The kind of commercial windshield washer fluid that is so convenient to buy at the store contains methanol. Methanol is extremely poisonous and is dangerous to breathe or touch. Less than a half of a teaaspoon can cause blindness and less that two ounces can kill a person.
On top of the dangers to the people using it, it causes environmental damage, by leaking onto the ground when we spray our windows with it. It also gets into the air as pollution. Billions of gallons of this washer fluid ends up in the environment every single year.
Here are directions for making your own windshield cleaning solution fluid.
Shake this all up in a jug, and then let the bubbles go down and pour into your windshild washer fluid canister to the fill line. Please mark the container with the ingredients so it will be easy to remember how to mix it up.
Another mixture is the following for during the times when you don't really have freezing weather to deal with:
Will adding Dawn dishsoap to the windshield washer fluid help cut the winter grime from windshield? How much do you add?
By Papa from Blackstone, MA
Be sure to clean the wiper blades themselves to get a nice clean windshield.
When I used the windshield washer system on my car last winter (ice condition weather), the water on the windshield became ice very soon. Now what kind of alcohol can I mix with water and at what percent?
By Mori from Tehran
I find methylated spirits does the trick for my windshield washing as to what strength just keep trying till you find the right mix our winters here in the UK are not as harsh as the USA.
I need a good, non-streak, washing liquid for the windshield of my car. Not for the windshield washer, this is so I can wash the inside and outside of my windshields and not have a film or streaking.
By Mary from Irvine, CA
For the outside, just use water, or dish soap or Mr. clean or similar in water and a squeegee. For the inside, I use Windex and a towel.
I am looking for a formula for warm weather windshield-washer fluid. Can anyone help?
Where your car is concerned you are better off buying something that is made for cars. Go to a discount store and get something inexpensive and buy several jugs. It's ok if it is for winter use, the only thing about it is that it won't freeze. Get it on sale and you will have enough to last through the winter which is when you use the most.
Makes one gallon.
Optional: You can add some blue food coloring if you like!
Be sure to label the container as this will be toxic for the little ones.
By the wisdom
Does anyone have a recipe for homemade soap for windshield washers?
Mami from Pensacola, FL
By Brent From NZ
So with that said, the amount I dilute depends on what month it is. In January and February, I add little water, in summer time I've used almost straight water. But I usually don't go quite that far. The mix is somewhere in between for the rest of the months. My car is garaged at night, so it stays a smidge above the outside temp. (01/24/2007)
By S Durf
Also you need a big bottle of dish wash detergent like Dawn, but that's too expensive so get the cheapest brand you can find. Big Lots is good for this also, though the best I found was at Dollar General. You need to calculate the cents per ounce, a good price is 4 cents per ounce or lower, so if it's a 24 ounce bottle it should cost no more than 96 cents.
Then you need some 1 gallon jugs, save your milk containers and anything else that fits 1 gallon, you want to make this stuff 4-6 or more gallons at a time or it's not profitable.
Then, the formula:
This works great, not sure how freeze resistant it is, but it's way better than store bought washer fluid. Have I used it? I have been making it like that for 4 years now. (11/14/2007)
I found a manufacturer who has in his web site the formulas for about 5 grades of cleaner. The wetting agent they add in very small amounts helps to reduce streaking. As a old school photographer, the term wetting is well known and was used to the same end on film. A very cheap and concentrated product called "Photoflo". Hope this helps. Info site: recochem.com (12/29/2008)
% by Weight
I have used this for many years with excellent results. Good to at least -40F. The key is methanol; the heavier alcohols such as Isopropyl require much higher percentages to work. You have to use about 70% by weight for 90% Isopropyl to have the same effect, the cost is too high. (02/09/2009)
By Real Chemist
Does anyone have a "recipe" to make your own freeze-proof windshield washer fluid?
By Sheila from Springfield, IL
What I do is take a gallon jug, add water until its about 2/3 full. Then I add any kind of window cleaner. I open the window cleaner and pour some of it in. If it's winter time and you are afraid of it freezing, add a bottle of some type of rubbing alcohol. I only add the Windex so it's blue.
You can just use rubbing alcohol and mix that with water. Most rubbing alcohol is about 70 or 80 percent strength. So personally I would add say 16 ounces to 48 ounces of water and mix. The whole purpose of making it yourself is to save money over buying it, so keep that in mind. (02/22/2010)
I am looking for a homemade car window washer recipe.
By drmegumi from Albuquerque, NM
Vinegar will help keep windshields ice and frost free. When a car has to be left outside overnight in the winter, coat the windshields with a solution of 3 parts white distilled vinegar to 1 part water. A good tip for frost free windshields is believe it or not shaving cream. Rub it in good and wipe off when it starts to fog up, then reapply. You can also use the above tip with alcohol instead of vinegar; I like the green kind best. (04/08/2010)