What Is Windshield Washer Solvent?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2019
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People often need to clean their windshields while driving, and windshield washer solvent helps them with this task. This product resembles window cleaner used in a home, and is placed in a special tank below the automobile's hood. When the windshield washer cleaner needs to be dispensed, a special lever is depressed inside the vehicle and then the windshield wipers are engaged to help disperse this solvent. Some formulas may have a de-icing agent or help repel dirt as well.

Windshield washer solvent typically looks much like other window cleaner, and is often green or blue but is occasionally pink. It is a thin liquid, which pours very smoothly into its special tank below the car's hood. This product is normally sold in one gallon (3.79 l) containers and can be found anywhere automotive supplies are available.

Other ingredients may be added to windshield washer solvent to help keep the front window clean. Windshield wiper fluid used in cold areas may have an antifreeze added to help defrost the windshield and prevent ice from forming. Other formulas could have a wax added to help repel rain or snow, while windshield washer cleaner with a bug remover is also popular in many areas.


Windshield washer solvent is used by pouring the product directly from the bottle into a special reservoir, which is located underneath the hood of an automobile. This is often done using a funnel in order to keep the solvent from spilling. Most tanks have a line on the side, which indicates when the unit is full.

When an individual needs to clean the windshield while driving, all he needs to do is depress a special lever inside the vehicle in order to release the windshield washer solvent. After this, he will need to engage the windshield wipers in order to spread the cleaner evenly so it will not impair his vision. This is most often done when dirt or insects come in contact with the windshield while traveling.

Although it may be tempting to use other cleaners in the solvent tank, this should be avoided because windshield washer cleaner is designed to work with the moving parts of an automobile. Other formulas may contain harmful ingredients, which could erode the belts or hoses of a car, causing expensive repairs. This product is generally inexpensive and lasts for some time, so the cost of using windshield wiper fluid should not be an issue.


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