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

P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance Related Trouble Codes: P2158: Vehicle Speed Sensor B P2160: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Circuit Low P2161:...
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...
Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...


Related questions

Q: Does windshield washer fluid freeze?

There are several different types of windshield washer fluid on the market. During winter weather conditions, it is important to choose a windshield washer fluid that contains antifreeze. Methanol, ethylene glycol, or ethanol are types of alcohol that are added...

Q: Wipers working intermittently.

Although the most common problem for the wipers on this vehicle is the wiper motor, I'm not quite certain this is the case for you. I believe you may have a bad ground somewhere under the dash. I would have...

Q: My Windshield delay wipers. 2012 Ford Explorer

Hi - there are 2 possible sources to this wiper shutoff problem: is the delay mechanism itself - which is electronic - at fault, or the wiper "position" mechanism - which mechanically senses when the wiper arm returns to the...