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How to Recognize a Good Windshield Washer Fluid

Good Windshield Washer Fluid

How to Recognize a Good Windshield Washer Fluid

Using a high-quality windshield washer fluid to keep your windshield spotlessly clean is an essential and important part of regular car care. Simply put, if you drive with a dirty windshield, you put yourself and other road users at risk. Poor visibility because of grime, or sun flare on a dirty windshield can lead to an accident. A clear windshield is especially important during the winter months when bad weather, freezing temperatures and road salt can quickly obscure your windshield and create difficult driving conditions.

The darker, winter nights can also make driving challenging. For example, the glare from the headlamps of oncoming vehicles can cause light flare if have grime and smears on your windshield. This makes it much more difficult to see. Removing stubborn contaminants and frost with a good windshield washer fluid can help to avoid unsafe driving conditions in colder weather. However, it is important to recognize a good-quality product when windshield detailing to ensure you get the best results.

Choosing a High-Quality Windshield Washer Fluid

The function of a high-quality windshield washer fluid in automotive glass care is to effectively clean a windshield and keep it streak-free. Here are some of the main factors to take into consideration.

Winter Windshield Washer Fluid Containing Alcohol

Cold weather car care includes making sure your windshield washer fluid is up to the job when temperatures dip below freezing. One of the winter-specific ingredients of windshield wash is an alcohol, such as isopropanol, methanol or ethanol. Choose some sort of alcohol mixture in your windshield washer fluid when driving in snowy and frosty conditions. Without this, washer fluid will simply turn to ice on your windshield and cause serious visibility problems.

Note, these anti-freeze liquids are toxic substances that must be stored in a safe place out of the reach of children and animals. In winter, ideally look for a windshield wiper fluid that contains ethanol (ethyl alcohol) or isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol) on the list of ingredients as they are considered not as toxic as methanol (methyl alcohol).

Established Manufacturer of Windshield Washer Fluid

Another way to recognize a good windshield washer fluid is to go with a recognized brand that has successfully tried and tested its product over the years. For example, Prestone is a reputable brand that has been around for years. It launched its first anti-freeze in 1927 and has been refining and updating its products and technology ever since. Shop around and check out customer reviews. These can often provide valuable information as to the quality and performance of the wash fluid.

As well as using non-freezing washer fluids in extremely cold weather, winter car maintenance tips also include checking your windshield wipers to make sure they are working properly.

No-Smear Formula

A high-quality windshield washer fluid should never leave a film or smears on the windshield. Look out for a product that has a smear-free formula. This will help to prevent dangerous sun dazzle. For example, the label may state that it is an “ammonia” formula. However, check it is suitable to use on your type of windshield. For example, ammonia is not recommended for cleaning tinted windows.

Rain-X is another well-known brand if you are looking for a high-quality windshield washer fluid to suit your climate and the different seasons. It specializes in water-beading technology to help keep your windshield cleaner for longer and reduce the chance of streaking. See other tips on streak-free windows

Glycerine to Transform the Dirtiest Windshield

What other ingredients should you look out for? A high-quality windshield washer fluid will contain a good detergent to remove bugs, dirt and other contaminants from your windshield. Glycerine is often added to the solvent mix to make it easier to remove pollutants. Hard-to-shift bug splatter is more of a problem in summertime, so look out for specific seasonal formulas that contain a bug-removal cleaning agent. This will usually be specified on the label.

Ready-Mixed for Convenience or Concentrated?

The hallmark of a high-quality windshield washer fluid relies on its carefully balanced mix of ingredients to ensure optimal performance. The ready to use solutions are pre-mixed for your convenience; simply pour directly into the windshield washer reservoir. You don’t have to worry about getting the water-washer fluid ratio right.

However, ready-mixed solutions can work out more expensive, so you may prefer to buy a concentrated washer fluid. You can use concentrate to mix a solution to suit your needs and the season. For example, in the summer months, 1 part concentrate mixed with 9 parts water will be effective. To prepare your vehicle for winter driving, mix 1 parts concentrate with 4 parts water to keep the windshield frost-free. To get the most effective high-quality mix, use de-ionized water to prevent the washer fluid leaving traces of mineral deposits on the glass.


A high-quality windshield washer fluid will clearly state its recommended use to suit your climate and the season. Seek out reputable brands with good reviews. These products will also have good cleaning abilities because the formula will contain a detergent that is tough on dirt and bugs but will not cause damage to paintwork or other parts of the car. Look out for an alcohol-based wash specifically for the winter months. Finally, always read the labels carefully to be aware of hazards and warnings.

Regular cleaning and maintenance should always include keeping your windshield clean. However, the rest of your car will always benefit from a good clean, too. Leave the job to the professionals and schedule an appointment with DetailXPerts to have your automobile detailed to perfection, inside and out. Better still, why not check out our monthly specials to save some money while doing so?

Don’t forget to connect with DetailXPerts on Twitter for more quality car care tips.


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