How to Remove Writing From a Car Windshield

by Brad Yach

Removing writing from a car windshield is actually easier than it sounds because glass is one of the easiest things on your car to clean. However, you need to know what material the writing was written with in order to clean it most effectively. There are two options here: water-based or oil-based writing utensils, usually marketed as chalk markers or grease pens. Less common and less friendly is the permanent marker, which requires a bit more effort to clean properly. Removing the writing must also be done carefully so you don't scratch or scuff the windshield.

Cleaning the Writing

Step 1

Always clean the windshield before attempting to remove any writing. This removes dirt and dust that can scratch the glass. Use the bucket of water, dish detergent, and sponge to throughly clean the windshield. If the writing was done with a water-based product, this step will remove it completely and you are done.

Step 2

For permanent marker, dab a clean paper towel in a strong solvent such as lacquer thinner, acetone or isopropyl alcohol. Rub the writing vigorously with the paper towel, and flip it often and add fresh solvent to expose a clean side as you work. Finish by cleaning the glass carefully with the glass cleaner.

Step 3

For the grease pen or crayon, scrape the writing off the glass with a clean razor blade. Wipe the blade on a paper towel as it accumulates material. Then use the solvent-saturated paper towel to remove any excess material left behind on the glass. Remove any remaining cloudiness or haze by wiping the glass with the glass cleaner.

For the chalk marker, scrape the chalk off the glass with a clean razor blade. Wipe the blade on a paper towel as it accumulates material. Once the majority of the chalk has been removed, wipe the glass down first with the solvent and then with the glass cleaner for a spot-free finish.


  • Wear proper gloves and eye protection when handling solvents.
  • Don't allow the solvent to touch any painted surfaces or plastic trim.
  • Keep the razor blade at a close angle against the glass to prevent gouging.


  • Solvents are poisonous and flammable. Dispose of the used paper towels properly.

Items you will need

  • Solvent
  • New razor blade
  • Glass cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Dish detergent
  • Bucket of water
  • Sponge

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