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Save Some Money: Make Your Own Windshield Washer Fluid

By Phil Devlin
(November 17, 2023) — I used to buy those big plastic jugs with the blue windshield washer fluid in them for 99 cents. However, like many things in our world, the price has gone up. I saw those blue jugs selling for $3.99 recently which, with the sales tax, comes to about $4.25. I began an investigation to see just what exactly is in those overpriced blue jugs.
It turns out that the ingredients are pretty simple to obtain and for way less than the current price of the finished product. Various formulas can be found online with slight variations. The basic and most important element is distilled water. I get my distilled water by emptying my dehumidifier. Instead of dumping it down a drain, I keep it in a bucket until I want to make some washer fluid. If you don’t have a dehumidifier, just fill a bucket with tap water and leave it uncovered in the garage for a few days, and you can get the same result.
Next I find an empty gallon bottle (such as a milk bottle seen in the photo above) and rinse it out. Using a funnel, I fill it about 3/4 of the way with distilled water. Then I add eight ounces of isopropyl alcohol from the bathroom. Then I give it a short squirt of dish detergent. Then I finish filling the bottle with distilled water. Finally, I put in four drops of blue food coloring and give the bottle a shake. Voila! Washer fluid for about forty cents!
It works great and the alcohol prevents it from freezing. There are some formulas that use ammonia instead of alcohol, but I prefer alcohol in the mix. So there you have it—a cheap way to fight inflation.
Photo by Phil Devlin

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