Non-ammonia based cleaner, works great on helmets and visors.
I haven’t found anything that works better.
There’s a cool little old-style auto parts store in my local village.
It’s been there since Henry Ford was buying flame decals for the buttons on his knickers.
Their prices are about twice as high as the nearby Wal-Mart…
But I’m always looking for an excuse to get down there to buy something, chat with the grizzled old-timers behind the counter and check out the aisle displays.
The place looks like it hasn’t changed in at least 50 years.
They still give out those old-fashioned calendars every year — the ones with the graphics that look like they were last updated during the Hoover administration.
One day I was standing at the counter and I happened to glimpse this can of Sprayway Glass Cleaner out of the corner of my eye.
I couldn’t believe the colors and the design of the label — it’s fantastic, and looks like it stepped right out of the ’50’s.
I had to buy it, if only for the way it looked!
I had never heard of Sprayway before and I had no idea how good it might work.
I just love the look and feel of the old days, and even though I figured this can might have been sitting on the shelf for 30 years, I had to have it.
Was I surprised when I got it home and realized the stuff really works great! It contains no ammonia, so it’s apparently safe to use on motorcycle helmets, helmet visors and motorcycle windscreens.
It has what I can only describe as a ’50’s smell to it too; a nice scent like something you remember from when Mom was cleaning windows in the days before Windex.
(does anyone remember “Glass Wax”, the Pepto-Bismol colored stuff used to clean glass? You could buy stencils of Santa and snowmen and Christmas trees and use the Glass Wax to decorate your windows.).
I’ve since come to find out that Sprayway Glass Cleaner is a popular and well-regarded product in the high-end automotive detailing business.
The consensus is that it doesn’t streak, and it cleans up glass and plastic really well, including soft plastics like automotive window tinting. It also doesn’t leave any residue.
When my wife heard we were doing a review of the product, the first thing she said is “Oh, that stuff is great! It doesn’t streak at all!
Now the Sprayway label doesn’t say anything specifically about using it on motorcycle helmets or visors or windscreens.
But I use it on everything and it does a better job than any of the motorcycle-specific cleaners that I’ve found for this purpose.
When the Sprayway Glass Cleaner is applied, it immediately foams up into a nice, thick coating.
I usually leave it on for about 15-30 seconds, depending upon how much dirt and/or bugs are stuck on the plastic.
It seems to loosen everything up, then I buff it clean with a soft cloth and the plastic really sparkles!
I also use it to clean my helmets and pretty much any other plastic on a motorcycle. By the way, it also works great on glass!
The Sprayway Glass Cleaner doesn’t have any wax or polish in the formula like, for example, the popular Plexus cleaner.
But I find this is a benefit, because the waxes can leave some streaking and can make it harder to buff the plastic to a nice shine.
The wax in some formulations is supposed to help prevent bugs and grime from sticking to the visor or windscreen.
Many visors are treated with a special coating and certain waxes seem to be better than others at preventing bug buildup when applied over those visors.
In any case, it’s a good idea to simply use a product that will keep the visor as clean as possible as quickly as you can after the bugs have messed up the view and Sprayway works really well for doing just that.
It turns out that the local auto parts store bought only one case of Sprayway just to try it, and it immediately sold out.
You may have some difficulty finding the product; Sprayway, Inc. has been around for 50 years or so, but is mostly known as a supplier of cleaning products to industry.
They don’t have anywhere near the marketing budget of any of the big grocery store brands and it’s pretty tough to get shelf space when you don’t ante up the big bucks, no matter how good your product is.
Fortunately, there are plenty of online retailers for Sprayway products, and you can find the 19 oz. (539 grams) can for around $3.25. Well worth it!
And please Sprayway, don’t ever change that label design!
From “J.S.” (9/09): “I read you review of the glass cleaning product, Sprayway.
I’m very familiar with Sprayway and know some of their representatives. We bump into each other now and then showing or attending automobile related trade shows.
I worked for over twenty years in the automotive detailing end of the industry, being a company rep for a couple car care chemical companies and the last half of my career with a buffing pad manufacturer.
Sprayway and the glass cleaner you detailed has been a part of our industry (as you aptly pointed out) for years.
The products the automotive reconditioning industry relies on are seldom found on retail shelves, we call them “wholesale” products.
They are not promoted into the retail industry unlike all the typical products you see in the box stores.
I say that’s kind of a shame because the general public, especially those who love to take care of their car or motorcycle are missing out on very professional products.
They have to be good in order to satisfy both the price point the industry end users demand and they must also have outstanding performance qualities.
Car care products used in the reconditioning industry are generally much stronger from the standpoint of cleaners/degreasers, also, the polishes and compounds are formulated for use with the high speed rotary buffer.
Sprayway Glass Cleaner is likely the most popular of the aerosol brands of glass cleaners in the detailing industry. However, its not the most popular glass cleaner by a large margin in the industry.
The industry relies on liquid glass cleaners from 1 gal to 55 gal containers and concentrated glass cleaners up to 40-1 and beyond dilution rates.
One thing is an absolute must, the product must work exceptionally well, especially glass cleaners and it must be priced right. People in the detailing end of the business are notoriously cheap, whether used car managers, auto auctions or otherwise.
Because Sprayway is an aerosol and it can’t compete pricewise against the liquid glass cleaners. Also, it falls short when using it on hot days because it evaporates too quickly.
You have to work small areas at a time and you will likely use much more product comparatively speaking in warm weather. But the scent is one of its strongest draws.
You can work with it inside a car without gagging, unlike some liquid forms of glass cleaners. Overall an excellent product, especially for the home use customers.
If anyone is interested I represented the company I worked for (buffing pads) to a fifteen distributor group called the Alliance.
These individuals are all in the wholesale automotive chemical business and they generally market cleaners, degreasers, waxes, polishes, compounds and many other products used in the reconditioning industry.
They go to market in “stores on wheels” like a Snap-On tool truck calling on carwashes, detail shops, car dealerships and body shops.
They sell only the above described wholesale products for companies like Auto Magic, Pro, Malco, B&B, Ardex, P&S, CarBrite, etc.
Most people have never heard of these companies, they are under the retail radar but man do they have excellent products.
The Alliance Group I mentioned has a good relationship with Sprayway, they buy on a group discount schedule and they are also located all over the USA.
If anyone is having trouble finding the product just forward them my email and I’ll point them in the right direction. I can be reached at jshutz (at) lincolnxing (dot) org.
Thanks for the many comprehensive and informative evaluations, they really help.”
From “E.W.”: “My roommate recently moved out and while searching through an upper cupboard for something, I came across an aerosol can of glass cleaner called Sprayway that I was sure I hadn’t bought.
I have a fair amount of sq. footage of glass in my house and normally just use ammonia and water with a dab of detergent to clean everything.
Out of curiosity I tried the Sprayway cleaner. I was beyond impressed with its capabilities.”