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

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...


Related questions

Q: Why did my wipers stop working?

Hello. If you can hear movement from the motor but your wipers are not moving, then it is possible that the wiper linkage or bushings have broken or become damaged. Your vehicle uses a linkage mechanism with bushings that connects...

Q: How do you operate the Windshield Wiper Rain-Lamp?

If your car has auto-lights, it may also have automatic rain-lamps (or Rain-Activated Lights, if you prefer). This function turns on your headlights any time your wipers are activated during the daytime, and allows you to drive with one less...

Q: The windshield wipers won't work with car started.

It sounds like you may have a weak battery producing a weak current when trying to start the vehicle. This may be caused by the battery itself being weak or potentially by a failing alternator not charging the battery properly....