Windscreen Washer Fluid
Good visibility while driving is essential to keep you and your passengers safe. Dirt, bugs, and pollen on the windscreen can interfere and obstruct your view compromising your safety so anything that can help keep the windscreen clear is highly recommended and having a good washer fluid is one of the key ingredients to make this happen.
In Canterbury we experience weather extremes from freezing conditions and occasional snow in winter, especially inland, while summer can bring strong nor-westers kicking up dust and pollen across the plains and an effective washing fluid needs to be able to work in these conditions.
Typical washer fluid is a mix of solvents and detergent – the solvent acting as an antifreeze, that comes in either a concentrate, powdered crystals, or ready mixed solution. The ready mixed solutions have the advantage of been pre-prepared in the correct concentrations ensuring optimal cleaning without excessive chemical usage.
There are lots of different brands that are available for purchase from garages, auto parts stores, and even supermarkets throughout New Zealand.
In general, it’s not recommended to use just water, although being cheaper and non-toxic it doesn’t clean very well and can smear stubborn dirt and bugs, reducing visibility, increasing wear on the wiper blades, and prolonged abrasion could even damage the windscreen.
While we may not have millions of cars in Canterbury, there are many millions of cars worldwide all squirting billions of litres of washer fluid onto their windscreens which impacts both air and water pollution. This can have a big impact on our environment and we highly recommend considering environmentally friendly solutions that contain biodegrading cleaning agents and less toxic anti-freezing agents like isopropanol (rubbing alcohol).
Make You Own Windscreen Washer Fluid
Yes, it is possible to make your own washer fluid. There are numerous recipes available using common household products that can provide an effective, low cost, and environmentally friendly washing fluid, even coke cola has been described as an effective window cleaner although we wouldn’t recommend this. Here’s a couple of options you may wish to try.
Vineger based washer fluid
Mixed in a concentration of 1 part white distilled vinegar to 3 parts water (ideally distilled rather than tap) this solution is an effective cleaner that’s safe on the environment. The vinegar not only acts as the cleaning agent but also aids in helping the fluid dry quicker on the windscreen. A downside is that vinegar has a low freezing point so shouldn’t be used in the colder more extreme inland areas of Canterbury.
Soap an alcohol washer fluid
This fluid uses rubbing alcohol as the antifreeze agent making it a good option for much of the Canterbury region. Mix using 1 litre of water (again, it’s preferrable to use distilled rather than tap), 225gm of rubbing alcohol and 30gm of liquid castle soap. Colder winter condition may require adding additional alcohol to the mix.
Don’t forget to check your wiper blades, they’re another key component of keeping the windshield clear and clean. If you need new one’s come in and see us.
The team at Fast Autoglass wish you happy and safe driving.