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When you’re behind the wheel, a clean windshield is necessary to keep both you and your passengers safe while you’re out on the road. Anything that interferes with your ability to see through your windshield can pose a serious hazard. Smears, dirt, and insect debris can be just as dangerous as a crack that obstructs your view. But did you know that you can safely make your own windshield wiper fluid right at home?

In this helpful blog post, our auto glass repair pros at Zenith Auto Glass have put together instructions to make your own windshield wiper fluid and save a few bucks. Give us a call when you need your windshield or passenger window replaced.


If you’re the kind of person who likes to do things yourself, making your own windshield wiper fluid is simple to do and doesn’t take much time. There are a few ways to go about making your own wiper fluid, but all of them involve products you may already have at home. You may wish to try them all out and see which solution works best for your windshield.

When making your own wiper fluid, be sure to follow the instructions carefully because the last thing you want is for your wiper fluid to freeze and rupture the hose. Before changing to a new kind of wiper fluid mixture, be sure to completely drain the reservoir so as not to mix the new solution with the old one. Consider flushing the lines with water to completely clear it out and get a fresh start.


When adding new fluid to the reservoir, use a funnel to prevent wiper fluid from spilling onto your vehicle’s paint and possibly damaging it. Although most of the ingredients in homemade wiper fluid are generally mild, you can’t be too careful when protecting your car’s paint job.

When storing your homemade windshield wiper fluid, be sure to do so safely, especially when you have children or other family members around that might come into contact with these chemicals. Use a permanent marker to clearly label your washer fluid. If you have pets or children, keep your wiper fluid out of their reach and consider storing in childproof containers. Finally, be sure to store your homemade wiper fluid in an area with a moderate and consistent temperature to prevent freezing or spilling.

Here are a few more tips for homemade wiper fluid:

●        Add a drop or two of blue food coloring if your vehicle is not sensing it.

●        Never use water only as a wiper fluid as it can cause smearing and harbor bacteria.

●        Mix chemicals in an area with good ventilation.

●        Use gloves and a mask when working with noxious chemicals like ammonia.

●        Shaking the container is the best way to mix the solution.

●        Use a clean reused gallon container to mix your solution.

●        Work with distilled water rather than tap water to avoid mineral deposits.

●        NEVER add bleach to your wiper fluid as it can damage your car and mixes dangerously with other chemicals.


Here are a few of the most tried-and-true recipes for mixing up your own wiper fluid. To prevent them from freezing, you can add isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol to any of these solutions. In extreme winter conditions, be sure to use an alcohol content of 90% or higher. 99% alcohol content will be the most effective for preventing freezing in your wiper fluid reservoir.

Start by adding a cup of alcohol to your mixture and be sure to test your wiper fluid after mixing by leaving it in freezing temperatures overnight. If it freezes, you’ll want to add slightly more alcohol and continue retesting until it no longer does.

Choose from one of these windshield wiper fluid recipes:

1.    Diluted Window Cleaner

Sometimes the easiest method is the best one. For a quick and easy windshield wiper solution, try mixing one part glass cleaner with three parts water. Use a few small drops of liquid dish soap for added cleaning properties.

2.    Vinegar Wiper Fluid

Vinegar is a safe and effective cleaner for moderate temperatures and works well when pollen is heavy. If you’re concerned about chemicals and the environment, vinegar is effective and safe. However, it can produce a fairly strong odor. Be sure to use white vinegar as any other color of vinegar will likely leave a residue on your windshield. Add one part distilled vinegar to three parts water to begin and modify the solution as needed. Remember that any vinegar solution must be modified when the weather is cold.

3.    Ammonia and Dish Soap

This is the best wiper fluid solution for areas where your windshield encounters a high amount of mud and dirt. Add one tablespoon of liquid dish soap to a gallon of distilled water. It’s better to err on the side of too little dish soap than to add too much as this can make the solution too thick. Remember that you can always add more to your solution. Experiment with changing the brand of dish soap if your solution streaks. Next, add ½ cup of additive-free ammonia. Test the solution until you get a mix that works well for your windshield.

4.    Castile Soap and Rubbing Alcohol

Some people prefer castile soap because its ingredients are more natural than alternatives and safe for your car’s paint job. Begin by mixing eight ounces of rubbing alcohol with a gallon of distilled water. Next, add castile soap. Adjust the amount of alcohol as needed during extremely cold weather.


A clean window is only safe if it’s free from cracks that obstruct your view. Even small chips can expand when cold weather hits. At Zenith Auto Glass, we’re committed to keeping you safe while you’re out on the road. We offer fast, friendly auto glass replacement service throughout Duluth and the surrounding areas. To connect with a member of our team, give us a call at 218-275-5555 or contact us online.