A question about Windshield Washer Fluid

When I went to my nearest Walmart, I needed to get the Windshield Washer Fluid.

When I arrived home, I took a break for a few minutes and stared at the Washer Fluid. I thought to myself, why can’t I just take regular water and put salt inside?. The liquid will not freeze in low temps or will it? Salt is also spreaded on ice during winter, which it melts the ice. So, putting in water should prevent the water from freezing right?

Instead of spending $3-$4 for a gallon of crap, I could just take a milk gallon, fill it with water and pour maybe the entire salt into it hahhaha, jk, i mean maybe a little.

Lastly, would regular water damage the windshield because of the impurities in water? Maybe distilled water would be a better choice.


Salt Residue Will Be Left On Your Windshield Which Will Obstruct Vision. We Have That Exact Problem Here In The Salt / Rust Belt.

The Salt Is All Over The Roads In Winter And Sprays Up On Windshields When Mixed With Melting Snow. When the solution dries, white residue is left behind.

Do you want to know what we use to get the salt residue off of the windshield? . . . Windshield washer fluid from places like Wal-Mart or auto parts stores.

Don’t cheap out on washer fluid. You buy gallons and gallons of gasoline at $2 - $3 per gallon and can’t afford an occasional gallon of washer fluid? Find some other idea for saving a buck.


Besides you will probaly corrode any internal metallic parts in the system and eventually plug up the orifices-Kevin

Eventually heck…probably in very short order just from the salt residue itself as the water dried in the system. And yes water impurities, especially particulates from unfiltered well water could clog immediately. There is a reason to abide by the owners manual. It’s a necessary gallon of “crap”. By WWF on sale for a fraction of the cost.

This question is a joke…I hope.

Good idea, you try it for a winter and report back the results. You’ll have to do some homework to determine the concentration of salt in the water to make sure it doesn’t freeze up at 0 or -10 or whatever the lowest temp is expected in your locale.

Let’s us know the effect on the paint, chrome, polished aluminum, wiper blades and arms, stuff like that.

There are actually people out there…don’t buy their cars when they’re done with them.

hahhaah wow thanks for the funny answers guys. It was not just for laughs or anything like that, but also you guys pointed out the effects of it. I personally never knew some of this stuff, it never came to my mind, which should have came in the first place.

Nah, I don’t want to risk damaging the car. If i had a car that I didn’t need, I would done this and report the results to you in no time.

Thank you all

Trust me–I know that they are out there, perhaps in very large numbers.
That is why I do not buy used cars.

The OP never knew that salt corrodes metal parts?

He/she never knew that the reason why people use so much windshield washer fluid in the winter is because of the need to remove salt residue from windshields?

This is scary.

We have to remind ourselves that there are people out there who have a life beyond “cars”. Some of my closest friends laugh at me for the obvious literary, grammar and memory issues I have, while I laugh at them for their mechanical ineptitude. Some are much worse than this and more life threatening. I’ll give him/her a pass on this one if he/she will give me a pass on my grammar.

Dagosa–While I respect your opinions and usually agree with them, I am going to differ on this one.

Whether someone owns a car or not, it would just seem to me that the relationship between salt and corrosion of metal parts should be fairly well-known to adults in the 21st Century. Perhaps the relationship between road salt and the need for windshield cleaning would escape a non-driver, but I would venture to say that most kids are aware that salt corrodes metal parts.

This “crap” you are referring to has a detergent in it as well to clean the windshield. Agree with others, the minerals in your tap water and the salt will over time put a nasty deposit on your windshield, sort of defeating the purpose of having windshield washers in the first place.

I would be careful , however when buying the fluid from Walmart. Last fall I was ready to put a jug in my shopping cart when I looked at the label and found they were still selling SUMMER fluid (pink) in November. I live in a cold area and this stuff has no alcohol in it! It would freeze up the system.

When I asked store clerk about it, and the absence of WINTER fluid (usually blue), he shrugged his shoulders, and said someone based in the East had told him to sell the existing stock first.

I’ll bet if you go to a wrecking yard and offer to siphon the washer fluid out of the cars in the yard, you could have all the washer fluid you want and save yourself the $3 or so for a gallon. I think they have to dispose of those fluids anyway.
In the time period when cars didn’t have inside hood releases, a person could go around at night and siphon windshield fluid out of other people’s cars to save a dollar.
I personally look for washer fluid on sale when I’m in stores like WalMart and I don’t think I pay more than $1.50 a gallon.

I remember back in the 1940’s and 1950’s when a windshield washer was an option. We bought a little bottle of windshield washer antifreeze and mixed it with a gallon of water. When the premixed gallons came out, I thought it was worth the few extra cents to buy the premix. I don’t know if the “mix it yourself” windshield washer antifreeze is even available today.

Most auto part stores sell a gallon of the stuff for 99 cents every other week.

Mixing salt with water and then spraying it on your windshield is not a good idea.

There is no salt in the fluid. The fluid contains ethanol, methanol, ethylene glycol, isopropanol, or a mix. It is these chemicals that lower the freezing point of the fluid. If you use salt, you risk plugging up the drains and hoses, in addition to accelerating the corrosive effects on whatever metal components come in contact with the salt. The salt will do far more damage than water impurities.

Go easy on the guy. At least he was smart enough to ask the question before he actually did it!

Ethylene glycol? Hmmm… I wonder what would happen if I mixed a gallon of water with a pint of antifreeze and used that?

Tridaq, I Don’t Remember The Model Or Year, But I’m Pretty Sure It Was Chevrolet, There Were “Factory” Little Metal Clips Underhood That Held A Triangular Shaped Glass Bottle Of Washer Concentrate.