Safe driving calls for a clean windshield as dirt, dust, smears, and any other kind of debris can disturb or reduce the driver’s vision significantly, especially when driving conditions are poor. Nevertheless, commonplace cleaners for windshield have methanol, which can be quite harmful to the environment even in small amounts.
Due to this, many car owners look for safe and cheap alternatives. While it is true that other options are not as effective and environmentally friendly always, it is quite easy to prepare your own windshield washing liquid at home.
To make it, you just need some spare time and access to a few household ingredients which are found in your shed, kitchen, or garage. In this article, we have brought different options for you to make your own windshield washing fluid at home.
4 Easy Ways to Make How Homemade Windshield Washer Fluid
1. Window Cleaner
An ideal windshield wash for common use can be a diluted window cleaner. However, to make sure it is effective enough, you must ensure that no suds or residues are left behind. To prevent any mineral deposits from building up in the pump or nozzles of the washing system, use distilled water over tap water.
Following are the steps to make your own home made windshield washing liquid using window cleaner:
- Get hold of an empty container that can hold at least 1.5 gallons of liquid. Having something that pours easily will be even more ideal.
- Pour in one gallon of distilled water in the empty container.
- Now add one cup glass cleaner and mix well.
- On a clean rag, use a small amount of this solution to test on your windshield. If it wipes away all the dirt, without any residues being left behind, you are good to go!
2. Dish Soap and Ammonia
If you drive through muddy areas often, this option is great for you. However, you must be careful particularly when handling ammonia. Use ammonia-free from any additives and surfactants, and work in a well-ventilated space with it.
Also, make sure no suds are caused by ammonia. Similarly, ensure that the dish soap you are using does not foam a lot and is appropriate for glass. As mentioned earlier, use distilled water so that no minerals deposit in the spray nozzles or container pumps.
Following are the steps to make a dish soap and ammonia:
- Get a clean, empty container able to hold over one gallon of liquid, easy to pour from, and add one gallon of distilled water to it.
- Carefully measure a tablespoon of dish soap and add it to the water. adding too much will make the mixture very thick.
- Now add half a cup of ammonia to the mixture.
- Mix everything well, and test on a small area before using on your car.
Vinegar is known for its cleaning characteristics and is used as an alternative window cleaner often. Similarly, it is great for use as a windshield cleaner as well. Make sure you only use white vinegar so that no stain or residue is left behind. However, using vinegar in warmer climates isn’t recommended as it may cause a very unpleasant smell.
Following are the steps to prepare a windshield cleaning liquid using vinegar:
- Again, find an empty, clean jug having a capacity of over a gallon.
- Add ¾ parts of distilled water and four cups of white vinegar.
- Now shake well to mix the ingredients.
- Check the solution on a small area before using on the car.
Note that, if your area has near-freezing temperature, perform a freeze test before the solution is added to the vehicle. Leave a cup of this solution outside for one night and check it in the morning. If it freezes, add an additional two cups of white vinegar and repeat the freeze test. If this concentrated solution also freezes overnight, you should try our final option.
4. Rubbing Alcohol
This isn’t really a separate cleaner, but an addition that can be done to any of the above options. Tubbing alcohol can be added to any of the above solutions to prevent them from freezing. During mild winters, it is recommended to use 70% rubbing alcohol. However, in extreme weather, using 99% rubbing alcohol will be more effective. Just follow the steps below to add rubbing alcohol in your favorite cleaning solution:
- Prepare your preferred cleaning fluid.
- Add a cup of rubbing alcohol to it.
- Leave a small amount of the new solution outside overnight.
- If this mixture freezes during the night, add an additional one cup of rubbing alcohol to the main container, and repeat the test.
Safety Tips for Homemade Windshield Cleaning Fluid
It is imperative for your vehicle’s health that the cleaning solution does not freeze. If it does, the hose will be ruptured and you will have to incur an expensive repair.
Safety Tip #1:
Ensure that the windshield cleaner fluid reservoir is empty before you switch to another mixture. In addition, it is great to flush clean water in the lines to prevent any potential clogs. If the same cleaner is being used, simply top up the fluid already present. It is great to add fluid using a funnel to prevent any spillage, as though the solutions are diluted the chemicals can still damage the paintwork and other surfaces with time.
Safety Tip #2:
Make sure that the windshield cleaning liquid is stored in a safe place. Label all containers having these liquids and keep them away from your kids’ and pets’ reach. It is also important to store them at a constant temperature and stop them from freezing as it will keep them from contracting or expanding in the containers causing any potential spills and other incidents.
Safety Tip #3:
You may use plain water as a substitute for any of these mixtures, but just in case of emergency as water alone is unable to cut through the grime as effectively. It provides a breeding ground for various bacteria and is also likely to smear.
Safety Tip #4:
Finally, if the car sensor is unable to measure the windshield washer fluid present in the reservoir appropriately, just add some blue food coloring to the solution which will stop the sensor from misreading the fluid levels in the reservoir.