Can I Make My Own Windshield Washer Fluid?

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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.


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Pardeep

20 years of experience
652 reviews
Pardeep
20 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Fremont, California
Again 5 star service. And already scheduling him for my next appointment. Highly recommend Pardeep for your car needs.
Chevrolet Camaro - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Jose, California
Great knowledgeable mechanic and fast great work. I will use Pardeep and your services again. Thank you

Theodore

15 years of experience
1137 reviews
Theodore
15 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Everett, Washington
Theodore arrived on time, he did a great job replacing my brakes on my Camry, I will definitely work with him again.
Subaru Outback - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Renton, Washington
We have had previous work done by Theodore. Really appreciate his thoroughness and professionalism!

Matthew

32 years of experience
734 reviews
Matthew
32 years of experience
Jeep Wrangler - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Yorktown, Virginia
We've been using Your Mechanic services for a few years, for a few reasons. The convenience of having an expert mechanic "on-call," the great pricing and transparency for services (saving 10% - 25% at times), most of all Matt is our go-to guy who is highly qualified, knowledgeable in the work and knows how to explain it to us in detail.
Ford F-150 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Newport News, Virginia
Matt's technical knowledge of his profession is incredible! He is prompt, thorough, friendly, professional, engaging, and completes the job to 100% perfection! Thank you, Matt for the most outstanding auto repair service in all my many years!!!

Jason

31 years of experience
162 reviews
Jason
31 years of experience
Nissan Altima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Mateo, California
Jason was very professional and friendly. He provided extremely honest and helpful advice on issues with my Altima that would require proactive future maintenance.

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