Running out of windshield washer fluid is a hassle, at best and dangerous at worst. A gallon of fluid can easily cost $3-6 at the store, which is utterly ridiculous when it can be made at home for less than 20¢ a gallon. In addition to being rather costly, commercial windshield washer fluids often contain a poisonous chemical called Methanol. Unfortunately, methanol is detrimental to the environment.
Here is an easy do it yourself recipe using basic household ingredients to make your own.
Windshield Washer Mix Recipe
1 GAL. common tap water
1 T. common hand dish soap
1/2 cup household ammonia
a few drops of food coloring (keeps my kids on alert not to touch it)
When the weather is below freezing add 1 cup isopropyl alcohol combine and shake gently before pouring into the wiper/washer reservoir. If your winters are mild, such as in South Carolina, Georgia or Florida, a 70% rubbing alcohol will suffice. However, if you live in areas that experience extreme cold, be sure to use 99% rubbing alcohol instead. Both are available at the dollar store, oftentimes at the price of 2/$1.00 .
Directions for Freezing Temperatures
Test the solution in a container overnight before adding it to your vehicle. To test it, place some of the solution in a container and leave it outside overnight. Shake it gently to see if any slush has formed or accumulated if so, add more alcohol to the mixture. This step will ensure that your washer fluid will not freeze and potentially damage your vehicle’s washer fluid hose or housing.
This blend works much better than the store-bought counterpart at a fraction of the cost.
Vinegar Windshield Washer Recipe
12 cups of distilled water
4 c. white vinegar
Combine the ingredients together in a gallon jug, seal and shake to fully combine. This is a cool-weather washing fluid only as the vinegar will create a pungent, foul odor during warm weather.
We are often asked if we recommend bleach as a cleanser, the answer is no. Bleach will harm the paint and cause irreversible damage by stripping off the clear coat and washing away pigment.