The 10 Best Windshield Washer Fluids to Buy 2020

The 10 Best Windshield Washer Fluids to Buy 2020

Safety is always the priority when you take your car on the road, and having a clean windshield is a big part of that.

Think about a situation where you’re driving down the highway in the rain, and a big truck passes you. This passing vehicle sprays dirty water and mud onto your windshield, making it difficult for you to see. You turn the wipers on, only to have the dirt and mud spread and streak across the windshield, exacerbating the problem.

Of course, the next step is to pull on the lever that releases the windshield washer fluid, which will clean your windshield and restore your view of the road, allowing you to see again. You won’t want to take any risks with a poorly performing product in this situation, which is why we’re looking at the top windshield washer fluids available today.

Things to Consider When Buying Windshield Washer Fluid

Windshield washer fluid is a simple product to use because all you have to do is pop your hood and look for the reservoir featuring a symbol with a windshield wiper in mid-spray. The cap might also say, “Washer Fluid Only.” If you’re unsure about where your fluid goes, consult your owner’s manual.

Filling the reservoir is as simple as popping the cap, opening the bottle, mixing the fluid if necessary, and carefully pouring the product into the car.

Once the fluid is in the reservoir, it will come out of a nozzle under your windshield wipers when you pull or push the proper lever. Keep in mind that these products come in various colors, but they’ll appear mostly clear when they touch your windshield.

Get to know the various products on the market before purchasing to ensure you end up with the right windshield washer fluid to meet your needs.

Does it Work?

First and foremost, you’ll want a windshield washer fluid that does an excellent job of cleaning and will improve your visibility when you need it the most. The best products on the market cut right through mud and dirt, ensuring that debris doesn’t impede your vision for long.

You could also end up with bugs all over your windshield in the summer or experience ice buildup in the winter, both of which could make it difficult to see. Luckily, there are specialized products that address these potential issues.

Types of Windshield Washer Fluid

There are three different types of windshield washer fluid from which to choose: summer, winter, and all-season. Your selection will depend on your location, your climate, and your preferences.

Summer Windshield Washer Fluid

Summer windshield washer fluid often provides the best cleaning action because it’s pure detergent without de-icer diluting the soap. Bug wash is a type of summer windshield washer fluid that does an even better job of loosening stuck-on debris, with the catch being that it costs a bit more than a basic summertime product.

Winter Windshield Washer Fluid

Winter windshield washer fluid usually contains methanol and ethylene glycol. Since you won’t run into as many bugs in the colder months, it doesn’t need the same foaming action as a bug wash, and can instead focus on eliminating winter driving problems like frost and ice.

All-Season Windshield Washer Fluid

Perhaps the most popular type of windshield washer fluid on the market is all-season, which works in most climates, even when the weather gets cold. All-season washer fluid can combine a bug wash with de-icer, providing the best of both worlds for your car. It does tend to cost more than seasonal options, however, and mixing usually means it’s slightly less effective.

Temperature Rating

Before making your purchase, you’ll want to look at the product’s temperature rating to ensure you’re selecting an item that’s right for your climate.

Generally, bug wash and other summer-use products are only usable to 32° Fahrenheit, while all-season products, like Prestone Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid, are functional down to -27° Fahrenheit. It’s possible to find winter windshield washer fluids, notably Nextzett Anti-Frost, that work down to -76° Fahrenheit, as well.

Water Repellent

Some higher-end windshield washer fluids will leave a layer of water repellent behind when you use them. Typically, leaving residue after use would be a bad thing, but in this case, it’s a positive. That’s because the rain will bead on the windshield, rather than streak across it after use.

The result is that you’ll use your wipers less and have a more transparent windshield when it rains. If you live in a rainy climate, investing in a product with a water repellent will make it easy to drive during a downpour.

Concentration Level

A final thing to consider when buying windshield washer fluid is its concentration level. Some products are pre-mixed and ready to pour while others come as a concentrate that you’ll have to add to some water.

Highly-concentrated products give you more bang for your buck and allow you to determine the product’s strength. You can mix less water if you want more cleaning power or more if you want the bottle to last longer.

On the other hand, concentrated fluids add an additional step for you. You’ll have to measure the correct amount of product and mix it with water. The job isn’t overly tricky, but does require some effort and care on your part.

Making Your Choice

As you can see, you’ll have some choices to make when selecting a windshield washer fluid, as the time of year, your community’s weather patterns, and your comfort level with mixing a detergent all factor into your decision.

Keep reading to learn which windshield washer fluid will work best for you.

Top 10 Best Windshield Washer Fluids 2020

1. Best Overall Windshield Washer Fluid: Prestone Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid

Prestone Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid

Why we like it: Prestone Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid works in all climates, so you won't have to worry about its effectiveness as the seasons change.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Low-temperature rating: -27° Fahrenheit
  • Water repellent: Yes
  • Ready-to-use: Yes

Prestone Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid does it all, making it an excellent choice for most locations throughout the country. This product is a bug wash, window cleaner, and cold-weather washer fluid in one, so you don’t have to worry about changing to a winter fluid unless it gets extremely cold where you live.

Product Use

This product doesn’t require any mixing and will remove everything from dust and dirt to ice and snow from your windshield. It also has water-repelling technology, so if you live in an area with a lot of rain, it will prevent water from limiting your visibility.

One drawback is that while the product is for use in temperatures as low as -27° Fahrenheit, it won’t immediately melt all of the ice on your windshield and can even freeze in temperatures above zero degrees. If you live in a frigid climate, a specialized winter fluid is a better bet.

Verdict

Overall, Prestone Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid is one of the most straightforward detergents to use because it works just as well in 90° weather as it does below freezing. While you might want to save some money with a designated bug wash if you live in a warm climate, and you might invest in a winterized fluid if you live in the extreme cold, this product provides all-around protection for most drivers.

Pros

  • Works in warm and cold weather
  • Requires no mixing
  • Removes ice
  • Does everything well

Cons

  • Not for extreme cold
  • More expensive than seasonal products

2. Best Budget Windshield Washer Fluid: Prestone Bug Wash Windshield Washer Fluid

Prestone Bug Wash Windshield Washer Fluid

Why we like it: Prestone Bug Wash Windshield Washer Fluid does an outstanding job of removing bugs and other stuck-on debris from your windshield.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Low-temperature rating: 32° Fahrenheit
  • Water repellent: Yes
  • Ready-to-use: Yes

Prestone Bug Wash Windshield Washer Fluid is a top choice during the warmer months because it has a power cleaner that easily cuts through stuck-on bugs, grime, tree sap, and bird droppings. The product also repels water, making it an excellent option if you live in a rainy climate.

Product Use

This product lathers up nicely and quickly removes any debris that’s stuck to your windshield. After using it once, you’ll also notice that bugs come off even easier during subsequent washes because it leaves a layer of bug-stopper behind.

The problems with Prestone Bug Wash Windshield Washer Fluid are that it has a strong odor that you can even notice inside the vehicle and doesn’t work in freezing temperatures. As a result, you’ll have to buy a winterized product if temperatures drop below freezing in your area.

Verdict

Prestone Bug Wash Windshield Washer Fluid comes pre-mixed and will ensure that your windshield is clean throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Those who deal with ice and snow in the winter should change to a different detergent before the temperatures drop, but everyone else can use this fluid throughout the year.

Pros

  • Outstanding cleaning action
  • Leaves a bug stopping residue
  • Removes bird droppings without scrubbing

Cons

  • Freezes in cold weather
  • Strong odor

3. Best Premium Windshield Washer Fluid: Nextzett Kristall Klar Washer Fluid

Nextzett Kristall Klar Washer Fluid

Why we like it: Nextzett Kristall Klar Washer Fluid is concentrated so you can mix it yourself and make it as strong as you wish.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Low-temperature rating: 32° Fahrenheit
  • Water repellent: No
  • Ready-to-use: No

Nextzett Kristall Klar Washer Fluid is a concentrated product, so one 8.5-fluid-ounce bottle creates 12 gallons of windshield washer fluid. Once you’ve mixed the product, you’ll see that it does an excellent job of removing dirt and bugs, while its included water softener prevents mineral buildup from occurring in your spray jets.

Product Use

Since Nextzett Kristall Klar Washer Fluid isn’t ready-to-use right from the bottle, you’ll have to mix it with water before putting it in your car. The result is that you’ll get a lot of washer fluid for your money, as a small bottle creates enough detergent to last you for years. This product is also free from ammonia and phosphates, so it won’t hurt your vehicle’s paint or rubber.

As with other concentrates, you run the risk of making a mistake while mixing Nextzett Kristall Klar Washer Fluid, so make sure you’re mindful of the ratios. Also keep in mind that this product is only for warm-temperature use.

Verdict

If you’re looking for a concentrated bug wash that will create multiple jugs of detergent from a small bottle of product, Nextzett Kristall Klar Washer Fluid is an option worth considering. Remember, however, that you’ll have to mix it yourself, so it’s not the best choice for leaving in your car or if you’re not confident with handling that job yourself.

Pros

  • Cleans bugs and grime
  • A little bit goes a long way
  • Prevents hard water buildup in the system

Cons

  • Only for warm weather
  • You have to mix it yourself

4. Best Environmentally-Friendly Windshield Washer Fluid: Qwix Mix Biodegradable Windshield Washer Fluid Concentrate

Qwix Mix Biodegradable Windshield Washer Fluid Concentrate

Why we like it: One bottle of Qwix Mix Biodegradable Windshield Washer Fluid Concentrate makes 32 gallons of washer fluid, and its biodegradable properties ensure that it naturally breaks down.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Low-temperature rating: 32° Fahrenheit
  • Water repellent: No
  • Ready-to-use: No

Qwix Mix Biodegradable Windshield Washer Fluid Concentrate is a highly-concentrated liquid that turns eight fluid ounces of concentrate into 32 gallons of detergent. This product is for use in the summer and does an outstanding job of cleaning dirt and grime, although it might struggle to remove stuck-on bugs.

Product Use

You’ll have to mix Qwix Mix Biodegradable Windshield Washer Fluid Concentrate with water yourself. Still, the good news is that the product has a build-in measurement apparatus that provides you with accurate results. The product is biodegradable and has only three ingredients (soap, water, and dye), making it more environmentally friendly than some other products on the market.

Keep in mind that this product will quickly freeze once temperatures drop because of its basic ingredients. It doesn’t repel water either, so you might end up using excess amounts on rainy days.

Verdict

Suppose you’re looking for a simple product that you can customize to various potencies and will do an admirable job of cleaning debris from your windshield. In that case, Qwix Mix Biodegradable Windshield Washer Fluid Concentrate is worth a shot. If you want a premium product that repels water or works in the winter, however, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Pros

  • Excellent value
  • Biodegradable and environmentally friendly
  • Comes with a measuring device

Cons

  • Will freeze
  • Doesn't repel water

5. Best Windshield Washer Fluid For Extreme Cold: Nextzett Anti-Frost Winter Windshield Washer Fluid

Nextzett Anti-Frost Winter Windshield Washer Fluid

Why we like it: Nextzett Anti-Frost Winter Windshield Washer Fluid can work even in the coldest weather you'll experience anywhere in the United States.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Low-temperature rating: -76° Fahrenheit
  • Water repellent: No
  • Ready-to-use: Yes

Nextzett Anti-Frost Winter Windshield Washer Fluid provides cold-weather coverage in temperatures reaching as low as -76° Fahrenheit, making it one of the best anti-freeze washer fluids on the market. For reference, the lowest temperature ever recorded in the contiguous United States is -70° Fahrenheit and the country’s lowest temperature ever is -80° Fahrenheit. Unless you end up in Northern Alaska in the middle of January, you should be fine when using this washer fluid.

The product is also free from toxic methanol, as it’s derived from 100% biodegradable ethanol.

Product Use

You can use Nextzett Anti-Frost Winter Windshield Washer Fluid in any weather, although it’s most useful when temperatures drop below freezing. Keep in mind that how you use this washer fluid depends on the temperatures where you live. If you live in a frigid environment, you can use this washer fluid without diluting it. In that case, it will work down to -76° Fahrenheit.

Those who live in climates that reach lows of about -6° Fahrenheit can save some money by diluting the product with water at a 1:1 ratio. The warmer the weather, the more water you can add. The washer fluid leaves an anti-ice residue behind, as well, making it easier to clear your windshield during subsequent applications.

The fact that you might have to mix this product is a concern because the ratio that you require could change with the season. For example, you might mix it at a 2:1 water-to-detergent ratio for the summer, but that mixture won’t work in the winter.

It’s best to use this product in an empty reservoir to ensure you don’t end up with too much water in your mixture.

Verdict

When winter comes, you can be confident that Nextzett Anti-Frost Winter Windshield Washer Fluid will keep your windshield free from snow and ice. No other product on the market protects at such low temperatures, making this a top choice for those in freezing climates. At the same time, those living in more moderate climates might look elsewhere for an easier-to-use windshield washer.

Pros

  • Works at -76° Fahrenheit
  • Non-toxic formula
  • Creates anti-freeze barrier

Cons

  • Not the best in the summer
  • You might have to mix it

6. Best Windshield Washer Fluid For Summer: Sonax Clear View Windshield Washer

Sonax Clear View Windshield Washer

Why we like it: Sonax Clear View Windshield Washer is an inexpensive option that cleans dirt and grime at above-freezing temperatures.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Low-temperature rating: 32° Fahrenheit
  • Water repellent: No
  • Ready-to-use: No

Sonax Clear View Windshield Washer is a basic product that leaves windshields clean and streak-free. It’s also concentrated, so its 8.45-ounce bottle creates six gallons of fluid when you mix it with water. The formula is phosphate-free and has a pleasant scent.

Product Use

The good news is that, even when diluted, Sonax Clear View Windshield Washer takes care of oil, bugs, grime, and silicone, all of which can make their way into your windshield when driving. And since each small bottle is under $12, you’ll find excellent value when purchasing, although you’ll have to mix it up yourself.

However, you should know that this product doesn’t repel water and will freeze quickly at colder temperatures. Therefore, it works best in a climate without cold weather or excess precipitation.

Verdict

Sonax Clear View Windshield Washer is a reliable product that will clean your windshield when the weather is ideal. However, if you are in a climate with heavy rains or extreme cold, you’re better off going with a specialized washer fluid that better addresses your needs.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Smells nice
  • Removes most debris

Cons

  • Doesn't repel water
  • Not for freezing temperatures

7. Best Windshield Washer Fluid For Winter: Prestone De-Icer Windshield Washer Fluid

Prestone De-Icer Windshield Washer Fluid

Why we like it: Prestone De-Icer Windshield Washer Fluid melts ice and frost quickly when temperatures drop.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Low-temperature rating: -27° Fahrenheit
  • Water repellent: No
  • Ready-to-use: Yes

If you’re going with different windshield washer fluids for summer and winter, Prestone De-Icer Windshield Washer Fluid is an excellent product to consider. This detergent performs to the same low temperatures as Prestone Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid and works even faster to remove ice, snow, and frost thanks to its higher methanol content.

Product Use

Prestone De-Icer Windshield Washer Fluid is a powerful formula that will address winter-related problems for your windshield in a hurry. The detergent’s make-up takes ice and frost into consideration, ensuring it can clear your windshield faster in extreme cold than many other products.

You can also use this windshield washer fluid in the summer, although you’ll notice a difference between it and summer-specific detergents. That’s Prestone De-Icer Windshield Washer Fluid isn’t a bug wash and doesn’t repel water. As a result, it struggles to generate the same cleaning power as other items on this list, limiting its warm weather effectiveness.

Verdict

If you’re doing a fair amount of winter driving this year, Prestone De-Icer Windshield Washer Fluid is worth throwing into your car because it’s inexpensive and does an excellent job of keeping ice and frost off your windshield when it’s cold. For more moderate climates or during the summer months, consider alternative options.

Pros

  • Works well in the cold
  • Removes ice and frost
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Doesn't repel water
  • Not a bug wash

8. Best Windshield Washer Fluid Tablet: Wemk Car Windshield Glass Concentrated Clean Washer Tablets

Wemk Car Windshield Glass Concentrated Clean Washer Tablets

Why we like it: Wemk Car Windshield Glass Concentrated Clean Washer Tablets are inexpensive and easy to store anywhere in your home or vehicle.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Low-temperature rating: 23° Fahrenheit
  • Water repellent: No
  • Ready-to-use: No

Wemk Car Windshield Glass Concentrated Clean Washer Tablets are unique to this list because they are the only tab-based washer fluids. When dissolved in water, the product becomes a detergent that quickly removes dirt and other contaminants from your windshield. The package comes with 30 tablets, each of which makes four liters of fluid, so this product is cost-efficient for car owners, too.

Product Use

Just like the highly-concentrated formulas, you’ll have to mix Wemk Car Windshield Glass Concentrated Clean Washer Tablets with water before using. The good news is that you don’t have to measure anything, as you can just pop a tablet into water. There are two ways of combining the product, as you can either put the tablet in a jug and fill it with water or place the tablet directly in your reservoir and add liquid.

This product is a summer formula that only works to about 23° Fahrenheit. There’s also the chance that it will clog your sprayer jets if it doesn’t dissolve properly, leaving you with a potentially expensive repair to make. You can avoid this issue by pre-mixing the tablet in a jug and making sure it dissolves before adding it to your car.

Verdict

If you’re looking for an inexpensive and convenient alternative to traditional windshield washer fluids, consider Wemk Car Windshield Glass Concentrated Clean Washer Tablets. This detergent is an above-average product that you can keep pretty much anywhere, including in your glove compartment for emergencies. However, the tablets might clog your jets if they don’t dissolve properly, so keep that in mind if you go this direction.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Remove dirt efficiently
  • Easy to store

Cons

  • Could clog your jets
  • Doesn't work in cold temperatures

9. Rain-X Windshield Washer Fluid

Rain-X Windshield Washer Fluid

Why we like it: Rain-X Windshield Washer Fluid is a high-end product that's a bug wash and de-icer in one.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Low-temperature rating: 0° Fahrenheit
  • Water repellent: Yes
  • Ready-to-use: Yes

Rain-X Windshield Washer Fluid is in the same class as Prestone Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid because it works in cold temperatures, removes bugs efficiently, and has water-repelling technology. Where it falls short is on the price, as it’s significantly more expensive than its competitors without performing better in cold temperatures.

Product Use

Rain-X is a giant in the windshield washer fluid industry, and its all-season formula is one of the best available. This product is ready to go directly into your windshield washer fluid reservoir, and since it works when temperatures drop, there’s no need to switch to a different product in the winter unless you live in an area with extreme lows.

Rain-X Windshield Washer Fluid falls short because it’s not quite as good or as inexpensive as other all-season options like Prestone’s 3-in-1.

Verdict

There’s nothing wrong with Rain-X Windshield Washer Fluid, and if you can find it at a reasonable price, you should have full confidence in its ability. In fact, it’s one of the best windshield washer fluids on the market and will provide you with everything you need from a slightly more expensive option.

Pros

  • Works in the winter
  • Protects the windshield
  • Cleans bugs and other difficult debris

Cons

  • Expensive

10. Best Windshield Washer Fluid For Fleets: 2010 Products Windshield Washer Fluid - Ultra Concentrate

2010 Products Windshield Washer Fluid - Ultra Concentrate

Why we like it: One bottle of 2010 Products Windshield Washer Fluid - Ultra Concentrate turns into 55 gallons of high-quality washer fluid.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Low-temperature rating: 36° Fahrenheit
  • Water repellent: No
  • Ready-to-use: No

The best thing about 2010 Products Windshield Washer Fluid – Ultra Concentrate is that a 32-ounce bottle makes 55 gallons of fluid. That makes this product perfect if you have a fleet of vehicles, run an auto shop, or have a car dealership. Even if you only have one car, it’s nice to know that one bottle of this product will likely last as long as your automobile does.

Product Use

Setting this product up is as simple as putting two caps full of detergent into a one-gallon jug and then filling it with water. From there, you can replenish your reservoir with this high-end product that cleans bugs, removes grease, and is low in VOCs. Be aware, however, that this windshield washer fluid doesn’t work in cold temperatures.

Verdict

No other product on the market goes as far as 2010 Products Windshield Washer Fluid – Ultra Concentrate because once you buy a bottle of it, you might have enough windshield washer fluid to last the rest of your life. At the same time, you’ll need a different product to use in the winter, and you’ll have to go through the hassle of measuring it into a jug and adding water rather than using it right from the container.

Pros

  • Highly-concentrated
  • Washes away bugs

Cons

  • Only for summer use
  • Mixing it is a hassle

Guide to Buying the Best Windshield Washer Fluids

You’ll have some choices to make before selecting a windshield washer fluid for purchase, and much of it comes down to your personal preferences. Here’s a bit of additional information to help you along the way.

Bug Wash or All-Season

The differences between a summer bug wash and an all-season option are subtle but will influence which one you ultimately select.

When you go with a bug wash washer fluid, you’re selecting a product with powerful cleaning action that will quickly remove stuck-on debris. These detergents prevent bugs, tree sap, and bird droppings from streaking on your window and causing visibility problems.

All-season wiper fluids can also work well as a bug wash but have the added ability to melt ice and frost from your windshield. They’re also more expensive.

If cold weather is a concern in your area and you’re replenishing your reservoir in the fall or winter, an all-season option is your best bet. Those who live in warmer climates or are filling their cars with windshield washer fluid in the spring or early summer can save some money by choosing a bug wash.

Concentrated or Ready-to-Use

Another decision you’ll have to make is whether to select a highly-concentrated windshield washer fluid or go with a product that’s ready to use when you receive it. Once again, your choice comes down to your personal preference because concentrated fluids generally provide better bang for your buck and allow you to determine how strong a detergent you want.

On the other hand, pre-mixed fluids are more convenient because you can pour them right into the reservoir without measuring or mixing. You also can’t adjust the mixture to meet your needs and will generally cost you more long-term.

Car owners who aren’t scared of a little extra work can surely save some money by purchasing concentrated products, but if you’re willing to pay for convenience, the mixed items are the way to go.

Winterize Your Fluid

Just because you’ve bought a summer windshield washer fluid doesn’t mean you’ll have to use it all up before temperatures drop in the winter. That’s because you can add a de-icer, such as methanol, ethanol, or rubbing alcohol, to your existing detergent to make it freeze-proof.

Some products, such as Qwix Mix Biodegradable Windshield Washer Fluid Concentrate, even have instructions on the package explaining how to winterize the fluid. The chart shows how much de-icer you’ll need to add to your mixture for protection at your desired temperatures. You can also replace some of the fluid with a winter option like Nextzett Anti-Frost to give a little freeze-resistance in a pinch.

Health Warnings

It’s important to remember that many windshield washer fluids contain toxic ingredients that you’ll want to be careful not to ingest.

Products like Prestone De-Icer Windshield Washer Fluid contain methanol and ethylene glycol, both of which can harm people, even in small amounts.

A teaspoon of methanol, for example, can lead to blindness or death, while a tablespoon of ethylene glycol can cause kidney failure or death. Make sure you store any leftover product in a safe place and keep your children and pets away from the fluid.

Related Products

While you’re shopping for windshield washer fluid, consider some other products that are both inexpensive and make a big difference:

  • Car Wash Kits: Windshield washer will take care of the windscreen, but what’s keeping the rest of your car clean? Consider a kit with different products for different surfaces.
  • Other Fluids: While you’re topping off your windshield washer fluid, might as well top off your power steering fluid, brake fluid, and change your oil. You’ll be surprised how good it will feel to knock out all those maintenance tasks at once.
  • Window Tints: Looking to keep that custom windshield clean in both senses of the word? Buy a window tint to add a sleek look to your car.

FAQ

Do you have more queries about windshield washer fluid? Hopefully, this list of frequently asked questions can help.

Can I Use Pure Water?

Putting water in your windshield washer reservoir might seem like an easy solution when you run out, and it can work short-term in a pinch. However, the problems you’ll encounter will quickly outweigh any cost benefits.

For starters, mixing water with dirt makes mud. So, if you end up with dust and grime on your windshield, adding water to the mix will turn it into a mess.

The same can be said for bird droppings and bugs, as water will move the mess around, smearing it all over the windshield and reducing your visibility.

You also run the risk of cold temperatures freezing your entire reservoir if it contains pure water. If you find yourself in this position, you can end up with an expensive repair once ice cracks the plastic.

What Happens if I Use Summer Fluid in the Winter or Vice Versa?

Using a summer windshield washer fluid in the winter can be dangerous because it could freeze on your windshield and reduce your visibility. It’s a good idea to switch to a de-icing formula when the temperatures drop for safety reasons. Summer washer fluid is also prone to freezing in the water reservoir.

It’s less dangerous to use a winterized windshield washer fluid in the summer. The only catch is that the product will have less cleaning power because ethanol and methanol take up space in the container. The result is less soap for your money. You might have to use more fluid to eliminate bugs or other summertime debris because of this lessened cleaning ability.

Is it Hard to Mix Concentrated Fluid?

Not really, but you’ll want to be careful.

Windshield washer fluids have all kinds of chemical make-ups, with some being made purely from soap and other containing potentially dangerous materials like methanol. Low-temperature fluids are banned in most of California for that reason.

When mixing concentrated fluid, have a jug ready, and dilute the product with water immediately to avoid problems. You might also consider using gloves in case you spill.

A pro tip? Mix the concentrated fluid with water in a separate container, rather than directly in the reservoir, to prevent suds and foam from forming and temporarily clogging your system.

Why Does De-icing Fluid Sometimes Freeze?

If you live in a cold climate, you probably know that wiper fluid with temperature ratings down to -27° Fahrenheit can freeze on your windshield even in above-zero weather.

This freezing occurs because, as you drive, the methanol in the de-icer fluid evaporates, particularly before your car has a chance to warm up. Rain and melting ice can also dilute ethanol, causing similar problems.

You can prevent this issue by allowing your defrost to warm your windshield before you drive anywhere. A warmer windshield will prevent the ethanol from evaporating, keeping your cold-weather windshield washer fluid working as it should.

Wrapping Up

Your car’s windshield is your portal into the outside world, allowing you to see potential hazards as you navigate the roads. Without a clean windshield, you’re driving blind. Invest in the right windshield washer fluid to match the season, your driving conditions, and your climate for the best possible results.