Chemical Guys Streak Free is a premium glass cleaner. What is premium about an automotive glass cleaner? Let’s find out!
Disclosure: We bought this product with our own money.
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Offering (7/10, 70%)
Chemical Guys Streak Free comes in a really nice package. Chemical Guys does a very good job at creating eye-catching packaging. We bought our bottle for $13.99 which is far more expensive than the competition. Our bottle was small. It contained 473mL (16oz) of product, which is 30% smaller than its top competitors. This gives it a value ratio of 33.8mL/$ (1.14oz/$) which is not good value for money. Chemical guys does not claim this product does anything other than clean glass.
This product is alcohol-based an ammonia free. It had a very neutral smell associated with it, meaning it was pleasant to use and didn’t leave a lingering scent. We liked using this bottle because it the nozzle provided a very good spray pattern, although it was not adjustable.
Some of the marketing was a little weird. They used words like “professional-strength formula” but also “gentle formula” in the same paragraph. They also use meaningless buzzwords like “Residue-free optical enhancers”. More on that later.
Technical (26/30, 87%)
We used our Glass Cleaning test methodology (GA-D-GC-A1) which involved using a piece of glass that is cleaned with alcohol. In this case, the glass was at ambient temperature (9*C, 48*F). We divided it into 4 quadrants since we were comparing Chemical Guys Streak Free against various other competitors. You can watch our full comparison video on YouTube.
We used fingerprints, motor oil, and jam (to mimic tree sap and berries) because we believe that these might be common contaminants on your windows. To test, we would spray once on the glass and contaminants, wait 30 seconds, and the wipe off with a blue shop towel. As necessary, we would repeat until clean and we also would buff with a microfiber at the end.
Fingerprints: Streak Free worked like a charm. All the fingerprints were removed with one spray.
Motor oil: While this is a torture test, this product struggled. The first spray and wipe left some oil and haze on the glass. The second spray and wipe left the glass perfectly clear.
Jam: The first spray removed the all the stickiness from the surface of the glass. It was relatively easy to collect it all. There was a significant amount of haze on the glass. The second spray removed everything leaving a perfect finish.
Overall, the Streak Free did well in the lab test.
Real World Testing (45/50, 90%)
Our experience using the product
For the real-world test, we used Streak Free on the panoramic glass roof our Mercedes SL600. There was quite a lot of dust on it from sitting in the garage over the winter. The roof’s glass was at 9*C (48*F).
The product performed very well. We used one spray on the panel. Using a microfibre cloth, we wiped the surface removing all of the dust in one go. It left a very clean finish on the roof. The product was extremely easy to use and the spray nozzle was very good to use, providing a controllable experience. There was no smell, which meant it could be used in a confined space.
While the product did not explicitly state that it helps to bead water, it did say that it has “optical enhancers”. We inferred that there must be some sort of film that is left behind to also help prevent dirt from sticking. We were hoping that film was provide some water beading, but it did not.
Overall, Chemical Guys Streak Free performed very well.
Performance vs. Claims (6/10, 60%)
Product Claim 1
Removes fingerprints, tree sap, and road film.
This product worked well to remove general dirt from the glass very well. It struggled more than expected with our jam test, but performed well overall.
Product Claim 2
Streak free with optical enhancers.
This product sometimes left streaks, but only in the most demanding circumstances. We did not see any evidence with the optical enhancers, and believe it relates simply to Chemical Guys’ marketing.
Product Claim 3
Repels against dirt, resists fingerprints, stays cleaner longer.
We didn’t seem to notice this in our testing. Even with the Streak Free previously sprayed on the our test glass, we did not notice an improvement in performance when it comes to cleaning up dirt, oils, and other contaminants.
In conclusion, we believe that RainX 2 in 1 Glass Cleaner is a quality product that cleans glass well and provides an extra layer of water-repellant. However, the formula is quite aggressive and we had to be cautious when using it. We don’t feel safe using it in the interior of our car, and it also states not to use it on tinted windows. Those two factors really diminishes the usability of the product. It also doesn’t provide as good of a water-repellant as a wax or sealant or even regular RainX water repellant.