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If you're distracted by the grime or streaks on your windshield as you drive home from work, that can be a recipe for disaster—and even a potential accident.
Squirting some washer fluid usually does the trick, but it runs out pretty quickly. If you're a hardcore DIYer and ever thought to yourself, hey...what's in that fluid anyway? Well, you're in luck—windshield wiper fluid can be made quickly with simple ingredients.
Follow the instructions below to make your own windshield washer fluid so you never need to ask the mechanic for a top up again.
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How to make windshield washer fluid at home
- 1 empty gallon jug
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 tablespoon of dish soap
- ½ cup of non-sudsing ammonia
- Blue food coloring (optional)
These ingredients can be found at your local home store or online if you want to order in bulk.
Step 1: Mix ingredients until combined. Pour all of the listed ingredients into your empty gallon jug. Put the lid on tight and gently tip the jug upside down a few times to ensure that all of the contents are properly mixed together.
Step 2: Add food coloring. This step isn’t just for appeal—it can be an important safety feature. Adding blue food coloring helps make the liquid distinguishable, especially if you don’t have a label. The blue liquid stands out more and helps others know that the content is potentially harmful.
Step 3: Do a cold weather check. In order to make sure that your mixture will not freeze if exposed to cold weather, it is a good idea to leave the batch outside in cold conditions.
After exposure, check on the mixture to see if it is slushy or frozen. If it is, add one cup of isopropyl alcohol and test again.
If you are not able to complete a cold weather check, then make a note to check the fluid at a later date before the weather changes. Windshield wiper fluid reacts differently in cold weather, so it is important to monitor the mixture to maintain good performance.
Step 4: Pour into the reservoir and test it out. Once your mixture is complete, you can pour it into the windshield washer reservoir and test it out.
Open the hood of your car and locate the windshield wiper fluid reservoir. The washer fluid reservoir is usually labeled with a windshield wiper symbol and text that says "WASHER FLUID ONLY."
Use a funnel to pour the liquid into the reservoir until full. The reservoir should be clear, so that you can see how much is needed.
Step 5: Store the excess fluid safely. Store the windshield washer fluid on a top shelf in your garage away from kids and animals.
You can now top up your washer fluid whenever you're running low and don't want to stop at the store. Keeping your windshield clear makes driving safer by keeping your eyes on the road instead of focusing on the grime in front of you. You could also look into certain treatments that can help repel water from the glass.
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