Anybody have a good inexpensive formulae for windshield washer fluid?- thanx,Kevin

In the summer, I just use plain water with maybe 1/4 tsp of Ivory liquid dishwashing soap. Sometimes I just use plain water only. Sometimes I’ll add in a little, maybe 5 tablespoons, Windex or some isopropyl alcohol, but I don’t notice much difference in cleaning performance compared to the water/Ivory. In the winter I use purchased blue pre-mix WW fluid, which has freeze protection.

Isopropyl alcohol and water, 50-50.

All washer fluids are 30% methyl alcohol and distilled water with a blue colorant. You can’t buy these ingredients and make your own washer fluid for cheaper than what washer fluid sells for.


As a fellow cheap guy, I think you are wasting your time on this one. The stuff is cheap. Buy a bunch when it’s on sale, because it will last until you need it. Learn to replace your own brake pads, and save some real money.

If you make your own using tap water, it is likely to contain sedmiment which can plug up your washer jet ports. I recommend buying the cheap stuff at Wal-Mart. If you must make your own, use filtered water.

I agree with Wentwest. You’ll spend $30 in gas, vehicle wear, and materials to save ten cents in window wash.

I have a gallon jug of blue washer fluid in the garage. I bought it 4 years ago and have used about a pint of it. You can have the rest. :slight_smile:

Seriously, you can find the gallon jugs on sale for a buck and a half if you look. Can’t make the stuff cheaper than that.

Making your own windshield washer fluid makes me think of my great counterfeiting idea for pennies. I gave up the idea when I realized that it would cost me five cents for each penny I produced.

Yeah, just buy a gallon of the blue stuff for like $1.50. It’s pretty cheap as is. I really can’t think of anything cheaper that you buy by the gallon.

thanks,trouble is its usually closer to $3 a gal around here and I do use a lot of plain water and generally replace my own brakes-Kevin

Even at $3 you’re not going to save much by making it yourself. Using tap water will probably eventually clog up the pump or nozzles from minerals in the water, at least where I live where we have hard water. Plus plain, stagnant water in the reservoir will probably quickly start to have nasty things growing in it.

As a side note, I used to think milk was expensive and gas was cheap; now I wish my car would run on milk…

Then summertime water + squirt of dish detergent, wintertime the blue stuff.

I’m Downright Cheap Fairly Thrifty, Too.

Where I live the blue stuff would freeze half the year. I run the same brew all year, rather than switch for different seasons. I usually buy the Prestone yellow stuff (-34* F) from WM at the end of the winter season. They clearance it to make room for the summer bug stuff. I stock up with several gallons, enough to last until the next sale.

With that said, there are some things automotive that one shouldn’t overdo cheaping out too much. Tires, brakes, wiper blades, washer fluid, to name a few, are items that can keep you safe or kill you.


I have trouble believing this post! Walmart sells the stuff often at just over a buck a gallon. The fluid has a non smearing detergent in it as well. I usually stock up on those specials. Just don’t use their summer fluid in the winter!

Now, if you wanted info on where the best deals are in good wines and whiskeys!

For $3/gal you use water instead? How much windshield wash do you use, anyway?

Personally I use the $$$ rain x. I find it coats the windshield with a nice layer of very slippery stuff so I find myself using less fluid and wipers very rarely. At speed water beads and runs off along with snow/ice tends not to stick.

Really, how often do you need it? I don’t think I go through more than a couple gallons a year. Clean the bugs and junk off when you get gas or clean it by hand at home with Windex.

Even at $3 it’s still cheap. But I guess if you don’t consider your time as being particularly valuable. You could still come out ahead mixing up a batch of it with distilled water, a little bit of alcohol, and maybe a little Windex thrown in. But from a time/cost standpoint, if it takes you more than say 10 minutes to gather up everything and mix up the concoction, then you’re probably better off just buying the stuff.

In VA, you might mix the methanol/water store mixture with more water. 30% methanol in water freezes at about -17F. 15% methanol in water freezes at about +2F. You can probably cut it 50% and it won’t freeze. You can use an intermediate mixture if you want a lower freezing point.