How to make effective DIY wiper washer fluid

Some concoctions to help maintain visibility
by Manskee Nascimento | Jul 1, 2017

Fellow motorists, are you truly ready for the onslaught of monsoon rains? You might think you've crossed out everything on your wet season vehicle checklist, but some of us tend to forget the wiper washer!

Your wiper blades and washer work in tandem to provide you with optimal visibility when nature decides to bring the heavens down upon your car—silt, mud and debris being splattered on your exterior from all directions. When either of them isn't up to par, your chances of crossing over to the afterlife increase. Who would want that?

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Well, here's a straightforward guide to ensure you fill up that reservoir with stuff you may already have in your home. It's convenient, and may save you some money along the way too!

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What type of water should go into your wiper washer tank? Simple. Distilled water. No exceptions! Before we go into homemade mixes, it is crucial that you use only the purest form of water as your base. I can't emphasize enough how tap water should never be added into your washer reservoir. Why? Tap water contains minerals that can clog the washer tubes and nozzles that spray wiper solution onto your windshield.

Now that we've got that covered, it's time to create an economical washer solution.

*Concoction #1: Window cleaner and distilled water.

In a clean one-gallon jug filled with distilled water to 3/4 level, add about a cup (2 cups for extra cleaning power) of ammonia or window cleaner and mix well. This is great for getting nasty bug splats, tree sap and road grime off of your windshield. Make sure to store in a cool, dark place away from food and the curious hands of children.

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*Concoction #2: Dishwashing liquid soap and distilled water.

With the same size jug filled to 3/4 level of distilled water, add just a few drops of liquid dish soap then shake well. Be careful not to add too much as it may come out overly foamy and affect driving visibility. Great for degreasing your windshield!

*Concoction #3: Combining both the cleaning powers of liquid soap and window cleaner with distilled water.

As they say two cleaners are better than one. Try this for maximum effect!

There's another concoction that includes the addition of isopropyl alcohol which acts as an anti-freeze agent, but we live in a tropical climate so no need to bother. White vinegar is also an alternative agent but based on my experience, I wouldn't recommend it due to the foul smell it creates.

These days, you can purchase environment-friendly concentrates (methanol-free) that's diluted with distilled water, or you can select something that's pre-mixed and ready to pour into the tank. Either way, make sure to follow instructions on their respective labels, especially with the concentrate. Check your vehicle's manual for your reservoir's capacity.

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Note: It's pretty typical for us to get our windshields cleaned by gas station attendants when we fuel up. Unfortunately, I discovered that a lot of these stations use harsh laundry powder or bar detergents that they mix into tap water which tend to drip down onto your washer spray nozzles and eventually clog them.

Armed with proper knowledge, only you can care for your car better. Try these suggestions and enjoy a safer drive this rainy season.


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PHOTO: Mark Jesalva
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