Best Windshield Washer Fluids & Some Homemade Alternatives

If you’re new to the world of windshield washer fluids, or you keep choosing the wrong product, you’ve come to the right place. After years of research, I found the best windshield washer fluids on the market, and I’ll share the knowledge with you! In addition, I’ll discuss some homemade alternatives for those who don’t want to spend too much money on a washer or want to avoid harmful chemicals from store-bought products.

Best windshield washer fluid to keep a clear view on the road.

In case you’re one of those car owners that spend a lot of time maintaining their vehicle, then you’ll certainly appreciate some advice. If you’re not, then you should consider the importance of having a clear view through your windshield. Reduced visibility will endanger your safety. So, it’s vital that you find a good product that will clean your car’s windscreen thoroughly and ensure that your driving is safe.

Why Do You Need a Good Windshield Washer Fluid?

People often underestimate the importance of a good windshield washer fluid. Yes, there is a big chance that any cleaning product would do a decent job of cleaning your windscreen. But, removing most of the dirt isn’t the only thing you should be worried about. You also need to think about your safety.

Reduced visibility is a major concern, and, in most cases, it occurs due to rain or streaks that your washer left on your windscreen. Thus, buying a high-quality product or making one on your own will ensure that both you and your passengers are safe.

In addition, a lot of brands put special ingredients that will repel water and prevent the dirt from sticking to the glass in the first place in their washers. That way, your wipers will remove everything from your windshield much easier and faster.

Another vital upside to having a product that is specially made for this part of your vehicle is the help you get during cold weather. A large number of regular cleaning supplies are not meant to be used in colder temperatures and won’t do anything to prevent the water from freezing or remove sleet and ice from the windscreen. Therefore, if you’re dealing with low temperatures, you are in need of a good washer fluid.

What’s more, a good washer will make your windscreen look great. Anyone who cares about the appearance of the car will get the aesthetics they need if they opt for professional products.

These are just some of the reasons why you need a good windshield washer fluid. So, your windscreen cleaner isn’t an item you should save your money on. Therefore, you need to buy or make a product that is specially designed for cleaning and protection of this part of your car.

Features to Look for in Windshield Washer Fluids

Before we go into details about the best windshield washer fluids on the market, I need to answer a crucial question: “What are the most important features to look for in this product?” Once you know what you really need from a washer, your search will be much easier.

No streaks

It’s very important that you choose a product that won’t leave a residue on your windshield. Besides improving the aesthetics of your car, the streak-free finish will improve your visibility and ensure that your drive is safe. Therefore, you should look for a washer that leaves your windshield clean and clear.

Water-repelling technology

A lot of windshield washers have water repelling properties. That means that cleaners will provide a layer on your windshield that will make the water bead on the surface instead of smearing around the windscreen. Your car’s wipers would then have an easier job of removing the water, and your view would be clear. Thus, you need to make sure that you find a product that is water-repellent, especially if you live in areas where it rains often.

Antifreeze properties

Another vital feature you should look for in a windshield washer is the ability to keep the water from freezing in sub-zero conditions. There are a lot of very good cleaners on the market without antifreeze properties. So, you can just add another product that is meant for lower temperatures, and you’re good to go. However, if you live in a place where winters can get pretty harsh, it’ll be very useful to have a washer that is made for these conditions.

Harmless to paint

There is a chance that the ingredients of a washer could be so strong that they cause your car’s paint to chip or fade. Thus, you should try to find a product that does a great job with removing dirt, bugs, and grime from your windscreen, while leaving the paint unscathed.

The way you use the windshield washer

There are a couple of different kinds of windshield washers when it comes to the way you use them. Some cleaners have to be mixed with water or another washer, and others work best on their own. Both types have their upsides and downsides.

For example, products that need to be diluted with water usually come in smaller packages, so it’ll be easier for you to store them somewhere in your car and use them whenever you run out of the washer. On the other hand, products that you don’t have to dilute are much easier to use. Therefore, you should decide what works better for you and choose the product accordingly.

Reviews of the Best Windshield Washer Fluids

It’s time to introduce you to the best windshield washers on the market. I believe that you won’t be disappointed with any of the products from this list. I couldn’t decide which one is the best, so I just listed them by the amount of product that you get inside – from the smallest amount of washer to the largest one.

You should keep in mind that, when it comes to windscreen washers, the larger amount of product doesn’t necessarily mean the longer use. Not all cleaners come in the same form, and some of them have to be diluted with water, so they’ll last for quite some time.

1. CAF Outdoor Cleaning Semper Quick Dissolve Windshield Cleaner Mix

CAF Outdoor Windshield Cleaner Mix conveniently comes in a bag that contains pouches that you have to combine with water in order to make a windshield washer. This cleaner is very efficient in removing dirt, grime, bugs, and other debris from your windshield.

The product is quite easy to use. You just need to pour the mixture from one pouch into your car’s windshield washer tank and fill it with water. You don’t have to stir the solution; it dissolves quickly when in contact with water.

What’s great about this windshield cleaner mix is the fact that it’s not bulky like most washers. So, you’ll be able to keep it in your car and refill your washer tank anytime you need.

The convenient packaging of this CAF product gives you the ability to seal the bag after you use it in order to ensure the cleaner’s freshness. What’s more, this cleaner is an environment-friendly product since it isn’t made of plastic, unlike a lot of windshield washers on the market.

However, there is a downside to using a powdery product. In case it doesn’t dissolve properly, it could cause a build-up in the reservoir. So, you should check if there’s any residue in the tank every now and then.

CAF Outdoor Cleaning Semper Quick Dissolve Windshield Cleaner Mix is not meant for sub-zero conditions. Since it does nothing to prevent the water from freezing, you should either use something else in the winter or combine this windscreen washer with an antifreeze product.

Main Features:

  • Mix with water
  • Powdery texture
  • Environment-friendly
  • Convenient packaging

2. 303 Instant Windshield Washer Tablets

The 303 product is very different from other windshield washers on this list. It comes in the form of tablets that dissolve when in contact with water. One table is enough for a whole gallon of cleaner.

303 Windshield Washer Tablets are very easy to use. You should just put one in a gallon of water or drop it in an already filled washer tank. A great characteristic of this product is the fact that you don’t have to measure anything. It will save you some time on calculating the proper water-to-product ratio.

303 (230371) Instant Windshield Washer, 25 Tablet

You don’t need to stir the solution; just wait for a couple of minutes in order to give the tablet time to dissolve. Then, you can try out your new washer on the windshield.

These tablets are very effective in removing road film, dirt, and bugs from your car. Their ingredients aren’t toxic, and they are safe for paint and rubber.

Those who care about protecting the environment will be able to enjoy this product without feeling guilty. The tablets are biodegradable and reduce the amount of plastic container waste in landfills.

Even though using this product is a great time-saver, there are some downsides to it. If tablets don’t dissolve completely, they can lead to build-up in your vehicle’s washer fluid tank. In addition, some car owners would need to break the tablet in order to make it fit the tip of the reservoir. But, I can assure you that this product is worth the extra trouble.

Main Features:

  • Tablets
  • Easy to use
  • Non-toxic
  • Environment-friendly

3. Sonax Clear View Windshield Washer Concentrate

Sonax Clear View Windshield Washer Concentrate is another great product. Aside from its good cleaning abilities, this washer has a refreshing lime scent.

This windshield washer concentrate effectively removes oil, grime, silicone, and insects from your car. In addition, it doesn’t leave a dangerous residue after it’s used.

Sonax (386141) Clear View Windshield Washer 1:100 Concentrate - 8.45 oz.

The product works great for plastics and plastic diffusers in clear glass. In addition, you can use this washer to clean your Xenon headlamps, since it won’t cause cracks and dull spots on headlamp diffusers.

The bottle of this Sonax windshield washer comes with a part for measuring the product. So, it’s very practical, and it will save you some time on calculating the right amount of the solution.

Certain cleaners may contain chemicals that can damage your wipers. With this product, you will avoid this issue, because it doesn’t contain phosphate. Therefore, it’s safe for your car’s windshield blades.

Since the Sonax Clear View Windshield Washer Concentrate has the anti-lime effect, you can mix it with tap water. However, if the area where you live has “harder” water, I recommend that you use filtered or mineral water in order to prevent the nozzles from clogging.

One bottle of this Sonax product is enough to mix over six gallons of solution. So, you won’t have to purchase another bottle for a couple of months.

Sonax Clear View Windshield Washer Concentrate is a cleaner for warmer weather, which means it won’t do anything to prevent water from freezing due to a low temperature. But, the product works great when mixed with antifreeze. Therefore, you can continue using this windshield washer in the winter, just make sure you put an antifreeze product in your car’s washer tank.

Main Features:

  • Lime scent
  • Mix with water
  • Anti-lime effect
  • Phosphate-free

4. Nextzett Kristall Klar Washer Fluid Concentrate

Nextzett Kristall Klar Washer Fluid Concentrate is one of the most popular products of this brand. Since this cleaner doesn’t leave any residue or smears, it ensures visibility and safer driving. You also won’t have to deal with the white marks on your paint with this product.

This washer concentrate is very effective. It quickly gets rid of grime, bugs, tree pollen, and any other dirt from the windshield. In addition, the Nextzett product eliminates skipping and shuddering of your car’s windshield wiper.

nextzett 92100815 Kristall Klar Washer Fluid 1:200 Concentrate - 8.5 fl. oz

The washer is great for tap water because it contains softeners that prevent the build-up of minerals, which can clog spray jets of a car. Furthermore, this cleaner has a fresh citrus smell.

This product is probably one of the highest concentrated washer fluids. One bottle is enough to prepare over 12 gallons of a windshield washer.

This washer fluid concentrate doesn’t contain ammonia or phosphate. So, it won’t damage your paint, rubber, plastic, or chrome. What’s more, the Nextzett product is biodegradable.

Another advantage of this product is that it can be safely mixed with any other solution that was left from the last time you filled the washer tank. This washer is very simple to use, and it contains a built-in measuring part, so you can easily calculate how much product you need to put in. If you use distilled or soft water, I recommend you put a smaller amount of product in order to avoid smears and foaming.

The downside of this washer is the fact that it’s not suited for colder temperatures, so it won’t keep the water from freezing. But, you can mix it with an antifreeze washer fluid in winter.

Main Features:

  • Citrus scent
  • No residue
  • Contains water softeners
  • Not good for lower temperatures

5. Gunk Windshield Washer Concentrate

If you’re interested in supporting small, local business owners, then you should check out products from Gunk. You can’t go wrong with their Windshield Washer Concentrate with antifreeze.

This Gunk product contains ammonia, which is one of the best ingredients that a windshield washer can have. It will dissolve grime, dirt, and bugs. What’s more, it will leave your windscreen looking shiny and without streaks.

Gunk M516 One Each, 16 oz. Automotive Accessories

You can mix this product with water, or you can add it to your windshield washer in order to give it more powerful cleaning abilities. If you combine this concentrate with water, you’ll most likely need to use up the whole bottle. On the other hand, you won’t need that much product if you mix it with another windscreen washer.

Gunk Windshield Washer Concentrate is also a de-icer. It will help with preventing the water from freezing in sub-zero conditions.

However, it’s best that you check out the instructions that came with the product in order to inform yourself about the temperatures that this cleaner can endure. In most cases, you’ll need to add another antifreeze product in order to get the best results in extreme conditions.

Another great advantage of Gunk Windshield Washer Concentrate is its smell. Unlike most windshield cleaners on the market, this product doesn’t have a strong chemical odor.

So, Windshield Washer Concentrate from Gunk is an efficient windscreen cleaner. It will remove any dirt and residue from the glass while protecting your car’s windshield washer system from damage that lower temperatures could cause.

Main Features:

  • Anti-freeze
  • Nice smell
  • Mix with water or another washer
  • Contains ammonia

6. Rain-X White Washer Fluid Additive

As you can probably guess by the name, Rain-X White Washer Fluid Additive is a product that needs to be mixed with another one in order to reach its full cleaning potential. So, it works as additional protection for your windshield.

The main upside to adding this product to your washer is its extremely effective water beading technology. This technology increases tension on the surface, which leads to water collecting into small beads. That way, wipers can easily remove the remaining water from your car’s windshield. Therefore, Rain-X White Washer Fluid Additive is great for areas where it rains often. It will ensure that your view is clear and your drive is safer.

Rain-X RX11806D-8PK Washer Fluid Additive - 16.9 fl. oz. in Each, (Pack of 8)

What’s more, the Rain-X product will help you prevent and remove snow, ice, and sleet from your windscreen. Thus, it’s the best product that you can use when the temperature falls below zero.

In addition, Rain-X White Washer Fluid Additive will provide an additional boost to your current washer fluid, which will help you clean the dirt from the windshield more quickly. Furthermore, it’s great for getting rid of bugs and road spray, and it’ll also prevent them from sticking to the glass in the first place.

You can also dilute this washer with water. The product works just as well that way as it does when you mix it with another cleaner.

To sum up, Rain-X White Washer Fluid Additive is a good product that will give your windshield washer additional cleaning power. It gives the windscreen a water-repelling power, and it’s great for low temperatures.

Main Features:

  • Water-repellent
  • Good for low temperatures
  • Mix with water or another washer
  • Prevents the grime from sticking

7. Aqua Charge Windshield Washer Ultra Concentrate

Aqua Charge Windshield Washer Concentrate is not as popular as other products on this list. But, trust me, this windshield washer is just as good as any other cleaner from my list.

The Aqua Charge product is a great choice for anyone who wants to avoid having to buy a new windshield washer every couple of months. This cleaner will last you for years since one bottle is enough for more than fifty gallons of the washer.

Aqua Charge Windshield Washer Ultra Concentrate, 1 Quart Makes 55 gallons Finished Product

In addition, ingredients in this formula are efficient in removing bugs, tree sap, bird droppings, and filth from your windshield. What’s more, the product won’t leave any residue. It’s important to find a product that won’t leave streaks on the windshield because they reduce your visibility, which can be dangerous.

Aqua Charge Windshield Washer Ultra Concentrate comes with instructions regarding the correct product-to-water ratio. You only need to mix those two together, and they’ll be ready for use.

This windshield washer doesn’t contain methanol. So, if you want to use the cleaner in temperatures below zero, you should add an antifreeze product to the mix.

You should keep in mind that this product’s dye is very strong. Therefore, you need to make sure that you dilute it with water properly, in order to avoid blue stains on your paint.

So, Aqua Charge Windshield Washer Ultra Concentrate is a great product that will last you for years. You only need to make sure that you mix it well with water in order to prevent stains.

Main Features:

  • Lasts for years
  • Mix with water
  • No streaks
  • Methanol-free

8. McKee’s 37 Anti-Frost Windshield Washer Fluid

There are a lot of amazing products on the market that are doing a good job with cleaning windshields but aren’t meant for colder weather. So, by simply adding McKee’s 37 Anti-Frost Windshield Washer Fluid to your windscreen cleaner, you’ll ensure that your car has the best protection in low temperatures.

Besides being a great option that you can add to your current windshield washer, McKee’s 37 Anti-Frost Fluid works great on its own. You just need to mix it with water, according to instructions that come with it, and you’re good to go.

McKee's 37 MK37-540 Anti-Frost Windshield Washer Fluid, 32 oz.

If you live in a place where the temperature often falls below zero, then this cleaner from McKee is a perfect choice. It will provide protection against ice and snow and ensure your visibility.

This cleaning product will not only help you to efficiently remove any sleet and snow residue from your windshield but it will also prevent the windscreen from re-icing. So, you should use it on a regular basis in order to ensure the best possible protection during winter.

What’s more, McKee’s 37 Anti-Frost Windshield Washer Fluid is great for warmer weather. It will quickly remove road film and dirt and won’t leave streaks on the surface.

In addition, with this product, you don’t have to worry about damaging your paint. This windshield washer ingredients won’t harm the paint or the surrounding trim on your car.

To sum up, those who need an additional product that will make their windscreen cleaner perfect for sub-zero conditions should try McKee’s 37 Anti-Frost Windshield Washer Fluid. Furthermore, this washer works great when mixed with water and you can also use it during warmer months.

Main Features:

  • Good for low temperatures
  • Prevents re-icing
  • Mix with water or another washer
  • No streaks

9. Prestone Bug Wash Windshield Washer Fluid

I recommend Prestone Bug Wash Windshield Washer Fluid to those who live in warm, humid areas. This product is specifically designed for hot conditions that attract dust and pollen.

This Prestone washer fluid is a powerful product that easily removes any bug residue, bird droppings, and road grime. In addition, this cleaner is also great for getting rid of tree sap and pollen, which is very useful for car owners who are prone to allergies.

Prestone AS657 Bug Wash Windshield Washer Fluid, 128 Ounces (1 Gallon)

This cleaner’s formula does a great job at going deep into the stains, breaking them down and removing almost everything in the first swipe. It will also easily eliminate any bug residue from your car and ensure that you have a clear view through the windscreen.

What’s more, this product’s ingredients form a barrier that will help you to prevent bugs and grime from sticking to your windshield in the first place. That way, you’ll not only get help with removing the dirt from your car but also with preventing this problem in general.

Furthermore, the Prestone product repels water. So, it’ll keep the water from streaking and impairing your visibility. Therefore, it’s great for rainy environments.

If you don’t like your cleaning products to smell like chemicals, then this washer fluid is perfect for you. It has a refreshing citrus scent.

Since this windshield cleaner is made for warmer weather, it’s not the best choice for lower temperatures. However, you can combine it with an antifreeze product to prevent the liquid from freezing.

Prestone Windshield Washer Fluid is very easy to use since you don’t need to dilute it with water. If you’re dealing with more stubborn stains, you should give the solution a couple of minutes to penetrate the dirt better.

Main Features:

  • Citrus scent
  • Easy to use
  • Water-repellent
  • Great for warm weather

10. Prestone Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid

Prestone is a well-known brand when it comes to washers. So, it’s no surprise that I have two of their products on my list.

I recommend Prestone Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid to everyone who wants to avoid having to change their washer during winter or mixing the solution with an anti-freeze product. This washer contains everything you need from a product during extremely low temperatures.

Prestone AS658 Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid, 1 Gallon

The main ingredient that helps this windshield washer adjust to every season is methanol. Methyl alcohol isn’t the safest component. So, it’s best that those who live in warm areas stay away from this ingredient. Since they aren’t in need of a product with antifreeze properties, they should avoid the unnecessary risks of methanol.

However, if your winters come with sub-zero temperatures, Prestone Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid is the best choice. You can be sure that the product will do its job correctly no matter the weather due to its de-icing properties.

In addition, the Prestone product works as a bug wash. So, it will penetrate the most stubborn residue and break it down in order to quickly remove everything from your windshield.

This washer also has water repelling properties. Therefore, it will leave your windscreen without streaks and glares.

Prestone Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid is an already mixed solution, so you won’t need to add water. This cleaner has a thick consistency that won’t drip while you pour it into your car. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about the product harming your vehicle’s paint or causing discoloration.

Main Features:

  • Water-repellent
  • Good for low temperatures
  • No streaks
  • Harmless to paint
  • Easy to use

Homemade Windshield Washer Fluid Alternatives

If you aren’t sure about buying a windshield washer fluid, you should consider making one on your own. You’ll definitely save some money while not cutting back on the effectiveness of the cleaner.

What’s more, washers on the market usually contain powerful, but very harmful ingredients such as methanol. So, making your own product will give you the ability to choose safer components for your windscreen washer.

White vinegar

White vinegar is a natural alternative to chemical windshield washers. It will clean your windshield thoroughly and won’t freeze in winter.

However, you should keep in mind that the protection the white vinegar provides won’t be sufficient in extremely low temperatures. So, it’s best that you add another ingredient such as alcohol in order to strengthen the antifreeze property when temperatures fall below zero.

Vinegar does work well on its own. But, I recommend that you dilute it with water to protect your vehicle’s mechanical parts and the paint.

To create the perfect windshield washer mixture, you’ll need water, vinegar, and a large container or a jug. I always opt for distilled water because tap could clog the spray nozzle of the car.

The first step is to put three parts of water in a big container. Then, you need to pour one part of vinegar. After that, you should just stir the solution well in order to combine everything together, and you got yourself a brand new windshield washer. As you can see, the process is fast, and it’ll cost you much less than buying a professional windscreen cleaner.

Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is perfect for extremely cold weather because it freezes at a much lower temperature than water. You can add it to your store-bought windshield washer or to the white vinegar mixture that I presented above in order to make your cleaner ready for winter. Besides pure alcohol, you can use vodka. Vodka has a high level of alcohol, so it’ll give you the same results.

The percentage of alcohol you should get depends on the environment you live in. If you’re facing very low temperatures, you should use a 99 percent one. On the other hand, it’s best that those who live in warmer conditions avoid the higher level of alcohol, because it can harm the car’s paint.

Glass cleaner

If you have a cleaner for windows and glass surfaces in your household, you can use it to make a windshield washer. This solution is not expensive, and it’s great for warmer weather.

In order to create a washer for your windshield, you need to mix three parts of water with one part of a glass cleaner. You should try out the solution on your windshield to make sure that it doesn’t leave streaks.

Ammonia

Ammonia absorbs the heat, and it can endure much lower temperatures than water. Therefore, it has great antifreeze properties, and it’ll be useful for warmer weather, too.

To make a windshield washer, you’ll need a gallon of water, a tablespoon of dish soap, a half a cup of ammonia, and a larger container or a jug. Firstly, you need to combine water and dish soap in a container. Then, you only need to add ammonia, and your cleaning solution is ready.

Castile soap

Castile soap is an olive-oil-based soap that is a safer alternative to dish soap. You can use a store-bought soap, or you can make one. If you want to do the whole process of creating a washer by yourself, you can learn how to make castile soap here.

The main ingredients for making a liquid castile soap are coconut and olive oil, glycerin, distilled water, and potassium hydroxide. If you want, you can add other oils, such as jojoba and hemp oil. Since some of the components can be dangerous to inhale, make sure that you wear a mask and goggles in order to prevent possible health issues.

The first step is to mix one gallon of water with a cup of rubbing alcohol in a large container. Then, you should add a tablespoon of castile soap, and you’re good to go.

How to Pour a Windshield Washer Fluid into Your Car

You should read your car’s manual in order to check where the windshield washer reservoir is in your vehicle. In most cases, you’ll easily find it under your car’s hood. You only need to open the lid and fill it with the washer of your choice.

Before you pour the fluid into the car, you should check if there’s any residue left from previous products, especially if you used something that has a powdery texture. The buildup of products’ residue can clog up the tank. So, it’s important that you make sure that the windshield washer tank is completely clean.

A lot of reservoirs have a line that marks the maximum fill of the tank. If you can’t find it, you should check your vehicle’s instructions to ensure that you don’t go over the maximum capacity of the tank.

Final Thoughts on Windshield Washers

Using a high-quality product for your car’s windshield will not only give your vehicle a fresh, new look, but it will also ensure safer driving. So, it’s important that you find the best product out there.

If you’re thinking of using a regular cleaning supply, I urge you to rethink your decision. Products that are specially designed for windshields won’t leave streaks that reduce your visibility while driving. In addition, a lot of them have water-repelling properties which will make it easier for wipers to clear your view during the rain.

What’s more, your winters will be care-free when it comes to your windshield and the water inside the washer tank, because of the special ingredients that professional windshield washers contain. Therefore, in order to protect your safety, you should always opt for a product that is designed to keep your windscreen in good shape.

I put the years of researching the best product on the market in this article and created a list of reviews of the best windshield washer fluids out there. You can’t go wrong with any of the products, but make sure that you know what you want from a washer. To help you with that part, I made the list of features to look for in windscreen cleaners.

If you’re scared of potential harm a store-bought product’s ingredients could cause, you can always make your own windshield washer fluid. You’ll save some money, and your homemade cleaner will be ready before you know it.

So, all that’s left to do now is to choose the option that best suits your needs and your environment, and enjoy your great-looking windshield! If you found this article useful, don’t forget to come back for more tips on maintaining your car. I’ll see you in the next article!

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