Make Your Own Windshield Wiper Fluid
During the winter as you work to clear away snow and salt, you probably used up a large quantity of windshield wiper fluid. Now, as your car is hit the heavy rains and pollen typical of springtime in Pennsylvania, you are going to need more. Save some money with this simple do-it-yourself project.
Advantages of DIY Windshield Wiper Fluid
The advantages of making your own windshield wiper fluid are clear. Car owners can replace the cleaning solution for a fraction of the cost as brand-name fluids. The ingredients that you will need are easy to find and inexpensive. Plus, homemade mixes are safer and more environmentally friendly. Commercially sold wiper solutions usually contain methanol, a dangerous chemical which can be poisonous even in small amounts.
The process is quick and the end result is a mixture that works well to clean car glass, yet is safer for you and the environment. Here are the seven steps to mixing methanol-free windshield cleaning solution at home.
How to Make Windshield Wiper Fluid
Though there are different recipes available for DIY washer fluid, we prefer this one. By including rubbing alcohol in the mix, we can be sure that the fluid won’t freeze inside your car on cold nights or during the winter. This keeps the liquid from freezing when the temperatures drop below freezing. We also recommend the addition of food coloring so that the solution is easily identifiable can’t accidentally be mistaken for another liquid.
You will need: distilled water, rubbing alcohol, liquid dish soap and blue food coloring.
- Cut a plastic gallon jug so that the top is open and it can be used as a single-use container for mixing the windshield wiper solution. (If you prefer using a plastic tank or large bucket that will be reused for other things after this project, it will need to be cleaned thoroughly when you have finished.)
- Pour three liters (about 3 quarts) of distilled water into the container.
- Next, measure 1 ½ cups of rubbing alcohol. Pour this into the container with the distilled water.
- Then, measure out a ¼ cup of regular liquid dish washing soap.
- The next step is to add about 10 drops of blue food coloring. This step is optional, but it’s a safety precaution which helps clearly differentiate the solution from drinking water.
- Finally, use a paint mixing stick, or a similar tool, to mix the windshield washing solution.
- If the fluid will be stored, rather than poured into the car right away, be sure to keep it in a well-marked container, with a tightly secured lid, out of the reach of children.
How to Refill the Windshield Fluid Reservoir
- Pop the hood of your vehicle and secure the open hood with the prop rod.
- Then, locate the windshield wiper fluid reservoir. Look for a blue or black lid with the windshield fluid icon on it. Some reservoirs are clearly labeled, “washer fluid only.” The owner’s manual can help if you are unsure.
- Next, unscrew the lid and remove it. Place it in a secure place until it’s time to put it back on the reservoir.
- Open the container of windshield wiper fluid and use a funnel to pour it into the car’s reservoir. Fill it up to the fill line marked on the side of the reservoir. There should be about two inches of space left at the top of the reservoir.
- Lastly, put the wiper fluid reservoir lid back and screw it on securely. Replace the prop rod to its position and lower the car hood back in place.