Windshield Wiper Fluid VS Water – Which one is better?

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Windshield Wiper Fluid VS Water

Windshield should be always clean and clear of any dust and debris. Driving with a dirty windshield is unsafe. Do I have to use windshield wiper fluid instead of water? This question is often heard. It implies that many people think if water can replace windshield wiper fluid to clean the windshield. The fact is that regular tap water doesn’t contain special cleaning agents found in windshield wiper fluid.

Do I have to use windshield wiper fluid instead of water?

As mentioned previously, regular tap water lacks cleaning solvents thus it doesn’t work as effective as cleaning fluid to clean a windshield. That’s the main reason why cleaning fluid works better than water. It doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to use water. For cleaning a thin layer of dust, water still works.

However, water fails to completely clean a deeper layer of dust, bird droppings, and road grime. You definitely need cleaning fluid that contain alcohol and methanol that can easily clean these elements. Moreover, cleaning fluid contains antifreeze agent so it won’t freeze in cold weather. Water, in the other hand, freezes at a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit. In this case, using water to clean windshield is not recommended.

Some people who choose water over cleaning fluid not only because water is practical but also much cheaper. They also think that washer fluid contain chemicals that are harmful for the environment. Besides, the chemicals can damage the car paint. You don’t need to be worried about it because nowadays may companies do not use strong chemicals any longer. Instead, they use milder ingredients which are environmentally friendly.

Recommendation for vehicle owners

It’s essential to equip your car with a specialized windshield cleaner. So whenever the road throws mess at you, the windshield can be quickly cleaned. There are many types of cleaning fluid available in store and online.

Different products may have different formula. Classic Blue, for instance, is the most common type you can almost always find at every service area. It is multi-purpose cleaner liquid that is able to clean a variety of stains. The price is cheap but it doesn’t come with antifreeze agent thus it can’t handle ice or snow.

If you live in a chilly area, consider using de-icing products. They keep a windshield free of frost. Typically ice-busting washer fluids are safe down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. There is also cleaning fluids designed for all seasons meaning that it can remove ice and snow and during cold days and can power off bugs and grime during summer.

So, when someone asks you do I have to use windshield wiper fluid or is water OK? You can answer “Yes”. It’s highly recommended to use cleaning fluid. Water can be used only in warm weather and it only works to clean thin layers of dust. In cold weather, water can freeze thus it’s not recommended to be used in winter or when the temperature is below 32 degrees of Fahrenheit.

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