Best Windshield Washer Fluids

Amazon.com prices as of  2018-06-18 at 23:08 UTC Details

Most drivers don’t give a whole lot of thought to the windshield washer fluid in their car.

Most of the time, it's enough to just add water to the reservoir, especially if you keep your car clean and you're not driving through fields or mucky ditches.

But during the colder months of the year, or if you do plan on doing some off road detours, you should definitely look into adding something to the windscreen washer reservoir to help your wiper blades keep the windscreen clear. 

So in this article, we're going to run through the best windshield washer fluids on the market today. 

What Is Windshield Wiper Fluid exactly?

It's a fluid (or dissolvable tablet) that you add to the windscreen washer bottle of your car.

You can buy it in a premixed or concentrated state, with the latter form usually offering better value for money as you can adjust the strength of the mixture to suit your circumstances.

How to Refill Windshield Washer Fluid 

If it's ready mixed washer fluid, then just pour it straight into the top-up bottle. If it's a concentrated washer fluid then you're going to need to dilute it. Read the back of the bottle to find out what the correct ratio of water to washer fluid. This will vary depending on the time of year and driving conditions. You'll want it more concentrated during the winter months and if you are planning on driving in bad weather.

Here's a top tip,if it's a concentrated windshield washer fluid, then add the water to the top up bottle first. This will stop the washer fluid from foaming up out of the washer bottle when you add the water. 

best windscreen washer fluid

This is a typical windshield washer bottle cap

If you're not familiar with what's under the hood of your car, make sure you check out the owners manual before you start out.

Most cars will have some sort of symbol on the lid of the washer bottle, like a windscreen with a jet of water. But double check before you start. 

Also, if it's the first time you are attempting this, it's worth checking out how to remove the washer bottle lid.

Some pull off and some unscrew. Some have a little thingy that attaches them to the neck of the bottle, but some don't.

Trust me when I say, you don't want to drop this small plastic lid into the depths of your engine bay on a cold, dark, winter's night.

Oh and one more thing:

Don't be tempted to make your own washer fluid. If you go looking, there are people out there that will show you how to save a few dollars by making your own washer fluid from household cleaners or stuff you've had lying in your garage for the past 5 years...but don't risk it.

Unless you're a budding chemist, you're not going to be able to make a safe and effective substitute for what you can buy in a store.


Top 5 Best Windshield Washer Fluids


1.Prestone AS658 Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid

Amazon.com prices as of  2018-06-18 at 23:08 UTC Details

Best Winter Windshield Washer Fluid
Main Features
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    Protects against freezing to -27°F (-33°C)
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    No Streak or glare
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    Safe for rain-sensing windshield wipers
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    Contains Methanol

With millions of products sold and a plethora of prestigious awards under its belt, Prestone is one of the premier manufacturers of vehicle fluids in the world. As the name suggests, this stuff is designed to be used all year round, and is especially effective during the winter.

If you pour Prestone 3-in-1 washer fluid straight into the washer bottle, undiluted, then it will be effective down to -27°F (-33°C). This means that it won't freeze in the washer bottle or in the washer jet hoses. It's safe to use with any type of vehicle and it won't damage the wiper blades.

It also had rain beading technology, to help your wipers clear away the rain when you are driving. This is not as effective as a dedicated rain beading product. It does help for a few minutes after you have squirted it onto the windscreen, but doesn't long at all.

This bug and grime cleaner in this washer fluid is also very effective. I found it great for clearing traffic grease and some bugs, especially on dry, hot days.

This stuff is also great for defrosting windows quickly, and works great as a de-icer. This is handy if your car doesn't have heated washer jets or you need to defrost other windows. All you need to do is make up a 50:50 diluted mixture in a spray bottle, and squirt straight onto frozen windows or door handles. 

Learn more about the Prestone 3-in-1 Washer Fluid

Pros
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    Won't freeze under most conditions
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    Can be used as a window de-icer
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    Safe to use with all types of wipers
Cons
  • Not concentrated, so won't last as long
  • Not great at removing bugs and dirt

2. Rain‑X® Windshield Washer Fluid Additive

Amazon.com prices as of  2018-06-18 at 23:38 UTC Details

Best Water Beading Windshield Washer Fluid
Main Features
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    Can be added to water or existing washer fluid
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    Creates water beading film on the windshield
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    Available in 16.9oz sizes

The Rain X Washer Fluid Additive is my top pick for protecting your windshield from rain and bugs. It works by adding a very thin film of protective, bug and dirt resistant coating to the windshield. As soon as any water comes in contact with the windshield then it turns into tiny beads that the wipers can deal with more effectively. 

The cool thing about this additive is that you can use it mixed with water in the washer bottle, or you can even add it to an existing washer fluid mixture. It's not very effective at stopping the washer fluid from freezing at low tempertures by itself. But you can add it to something like the Prestone De-Icer windshield washer fluid, to make it resistant to freezing at very low temperatures.

The Rain X washer additive makes it easy to apply a protective coating to your windshield. It's not going to be as long lasting or effective as a beading product that you apply by hand. For something like that you should check out Gtechniq G1Clear Vision Smart Glass.

There are plenty of other washer fluids out there with water beading technology. The reason I chose the Rain X additive is because it gives you the choice of creating a higher concentration of beading by altering the mixture. So you in bad weather conditions you can create a more concentrated, more effective solution with less water.

Learn more about the Rain X Washer Fluid Additive

Pros
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    Beads water very effectively
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    Makes the windscreen bug proof
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    Can be used safely with other washer fluids
Cons
  • Not resistant to low temperatures
  • Not as effective as applying beading product by hand

3. Nextzett Windshield Washer Fluid 1:200 Concentrate 

Best Anti-Clog Windshield Washer Fluid
Main Features
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    Provides smear free, glare free windshield cleaning
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    Effectively removes dirt and bugs
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    1:200 concentration

This windshield washer fluid from Nexzett is an ultra concetrated formula, 200 times more concentrated than other fluids on the market. This 8.5oz bottle will allow you to re-fill most washer bottles around 6-8 times. 

Unlike other extra concentrated washer fluids, this one contains water softeners that will help stop the washer hoses, jets and pump from getting clogged. If you use a more concentrated mix it can also help remove existing residues. This can be a problem in older cars especially if you use hard water in your washer bottle. It also won't leave any white residue on your car, something you often see with cheaper supermarket brand washer fluids. 

As a washer fluid it performs excellently. Some reviews online compare it to the OEM washer fluid that you get in many new German cars. 

One thing to note, is that it is not suitable for use in colder weather. If you need one one that in concentrated form, is still effective in temperatures as low as -76o F, then check out Nextzett AntiFrost Washer Fluid.

On the plus side, it's environmentally friendly as it does not contain methanol or ammonia, and it has a nice citrus smell, if you like that sort of thing!

Learn more about the Nextzett Washer Fluid

Pros
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    Lasts a long time
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    Won't clog up your car washer system
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    Environmentally friendly
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    Doesn't leave a white residue on paintwork or rubber
Cons
  • Not suitable in freezing temperatures
  • No rain beading properties

4. Prestone AS657 Bug Wash Windshield Washer Fluid

Amazon.com prices as of  2018-06-18 at 23:38 UTC Details

Best Summer Windshield Washer Fluid
Main Features
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    Creates a bug stopper barrier
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    Dries out streak and glare free
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    Safe for use with all wiper types

If you are looking for an effective summer windshield washer fluid, then check out the Prestone Bug Wash. Not only does it remove all sorts of traffic grease, grime, bugs, but it also helps to stop new dirt and bugs from sticking to your windshield.

If like me, you take a lot of road trips during the warmer months of the year, then you'll be all too familiar with the problem of bugs getting squashed on your windshield. Most windshield washer fluids will only do an ok job of cleaning away dead bugs and traffic grease.

I've found the trick is to not let them get stuck there in the first place. Before I head off on a long journey, I'll usually wash my car and coat the windscreen to reduce the amount of bugs that stick to it.

After I've cleaned the windscreen, I polish it up with some glass polish ( I like Griot's Garage Glass Polish). Then I'll take some of the Prestone Bug Wash in a spray bottle and cover the windscreen with it. It ususally takes about 10 minutes to fully dry in. It's important to polish the glass (sometimes I clay the glass to get it extra clean!) so that the windshield dries out streak-free.

The obvious downside to this washer fluid, is that it's no good during colder weather. You could use all weather washer fluid, but I think it's worth switching to this bug wash fluid if you need a stronger summer cleaning fluid.

Learn more about the Prestone Bug Wash Washer Fluid

Pros
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    Stops dirt and bugs sticking to the windshield
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    Doesn't streak or cause glare
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    Also removes traffic grease and grime
Cons
  • Will freeze during colder months
  • Doesn't give a great water beading finish

5. P21S Washer Fluid Booster

Amazon.com prices as of  2018-06-18 at 23:08 UTC Details

Best Windshield Washer Fluid Booster
Main Features
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    Gives a streak free windshield
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    Removes oily road film
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    Can be added to existing washer fluid

Ok so technically, this isn't a washer fluid. It's a washer fluid booster. You add this to your existing washer fluid to give it super cleaning powers!

If your car or truck has an extra large washer fluid bottle, then it can be expensive to use a good quality pre-mixed washer fluid. A great way to overcome this problem is to use a washer fluid booster like the P21S. You can add this stuff to your existing cheap blue washer fluid or you can use it with plain water.

To use the P21S booster, just fill up your the washer bottle with distilled water and then add the booster. I usually stock up on distilled water (it's also handy if you are topping up your car's coolant). It's probably the best option, because it doesn't contain mineral deposits that can clog up your car's washer system.

The booster comes with a handy measuring compartment at the top of the bottle. I usually find that 1 to 2 shots is more than enough for an average 2 gallon washer bottle. This stuff is especially great at keeping the windshield clear when driving at night. It will remove any oily films from the windshield, and helps to reduce glare from oncoming traffic.

The only downside to this additive, is that it won't stop your washer fluid from freezing. If you want to use it during cold weather, you need to use it with an anti-freeze washing fluid.  

Learn more about the P21S Washer Fluid Booster

Pros
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    Works with existing washer fluid or water
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    Improves night driving by reducing glare
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    Removes oily deposits from windshield
Cons
  • Not suitable for freezing temperatures.

The Top Windshield Washer Fluids

Once again, here is my list of best windshield washer fluids available today. You can't really go wrong with any one of them.

Amazon.com prices as of  2018-06-18 at 23:08 UTC Details

Some are more effective at removing bugs and traffic grease, while others are better at lower temperatures (below 32˚F / 0˚C), and some are great at both. 

Here's a short video that shows you exactly how to add windshield washer fluid to your car.