Windshield washer fluid, also known as wiper fluid, washer fluid, windshield wiper fluid, or screen wash in the United Kingdom, is fluid for vehicles used for cleaning windshields. This is applied together with your car’s windshield wiper as the vehicle runs. Since it works well, many people are curious if this also works for windows. So, can you use windshield washer fluid to clean windows?
Why windshield washer fluid is not a good choice for cleaning windows
You might want to avoid using windshield washer fluid for cleaning your windows because the product is formulated differently.
The washer fluids are mainly made not turn frozen. These are also meant for cleaning road grime and dried bugs that got splatted on the windshield.
Household window glass cleaners, on the other hand, contain high amounts of ammonia. These are meant to remove oils and grease from fingerprints as well as those that got deposited because of cooking and many other activities inside the house.
There are also windshield washer fluid brands that are not that environmentally friendly and are also highly toxic. The only thing that many people like about it is that this is soap-free. This can clean the glass really nicely and doesn’t leave behind a film or streaks, unlike some soap cleaners.
Chemical composition of windshield washer fluid
There are several chemicals present in wiper fluid and these are methanol as well as other kinds of alcohol such as Ethylene Glycol. Most of these products also contain small quantities of ethanol or antifreeze that are made using methylated spirits to ensure that the product doesn’t freeze even during winter months.
One distinct thing about windshield washer fluid is that it contains an additive to prevent it from freezing. This is something that other cleaners and water doesn’t have. This is why it is never a wise idea to top off your windshield washer fluid with water just to try to save some money.
Types and function of windshield washer fluid
There is more to windshield wiper fluid than just helping to keep your windshield tidy and clean. This also functions to lubricate the washer fluid pump, something that is very important. When the pump doesn’t remain lubricated, this may stop working, end up leaking, and become corroded, all of these are never a good thing for your vehicle.
When the washer is activated, the pump will send the fluid through the length of tubing leading from the tank found right below the windshield. The same process works for cars with rear washers.
You should never get too caught up with the fluid brand that you will buy. However, you might want to factor in the climate in your area. General windshield wiper fluids can work well for regions with warm weather. If the winters in your area tend to get cold, you might want to go for winter windshield wiper fluids since these contain methanol as well as ethylene glycol, which is a more potent antifreeze. It is also a good option to go for de-icing fluid in places with colder climates.
The ingredients present in windshield wiper fluid offer more benefits and this is another reason why you should use these products. There are wiper fluids that contain hydrophobic additives that help rain bead off your windshield. There are also others that even contain an extra-strength bug remover.
Simple and effective tips to have streak-free windows
Do your windows need and deserve some thorough cleaning? Did you notice some small blurry edges on your windows?
Whether you have friends and family coming over for a visit or you have just finally getting around to do a chore that you have neglected for the longest time, window cleaning takes equal parts of know-how and elbow grease to ensure that you can get this job done right.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be hard to achieve streak-free windows. Armed with a few tips and the right tools, you can make your windows sparkling clean in no time at all.
1. Start with vinegar water to sponge your windows
Fill a bucket with one gallon of warm water and add one cup of white vinegar. Wipe this sponge across your window in an S-motion. Start from one side, turn around, then go the opposite direction one row down.
You can dunk the sponge as necessary but make sure you do this fast so that the water on your windows won’t dry out before you can wipe it off. You can do the windows in sections if needed. Be extra careful to get flush against the upper portion of the window since this spot is often easy to miss.
2. Remove the vinegar solution with squeegee
Wet a squeegee a bit then follow the same path that you made using the sponge. Be careful as you wipe away all the water. A clean cloth can be used for dotting any excess lines or liquid left.
3. Spray the window with cleaner
After cleaning the first grime layer from your window, you can now spray a stronger combination of vinegar and water at it, ensuring that most of the glass is covered with the solution.
4. Use a rag to wipe the solution away
Wipe off the cleaning solution across your window and all the window hardware with a clean rag. You will be surprised that there are still lots of grime left behind.
5. Use a newspaper to give the window a good once-over
When your window has become completely dry, bunch up one piece of newspaper then wipe off any remaining liquid. Doing so will help ensure that your windows are streak-free.
While it can be very tempting for you to use a windshield wiper fluid for cleaning your windows, this is not really a recommended thing to do. Instead of using this product, it will be best to use other methods to get the best results and prevent any serious damages to your windows.