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5 Best Windshield Washer Fluid in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks

Conventional windshield wiper_CharlesLoyer_Unsplash

Conventional windshield wiper_CharlesLoyer_Unsplash

Depending on where you typically shop, the store may carry several different possible windshield washer fluid brands and types. So, other than spending your time reading reviews online, how are you supposed to figure out which one is best for you?

We’ve gathered the top picks for this year in one place. Each one has a brief review, including its pros and cons. And then, after the reviews, we’ve compiled a short buying guide to help you navigate the different types of windshield washer fluid and what they do. This way, you can be sure you’re getting the perfect one for your situation.

For example, if you live somewhere that doesn’t get any cold weather, you don’t want a de-icer; you’ll want a bug wash or an all-season formula. Let’s dive in!

car and road divider

A Glance at Our Winners in 2022

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
2-in-1 All Season Washer Fluid 2-in-1 All Season Washer Fluid
  • All-season formula
  • Water beading technology
  • Premixed for easy use
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Windshield Washer Fluid Concentrate Windshield Washer Fluid Concentrate
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Mixes 32 gallons of windshield washer fluid
  • Biodegradable
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Year-Round Windshield Washer Fluid Year-Round Windshield Washer Fluid
  • All-season formula
  • Premixed for easy use
  • Water beading technology
  • Summer Bug Wash Summer Bug Wash
  • Tackles tough bug stains during the summer
  • Helps reduce wiper wear
  • Specially formulated to break down road grime and dirt
  • Windshield De-Icer Windshield De-Icer
  • Melts ice and frost
  • Helps reduce glare
  • Streak-free
  • The 5 Best Windshield Washer Fluids

    1. 2-in-1 All Season Washer Fluid – Best Overall

    2-in-1 All Season Washer Fluid

    Brand: Rain-X
    Form: Premixed Liquid
    Volume: 1 gallon
    Season: All-season

    Rain-X has long been one of the leading brand names for window care products. Their 2-in-1 all-season formula is the best overall windshield washer fluid. It provides effective cleaning for the winter and summer months at a reasonable price for a gallon.

    The one downside of using an all-season formula is that it doesn’t perform the best during any single season. However, if you’re looking for a product that you can continue filling your windshield fluid reservoir with regardless of the season, this is an excellent product.

    Pros
    • All-season formula
    • Water beading technology
    • Premixed for easy use
    • Reasonable price
    • Universal compatibility
    Cons
    • Isn’t the best available for any single season

    2. Windshield Washer Fluid Concentrate– Best Value

    Windshield Washer Fluid Concentrate

    Brand: Qwix Mix
    Form: Liquid concentrate
    Volume: 8 ounces
    Season: Summer

    As a general rule, it’s cheaper to buy things in bulk in the long run. This concentrated liquid is no exception to this rule. For this reason, this liquid concentrate is the best windshield washer fluid for the money. The small 8-ounce bottle will mix 32 gallons of cleaner that you can use primarily as a windshield washer fluid. However, you could also use it in a spray bottle as a glass cleaner.

    The other great thing about this washer fluid is that it’s environmentally friendly because it’s biodegradable. But it’s not without its downsides. Being a concentrate, you have to mix it with water versus just pouring it into the reservoir. It’s also a summer formula and needs a non-freezing additive like rubbing alcohol for winter use.

    Pros
    • Environmentally friendly
    • Mixes 32 gallons of windshield washer fluid
    • Biodegradable
    • Can mix and use as a glass cleaner as well
    Cons
    • Summer-use only unless you use a non-freezing additive
    • Needs to be mixed with water

    3. Year-Round Windshield Washer Fluid – Premium Choice

    Year-Round Windshield Washer Fluid

    Brand: Prestone
    Form: Premixed liquid
    Volume: 1 gallon
    Season: All-season

    Suppose you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks on windshield washer fluid. In that case, this all-season formula by Prestone is also a great choice if you’re looking for a one-and-done washer fluid regardless of the temperature outside. Like the Rain-X version, it won’t be the best product possible for any one season. However, it’s got a similar water beading technology and works well regardless of weather and temperature outside.

    The price tag may be a hurdle for some. But many people find that the quality is good for the price you pay.

    Pros
    • All-season formula
    • Premixed for easy use
    • Water beading technology
    • Universal compatibility
    Cons
    • Doesn’t perform the best during any single season
    • Expensive

    4. Summer Bug Wash

    Summer Bug Wash

    Brand: HS
    Form: Premixed liquid
    Volume: 1 gallon
    Season: Summer

    If you’d prefer to switch your windshield washer fluid on a seasonal basis, this is a great summer option for when the temperatures stay above freezing—many people have complained that it will freeze your washer lines and motor if used in freezing weather.

    The benefit of using a summer formula is that it’s specially formulated to break down the road grime and dirt that comes along with the warmer months. Because the formula works to break down what it’s cleaning, it also reduces wiper wear. It is rather pricey, though, and some users report a soapy film on their windshield after use.

    Pros
    • Tackles tough bug stains during the summer
    • Helps reduce wiper wear
    • Specially formulated to break down road grime and dirt
    Cons
    • Summer use only
    • Expensive for what you get
    • Some complaints about a soapy film

    5. Windshield De-Icer

    Windshield De-Icer

    Brand: Prestone
    Form: Premixed liquid
    Volume: 1 gallon
    Season: Winter

    Like our number four pick, if you’d prefer to change your fluid for the season, here’s an excellent choice for winter driving. Prestone has long been one of the leading automotive oil and cleaner brands for its many products. You likely won’t be disappointed whether you’re going with an all-season or this winter cleaner.

    However, the consistency is thin, so sometimes you may need to use more of it. Also, it will be terrible during the summer because of the unique formula. It will not break down bug guts or dirt like a summer wash will.

    Pros
    • Melts ice and frost
    • Helps reduce glare
    • Streak-free
    Cons
    • Winter use only
    • Expensive
    • Thin consistency

    car and road divider

    Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick the Best Windshield Washer Fluid

    Here are a few things to help make sense of some of the stuff manufacturers will put on their windshield washer fluid packaging.

    What Makes the Fluid Winter vs. Summer?

    A summer formula is specially made to clean bug guts and dirt. However, when it comes to freezing, it freezes solid like water. If the temperature gets below freezing during the winter where you live, you’ll need to go with either an all-season or winter formula.

    To keep the cleaner from freezing, the manufacturer adds a non-freezing additive such as a high concentration of alcohol. Not only does this prevent freezing, but it helps to melt ice and frost on your windshield.

    Kinds of Windshield Washer Fluid

    Cleaning windshield wiper_ErikMclean_Unsplash
    Image Credit: Erik Mclean, Unsplash

    There are three types of windshield washer fluid:

    • Premixed liquid: This is what most people go with. There’s no mixing or messing around preparing the cleaner. You just dump it in, and away you go.
    • Concentrated liquid: Usually, a concentrate offers the best value because a smaller amount goes further. You can also get different formulas like summer and winter. However, it’s a bit of extra work.
    • Concentrated tablets: Similar to the liquid concentrate that you mix with water. But the tablets are a little more convenient because you just have to drop them in your reservoir and fill it with water. However, it can be harder to find a winter version of these.

    Water vs. Windshield Washer Fluid

    Technically, you can use water as a windshield washer. However, there are a couple of reasons why it’s not a good idea or recommended. First, it simply won’t clean as well. It’s unlikely to get anything but some dirt or dust off your windshield.

    On the other hand, if you use plain water and it gets cold out, you’ll probably have a repair bill. The water will freeze solid in your washer lines, potentially bursting them. It’s also quite possible that the water could crack your washer motor, which can run you hundreds of dollars.

    car and road divider

    Conclusion

    If you just want the best bang for your buck overall and don’t want to mess around changing it seasonally, we recommend the 2-in-1 Rain-X formula. However, if you’d prefer quantity for your dollar, the Qwix Mix concentrate will do 32 gallons for not much higher cost.

    We hope that these reviews and buying guide have been helpful in your windshield washer fluid choice.


    Featured Image Credit: Charles Loyer, Unsplash

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