clean-mark' then the interior windows are coated from the new gases your car is putting out.

I have found that removing the haze from the interior is hard work, mainly the windshield, as the angle is so steep, you need to be a contortionist in order to clean every interior square-inch of window! I also found that most glass cleaners just move the mess around. It takes much elbow grease and a fair amount of clean towels or paper towels to eliminate this mess!

It also takes cleaning the windows more than one time during each cleaning session, if you really want to remove all the haze!

Once cleaned, if it is hot out, within weeks (sometimes even within DAYS), the windows will be hazy again! The colder it is out, it seems the less gas that is put off thus the less haze to clean with less frequency.

If you can park inside your garage and if you can safely leave your windows all open, you will help to eliminate the new-car smell which means you will also be eliminating those gases!

Look at it this way.
As long as you get in and smell that new-car smell, be assured that the gases are leaching into the air and are constantly causing the mess inside the windows!
 

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2017 Outback 3.6 Touring, which replaced '05 Outback XT
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And the offgassing or whatever on the interior is brutal. In almost two years and two different OB's I have yet to clean the glass to a level I consider acceptable. My wife joked: What did you clean with? peanut butter.
For the interior surface, just plain water and good quality paper towels works better than any cleaner. Wipe the glass down with a very wet paper towel, then go over it twice with dry paper towels, wiping vigorously.

I use one double or triple sheet for the wet towel, and two triple sheets per half the windshield.

There is something about the offgassing film that just gets smearier when using conventional glass cleaners. It isn't unique to Subarus either. Toyotas are the same.
 

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97 Outback 240000
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1,139 Posts
Just about every car I purchased new had the new car odor, which is basically gases coming out of all the plastic and rubber and other things man-made. I have noticed that, along with that smell comes interior windows that get coated with residue. In the sunlight, you can easily see it, just rub your finger or your knuckle where the window appears to have the inside-haze, and if you just made a 'clean-mark' then the interior windows are coated from the new gases your car is putting out.

I have found that removing the haze from the interior is hard work, mainly the windshield, as the angle is so steep, you need to be a contortionist in order to clean every interior square-inch of window! I also found that most glass cleaners just move the mess around. It takes much elbow grease and a fair amount of clean towels or paper towels to eliminate this mess!

It also takes cleaning the windows more than one time during each cleaning session, if you really want to remove all the haze!

Once cleaned, if it is hot out, within weeks (sometimes even within DAYS), the windows will be hazy again! The colder it is out, it seems the less gas that is put off thus the less haze to clean with less frequency.

If you can park inside your garage and if you can safely leave your windows all open, you will help to eliminate the new-car smell which means you will also be eliminating those gases!

Look at it this way.
As long as you get in and smell that new-car smell, be assured that the gases are leaching into the air and are constantly causing the mess inside the windows!
This is it exactly. Just when I thought it had stopped we would have 110 degree weather and it would develop all over again. My 97 has thankfully finished. I wonder if the new interior air filters catch any of it at all. It can't be good for you in such closed quarters and hot climates.
 

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'13 OB, Black, SAP
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271 Posts
Sounds crazy, but good ole OOOO steel wool is a great way to get this sort of thing off. Try to test it in an inconspicuous area first, but the steel wool is a little softer than the glass and should take the stuff. This is and old trick for removing hard water stains.
:29: What he said, I used a mild abrassiv polish with it on my last vehicle, windshield would stay clean for a good while.
 

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I've been lurking around on the forum for a while, but when I saw this post I thought I might add my $.02 worth of experience.

First an admission....I don't have an outback (I know, my bad).....I had a Legacy until just recently, and now an Impreza.

When I got my Legacy I had this windshield film problem horribly. It was downright dangerous to drive in the rain at night, and it was even troublesome during the day if it was raining. Like driving through a fog all the time if the wipers were on. It was like a haze of micro beads on the windshield each time the wipers would try to clean the glass.

I tried everything under the sun to get it off.

1) Soap and water
2) Vinegar and water
3) Paint Thinner / Turpentine
4) Coke (as in the drink)
5) Specially purchased glass cleaner
6) Changed the wiper blades more times that I can count. Each new set worked for a short time, but then the film would return. BTW: I think this is the biggest waste of money to buy expensive wiper blades...they never worked any better than the cheapest ones.
7) I'm sure there were a few others things I tried that I can't remember.

None of these things worked and the haze always came back very shortly afterwards.

Out of desperation I tried one last tip that I found online. Lighter Fluid. Crazy as it seems, this worked like a charm, and it was cheap! For whatever reason it breaks the bond of whatever film is on the windshield and leaves it clean.

I bought a bottle poured it on making sure to not get any on the cars paint and then let it sit for a minute or two. Then a wiped down the windshield with some paper towel and rinsed well. At the same time I installed a new set of cheap wiper blades making sure they were not the type that has any built in rain-x or other product. It worked like a charm. It's much easier to keep the windshield clean this way and much, much safer.

CC
 

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i dont know if this has been covered or not but pot(as in marijuana) leaves this oily film on the inside of the windshield tha refuses to let go of the glass. That may be something you might want to consider as well
 

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2019 Forester Sport. Love the Orange.
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i dont know if this has been covered or not but pot(as in marijuana) leaves this oily film on the inside of the windshield tha refuses to let go of the glass. That may be something you might want to consider as well
I'll take that as a yes on the edible products.;):rolleyes:
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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I use Invisible Glass (brand) spray or can for many years now; that stuff is the best for windshields - inside or outside.. Try it and you will agree! It cleans everything and leaves no residue!
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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Many years ago, I used to smoke a lot in my vehicle. I always kept the vehicles clean, however, and never seemed to have the problem as bad as it is today. Maybe new cars in the 70's had different things gassing-off than they do today.

I'm sure plastics, rubbers, etc. are changed over time in the way they manufacture them. There may even be a lot more different materials that they didn't even have back then!
 

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2007 Subaru Outback L.L. Bean
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Hi there!

I have fought glass film on a variety of cars for years. I've never truly been satisfied with getting them clean. I came close using "Glass Science" brand Glass Scrub. It did seem to work okay.

Then one day I was reading about a spray-foam clay treatment for glass, which supposedly removed contaminants even in the micro-pits in the glass. I thought about it a bit, and figured pumice-lanolin hand cleaner (i.e. Fast Orange with grit) might do the trick. So, the next time I washed my car, with the windshield wet, I used a washcloth and worked some Fast Orange onto the surface, liberally scrubbing the glass. I then rinsed the glass with clear water, and cleaned them again with Glass Magic spray cleaner.

That's the cleanest that glass has been since I bought the car. I don't think it is something that needs to be done every time but it certainly helped remove a stubborn road film.
 
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