(Updated on June 7, 2021)
When you’re driving at high speeds, insect impacts are bound to happen. This is especially true in certain parts of the country (southern states) and certain times of year (summer) but can happen anywhere at almost any time.
Often overlooked, the quality of your windshield washer fluid will help to determine if you can regain clarity with your vision or create a smear that forces you to the side of the road. It’s amazing how going with a product that costs a few bucks more can make such a huge difference.
Don’t forget that your windshield wiper blades contribute to this process as well. If you use one of the following products and don’t see an improvement in cleaning or reducing wiper noise, you may need to replace them.
Best Windshield Wiper Fluids
Instead of having to make an emergency pit stop at the nearest gas station because of smeared bug splatter, for that next road trip, make sure you fill up with good quality fluid in your windshield washer tank before heading out.
Here are 7 of our favorite windshield washer fluids consisting of pre-mixed, concentrated, and dissolvable tablet varieties.
It’s hard to get excited about this type of product but Prestone’s Bug Wash is arguably the best windshield washer fluid for bugs you’ll find. When driving in warm climates where bug splatter, bird droppings, and road grime tend to “bake” on your windshield within seconds, you’ll notice this washer fluid will do a better job of cleaning to a streak free shine that others.
Some say the citrus scent is a bit too strong but since you’re spraying it on the exterior glass, you don’t even notice much of the smell coming into the cabin. While classified as a “summer” windshield washer fluid (it has a freezing point of 32° F), you can use Prestone Bug Wash year-round in some areas where the temperature doesn’t approach that. Otherwise, Prestone All-Season windshield washer fluid is a good alternative.
Something a bit different, Nextzett Kristall Klar is a concentrate that you simply mix with regular tap water to create an excellent windshield washer fluid. It quickly removes insect smears, road grime, and dirt to ensure that you have a safer, streak-free and glare-free driving experience.
It will also work to eliminate the shuddering and skipping that happens with wipers on semi-dry windows that can reduce their effectiveness. With the 8.5 ounce container, you can make over 12 gallons of windshield washer fluid. Even if your area has hard tap water, Kristall Klar will reduce mineral buildup that might be causing your spraying jets to clog.
It’s worth noting that if your area has “soft” tap water, mixing the concentrate with water can produce some excess foam so using less of the concentrate is recommended.
Like the product above, this formula is one of the most cost-effective products around, allowing you to make up to 55 gallons for just pennies. The quality and color are consistent, giving you a streak-free shine that is strong enough to remove tree sap from your windshield.
Aqua Charge will freeze at under 32° F because of its methanol-free composition, so you’ll want to use it in warm-weather conditions. Using too much concentrate can leave blue dye behind on the vehicle, so make sure to follow the instructions thoroughly before use.
This summer windshield washer fluid is similar to Prestone Bug Wash and will power through bugs and road grime with little issue. It’s effective down to 32° F and because it’s Rain-X, their well-known repelling technology is built in so rain simply beads on the glass surface and rolls away. This also helps with easier removal of bug splatter as it acts similar to what a good wax or ceramic coating would do.
You don’t need to worry about mixing up this product. Just pour Rain-X Bug Remover into your reservoir, and then it will do all of the work for you. This brand also makes a very good all-season windshield wiper fluid with a lower 0° F freezing point.
If you think about it, typical windshield washer fluid is at least 70% and you’re paying to ship that every time you purchase a normal jug (even if you’re getting free online shipping). Just 1/4 ounce of this super concentrate will make a gallon of biodegradable windshield washer fluid so the 8 ounce container is good for 32 gallons which can last you years in some vehicles.
Because Qwix Mix contains no methanol, it’s marketed as a summertime fluid and not for use in climates below freezing. But the included mixing chart, you can simply add some isopropyl alcohol to turn this summer only product into and all-season one. Products like this are also perfect for businesses that operate a fleet of vehicles as you can save hundreds of dollars over time.
Another product many probably don’t know exists, concentrated washer tablets are an economical way to have fresh windshield washer fluid on hand at all times. Each tablet is individually packaged. When you need more fluid, simply drop a tab in your washer fluid reservoir and fill it with water. Alternatively and for best results, you can first dissolve the tablet in a small jar, then pour it into the reservoir, and top off with water.
Once mixed, Blulu removes road grime, bug splatter, and tree sap in just one or two wipes in many cases. You can also use the final product to manually clean your mirrors and other surfaces that need some help. There is no measuring or spilling because the concentrated product comes in tablet form. You can even mix it with anti-freezing agents to get the results that you want.
Since bugs don’t simply platter on your windshield, use Bugs N All to effectively remove bug splatter and bird droppings on your bumper, headlights, hood, roof rack, cargo box, and other surfaces. It will safely and easily clean organic materials off these surfaces and help neutralize the acids they contain (to prevent permanent damage or etching to the surface).
If your normal windshield washer fluid does not clear away the streaks of insect impacts immediately, then you can follow it up with Bugs N All. Even the worst bug problems need just 60 seconds of exposure to this cleaning agent before they’ll wipe away with ease. You can also use this product to even clean your upholstery, wood trim, plastics, and painted surfaces.
The best windshield washer fluid for bugs will help you to see clearly the next time a fat juicy bug splatters on your windshield. Make sure your washer fluid reservoir is full before your next road trip to ensure that insect residue won’t streak and cause vision problems.