First, I want to make it clear that I’m very grateful for the hard-working men and women who drive the snow plows here in Utah. Their efforts keep our roads and highways safe and drivable during the winter months, and that’s no small feat! However, my gratitude for the plows can never fully cancel out how annoying it is to deal with road salt!
The Problem(s) With Road Salt
The main problem with road salt is how much damage it can do to your car. If road salt is allowed to accumulate, it can lead to corrosion on your car’s paint job, frame, brake lines, and more. (Needless to say, we keep our local car washes quite busy during this time of year!)
But there’s another problem that drivers face when it comes to road salt, and it’s happens much sooner than corrosion! It’s that salty road spray that coats your windshield in a vision-impairing layer of muck. (And I think we can all agree that’s it’s pretty crucial to be able to see out of your windshield, right?) ;-) I’ve been burning through windshield washer fluid so fast lately that it’s hard to keep up!
And that brings us around to today’s blog post, because I recently discovered a way to make my own DIY windshield washer fluid at home! The ingredients are cheap, it’s quick to make, and it works just as well as the store-bought kind (with fewer harsh chemicals, too!) It may not fix all the problems that come along with winter driving, but at least I never have to worry about running out of washer fluid!
Here’s how it’s done, so you can make your own windshield washer fluid for your car too! :-)
How To Make Your Own Windshield Washer Fluid
Pour out 1 cup of the distilled water (to ensure there’s enough room in your gallon container for the rubbing alcohol.) Set it aside to use later, or discard it.
Pour the dish soap and rubbing alcohol into the remaining distilled water.
Note: If you live in a climate that’s warm year-round, you can substitute a cup of plain white vinegar for isopropyl alcohol at this step. The alcohol has a very low freezing point, so it will keep your wiper fluid from freezing even in very cold temperatures. White vinegar will help your fluid dry quickly on your windshield, but will not keep it from freezing since the freezing point of vinegar is only a few degrees lower than water!
Replace the lid on the jug and tip it gently from side to side to mix the ingredients.
Before Using Your Homemade Washer Fluid, Do This Test First
When making your own washer fluid, you want to be certain that it won’t freeze overnight. (Frozen washer fluid won’t do you very much good!) The recipe above includes rubbing alcohol for that purpose, and it should be enough to prevent the fluid from freezing in most climates. But as they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry! So it’s a good idea to perform the following “freeze test” to be sure.
To do the freeze test, just leave your jug of homemade washer fluid outdoors overnight. Check on it in the morning, and if the texture of the fluid hasn’t changed, you can go ahead and pour it onto your car’s windshield wiper fluid reservoir!
But if you check the fluid and it’s slushy or frozen, add another cup of rubbing alcohol to the jug before adding it to your car.
What’s your best tip for surviving the hazards of winter driving?