Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Can I Make My Own Windshield Washer Fluid?

Distilled Water Needed for Homemade Washer Fluid

Washer fluid is typically tinted to indicate that it is not safe to consume and, though most commonly blue, it comes in a variety of colors. Warning labels caution that washer fluid contains harmful and poisonous chemicals, including methanol.

Some washer fluids contain chemicals that are also considered damaging to the environment, not just consumption. Annual use of washer fluid in the United States is well into the billions of gallons, nearly all of which ends up in water runoff and flows through our storm drains out to the ocean.

Washer fluid can also be unduly expensive. Considering what it's made of, washer fluid is usually sold at an extraordinary markup with manufacturers reaping huge benefits.

How to make washer fluid

Whether you are caring for the environment, protecting young children, saving money, or a do-it-yourselfer, you can make your own windshield washer fluid. There are recipes for several different varieties of homemade washer fluid, some of which are environmentally safe, non-poisonous, and very inexpensive to make.

One common variety uses these ingredients:

  • ¾ gallon of distilled water
  • ¼ gallon of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol (if used in extreme cold climates)

This variety is good for cold weather but not as appropriate in warm weather as the vinegar smell is off-putting in the heat.

No matter what recipe you use, make sure to test the washer fluid for your climate before using it in your car to prevent freezing damage from occurring. Always use distilled water as minerals from tap water will eventually clog your washer nozzles.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...


Related questions

Q: How do I use the rear window wiper?

The rear window wiper provides extra visibility through your rear window by wiping away rain or other moisture. It’s very easy to use: 1. Locate the wiper lever, which protrudes from the right side of the steering column. 2. Rotate...

Q: How do I use the windshield wiper de-icer?

If your car is equipped with a windshield wiper de-icer (optional equipment), you have the means of removing ice accumulation and snow from your wiper blades. This is more than a mere convenience – it can greatly enhance safety by...

Q: How do you operate the windshield wipers?

Your car’s wipers provide you with the ability to see clearly out the windshield during inclement weather, as well as to operate the windshield washer system to clean the glass. Here’s how to use them: The ignition must be...