Best Windshield Washer Fluids: Buying Guide and Top 9 Picks of 2021

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The cleanliness of your windshield is more important than you think. A dirty and grimy windshield impairs visibility and makes driving difficult which can lead to collisions and accidents.

Thankfully, the best windshield washer fluids come to your rescue as they can keep the squeaky glass clean without causing any damage.

Best Windshield Washer Fluids

They also ensure wipers do not slip while you are using them, and this, in turn, enhances the performance and longevity of the windshield wipers.

But how to choose a reliable windscreen washer is a question a lot of drivers ask, as most of these solutions have similar composition. So here are the windshield washer fluid reviews that will help you make an informed buying decision.

Contents (Jump to Topic)

Quick Summary

Benefits of Using Windshield Washer Fluid

Many vehicle owners are under the misconception that they do not require windshield washer fluid since they have access to plain water and it is more than enough to clean the windscreen. While water will remove superficial dirt and grime, you will not get the best results.

Best Windshield Washer Fluids

For effective and efficient cleaning and protection of your windshield, you require the best windshield washer fluids. It makes the entire task of cleaning easier.

Here are some benefits of using different types of windshield washer fluids:

Improves Safety While Driving

A good and effective windshield washer fluid helps improve visibility during rain. Did you know a majority of accidents in the US occur due to poor visibility in the rain? So, using a washer fluid helps to keep you safe.

Prevents Damage to the Windshield Washer System

If you use just water, the minerals in the water can corrode and damage the washer system. Using a windshield washer prevents this from occurring.

It also ensures that you do not have to contend with damaged washer pumps and burst lines when the temperature plunges.

Easy Windshield Maintenance

You do not have to use elbow grease to clean and make your vehicle’s windshield dirt-free. The additives and solvents in the windshield washer fluids do the job for you.

When you have a clean windshield, it is easier to spot minor cracks and chips. That way, you will be able to fix the issue before it turns into a major problem.

Easy to Use

Most windshield washer fluids are easy to use. You just have to check the instructions on the rear label to see how to dilute and use the fluid. If you follow the instructions with care, you will improve your safety and visibility without worrying about streaks.

To enjoy these benefits of using windshield washer fluids, it is necessary that you have the knowledge to shortlist the best windshield washer fluids.

Types of Windshield Washer Fluids

Many vehicle owners may not be aware that there are different types of windshield washer fluids. Knowing the different types will allow you to make a prudent purchase decision.

Types of Windshield Washer Fluids

Anti-Freeze Windshield Washer Fluid

It is designed to prevent the windshield and the washer system from freezing. Its main ingredient is methanol, which has a high freezing point, allowing you to use this fluid in extremely cold weather.

Water Repellent Windshield Washer Fluid

If you reside in an area that receives heavy rainfall, you should use this washer fluid. It removes water from the windshield and improves visibility. It also repels water, including ice.

De-Icer Windshield Washer Fluid

If you do not have a garage and park your vehicle outside during winters, you need this windshield washer fluid to clean the ice collected on the windshield. It can even tackle light frost and improves visibility while driving.

Bug Repellent Windshield Washer Fluid

Bugs splattering on the windshield reduce visibility and leave unsightly stains. This washer fluid cleans bug splatter and stains with ease and is also effective against tree sap and bird droppings.

Tablet Form of Windshield Washer Fluid

This is the easiest windshield washer fluid to handle. Just dissolve the tablet in a gallon of water and fill the wiper washer tank to clean the windshield on demand.

Liquid Concentrate Windshield Washer Fluid

This is a highly concentrated form of windshield washer fluid. You need to dilute it with water in a specific ratio. Such washer fluids are long-lasting, effective, and inexpensive.

Factors to Consider Before Buying Windshield Washer Fluids

While you will find windshield washer fluid reviews helpful to shortlist the best product, there are a few factors that you need to keep in mind. These factors will help you choose the most suitable windshield washer for your needs.

Climate Consideration

Always ensure that the washer fluid is right for the climate in your region. It is best to go in for an all-season windshield washer fluid so that you do not have to keep changing the fluid as the season changes.

Usually, you just have to add a de-icer solution in all-season washer fluid to prevent it from freezing, and the same fluid will then function as an anti-freeze and de-icer to keep the windshield wiper washer system in good condition.

Water Repellent Properties

In case you live in an area that experiences heavy precipitation, it is best to purchase a windshield washer fluid that has water repellent properties. That way, during a heavy downpour, water will just wipe off from the glass without obscuring your vision.

Water Beading Technology

Besides water repellent properties, a good windshield washer fluid should not allow rainwater to pool on the screen and adversely affect your vision of the road. This can be prevented with the help of water beading technology that makes water into beads that roll off the glass of the windshield.

Methanol Content

Methanol is an anti-freeze and should be part of a washer fluid only if you live in a place where wintertime temperatures plunge to freezing point.

If you do not live in such a place, go with a washer fluid that has low methanol content, as this compound is toxic in nature.

Also, in extreme heat, methanol heats up quickly and becomes inflammable. Instead, you can go with washer fluids that contain ethanol, which has a more tolerable odor and is safe for long-term use.

Ethylene Glycol Washer Fluid

If you are looking for a washer fluid that also functions as an anti-freeze, an ethanol washer fluid is better than methanol-based fluids.

Make sure that you choose a fluid that uses ethylene glycol, which is a form of ethanol.

This compound has polishing properties, so it will remove dirt, bug splatter, and grime and also polish the windscreen with each swipe of the wiper. Also, such a fluid can be diluted quite easily with water.

Best Windshield Washer Fluids – Our Top 9 Picks for 2021

As you are now aware of the different types of windshield washer fluids, benefits, and features to consider; let’s look at the best windshield washer fluids available in the market today.

1. Prestone Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid – Editor’s Choice

Best Winter Windshield Washer Fluid

Prestone Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid comes from a reliable and reputable brand, which provides quality and effective products.

Not only is this washer fluid the best winter windshield washer fluid, but it can also effectively clean bug splatter and tree sap in summer and all other seasons. It definitely makes the glass cleaner and clearer, without leaving behind residues and streaks.

The washer fluid has a de-icer, making it the ideal choice for freezing temperatures. It seamlessly removes ice buildup from the windshield and also tackles sleet and snow with the same ease. You will not see the liquid freezing even at -27 F.

It comes with water-repelling beading technology, so whether it is rain, snow, or sleet, it will not adhere to the windshield and obstruct your view of the road. Instead, the rainwater or snow will just slide off the windshield, ensuring optimal visibility.

So, this 3-in-1 windshield washer fluid keeps your windshield clean and sparkling and also improves visibility in challenging weather conditions, thereby ensuring you enjoy safe driving conditions regardless of the weather.

  • Multiple actions in a single product
  • Does not freeze even at -27 deg F and hence, can be used in freezing temperatures
  • Can eliminate bug splatter and even tree sap with relative ease
  • Uses water repellent beading technology for safe driving
  • Has an unpleasant odor
  • It may eat the paint if falls over the hood

2. RainX Windshield Treatment

RainX Windshield Treatment

When you are looking for the best windshield washer fluids, RainX windshield treatment will be listed among the best. In fact, Rain-X brand is one of the most recognizable brands among average motorists. Most automotive supply stores have an inventory of this product and you can easily purchase it online.

The washer fluid is easy to use. Just spray it onto the windshield and then wipe it off. You do not have to worry about mixing it with anything else or using a separate cleaner for your windshield. It comes in a handy spray bottle equipped with a trigger.

However, if you want optimal results, it is advisable to follow the manufacturer’s instructions mentioned on the label. It is essential that you coat the spray evenly on the windshield and then aggressively buff the glass to prevent streaking and smearing by the leftover residues.

While it is touted as the best windshield washer fluid for cars, you would require two coats of the fluid for the desired result. Also, the effect does not last long. Hence, you will have to apply it every few weeks to ensure you enjoy the benefits of this windshield washer fluid.

  • Repels water with relative ease
  • Improves visibility during a downpour
  • Cost effective
  • Easy to buy
  • Easy to use as there is no need to mix any other product
  • Comes in a handy spray bottle
  • Requires application of two coats for the best results
  • Effects do not last too long and hence, requires frequent application

3. Aqua Charge Windshield Washer Ultra Concentrate

Aqua Charge Windshield Washer Ultra Concentrate

When you go through windshield washer fluid reviews, you will often find that the Aqua Charge Windshield Washer is not the easiest formulae to use. Nonetheless, if you are looking for the best concentrate windshield washer fluid that offers value for money; this is the one for you.

The concentrate is easy to use. One container of the washer fluid makes up to 55 gallons of windshield cleaning solution. So, you can be sure that the fluid will last for a long time.

However, it is not the best fluid for colder climates as it does not contain methanol. So, the chances of the fluid freezing are high, but on the bright side, the lack of methanol means that the fluid is not inflammable.

The good news is that you can add methanol to the cleaning fluid to preserve the concentrate during cold and chilly winters. The ratio is 13 gallons of methanol for every 55 gallons of Aqua Charge mixture. This addition will not have an adverse effect on the fluid’s cleaning capabilities or shelf life.

  • Cost effective windshield washer fluid
  • Simple to use
  • Offers great results
  • Can be mixed with other products to prevent it from freezing in winter
  • Freezes easily at 32 deg Fahrenheit
  • The blue dye in the concentrate can stain clothes, skin and other surfaces

4. Chemical Guys Maxi-Suds II

Chemical Guys Maxi-Suds II

If you are looking for the best screen wash for cars, you cannot go wrong with Chemical Guys Maxi-Suds II. Available in cherry scent among other scents, this wash can be used for the windshield as well as for the body.

The car wash has been formulated to produce a lot of suds and can be used for different cleaning situations. You will find that this car wash is easy to use, and it does not harm sealants and wax on the body. So, besides using it on the windshield, you can also use it to clean the rest of the vehicle.

The product can be used with power washing tools or hand wash and will give optimum results. The lubricity of the suds ensures your windshield is without water spots and calcium deposits.

Maxi-Suds II has a neutral pH, so even your skin loves it. It can easily remove dirt and grime from the windshield. It is a concentrate, so you would need to dilute it. You require about an ounce of the fluid diluted in four to five gallons of water.

  • Concentrate liquid so it lasts a long time
  • Can remove dirt and grime from the windshield and vehicle body
  • Does not affect sealants and wax on the vehicle body
  • Prevents formation of water spots
  • May not be able to prevent all types of streaks
  • The container leaks easily

5. Nextzett Kristall Windshield Washer Fluid – Best Concentrate

Best Concentrate Windshield Washer Fluid

Nextzett Kristall Windshield Washer Fluid is a German product. It was initially marketed just for German car brands, but it works fabulously on all car brands and makes.

The green container has an asymmetrical hourglass shape at the top, which allows you to measure how much fluid you need to pour into your windshield wiper tank.

When you start using this washer fluid, you will realize why it has made it to the list of the best concentrate windshield washer fluid. You do not have to empty the wiper tank of the previous wash fluid that it has, and you can mix it with other wash fluid brands without worrying about adverse reactions.

Since it is a concentrate, you would need to dilute it. Use about 0.5 oz in 0.75 gallons of water. If you want to use it in winter, you will need to add antifreeze to the solution so that it does not freeze in cold temperatures.

It is one of the best windshield washer fluids as it is long-lasting and can easily clean bugs and road grime from the windshield without leaving streaks and marks.

  • Concentrated windshield washer fluid
  • Provides streak-free cleaning
  • Can be mixed with antifreeze without worries
  • Does not clog the windshield nozzles on the hood
  • Not suitable for colder climates as it does not contain methanol
  • Can produce too many suds when other liquids (not water) are added to it

6. Invisible Glass Cleaner with Rain Repellent Washer Fluid Additive

Best Summer Windshield Washer Fluids

One of the most common complaints is that the fluids leave behind a film on the windshield even after washing and buffing. If you have the same issue and want a truly invisible washer fluid, Rain Repellent Washer Fluid Additive is the ideal choice.

The washer fluid is completely invisible and it contains an additive that repels rainwater. Hence, you do not have to worry about visibility when it is pouring. This makes it to the list of the best summer windshield washer fluids, but you can even use it during cold weather and ensure optimal results.

Regardless of the weather conditions, this product ensures clear visibility. No need to pour it inside the car’s washer tank, as you can directly spray it on the windscreen and a few strokes with a soft cloth will do the job in a couple of minutes.

The best thing about this windshield washer is that you can use it to clean the glass of the windows as well, and that’s an added benefit during rainy/humid weather.

Lastly, this premium product is effective against sleet and snow and is very helpful while defrosting the windscreen.

  • Doesn’t leave behind any residue or film on the windshield
  • Effective and result-oriented windshield washer spray
  • You can spray it directly on the glass
  • Best winter windshield washer fluid as it repels sleet, rain and snow
  • Not great for stubborn dirt stains
  • It requires manual efforts to clean the windshield

7. Prestone Bug Wash

Best Windshield Washer Fluid

If you live in an area that is infested with insects and bugs, you know that these critters do not slide off the windshield when they hit it. Instead, they go splat and make a huge mess, obscuring your view of the road. If you can identify with this scenario, you will love Prestone Bug Wash.

The fluid forms a protective barrier on the windshield and prevents bugs, grime, and other residues from adhering to the glass and obstructing your view of the road. The washer fluid is formulated to repel rain, thanks to its Water Repellent Advanced Beading technology. As a result, you do not have to worry about streaks while driving. The fresh citrus scent is energizing and pleasant.

Prestone windshield washer fluid can also be used in environments that are not bug-infested, but you will be unable to appreciate its effectiveness. Nonetheless, it can help combat grime and dust, and keep the windshield streak-free and clean. That is why it is a great washer fluid for environments that are dusty.

If you live in a cold climate, you may not find this washer fluid quite effective. While the fluid does not freeze in cold conditions, there are other washer fluids that are more capable and useful for your windshield.

  • Ideal for areas that have a lot of bugs
  • Gets rid of tree sap, dust, and dirt with ease
  • Ensures windshield is streak-free
  • Repels rainwater
  • Comes with a pleasant citrus scent
  • Not the best winter windshield washer fluid
  • You have to let it stand on the windshield for a few minutes before cleaning it off

8. 303 Instant Windshield Washer Tablets

Best Windshield Washer Fluid in Tablets

For many car owners, measuring windshield washer fluid and diluting it can be a big hassle. For such owners, there is another product that they will find quite easy to use. It is the 303 Instant Windshield Washer Tablets.

The tablets come in a small tube, measuring 8.6 inches. Thanks to the small size, it is easy to store the tube. You will find 25 tablets in the tube, so you are covered for several months.

The windshield washer tablets are highly concentrated, making them more potent than a regular windshield washer fluid. You do not have to measure anything or calculate dilution. Just slip the tablet into the reservoir and then top it up with a gallon of water, and you are done.

The sky blue tablets dissolve the moment they come in contact with water and you do not have to worry about them leaving a film or residue in the reservoir.

It helps to get rid of dirt, dust, and bug splatter with ease and prevents them from adhering to the windshield. So, you will not be using your windshield wipers as often.

The tube that the tablets come in is bio-degradable, so you can reduce your carbon footprint when you use it.

The only issue you may find is that the tablet size, which, albeit small, may require you to break them into two before dropping them into the reservoir. However, this issue will not pose a problem if the windshield washer tank has a large mouth.

  • Potent and effective windshield washer
  • Comes in a small container, making storage easy
  • No worries of blending and mixing
  • Comes in an eco-friendly pack that is bio-degradable
  • Some car owners would have to break the tablet to fit it into the windshield washer reservoir
  • Not great for quicker cleaning results

9. Gunk Windshield Washer Concentrate : Best for Winters

Best Winter Windshield Washer Fluids

Gunk is a family-owned business and is headquartered in Charlotte, NC. It has been around for over 75 years, producing products that are effective and performance-oriented.

So, if you are looking for the best windshield washer fluids, you cannot ignore Gunk Windshield Washer Concentrate. It cleans grime, bugs, tree sap, and dirt with ease.

This concentrate has added de-icer and ammonia, allowing it to power its way to the list of the best winter windshield washer fluids. While the concentrate does not freeze, once the temperature reaches 18 deg F, it may not be as effective as it was at higher temperatures.

The antifreeze ensures that your windshield washer system does not sustain damage. It meets the VOC regulations across the US, so you needn’t worry about the emission of harmful fumes. The washer fluid is easy to use; just pour it into the reservoir and add water.

  • Easy to use
  • Can melt ice on the windshield
  • Can be used in other seasons to make the windshield clean
  • Effective on bug splatter, dirt and grime
  • Protects windshield washer system from damage when temperatures plunges below freezing point
  • The label doesn’t talk about dilution
  • As an antifreeze, the quantity is too little to last through the cold season

Causes of Windshield Cracks

Causes of Windshield Cracks

Even after using one of the best windshield washer fluids, you may notice a crack, chip, or scratch on the glass. Here are some of the reasons why your car windshield may have developed a crack:

1. High-Velocity Impact

When you are driving long distances, road debris like pebbles and stones can hit the windscreen. If this impact happens at high velocity, chances are high that your windshield may crack or chip. This road debris gets kicked up from the tires of other vehicles, particularly large vehicles, like trucks.

Even objects that are blown by the wind or thrown out of a running vehicle can crack or damage your windshield.

2. Ambient Temperature

On any given day, your windshield is subjected to different temperature changes. A good example is when you park your car in the sun, the windshield glass heats up. However, when you get into the car, you switch on the air conditioner to cool the interior and the windshield cools down as a result.

These temperature fluctuations cause the windshield glass to constantly expand and contract. In the long-run, this can lead to cracks in the glass.

3. Incorrect Installation

If you have recently had a new windshield installed, ensure that the installation is proper. Incorrectly installed windshields tend to vibrate or flex. When this happens, it can result in a crack. Sometimes, instead of being loosely installed, the windshield can be installed too tight. This can lead to undue stress on the glass, causing it to crack.

So, make sure you choose the right installer for the windshield, someone who has the right experience and equipment to ensure a seamless installation.

4. Windshield Manufacturing Defects

Windshields are made from tempered glass that does not shatter into shards on impact. Nonetheless, the quality of the glass has an effect on the longevity of the windshield. If the glass is not of high quality, it will easily crack and chip.

No doubt, the original windshield glass that your vehicle came with is of the best quality, but if you need to replace it, make sure you opt for a good quality windshield.

5. Accidents and Collisions

Not just direct impact, but even a fender bender can cause debris to strike the glass, causing it to chip, crack or get loose. You may not see the effect on the windshield right away; sometimes it can take a few months for the stress cracks to appear.

These are some of the main causes of windshield cracks. It is best to ensure you keep yourself safe by keeping your windshield clean for better visibility. Use one of the best windshield washer fluids to ensure this. And, if the windshield develops chips or cracks, it is prudent to replace it as quickly as possible.

Here are some DIY ways of fixing a cracked windshield at home.

FAQs

Q1: How can you Make your own Windshield Washer Fluid?

A: The easiest way to make your own windshield washer fluid is to take one gallon of water and add one cup of glass cleaner to it. Mix the concoction well and test it on your windshield. Dip a lint-free cloth into the solution and clean an inconspicuous corner of the windshield. If it cleans without leaving streaks and residues, you have made a good washer fluid.

While you can make your own washer fluid, it is prudent to invest in a high-quality market-bought fluid. A commercial fluid contains ingredients that are designed to effectively clean windshields without leaving behind any residue or deposit. Also, the ingredients are non-abrasive, so there is no risk of scratches on the glass.

Q2: How to Add Windshield Fluid to your Vehicle?

A: After choosing from the best windshield washer fluids, locate the washer reservoir. It will be in the manufacturer’s instructions.

Unscrew the lid of the reservoir and fill the fluid until the maximum fill line. If there is no line, check the manufacturer’s instructions to figure out the capacity of the reservoir.

Remember, when filling the windshield wiper washer tank, you will have to dilute it based on the instructions on the label.

Q3: How can you Drain the Windshield Washer Fluid from the Reservoir?

A: It is actually quite simple and easy to drain windshield washer fluid from the reservoir rather than trying to get rid of the fluid through the nozzles. Here are the steps you should follow:

Step 1: Switch off the engine and allow the engine to cool.

Step 2: Open the hood and look for the washer reservoir. It will be a translucent or transparent container with a hose at the bottom and a lid on top. Usually, it is on the passenger side of the vehicle, towards the rear of the engine chamber.

Step 3: Take a pair of pliers and pull the hose down. Immediately, the contents will drain down. You can place a pan to catch the drainage. If there is a metal clip, remove the clip and then pull down the hose with pliers.

Step 4: Use a garden hose with a nozzle to rinse the reservoir and get rid of sediments and other buildups. Allow the water to drain from the bottom.

Step 5: Push the bottom hose back into position, connecting it to the reservoir. Secure the hose with the help of a metal hose clamp.

Q4: How to Prevent the Windshield Washer Fluid from Freezing?

A: The easiest way to prevent the fluid from freezing is to park your vehicle in the garage. If your garage is attached to your home, the temperature in it will be higher than the outside ambient temperature. Chances are high that the fluid will not freeze.

If your garage is a detached one, keep a small, portable, and free-standing electric heater in the garage to prevent it from freezing.

If you check the best windshield washer fluids, you will find that many come with added antifreeze. Such fluids are the best choice for areas that experience extreme cold.

In case you are using a washer fluid that does not contain anti-freeze, just add some into the reservoir to keep the washer fluid dispensing system safe.

Q5: Can you use any Type of Windshield Washer Fluid in your Car?

A: You have to be careful about the type of windshield washer fluid you use.

If you are living in an area that has cold winters, it is essential to select a washer fluid with anti-freeze. It will ensure that the fluid does not freeze when the temperature reaches the freezing point. The fluid will also help to remove ice and sleet buildup if you have parked it outdoors at night.

Remember, water will work to clean the glass in summer, but it will not repel rainwater or bead rain as it does not have those capabilities. If you want to enjoy clear and unobstructed vision while driving in rain, always choose a windshield washer fluid that has water-repelling and water beading properties.

So, yes, it does matter what kind of windshield washer fluid you choose. Always go for the best windshield washer fluids if you do not want to damage the washer fluid system in your vehicle. Take into consideration the climatic conditions to make an informed choice.

Final Thoughts

Keeping the windshield pristinely clean is more important than you think, so these are the best windshield washer fluids to consider.

Out of these nine I found Prestone Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid to be the top choice as it is an all-season washer fluid and comes with three technologies, namely de-icer, bug wash, and water-repelling and beading technology.

However, if you are looking for a cheap alternative that still provides an excellent result, you can go with Aqua Charge Windshield Washer Ultra Concentrate that allows you to make 55 gallons of washer fluid or 303 Instant Windshield Washer Tablets, which ensure you do not have to use your wipers too often to get rid of dirt and grime from the glass.

Last update on 2021-08-16 at 14:37 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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