The best windshield washer fluid? Is it really that important?
Can’t we just use some water from the faucet and be done with it?
Surely all we need is something to give it a basic wash?
Admittedly, if you were stuck in the deepest darkest jungle of Peru, your windshield covered in mud and bugs, certainly plain old water would be better than nothing. But, for the rest of us, why wouldn’t you get the best product for the job?
You see, windshield washer fluid is far more than a pleasant fragrance, or just some fluid that washes crud away. It can also help to prevent it from returning. It soaks off and cleans up bug splatter. Overall, it gives you clearer vision when driving. It can even help to prevent problems with vision when it rains.
Best Windshield Washer Fluids
We’ve rounded up five great products. Some to make up washer fluid, and some to add to a fluid to give it extra properties. Whatever it is that you’re looking for, I’m sure one of these products will be exactly what you need.
As the name suggests, this is an additive to put in ready-made (or made up) fluid. It can’t be used in plain water. It also has no cold weather abilities. In other words, it isn’t a standalone washer fluid.
One bottle can make up to 4 gallons. The advised ratio is 4 fluid ounces to one gallon of fluid. And it’s extremely cost-effective. Especially when you consider the benefits, which include excellent water-repelling ability, improved visibility & cleaning, and the prevention of the build-up of grime, sleet, snow, ice, and bugs.
As anyone who has ever used the Rain-X windshield treatment, it’s an excellent way of improving visibility in the rain. Liberal dosing with the treated fluid makes a huge difference to clear the bugs from the screen, once they’ve had a chance to dry out a bit.
This little bottle is a super-concentrated formula to mix up your own washer fluid. One bottle can make up to 12 gallons in total.
The bottle includes a little measuring cup at the top. It makes it so much easier to dose, either straight into your reservoir or in a container for premixing.
I’d have to say that on the whole, the Nextzett is good. It does exactly what they say it will. It reduces wiper judder, leaves a smear-free finish, and removes bugs and dirt. It also contains water softeners to help prevent hard-water mineral deposits.
It’s a handy container, easy to dose, and mixes well, a great car screenwash that was ‘developed for leading German carmakers’.
These are a great idea. 25 tablets. Either drop one in the washer fluid reservoir or a container of water. It mixes easily to form a windshield washer with 3x the power of regular washers.
Better still, you could almost label them as ‘eco-friendly’ as there’s no plastic bottle to recycle.
Each tablet makes up to 1 gallon of washer fluid. They’re very economical, and will last forever – really handy to leave in your trunk or glove box.
My only issue with putting them straight into the reservoir (and this goes for ALL these products, not just the 303 tablets) is that you may not necessarily know how much fluid is already in there.
Aqua Charge is very blue, and it’s a concentrated dye. If you spill this while mixing it, you will end up with blue floors, hands, cars, or whatever the fluid touches, even once it’s mixed to the correct ratio.
This is a great cost-effective method of making up your own washer fluid when you use it on an industrial scale. One container contains a quart of concentrate. You can mix up to 55 gallons of fluid. Although a slightly weaker mixture will, of course, see that go even further.
It’s a proprietary formula, methanol free and is great for removing tree sap, squished bugs, bird droppings, and regular dirt, all while leaving a streak-free finish and shine. I’d recommend wearing some gloves when mixing it, or you may just end up looking like a Smurf.
This patented formula has been designed specifically for harder to remove dirt – bugs in particular. Although it works well to penetrate all manner of dirt & grime, right down to tree sap and bird poop.
Not only that, but it leaves a barrier which helps to prevent further grime sticking to it. Basically, it’s giving better results the next time. It’s also perfect for repelling water – with excellent water beading qualities.
No mixing involved. It’s ready to use straight from the container. And it’s plenty cheap enough to do just that. If you don’t want the hassle of working out whether your washer reservoir is full or empty, or how diluted everything inside it is, then the Prestone AS657 is the product for you.
For best results, I’d recommend changing your windshield wipers regularly, and choosing a quality windshield wiper for replacement. Add that with any one of these washer fluids and your winter or summer driving will be easier and safer.
If your current windshield wiper blades ‘judder’, ‘shudder’ or ‘chatter’ across the screen, and you haven’t quite got round to replacing them yet, you may be able to revive them enough with a little rubbing alcohol or cider vinegar. Soak a cloth and give them a thorough once-over and it will stop it long enough for your next journey or three.