Homemade Windshield Washer Fluid: Perfect Recipe


Visibility through your windshield is a critical part of road safety and auto glass maintenance. Particles, dust, dirt and other conditions can play a major part in your ability to navigate in any environment. The cleanliness of your auto glass can also mean the difference between repairing or replacing your windshield later on.

Methanol is predominantly used in commercial windshield washer fluid. This highly toxic compound is potentially very dangerous and hazardous to the natural environment. With cost savings as a reasonable goal, you can use an alternative windshield washing fluid with more money left in your pocket. 

Each method has various levels of effectiveness and cost. Maximize the value and glass cleaning ability by producing a homemade windshield washer fluid. You’ll find many of these ingredients readily available at home. We highly recommend using distilled water in all of these mixtures, in order to protect your vehicle. 


Glass Cleaner with Distilled Water 

The softer the mineral content in your water, the more reliable this solution is. This is true no matter what type of windshield glass you have. Minerals in tap water tend to clog up the windshield washer spray nozzles and pump. Depending on the type of window cleaner you use, you can reduce and eliminate streaks as well.

How to Make Distilled Glass Cleaner 

About two gallons is large enough, provided that it’s clean and can pour comfortably into your windshield washer reservoir. Add one cup of window cleaner and a gallon of distilled water, mixing vigorously. Test the solution to make it as effective and streak free as possible. 

Dish Soap with Ammonia 

This is a particularly powerful option for cleaning dirt and mud. However, caution must be practiced when working with ammonia, including having a well-ventilated working space. The ammonia itself also shouldn’t contain any surfactants or additives. Choose the right type of dish soap as well, as you don’t want something that’ll produce suds. As with the previous solution, distilled water will prevent mineral buildup in your pump and spray nozzles. 

How to Make Ammonia and Dish Soap Windshield Washer Fluid 

Pour one gallon of distilled water into a two-gallon container with a cap. Measure exactly one tablespoon of dish soap and one-half cup of ammonia. Close the container and shake until well mixed. Test the solution on your windshield to confirm that it doesn’t produce suds or leave streaks. 


Vinegar with Distilled Water 

While the smell of vinegar can be unpleasant in warmer climates, it’s a very effective and popular alternative to chemical glass cleaner. In fact, it can also be used to remove hard water spots from your windshield.

On the other hand, you might choose to use two additional cups of vinegar to prevent freezing in colder climates. Our specific recommendation is to use white vinegar with distilled water, in the proportions mentioned in the how-to section. 

How to Make Vinegar Windshield Washer Fluid 

Combine ¾ gallon of soft, distilled water with four cups of white vinegar in a two-gallon container. Shake vigorously until well mixed, and then test on a portion of your windshield. As mentioned previously, you may choose to experiment with additional vinegar to confirm that your solution won’t freeze overnight. 

Rubbing Alcohol to Prevent Freezing 

Isopropyl alcohol is very effective in keeping your homemade windshield washer fluid from freezing. It can also be used to defrost your windshield in a pinch.

The type of rubbing alcohol you use will vary depending on the temperature. Generally, 99% rubbing alcohol is ideal for very cold environments, while 70% rubbing alcohol is perfectly fine for just under freezing temperatures. 

How to Add Rubbing Alcohol to Homemade Windshield Washer Fluid 

After mixing one of the recommended homemade solutions, add a cup of your appropriate choice of rubbing alcohol. Pour a test amount into a closed container and leave it out overnight to test its ability to prevent freezing. If it’s too cold, either add an additional cup of rubbing alcohol or switch to the 99% variety. 

How to Make Homemade Windshield Washer Fluid Safely 

Keeping your windshields clean is an important part in road safety and even things like preventing windshield fog. In terms of personal health, it’s important to mix your solution in a well-ventilated area. As part of choosing the appropriate container for the job, also label each of your solutions clearly, as we are dealing with toxic components. 

To protect your vehicle’s windshield washer system, we also recommend using distilled water over conventional tap water. Using the freezing preventative measures is important, as well as draining any remaining fluid in your vehicle’s reservoir before adding your homemade solution. Another useful tip is that you can add blue food colorant to your mixtures to help your vehicle’s sensors determine fluid levels. 

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