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Can I Use Windex as My Windshield Wiper Fluid?

Can I Use Windex as My Windshield Wiper Fluid?
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The windshield wiper fluid is refilled from under the hood of the car, and it is designed to keep your wipers and your windshield in prime condition. Once the wiper fluid runs out, you will want to fill it up quickly again. Most people will say that there’s no need for you to use wiper fluid at all; you can just use water instead.

However, it’s important for you to understand that using only water or other harmful substances isn’t a wise idea, as it could leave marks on the windshield. A common question that many people ask is whether they can make use of Windex instead of conventional wiper fluid.

You probably know about Windex; one of the world’s most popular surface cleaners. Windex is usually available in spray bottles, and has an iconic blue colored appearance. It’s very commonly available in local stores and you can easily find Windex almost anywhere.

Windex was manufactured back in 1933 by the Drackett Company, and has been marketed throughout numerous decades. The original was blue, but nowadays, there are several varieties of Windex available in the market.

But, cleaners such as Windex are usually designed for cleaning glass, so why won’t most mechanics tell you to use it on your windshield?

Some people have actually tried this, and have realized that it’s not such a good thing to do. Replacing your wiper fluid with Windex is a terrible idea, and can cost you quite a considerable amount of money in the long run.

So, can you use it? To put it simply; no. There is absolutely no reason why you should consider using Windex as an alternative to your wiper fluid. Here are a few reasons why that is the case.

How Does Ammonia Affect Auto Glass?

First of all, you should know that Windex was designed for use on glass and other hard surface cleaners.

To put it simply, Windex was created for glass that is different than the one used in your automobile. You see, auto glass is tempered and more durable, and is designed to withstand considerable pressure.

In case of an accident, you might have noticed that auto glass doesn’t shatter; it cracks. While Windex is a fantastic product to use at home, there is absolutely no reason for you to use it on the windshield in your car. In fact, you shouldn’t even use it for cleaning the glass.

Most of the Windex line of products contain a chemical known as ammonia. Ammonia does not react kindly with auto glass, and there’s a pretty strong chance that it’s going to leave streaks all over your car. Moreover, if the glass was tinted, the ammonia is probably going to ruin it permanently.

Moreover, the effect is going to be even bigger if you add Windex to your windshield wiper fluid. The chemicals that are included in Windex could cause serious damage to the washer system, and it also contains chemicals that could affect the spray nozzles.

With the passage of time, this is going to cause even more issues as the Windex is going to be spread around all over due to the wipers. If there is a tint on the windshield, you can probably kiss it goodbye.

Now, that you understand the damage that Windex can cause to your windshield, you might want to learn more about the chemicals that are included within the conventional wiper fluid. The conventional wiper fluid consists of methanol and various other types of alcohol, such as ethylene glycol.

A vast majority of the wiper fluids that you will find in the market also contain ethanol, that is made from methylated spirits which are designed to keep the windshield from freezing. An important function of conventional wiper fluids is the fact that they have an additive that prevents the windshield from freezing.

The Functions of Wiper Fluid

The conventional wiper fluid is designed to do a lot more than just keep your windshield clean. The windshield fluid is also designed to lubricate the fluid pump that pushes out the liquid.

You might not realize it, but this is an incredibly important function. If the pump isn’t lubricated on a regular basis, it is probably going to get corroded, and with the passage of time, the pump will stop working altogether.

When you activate the washer, the pump sends a fluid straight through a length of tubing which is connected all the way to the tank, straight from the windshield. This is the exact same process for rear windshield washers as well.

Now, that you know the functions of wiper fluid, it’s time to focus on which types of wiper fluid that you can buy. A common choice for people is to make use of water instead of using conventional wiper fluid. But, that’s a bad idea, because water is likely to cause corrosion in the windshield.

Instead, you should consider buying a high-quality wiper windshield. When you go to the local workshops or any auto parts store, you are going to see a bunch of different options being sold out there. There’s no need to get caught up in the type of windshield wiper fluid that you should buy.

But, one important thing that you need to consider is the climate in which you live and work in. A general wiper fluid is usually the best choice for use in warm weather. But, if the winters tend to get quite cold in your area, you should consider investing in a proper winter wiper fluid.

As mentioned above, winter wiper fluids contain an antifreeze that prevents the windshield from freezing over. There are a few types of windshields available in the market that contain hydrophobic properties, so when you spray them on the windshield, they will create an artificial layer that is going to prevent water and raindrops from forming over the surface of the windshield.

This considerably improves clarity and vision during those rainy trips.

If you use the windshield wiper fluid at least once or twice a day, you might want to take a look at the reserves from time to time. Most people like to carry a bottle with them in the boot of their car, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You just need to make sure that you fill it up on a consistent basis.

Usually, you will get a notification or a light on the dashboard indicating a reduced level of windshield wiper fluid. But, if you don’t get that, you should always remain vigilant and check it from time to time. At least once or twice a month, you should check all the fluids of your vehicle.

Make sure you take a look at the reserves of the windshield wiper fluid too. Also, it’s important that you avoid mixing water in the windshield wiper fluid, as that could cause further damage to the whole thing. Only use the windshield wiper fluid as instructed on the back of the bottle, and do not dilute it.

These are just a few simple things that you should know about viable windshield wiper fluids and the main purposes that they serve.