How to Apply Aquapel Glass Treatment to Your Windshield

We see a lot of questions online about the proper way to apply Aquapel, so we have some answers today, as well as a few tricks and tips we have learned over the years of working with this product.

To start – the surface must be clean, weather using it on a glass shower door or an auto windshield.  On the car windshield we recommend a high quality glass cleaner without ammonia or high alcohol content.  Clean it well, that often means a few times, making sure you remove all the grease and bugs to allow Aquapel to bond to the glass.

As the instructions say, Aquapel should be applied when the temperature is between 50 and 80 degrees.  I would add to that, that in the summertime it should be applied in the shade since the sun can make surface much hotter than the surrounding temperature.  Aquapel has been known to “flash off” if the windshield is too hot or if you are working in direct sunlight, which can cause streaking problems.  If you apply it evenly, with long even sweeps (no scrubbing action) covering the whole windshield, the application is pretty foolproof.

But after application Aquapel must be wiped off before it dries, because if it starts to dry it will start to cloud up, and you will be spending a while buffing it off with a dry paper towel.  If spilled or dripped on the paint or moldings Aquapel won’t cause any damage if wiped up immediately.  And unlike Rain-X, Aquapel won’t wear off over time and cause that damaging orange and white residue that builds up around the windshield.

Aquapel can also be applied to the side and back windows of the car.  When applied to side and rear windows, Aquapel lasts about a year, where as on the windshield it will last about six months.   This is due to lack of windshield wiper wear and less road wear from wind and debris.  Aquapel really helps with visibility through side and back windows as well aiding in snow removal.  One creative idea we’ve seen is people applying Aquapel in the shape of a company logo to the back window, and in the rain you can see it quite clearly.  We’ve heard of people doing a Chevy or Ford logo, even a Harley-Davidson.

If anyone out there was wondering if Aquapel needs to be removed before applying Clearplex – a windshield protection film – the answer is a resounding yes!  We tried this out when we first started working with Clearplex, with catastrophic results.  The Clearplex turned white and bubbled up all over the place, so Aquapel absolutely must be removed before applying Clearplex.  The only way we have found to remove Aquapel is with the white pads, also available from PPG, which are actually meant to prepare the windshield for Aquapel.

Aquapel can be left on side and rear windows for tinting, since tinting film is applied to the inside of the windows and Aquapel on the outside.  Aquapel will last through car washes, gas station squeegees, and ammonia cleaners, and you will have great visibility all the way around for months.

Visit the Ray Sands Glass website to order Aquapel Glass Treatment online.

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23 Responses

  1. Dear Sirs:

    Aquapel is great but I have several questions:

    1. Can a microfiber cloth be used to wipe the windshield rather than a paper towel?

    2. What is the name of the white pads used to get prior crap off the windshield, you know….Rain X! etc ?

    3. I have 5 house windows that get a lot of rain in the rainy season plus a lot of wind blown dirt. Is there any reason not to use Aquapel on these glass windows once they have been cleaned with a non ammonia based cleaner product?

    I have used aquapel on bathroom mirrors and find it is great. Further

    I put some aquapel on the metal frame around my shower and the brass towel bars and it worked great there also.

    I also found that microfiber cloths were real good at getting aquapel residue off when you left it a bit too long. It takes a bit of a scrub but works fine.

    Ed Whalen

  2. I wouldn’t recommend a microfiber cloth for wiping off the Aquapel, not because it would harm your application, but it might ruin a good microfiber cloth. Since Aquapel is a water repellent, it would be hard to wash out.

    The white pads are called Glass Prep Cleaners and are available from Aquapel.

    I don’t see any reason you shouldn’t use Aquapel on residential windows – as long as the are glass. You will probably still need to squeegee them after a storm since they won’t have the same kind of wind force as an automobile or boat that causes the water to roll off.

    And thanks for the tips on other uses for Aquapel, we have heard it works great on tile in tubs and showers as well as on the glass shower doors.

  3. Another tip is to have Aquapel put on your side mirrors. I had this done to an older mini van that didn’t have heated mirrors and it was just amazing how much better they were, especially when attempting lane changes in Toronto rush hour traffic during heavy snowfall

  4. […] Re: Aqua Pel How to Apply Aquapel Glass Treatment to Your Windshield Ray Sands Glass Blog […]

  5. I was given the now-defunct retail version of the Aquapel treatment years ago as a gift and for a long time I was looking for this product. I found out that the version of Aquapel that I had was no longer produced. I then found Ray Sands Glass provided the Aquapel product. This is the best windshield treatment I have ever used. I rarely need to use my windshield wipers when on the highway and at slower speeds I mostly use the intermittent setting.

    I watch others in a heavy rain driving slowly or having their wipers on high speed and they still have trouble seeing clearly. With Aquapel I no longer have this problem; this treatment should be required by law, it’s that good.

  6. Have you ever seen Aquapel cause a problems for wipers where more friction is generated than normal? I recently had Aqualel applied and went throug some major thunderstorms and watched the wipers start to seize up and stop working. Fortunately the Aquapel kept the windsheild clear enough that I could continue to drive but before I take the care in for warranty repair I want to make sure that Aquapel wasn’t responisble. By the way, the car is only 4 months old.

  7. We can honestly say that nobody has ever made a complaint like that before. If anything our customer’s find it helps the wipers glide a little easier, some have even been known to apply a fresh coat of Aquapel when they need new wipers to stretch the old ones a little longer. I would say that it must be a problem with the wipers.

  8. can i safely use it on acrlight or plastic wind screens. please send answer thanxs

    • No, absolutely not. Aquapel is for Glass Only if applied to any type of plastic it will cloud up and ruin your windscreen

  9. Oops i used a high alchohol glass cleaner before applying aquapel tonight. Is that going to be a problem???

    Also wouldnt aquapel still make bathroom mirrors bead up since it repels water? Theres no powerful wind in the bathroom. I use dawn dish soap and that attracts the water and makes the bathroom mirror sheet for weeks.

    • High alcohol cleaning solution won’t cause any problem, even though PPG doesn’t recommend it. We have heard of customers using all types of creative cleaning products, before and after Aquapel application, without incident.
      You can use Aquapel on the mirror, as well as glass shower doors, but there is an Aquapel Anti-Fog Spray that would probably provide a more effective solution to bathroom mirror fog, as well as interior auto glass fog, than regular Aquapel.

  10. Thanks for the how to applying Aquapel, I ordered it can’t wait till it comes, glad you answered can’t be used on plastic like motorcycle windshields and helmet face masks, on on these I will still use Rain-X, but on the car it will be Aquapel, thanks again.

    jc

  11. I’ve heard that Rain-X will leave nasty streaks on the windshield when it starts to wear off when using the wipers. And that once you start using Rain-x, you are pretty much committed to using it as needed for the entire life of the vehicle (otherwise you get the aforementioned streaks). Is there a similar effect with Aquapel when is starts to wear? Or does it simply no longer repel water when it wears off, without leaving any smears or residue? I am often very busy and tend to fall behind on maintenance sometimes and don’t want to be punished with nasty streaks if I forget to reapply Aquapel after 6 months. Any thoughts? Thanks for your time.

    • Aquapel does not leave the same streaky residue that results from using Rain X and other silicone based products, because it bonds to the glass. However, your commitment to Rain X doesn’t have to be permanent – the build up can be removed with regular Soft Scrub and a paper towel or soft sponge that won’t scratch the glass. The film and streaks are simply an accumulation of degrading silicone, check out Getting to the bottom of Rain X Residue for more information.

  12. hi… after i use aquapel repellant…, can i save it…, and use it for next time? please reply, if u have time…, thanks before

  13. The applicator is good for a single use only. It will dry up quickly and can not be saved for a future use.

    I have been using this product for many years and have found that a slightly damp cloth or paper towel used as the final wipe will remove those last traces of Aquapel even better than a dry paper towel.

    My practice is to use three paper towels first, one after another, to get virtually all the product off the glass and then follow with the damp wipe.

  14. I had Aquapel applied by Jiffy Lube. Prior to the application I had no smearing problems. Ever since, windshield smears constantly. I have tried several different glass cleaners as have Jiffy Lube. Nothing works. The home office mailed me those white toilettes and they did not help either. JiffyLube told me that the toilettes were not used prior to application. Any ideas? Thank you.

    Dick Chapin

    • Most likely, the problem is that the product was not applied properly. Once Aquapel has been applied to the windshield it has to be wiped off completelybefore it dries, or else you will have a smeared cloudy result. You can try glass polish or soft scrub, just be careful with these products around the paint!

  15. I was just thinking if it would keep mouth mirrors from fogging up and would water repell for a long time. The water squirts out at a high speed. Years ago I tried Rainx and that didn’t work at all.
    Thank you,
    Joe

    • Aquapel would probably not work on dental mirror, since it works with the wind force created by an automobile. However, there are several different anti-fog products on the market for home and auto, but we aren’t sure of the safety indications on these products concerning use inside one’s mouth. We have heard of people using soap or shave cream and wiping it off without rinsing, and while this may be safer, the smell of the soap in one’s mouth may be off-putting to some.

  16. […] Rain Repellent, we will be selling applications from our booth at a discounted price.  You can apply the product yourself at home, or bring them into the shop and we will apply the hydrophobic coating at no […]

  17. Why can’t glass cleaners with ammonia be used (e.g., Windex)? It would seem to clean better and all the ammonia would evaporate before the aquapel goes on.

    • While this is recommendation given by the manufacturer (without explanation) our general consensus is that there would be a residue left behind that might interfere with the adhesion. Fortunately there are several ammonia free formulas of Windex available, as well as many other auto glass cleaners that don’t include ammonia.

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