How to Get Vape Residue Off Windows?

Vaping in your car or home can often lead to unwanted residue on the windows. The best way to remove residue from windows is by wiping them down with a mixture of vinegar and water.

When vape film builds on your home or car windows, it becomes hard to see out, looks dingy, and can even be a driving hazard. Over 40 million people worldwide use e-cigarettes, so whether you are dealing with your own habit or someone else’s, you should know how to treat this common problem.

Where Vape Film Comes From

Vegetable glycerin is one of the main ingredients in vapes and is most responsible for the oily film on windows. This vapor residue, caused by vaping fumes, builds up even with the windows open in your car or home.

Vape film can be tough to remove from any home or car window, but the right amount of elbow grease can significantly reduce the buildup.

Using Vinegar and Water Mixture as Window Cleaner

Vinegar is a great cleaning agent and is crucial for removing vape film from your vehicle’s interior or your walls. Mixing white vinegar with water is a great solution to keep your windows clean in your car.

To create this cleaner, use one part vinegar to three parts water to ensure you have properly diluted the acid. Mixing with water prevents the acid from being too strong and potentially hazardous to your health.

It’s best to use distilled water as a diluent. This type of water does a better job than regular water because it doesn’t leave streaks as often. Mixing it with vinegar in an old spray bottle makes a cleaner that is perfect for removing residue from glass.

Wiping The Windows Down

A microfiber cloth can be great for cleaning glass because it attracts dirt better than other cloths. Microfiber cloths pair nicely with any glass cleaner and are great for washing film from windows.

You should use paper towels to buff and dry the vehicle’s interior or your walls after cleaning. Overall, a dry paper towel is your best option to wipe off any extra liquid because they’re cheap and tend to work better than other rags. 

However, remember that paper towels are not usually used to wash glass because they are too rough and coarse. A paper towel is better for drying, so you don’t damage the surface.

In a pinch, you can use items like newspaper and rags to dry glass, but they also aren’t great for washing.

Being thorough is essential when cleaning glass so that it doesn’t smear and make the mess worse. When washing in your car especially, the residue can spread to the passenger window or other surfaces, so thoroughly washing all affected areas on your vehicle is critical for a clean ride.

Other Methods to Clean Vape Film Buildup

There are many other ways besides using a vinegar-based liquid to clean off glass. These methods can require elbow grease but will eventually get your windows clean.

  • Traditional window cleaning liquid
  • Blue windshield washer fluid
  • Ammonia-free glass cleaning liquid
  • Soapy water or warm water

Preventing Vape Film Buildup

The easiest way to prevent vaping from causing residue buildup in your vehicle is to leave the windows down while vaping. However, many have noticed that this won’t prevent buildup entirely but is certainly helpful to prevent future cleaning.

Alternatively, you should vape outside to reduce damage to vehicles and homes. 

During the winter months, it’s easy to confuse vaping residue with normal frost buildup. However, a defroster won’t clear this off, so you must take matters into your own hands.

Other Places Where Vapes Leave Residue

Vaping can leave reside wherever you use your device inside. These buildings will gain a residue on their walls which can be off-putting and difficult to clean.

However, recent developments have indicated that this residue can also move through air vents and transfer to other surfaces. So, overall, you should smoke outdoors to prevent having to clean in the future. 


This article has touched on several great ways to clear residue from home or car windows. The easiest way to remove vaping film from glass is by mixing vinegar with water and applying the window cleaner to any affected areas. 

Most people have the supplies needed to clean off this residue already at home, making these methods convenient and quick to generate results.

Good luck with your cleaning!