Top 3 Best Windshield Washer Fluids 2020:
- Top Overall Pick: Prestone AS658-6PK Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid
- Top Deicing Fluid Pick: Hi-Gear HG5653e Windshield Washer Concentrate
- Top Water Repellent Pick: Rain-X 800002243 Yellow Windshield Treatment
There are very few things that contribute more to safe driving than clean windshields. Seriously, no matter how fit your vehicle might be, if the thing you use to navigate the traffic is smirched, cracked or easily catches dirt, you will be in danger.
You should understand by now that simply showering your windshields with water and giving them a good old rub (we all do it from time to time) is simply not enough.
That brings us to windshield washer fluids, those godsend products that are designed to keep our windshield clear, our families safe and car maintenance a breeze.
So, let’s take a look at some of the most popular offerings on the market and try to find out which one is the best windshield washer fluid of them all.
Related: The Best Windshield Wipers
See Also: The Best Windshield Sun Shades
21 Best Windshield Washer Fluids In 2020: Detailed Reviews
But, before we proceed to the actual reviews, we have to point out that there are windshield washers, and then there are windshield washers. First of all, quality washes should not only clean your glass but also leave the protective residue that prevents the dirt from latching on so easily.
Second, there are things like antifreeze properties, water-repelling (incredibly important if you are living in a rainy area) and streak free finish (some fluids tend to create persistent streaks that are neither safe nor aesthetically pleasing).
Last but not least, there’s the scent – seriously, who doesn’t like their car smelling good?
So, now that we know what makes good windshield washer fluids good, let’s see what we thought of the very products.
As you would expect, from the product carrying this name, RainX Yellow Windshield Treatment is heavily focused on providing the optimal protection from water, which is not a bad thing.
Also, it should be mentioned that this fluid is not only about maintaining the driving visibility during rainy conditions – its strong hydrophobic formula helps it to easily deal even with some heavier obstacles like snow and sleet.
As a result, water (in all its aggregate states) easily beds up and rolls away from the glass. We are glad to see that fluid also improves the performance of wiper blades, so even if some residues manage to remain on the windshield, your problem will be solved in a couple of fast swipes.
Unfortunately, that’s pretty much it. Although it’s very easily applied to the glass and excels as a rain repellent, if you want a full package performance, you will need to use at least one additional product.
Yes, you’ve read it right – this is a genuine BMW product. But, don’t set your hopes way too high.
You see, BMW usually sells its cars bundled with a bottle of high-quality washer fluid. This is not that product. It lacks the pleasant smell and it requires greater amounts of fluid to do the same job. A curious decision to sell the inferior product separately, but who are we to judge BMW.
We are here to take an independent look at this washer concentrate, and putting the things in this perspective, we have to admit that washer definitely performs above the average.
The fluid doesn’t leave noticeable traces, it definitely features winter-ready antifreeze ingredients, and does a good job keeping the windshields clean long after washing.
However, the performance drops significantly during winter months and in cold climates. Don’t get us wrong, the fluid still does its job, but the amounts you will need to use are going to be tremendous.
All in all, a solid product, but you may find better luck elsewhere.
Now, here’s a product that plays up an interesting gimmick we somehow failed to mention by now. Yes, we are talking about organic waste like bug residue and bird droppings. Not the worst menace you can think about, but definitely annoying and potentially threatening.
Be that as it may, AS657 features a formula that does a really good job removing these organic unpleasantries from your windshield and adds a pleasant smell to quickly forget they were ever there. Also, the fluid residue repels new insects from gracing your windshield, so unless you catch some driving at tops speed, you’ll mostly be care-free.
But, that’s not the only feature Prestone AS657 can brag about. The fluid also features strong water-repellent properties and cleans the windshield to shine with ease. So, definitely a well-rounded product.
As for the drawbacks – once again the fluid doesn’t perform all that well in cold weather, and we’d like to see some antifreeze properties. Also, the smell of the fluid is pleasant, but some people may find it too strong. It’s really a matter of taste.
It is always good to see famous auto manufacturers putting the effort to offer their customers products used for car maintenance. Having colossal budgets behind them, such products show a lot of promise. As we’ve seen with BMW’s washer concentrate that potential doesn’t always come to fruition. Fortunately, Mercedes Benz made a much better job designing their formula.
Well, all these things aside, how does the fluid perform? The short answer would be solid. The cleaning is easy, and the residue creates a strong protective layer that keeps your windshields safe from dirt and elements. The smell is not bad, and the concentrate is very potent so you will be able to get a lot of mileage out of it with proper dosage.
Of course, not everything is perfect in Mercedes-land. For instance, the fluid retains one of the most common problems of this type of product – crystallization at lower temperatures. Also, the name Mercedes carries quite a heavy price tag. This product is easily one of the most expensive we covered.
Still, even though a bit overpriced, you still get a lot of value from this product.
This product is easily one of the strongest candidates for the title of the best windshield washer fluid we reviewed. It simply does too many things right to be ignored.
Let’s start with the long list of problems this compact bottle is capable of solving. Insects, water, bug splatter – virtually any kind of road grime is removed with ease. Then, you get a more than reasonable amount of protection. Even better, the fluid makes the surface very smooth so your wiper blades can operate without any hiccups.
It should be also mentioned that the fluid is very easily applied and after just a couple of swipes, it leaves no visible signs of streaks and creates no glare.
Finally, we have to cover the formula density – the package of just one ounce can be easily dissolved into whole 12 gallons of fluid without losing any quality, which makes this product a tremendous amount of value.
It’s easy to see we are talking about an efficient, affordable and incredibly appealing product. Is there anything wrong?
Well, the smell is… We don’t know, it leaves a kinda mildew-ish impression. Still, not horrible.
Although we haven’t ranked the product in any particular order it just so happens that some of the best entries found their way to the list back to back. So have no doubts, as much as we loved nextzett Kristall Klar Washer Fluid, this product can seriously threaten its claim to the throne.
But, instead of comparing AS658-6PK to the Kristall Klar, the much better question would be what sets the fluid apart from the previous Prestone’s product that found a way to the roundup?
Well, this time we are talking about a much more versatile entry. Even though AS657 haven’t put all of its bets on the ability to efficiently clean the bug splashes, this time, Prestone came out with the product that does a much better job dealing with rain and cold weather.
As a matter of fact, the washer is capable of enduring the temperatures as low as -27°F (-33°C) which is pretty impressive. Also, the washer does a top-notch job as a deicer.
All in all – a rather impressive product.
Once again, the only downside we can think off is the smell, which is, this time, a bit more unpleasant than the one we found in Kristall Klar.
And now it’s time for something completely different. Well, different enough to put it more precisely.
What makes this product stand out? The solution is packed in neat five neat pouches which, when dissolved, amount to five gallons of fluid each. This kind of packaging is much more eco-friendly since you won’t be leaving too many plastic jugs behind you.
Also, the price-value ratio is great – considering how much you are asked to pay, you will be able to squeeze a lot of mileage out of this product.
Putting this interesting angle aside, we are happy to report that the washer you get at the end performs pretty satisfying. Cleaning is thorough and pretty much effortless, the liquid leaves no visible traces, and the level of protection you get, although far from awesome is definitely above the average.
But, considering the strong competition it’s hard to escape the feeling that, in this case, above the average is simply not good enough.
Take into consideration that fluid does a pretty poor job lowering the water’s freezing temperature, and you’ll see why CAF, in spite of doing a lot of stuff right, will have some problem finding its place in the market.
Reviewing Prestone’s products has by now become a bit redundant. We already covered the product that somehow managed to put everything company’s good at in a single jug. Is there any point covering the product that focuses so heavily on deicing.
Well, yes and no. Looking at it as an isolated product, AS250 does an unprecedented job at what is designed to do. The fluid resolves the piles of ice incredibly quickly and creates a layer of protection which makes future icing virtually impossible. At least for some time.
Compared to the previous Prestone’s product, we can’t classify such a strong performance as anything but considerable improvement. Also, the fluid does a decent job at cleaning the grime, but since you are going to use it in winter conditions, this neat feature is practically irrelevant.
And that’s pretty much it.
The question remains, why would you spend your money on this product when you can get the fluid that performs deicing on nearly the same level and offers much, much more?
Still, if you are not in need of so much versatility and live in the area that sees a lot of snow throughout the year, you can find a lot to be admired here.
This product packs a lot of value, there’s simply no other way around it. One quart of this product can be easily dissolved to 55 gallons of the finished product – definitely one of the most cost-effective entries on the list.
The fact that concentrate does a solid job at cleaning your windshields does not make this situation any harder, either. Most of the softer stains will be dealt with ease. As for insect waste, we would recommend going with some more potent solution.
And that’s pretty much everything good we have to say about Aqua Charge Windshield Washer concentrate. As for the rest of the performance, it’s ok but not, but far from spectacular. For instance, the formula lacks methanol so if you want to prevent the fluid freezing on lower temperatures you will need to add this substance into the mix.
The thing that annoyed us the most, though, was the fact that you need to be extraordinary précises when making the finished product. Adding too much water will render the liquid useless. Adding too little will live you some fat, blue, hard to remove stains on the windshields.
So, although the package is definitely economic, the performance is still subpar.
This product is proof that Prestone is not the only company that knows to play the game of market segmentation. We already saw one very solid water repellent coming from this company. Now is the time to see how the manufacturer handles the issue of deicing.
For all of you who are impatient, the answer is – rather well. The fluid easily removes the layers of ice and prevents new layers from building up. This strong performance is the result of the very potent formula, which, although very strong does not damage any type of glass finish.
But, that’s not all. The fluid also does a very solid job as a windshield cleaner and can be even used as bug remover – a very solid bug remover for that matter. Take into the equation that you also get a decent amount of protection from grime build up and you’ll get one incredibly well-rounded product.
Of course, in spite of such a strong performance, Rain-X RX68106 is not without some flaws. In this case, we are talking about a rather steep price. We are not saying that the price is not backed up by a very strong performance. Still, the price tag may be too hefty for an average buyer.
The next product we are going to review has a similar problem like the previous one. Namely, its price is definitely above the average. The silver lining in this entire situation is that the package is rather small. What’s so good about it you might ask? Well, if you don’t use windshield washers too frequently, you can buy one of these smaller packages instead of some huge jugs and save some money along the way.
As for the very performance, we can say it does an adequate job. The dirt is dealt with ease, and the fluid provides a reasonable amount of protection when applied. It is also good to know that the fluid doesn’t create any unpleasant streaks that may potentially obstruct your visibility.
But, that’s about it. The formula handles low temperatures rather poorly, and if you manage to pick up a couple of insects along to way you won’t have any more luck either. To put it simply, this is the product used for casual cleaning and makes no false pretenses about it.
With the things as they are, we can say that the compact packaged decorated with a hefty price tag is, at the same time, one of this product’s stronger assets and biggest drawbacks.
And we are finally back in the affordable zone. Seriously, this product is very affordable and can be dissolved in 1-to-100 ratio which does an excellent job extending the lifetime of this 9-ounce package.
But, that’s not all. The fluid does its job more than adequately. For a start, the cleaning is handled very well. The washer easily removes anything ranging from grime to insects. The good news is that, although very potent, the product’s formula is not harmful to any kinds of surfaces that can be found on the outside of the cars and trucks.
And yes, that means you can use it for plastic light covers.
Another detail we liked a lot is that the bottle comes equipped with a dosing chamber that makes mixing the final product that much easier. Throw into the equation a very pleasant smell and you might start wondering what’s exactly wrong with this product?
Well, the freezing points are pretty poor, and the fluid doesn’t do that well of a job when it comes to the insects either. But, to be quite honest, the product was never advertised as such, so there is very little room to complaints, especially with such an affordable price tag.
This product is a curious beast. It features one of the heftiest price tags we’ve seen on the list. But, don’t let this minor hurdle deceive you. First, the package you get is pretty substantial – you get sweet 128 fluid ounces.
Then, there’s the fact that this product is not meant to be used separately. You need to add it to an existing formula to improve its anti-frost properties. What that effectively means is that this spacious package can virtually last you forever given you are living in the area that’s not covered in snow throughout the majority of the year.
Also, we need to point out that the compound does its job very well – and more! The fluid features strong cleaning properties, so even if you are using an average product as a basis MK37-541 will make something good out of it.
That being said, you have to be aware we are talking about a highly specialized product that, in spite of its strong staying power, is not that affordable. Still, if you are living in a cold area heavy to deal with a lot of snowy days, we give MK37-541 a heartfelt recommendation.
And now, let’s take a look at yet another product that tries to play the card of environmental consciousness to its benefit. This time, the fluid concentrate is not packed in neat pouches but rather in 25 tablets which is equally elegant of a solution. The formula is very powerful and each tablet is dissolved in one gallon of water. So, in the end, you get whole 25 gallons of cleaning fluid which is actually pretty good.
To make this even better, the formula is very potent. The final product does a good job at removing the persistent splatters from your windshields (it can handle even the bugs) and provides solid protection once applied. Of course, you can find a lot of fluids that are able to perform these duties much better, but not all of them are this affordable or neatly packed.
And now, let’s speak about some less flattering topics. First, if you are living in cold areas, these tablets will do next to nothing to lower the freezing temperature. Second, the tablets don’t always dissolve all the way through. The remaining particles may clog your windshield pump systems, so use the tablets with caution.
Out of all the products we covered on the list, Chemical Guys CWS 101 has to be one of the biggest oddballs. And don’t get us wrong, this statement is not taking a nab at its quality – just trying to describe its general purpose.
As you can probably guess from its name, CWS 101 is a body shampoo that is used for washing the entirety of the car’s body including the windshield so it technically qualifies for this list, but doesn’t have any tools to successfully compete with the rest of the entries.
The best thing we can do in such circumstances is to review Chemical Guys’ product based on its own merits. Keeping that in mind, we are glad to report that the shampoo takes good care of different types of grime and efficiently cleans the car surface even without the help of the wax.
But, that’s the point where we need to draw a line. If you are going to use this fluid for simple car washing, you’re going to get a blast. How does it perform as a dedicated windshield cleaner with all of its secondary features? Not that well.
Oh yeah, it’s very affordable.
Here is the product that serves a similar purpose like Rain-X RX68106 Deicer fluid – it’s not meant to be used separately, but only as an addition to other cleaning fluids. Because of this fact, some comparisons between the two products are inevitable, no matter how much we’d like to judge them on their own merits.
Even so, finding a clear winner is much harder than it seems. For instance, Hi-Gear breaks some serious boundaries of handling the low temperature – this time, the fluid can sustain minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit (-40°C) which is simply great.
On the other hand, Rain-X packs more value in its huge package and does a better job when it comes to cleaning, so there you get it – see which of these things you value more.
Speaking in more neutral terms, the final does a decent job at removing waste from your windshields (even the insects), poses no threat to any kind of finishing meaning you can use them even on your lights, and leave no streaks when applied.
As a closing word, we have to mention that, much like its direct competitor, features an above the average price, so we hesitate to recommend it to people who don’t see a lot of snow throughout the year.
And now we have another windshield washer coming from a famous car manufacturer. Ironically, although Volvo seriously lags behind Mercedes and BMW (at least in terms of brand power), there is a case to be made that their car washer is probably the best out of the three.
Sure the price may be above the average, but this time paying the brand name makes horribly lot sense.
For a start, the fluid cleans the windshields very efficiently and evaporates rather fast. At the end, you are left with no visible residues and streaks. The layer of fluid that remains on the surface of the windshield does a solid job at preventing the grime from pilling up.
Also, lower temperature management is far from extraordinary, but it’s definitely above the average when it comes to the products that aim for broad appeal rather than a field-specific performance.
Still, the most interesting thing about the fluid is its wide compatibility. Even if you are not pleased with its overall quality, you can mix it some other dedicated fluid and get a blast of a performance. The great building blocks are definitely present.
Calling a product unremarkable is never fair. You’re not slamming it, and you are definitely not praising it. You are simply stating the fact that nothing about it is worth discussing in more depth. We are sorry to say that Cyclo C206 is one incredibly unremarkable product.
As for the perks – it’s really not that expensive and if you are not a particularly demanding user (or you are simply living in mild climates with not too many insects around), you may find a lot to enjoy about this solvent.
But, as soon as we delve deeper into details, we will see that none of the thing the product does ever rise above the average. The good news is that we are at least talking about an all-purpose fluid so you’ll be able to remove grime, deal with less obnoxious insects and provide your car with a decent level of protection against the grime.
One of the things we could give wholehearted praise it the amount of final washer you will be able to able to make out of it – one ounce of liquid is mixed in one quart of water (you get six ounces in the package).
We already said – the fluid has no major drawbacks. It simply fails to excel in almost all relevant regards.
Dvelup Eindshield Washer fluid roughly falls into the same category as Cyclo C206. This time, though, we can say we are a bit more pleased with its performance and versatility.
First, of all, the concentrate comes in quite spacious and features a very potent formula that can be dissolved into 70% more water. Taking into account the affordable price of the package, we can say that people from Dvelup did their math while they were designing their product.
Also, it is good to see that Dvelup has put a considerably stronger focus on water protection than, for instance, Cyclo. If the fluid does one thing right, it definitely makes sure that the rainfall will find a quick way off your windshields.
That doesn’t mean that the other features are lacking – the cleaning ability is on par with other products we’ve seen in this category and the grime will have a hard time piling on your car.
So, there you have it – a product that tackles a lot of things but truly excels (sort of) in only one. Is that enough to warrant your attention? We say there are a lot of other products that deserve it far more.
The company that calls itself AutoTriumph needs to put on some rock-solid performance in order to merit such a pompous name.
In this case, the hype is real, and AutoTriumph Windshield Fluid easily makes one of the strongest contenders on the list. Why? Well, it doesn’t take more than a passing look at the long list of duties this bottle of fluid somehow manages to cover to see we are talking about a serious product.
So what we got here? Well, the fluid is very efficient at cleaning and when applied it creates a clear and transparent protective polymer layer. As a result, dirt, rain, grime and any other thing that may obstruct your view find very hard sticking on or spreading around your windshield.
Also, the fluid provides a reasonably strong UV protection which is a feature we would like to see in more products of this type. The protection from snow and ice is also there, but it’s not that potent to stand on its own in extreme temperature.
We say, if the temperature ever goes below 27 degrees Fahrenheit (-3 degrees Celsius), you should probably mix it up with some dedicated product and you’ll get a stellar performance.
Still, this small tradeoff is not that uncommon among the products that play on the card of versatility and definitely doesn’t ruin the good overall impression we got out of AutoTriumph Windshield Fluid.
Last but not least, we have a product that’s not exactly a windshield washer nor is it a car shampoo but rather a windshield washer booster. What hides behind such a curious product description you might ask?
Well, the windshield washer boosters are highly concentrated fluids meant to improve the cleaning properties of your existing windshield washers. Also, they should theoretically make the fluid softer so it doesn’t leave unpleasant stripes on the glass.
Keeping that in mind, it’s very hard to judge P21S as a singular product. We tested the fluid with some already excellent washer fluids and saw minor improvements. We tested it with some less stellar choices and also saw minor improvements. So, it really boils down to the product you are using as a foundation.
The good thing about this setup is the fact that washer boosters definitely improve the longevity of your washer fluids by making them more potent. The bad thing (at least in this case) is that P21S is not a cheap product.
We advise you to do the math and see just how advantageous buying this 2-bottle pack on yourself. Who knows, maybe your good old washer just needs a bit of spice to perform far better.
Which Windshield Washer Fluid Is The Best?
And we have finally come to the point to round all of these products up and try to find the best windshield washer fluid out of them all.
Once again, comparing them head to head will be made very hard for the simple fact that they are not designed with the same purpose in mind. Some of them are jacks of all trades, some of them are made specifically to provide protection from water and ice, and some of them… Some of them are windshield washer boosters.
So, in order to be completely fair to the majority of the contestants, we will divide the winners into three major groups. If you are interested in niche products like shampoos and boosters read our complete review to see which products warrant your attention.
Top overall pick: Prestone AS658-6PK Deluxe 3-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid
- What’s there to say we haven’t already covered in our review? This product performs tons of different duties, and what’s most important it performs them with grace. The cleaning is superb, the level of protection you get when applying the fluid is great, and on top of it, even if you don’t add some deicer into the mix the fluid is capable of handling some seriously low temperatures. We’ve seen a lot of good products on this list, but none of them pack such a versatile formula as PRestone AS658.
Top deicing fluid pick: Hi-Gear HG5653e Windshield Washer Concentrate
- When it comes to the deicing fluids, the things are much simpler. The single most important feature you have to take into consideration is the lowest temperature the product can allow your windshield washer fluid to go without frosting. Hi-Gear HG6563e pushes this boundary to unprecedented minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit and somehow manages to do many things more. An easy pick if you are living in a colder area.
Top water repellent pick: Rain-X 800002243 Yellow Windshield Treatment
- Taking into consideration the company carries the name “Rain-X” it shouldn’t be too big of a surprise that their product would claim the title of best water repellent on the list. Be that as it may, Rain-X 800002243 is far from being a one-hit wonder and puts on a very solid performance in other areas that have nothing to do with rain and snow. A very solid pick for people who are living in areas that see a lot of rain but don’t suffer from extreme temperatures.
What do you think? Do you agree with our windshield washer fluids or do you think we overlooked some cool products? Hit the comment section and share your thoughts!