Author Topic: DIY Wiper Fluid: How to?  (Read 3055 times)

trailrated

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DIY Wiper Fluid: How to?
« on: November 06, 2015, 07:59:47 AM »
After work I was going to go buy some... then I started thinking, the mustachians might know a better way. Could I just use watered down windex? Or is there more to it?

Gracias!

Anomalous

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Re: DIY Wiper Fluid: How to?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2015, 11:32:56 AM »
I've tried a couple different recipes that I found with a Google search. The first one left a white film on the windshield, so that was counter-productive. What seems to work pretty well is 1 tablespoon of dish soap in 1 gallon of water. It's a little difficult to mix since the dish soap wants to foam up. The dish soap and water will freeze though; for cold weather you can add isopropyl alcohol or vinegar. I haven't gone through a winter using the homemade washer fluid yet, so I don't know which works better or the precise quantity needed. I'm also not sure if either the isopyopyl alcohol or the vinegar might degrade the rubber components in the wiper fluid system.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: DIY Wiper Fluid: How to?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2015, 03:05:28 PM »
Wiper fluid has alcohol in it to prevent it from freezing. This is especially useful on a cold, snowy night with road salt on your windscreen.
This may not be necessary where you live ... (Edit: I just see you are in warmer climes than I am and you do not need the alcohol)

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: DIY Wiper Fluid: How to?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2015, 03:09:43 PM »
Wiper fluid is cheap. I think I got the fanciest stuff (all-season Rain-X) at Walmart and it was like three bucks. I didn't even need all of it to refill my totally empty reservoir. I could have gotten something for more like a dollar.

BlueMR2

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Re: DIY Wiper Fluid: How to?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2015, 07:58:09 AM »
Wiper fluid has alcohol in it to prevent it from freezing. This is especially useful on a cold, snowy night with road salt on your windscreen.
This may not be necessary where you live ... (Edit: I just see you are in warmer climes than I am and you do not need the alcohol)

I just stop on the side of the road and wipe the windshield with snow as necessary...  Not the most pleasant thing, but even the alcohol based fluid fails in the Winter.  *If* it stays fluid enough to actually spray (which it doesn't many times), it just freezes when it hits the windshield making the problem worse.  The alcohol must evaporate too fast?  Even the supposed "-40 degree" stuff will fail as warm as around 0F.

FerrumB5

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Re: DIY Wiper Fluid: How to?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2015, 08:01:49 AM »
I really doubt saving $2.29 per gallon of quality windshield fluid justifies higher risk of crashing the car in an accident due to low visibility and making THE STASH not valuable anymore.

music lover

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Re: DIY Wiper Fluid: How to?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2015, 11:29:59 AM »
Wiper fluid has alcohol in it to prevent it from freezing. This is especially useful on a cold, snowy night with road salt on your windscreen.
This may not be necessary where you live ... (Edit: I just see you are in warmer climes than I am and you do not need the alcohol)

I just stop on the side of the road and wipe the windshield with snow as necessary...  Not the most pleasant thing, but even the alcohol based fluid fails in the Winter.  *If* it stays fluid enough to actually spray (which it doesn't many times), it just freezes when it hits the windshield making the problem worse.  The alcohol must evaporate too fast?  Even the supposed "-40 degree" stuff will fail as warm as around 0F.

I've lived in a bitter winter climate for decades and have never had windshield fluid fail...even when it's -35 to 2 weeks straight.

trailrated

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Re: DIY Wiper Fluid: How to?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2015, 11:49:23 AM »
Yeah, living in the bay area I bit the bullet and went to walmart on my way home from work. A giant jug ended up running me $1.97, but thank you for the suggestions!


Tom Bri

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Re: DIY Wiper Fluid: How to?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2015, 04:30:03 PM »
About 10 years ago I bought a gallon of washer concentrate. I add a slug into a gallon bottle and fill it up with water. Works fine for 3 seasons. In winter I buy the non-freezing stuff.

Syonyk

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Re: DIY Wiper Fluid: How to?
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2015, 03:43:37 PM »
I'm a big fan of the orange Rain-X stuff.  Good for helping water slide off, good in the winter, and does a decent job on bugs.

I probably spend $10/yr on wiper fluid, and I go through a /lot/ of it compared to most people (usually I'll give the windshield a squirt when I get in the car if it's been a few days since I last drive).

This is one of those things that just doesn't make much sense to spend any time on, IMO.

RWD

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Re: DIY Wiper Fluid: How to?
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2015, 08:14:10 PM »
Yeah, living in the bay area I bit the bullet and went to walmart on my way home from work. A giant jug ended up running me $1.97, but thank you for the suggestions!

Good call. I can only remember refilling wiper fluid a couple times in my ~15 years of driving. It's so cheap and lasts long enough that it would be a waste of time trying to save money here.

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Re: DIY Wiper Fluid: How to?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2015, 01:02:21 PM »
I started using the dishsoap/water summer formula this past summer and was very satisfied.  Did it make a difference in my FIRE date, no, but it was faster than walking in a store and waiting in line to check out, so between the $2 and my time, it was well worth it.  For winter, I use the orange rain-x.