How To Clean Vape Film From Car Windows: The Best Way

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Being a vaper myself, I’ve experienced vape films created on all windows and glass surfaces in my car. And to clean that vape film, you can’t just follow a typical guide on car window cleaning. Instead, you should have a slightly different approach that’ll be able to break that vape film that’s accumulated over time.

In this post, I’ll show you how I do it.

Quick Steps To Clean Vape Film From Car Windows:

  • Clean car windows with an all-purpose cleaner first.
  • Follow by cleaning with an automotive glass cleaner.
  • Wipe off with a microfiber towel for glass.

How To Get Vape Residue Off Car Windows

woman vaping inside the car

Before we dive into the step-by-step process of cleaning vape residue from your car windows, let’s quickly go over the essential equipment you’ll need to get the job done effectively. 

What you’ll need:

  • an all-purpose cleaner, 
  • a microfiber towel for cleaning glass, 
  • two waffle towels,
  • an automotive glass cleaner. 

With these tools at hand, you’ll be ready to tackle the problem head-on.

Step 1: Spray All-Purpose Cleaner on Glass

Begin by choosing a suitable all-purpose cleaner that is safe for use on glass surfaces. I highly recommend Chemical Guys Nonsense APC, as it effectively removes vape residue without causing any damage to the glass. 

Chemical Guys SPI_993_16 Nonsense Colorless & Odorless All Surface Super Cleaner (For Vinyl, Rubber,...
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Keep in mind that using an all-purpose cleaner might leave the glass slightly smeary, but don’t worry – we’ll address this in the subsequent steps. 

Start by spraying the cleaner onto the glass and allow it to sit for approximately 30 seconds, giving it enough time to break down the vape film.

Step 2: Wipe Off With a Microfiber Towel

After allowing the all-purpose cleaner to sit for 30 seconds, use a clean car detailing microfiber cloth to wipe off the vape and APC residue from the glass surfaces. Remember, the goal at this stage is not to achieve a perfectly clean window but to remove as much residue as possible. 

To effectively wipe the surface, use straight-line motions in all directions – right, left, up, and down. This technique will help you remove a significant amount of the residue, preparing the glass for the next cleaning steps.

Step 3: Clean with Automotive Glass Cleaner and Waffle Towel

Now we come to the actual cleaning of car windows and windshields. You’ll need a high-quality automotive glass cleaner to achieve a spotless finish on your window or windshield. I highly suggest you use Gyeon Q2M Glass Cleaner because it always leaves glass surfaces streak-free and is completely safe, even on tinted windows.

Spray the glass cleaner onto a waffle towel, ensuring it’s evenly distributed. Now, start cleaning the glass surface with the waffle towel, focusing on thoroughly covering the entire area, including the edges. It’s essential to clean the edges meticulously for a perfect result. 

As before, use straight-line motions in all directions – right, left, up, and down – to ensure even coverage and a streak-free clean.

Step 4: Buff the Window with a Dry Waffle Towel

The final step to achieve perfect clarity is buffing the glass with a dry waffle towel. Take a clean, dry waffle towel and start buffing the glass surface thoroughly. 

At this stage, you can switch to circular motions, as this helps to eliminate any remaining streaks and provides a flawless finish. It’s essential to buff the glass quickly, ensuring the glass cleaner does not dry on the surface, which could create additional smears. 

Once you have completed this step, your car windows should be free of vape residue and have a pristine, clear appearance.

What Causes So Much Vape Film On Glass Surfaces?

Vape film accumulates on glass surfaces mainly due to the components present in e-liquid, such as propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), and various flavorings. When you exhale vapor inside a confined space like a car, these substances tend to cling to the glass, gradually building up a layer of residue over time. 

The higher the VG content in the e-liquid, the more likely it is to leave a film on the windows, as VG is thicker and more viscous than PG.

Additionally, temperature fluctuations and humidity levels within the car can exacerbate the buildup of vape film. When the interior of the car cools down, the vapor residue may condense on the glass surfaces, making it even more challenging to remove.

If you’re a vaper, you should drive your car with the windows slightly open whenever possible. By doing so, most of the vapor from e-cigarettes will exit the car, reducing the amount of residue that accumulates on the glass surfaces.

This simple practice can significantly minimize the buildup of vape film, making it easier to maintain clean and clear windows over time.

How To Prevent Vape Film From Forming on Windows

vaping device at 15.5W
My vape device. I vape at 15.5 or 16W, MTL

I have started doing a few things recently, and it seems like they help prevent vape film from accumulating on windows inside my car.

  • Keep car windows open while you vape. I realized that keeping the driver’s window only a few inches open decreases the amount of vape film a lot.
  • Consider buying window vent visors. Keeping car windows open isn’t so simple if it’s raining or if you’re on a highway. Vent visors can help with that a lot. After purchasing them, I can always keep windows slightly open, no matter the weather and the speed I’m driving.
  • Use less powerful devices for vaping inside the car. This may be hard for some of you, but if you usually vape some 80W device, consider buying a less powerful one, as it’ll make less vape, reducing the amount of film accumulated inside the car.
  • Don’t use the recirculation option on the car’s AC. If you use the recirculation option, the same air will constantly flow throughout your vehicle, causing much more vape film. I always keep it turned off so the fresh air constantly comes inside the car.
  • Anti-fog products may also help. During winter, when I apply anti-fog products to car windshields, I realize that less film accumulates. It’s because anti-fog products prevent anything from sticking to the glass, even the vape film.


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