Safe and Environmentally Friendly Windshield Washer Fluid

Everything I find on sale to clear my “Low Washer Fluid Level” alarm clearly states that it is Poison and can not be made Non-Poisonous. Is there anything that can be used in winter months that will not freeze and is non-lethal?

Ethyl alcohol. You can buy it at your liquor store. Do not buy denatured ethyl alcohol. It contains 5% isopropyl alcohol, which is poisonous. OTOH, what are you worried about? Who or what is going to drink it? If you are concerned about a child or pet, use the advice given. If it is an environmental concern, forget about it. You can use methyl, ethyl (even denatured) or isopropyl alcohols. They will not poison the environment. But don’t use ethylene glycol because it will kill dogs, even if a small amount drips onto the road. It smells sweet and will attract dogs. They lick, they die.

The “poison” is de-natured alcohol, rubbing alcohol. It’s only poison if you drink it…

If you feel you must be able to drink it, by a jug of PGA at your local liquor store and mix it 50-50 with water…That will be some very expensive washer fluid…

While this stuff is poisonous when taken internally, it probably isn’t considered a pollutant. I think you should go ahead and use the stuff you find for sale.

Plus the fact that the methanol’s so volatile, that it’ll evaporate in seconds, rather than entering the water table.

You can get “denatured alcohol” (i.e. ethanol with a little bit of methanol and/or methyl ethyl ketone), but if you want 100% ethanol, you’ll have to pay the $27/gallon federal excise tax.

clearly states that it is Poison and can not be made Non-Poisonous.

What that means is just that you can’t (or at least, would do well not to) get drunk off of it. So, unless you have a burning desire to get high off of your washer fluid, it shouldn’t be a problem…

I agree with all the previous replies. When you think of all the other poisonous fluids in your vehicle, your windshield washer fluid is at the friendly end of the list.

“Poison” means don’t drink it. It does not mean that it’s an environmental hazard. It is not. If it were, you can be assured that the Clean Air and/or Clean Water act would regulate it via the EPA and a complicated, expensive system would be designed onto your car to keep all but a few PPM of it from ever leaving the confines of your car.

Use it with a clear conscience. Just don’t drink it.

Also, I’m surprised nobody else has mentioned this, but the environmentally-friendly wiper fluid sucks bad. It’ll freeze in the high-20’s and doesn’t really work that well even when it’s a liquid. It’s barely better than using plain old water.

As the others have noted regular skull-and-crossbones washer fluid really isn’t that toxic in the greater scheme of things.

What is the environmentally-friendly washer fluid?
Never heard of such.
Thank you.

Robert, I think you missed the point. Normal windshield washer fluid may be poisonous, but that doesn’t necessarily make it an environmental hazard.

Although it is true that most environmental hazards are poisonous to humans and animals, some poisons don’t fit into the category of environmental pollutants. With windshield washer fluid, this is probably because it dissipates too quickly to contaminate the environment.

Someone tell the regulators here that. Where I live, I can’t even buy anything rated lower than 32 degrees. Trying driving into snow country with that in your reservoir.


Just use what you can find on sale,to match the conditions-rest easy you will harm no one by its use-Kevin