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Homemade Windshield Washer Fluid

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.

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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.

  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 oz. dish soap
  • 6 oz. rubbing alcohol
Rubbing alcohol acts as kind of an antifreeze for your windshield while driving.

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:

  • 1 gallon of water
  • 8 oz. of glass cleaner
Here is a mixture for cleaning your windows at home in the house. Put the following in a spray bottle and spray onto a window and wipe off with a clean rag using long back and forth motions.
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dish soap
  • 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol

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10 Questions

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December 6, 2011

I am looking for a formula for warm weather windshield-washer fluid. Can anyone help?

By Al


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November 16, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

I think any natural cleaner for windows would work on auto glass too. Personally, I would make a solution of half isopropyl alcohol and half water. I use this for windows, glass tables and mirrors.

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November 4, 2011

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

Answers

November 4, 20110 found this helpful

In the States we can purchase windshield washer fluid that won't freeze in the winter. Check and see if you can find something like that where you live.

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November 4, 20110 found this helpful

When the winter is coming, and along with the cold comes having to scrape the car windows every morning. That is a serious pain for us, considering I am height challenged. I have a difficult time reaching the center of the windshield.

Surfing the net looking for de-icing solutions, I came across some reader tips on The Dollar Stretcher. Here is some of helpful suggestion for this problem.

1. To place 3 parts vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle, spray the windshield and all the windows and mirrors before you go to bed at night, and in the morning you should have ice free windows. You can also use rubbing alcohol if you don't have any vinegar.

2. To use two parts rubbing alcohol to one part water, and you should have no more ice.

3. To place a lightweight tarp or an old sheet over your car, and any ice buildup should quickly melt away. Sometimes this doesn't work though, because where I live, we get too much snow for lil ole me to just pull off the tarp with all the snow on it.

4. To mix rubbing alcohol and a few drops of dish liquid. Spray the windshield and in a few minutes, the ice will lift right off. Makes scraping much easier.

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November 7, 20110 found this helpful

There are usually two kinds of washer fluid, summer formula which is good for dissolving bug guts, and winter formula which does not freeze. If you have below freezing temperatures, you should be able to purchase this. If it is not readily available, ask the store where you shop to order such a product for you. Obviously, if it is needed, many people will buy it.

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November 15, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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April 18, 20170 found this helpful

Regular rubbing alcohol will work fine if added to washer antifreeze that is not strong enough. Add about 6oz. to a typical 1-gallon washer reservoir and it will boost the anti-freezing ability greatly.

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August 15, 2010

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.



Thank you.

By Mary from Irvine, CA

Answers

August 16, 20100 found this helpful

We have always used just a small amount of non-sudsing ammonia in a bucket of warm water, and a microfiber cloth to clean the windows in the autos, and home. Be sure to wear some gloves, and keep a window open for fresh air, as ammonia is irritating to most people.

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August 16, 20100 found this helpful

I know I sound like a broken record, but I use white vinegar for cleaning anything and everything. It will definitely cut grease. If it is being used on something I am not sure of, I try a small patch, and then rinse it well. So far I've been completely satisfied.

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August 19, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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January 13, 20180 found this helpful

Use any window that does have any ammonia. The spray can is the best.

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February 12, 20180 found this helpful

Use baby shampoo and water . We use it to clean windows completely before tinting them. Works like a charm

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January 31, 2011

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

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January 31, 20110 found this helpful

I would not add any Dawn dish washing soap to the windshield fluid. First you will get a lot of bubbles and soap film. Second, there will be a build up of soap scum in the small hoses that run from the fluid reservoir and then the washes will not work until the hoses have been replaced. You don't need to add alcohol as the washer fluid is a combination of water and alcohol. If you want to clean the windshield with Dawn mix some up in a pail with water and use a squeegee by hand.

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January 31, 20110 found this helpful

I agree, do not add dish detergent to you windshield fluid! You could damage a lot of parts and end up costing more than a lifetime worth of buying windshield fluid! Buy yourself a squeegee like they have at the gas station, and just clean your windows periodically. If you are out driving, and the car is warm, just toss some clean snow on the windshield before you get out, run the wipers, and that helps, too.

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January 31, 20110 found this helpful

Be sure to clean the wiper blades themselves to get a nice clean windshield.

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Anonymous
December 29, 20160 found this helpful

I DISAGREE!!! AS LONG AS YOU ONLY USE A TINY AMOUNT OF DAWN IT WILL NOT CAUSE ANY PROBLEMS! I USE IT ALL OF THE TIME IN MY OWN VEHICLES' WINDSHIELD WASHER/WIPER FLUID. I MAKE MY OWN WINDSHIELD FLUID AND HAVE USED THIS IN ALL MY VEHICLES FOR YEARS! FOR 2 GALLONS OF WINDSHIELD WASHER FLUID I USE 2 CUPS OF RUBBING ALCOHOL , 2 CUPS WHITE VINEGAR AND 1/4 TEASPOON OF BLUE DAWN DISH LIQUID ADD WATER TO THIS MIXTURE TO MAKE 2 GALLONS.
I LIVE IN NORTH CAROLINA AND WE DON'T HAVE A LOT OF SNOW AND ICE. IF YOU DO LIVE IN AN AREA WHERE SNOW AND ICE IS AN ISSUE YOU CAN SUBSTITUTE THE CHEAPEST VODKA AVAILABLE FOR THE RUBBING ALCOHOL OR YOU CAN JUST ADD A CUP OR SO OF CHEAP VODKA TO THE BASE RECIPE.
I DON'T HAVE ANY SOAP SCUM BUILD UP IN MY WINDSHIELD WASH FLUID CONTAINER. THE ALCOHOL AND THE VINEGAR PREVENT THAT HOWEVER I NEVER USE ENOUGH DAWN LIQUID DETERGENT TO CAUSE SUCH AND ISSUE!

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August 12, 2018

When making the windshield wash fluid is there something I can put in it to make rain drops roll of like Rain-X?


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August 13, 20180 found this helpful

You need a little silicone oil in the mixture. Here is a recipe. itstillruns.com/homemade-windshield-water-repellent...

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 31, 2011

I am looking for a homemade car window washer recipe.

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April 4, 2010

Does anyone have a "recipe" to make your own freeze-proof windshield washer fluid?

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January 1, 2010

Does anyone have a recipe for homemade soap for windshield washers?

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November 14, 2006
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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