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Nontoxic windshield wiper fluid

On the topic of a substance that doesn’t freeze. I have read that in Siberia they mix vodka into their mortar to keep it from freezing. Vodka is the diminutive form of the Russian word “Voda” (water) which translates as “little water”. This lack of water being what keeps it from freezing.

Unless pricing is very different in your neck of the woods than in my area, even the most expensive WW fluid is still far cheaper than Vodka is. And, as to Vodka being “non-toxic”, exposure to alcohol of any type is considered to be a big no-no when it comes to pets.

[quote=“wesleytherrien414, post:1, topic:104381”]
I have read that in Siberia they mix vodka into their mortar to keep it from freezing.

The next time I go to Siberia to build a brick wall I will remember that.

nuts…alcohol would evaporate

My guess is that this means water and alcohol, since “mortar” implies water is already in the mixture. So a small amount of alcohol is added to keep the water from freezing. I bet you can get some pretty cheap vodka in Russia.

Yeah just enough to keep it from freezing. Good point

And also grain alcohol or corn or anything cheap really

So: How about routing the engine coolant to the washer circuit ? Would ordinary antifreeze work as a washer solvent – provided you didn’t care about the paint job on your car ? It would not only be freeze-proof, it would be warm !


Would ordinary antifreeze work as a washer solvent – provided you didn’t care about the paint job on your car ?

Well, ordinary antifreeze is toxic, too, so I don’t see what you’d be gaining. Why are you determined to have drinkable washer fluid?

Washer fluid is toxic, but no more than every other fluid your vehicle uses…like gasoline. The reason it carries the “Toxic; cannot be made non-toxic” warning is because it contains methyl alcohol (methanol), which desperate and/or stupid people have been known to drink to get buzzed (after all, it says “alcohol,” right in the name.)

So, just refrain from drinking washer fluid, and you’ll be fine.

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It was just something they were discussing on the show… I guess you missed it today.

@wesleytherrien414 Do you realize the shows are and have been for sometime reruns and many stations have already dropped the shows.

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The original question was how to make a Non-toxic window washer fluid because the methanol used in the washers in his area of Alaska was being washed into the storm drains and going out to sea affecting the Salmon . . . = BoooooGUS !

This whole thing could have easily been resolved had The Boys told him that any form of alcohol / methanol EVAPORATES soon after hitting the air.

MIT degrees ? Harumph !

Nope didn’t realize. But now that you have pointed out my ignorance to the
whole wide web I now know.

Yes, but what about the other ingredients:
ethylene glycol
something to make water beadup
something to facilitate bug removal
(can’t seem to find anything about these online)

And the methanol eventually finds it’s way to the water table or to the ocean. Think about the millions of gallons of this stuff used every year.

A google search of “windshield washer fluid hurting salmon” turned up…nothing.

Thanks, guys – yes, I just heard a rerun of the show that contained this question. Good points, all. I somehow doubt that there are millions of gallons of this stuff making it from the roadsides of Alaska into her waterways, every year – but what do I know. The squirters on my 88 Civic wagon gave up long ago, and I do fine without them – in tepid San Francisco !

  1. Methanol is highly volatile. It will evaporate quickly, and will accumulate in the air, not water.
  2. Methanol likely has a short half-life in the air. As soon as a photon whacks that hydroxyl good and proper, you’re left with methane in short order.
  3. Hence, methane is roughly as bad for the environment as flatulence.
  4. Some people just need to worry about something, I guess.

Methanol would decompose into carbon dioxide and water, not methane. Methanol’s global warming potential should be conidered the same as carbon dioxide.

So in other words, nearly no affect at all?
Water vapor is the largest contributor followed by methane

It is my understanding that no one uses “Anti-freeze” in window wash.

I make my own using :slight_smile:
1/4 cup of Ammonia
1 Qt. Rubbing alcohol 70%
1 drop or 2 of detergent
to make 1 gallon of washer fluid. It seems to work well (here in SoCal) he may have to add more alcohol to compensate for the cold.
It it leaves white streaks cut back or cut out the detergent or find a non-streaking formula of soap.