DEAD bugs, oil, grease and grime are just some of the things to batter our windscreens.
If tree sap and bird muck have already done enough damage when parked, there’s nothing more inconvenient than using windscreen washer fluid to clear that layer of ice on the windshield, only to see it refreeze instantly.
For a clear windscreen, you need a windscreen wash. Simples.
What can I use as a screen wash?
For years, people have squirted a bit of Fairy into a jug and added water.
While this homemade screen wash will do the trick in a bind, it’s not really a long-term solution. Detergent cuts grease and oil, so on that level, washing-up liquid has some cleaning features.
But, since washing-up liquid is meant for plates not cars, it leaves smears.
It’s pretty important—in fact, a legal requirement—for you to be able to see through your windshield unimpeded, so Fairy doesn’t cut it for car use. Others might suggest adding vinegar, but then you have to figure the right ratios out for the right concentration.
Since prices for specially formulated windscreen washer fluid start at less than a fiver, what price do you put on your time?
Which windshield washer fluid is best?
You’re better off going for a screen wash that is specifically formulated to cut through road dirt, grease and car oil.
Screen washes also better help with stubborn bird poo and tree sap.
What’s more, the anti-freeze properties in the formula of screen wash prevent freezing to specific temperatures, like -18°C (you definitely don’t get that kind of certainty from Fairy!).
There are ready-made mixtures, already diluted with water.
You can keep these in the car, but it’s more cost-effective to buy the concentrate and mix your own, since you can choose which ratio you need, depending on the time of year.
We’ve put together a list of the best windscreen washes to buy in 2019, using a mix of expert knowledge, user reviews and industry tests, to make sure you have clean and clear windscreen.
1. Halfords -10 Concentrate Screenwash 5L – Berry
- £5 from Halfords- buy here
Halfords -10 Concentrate Screenwash is exactly what it says on the bottle.
Dilute a 5:1 ratio with water to break down grease and grime when you’re clearing your screen on the move.
Cutting through bugs, preventing windshield refreezing up to -10°C and keeping the washer jets free from blockages, this screen wash is perfect for use all year.
The berry fragrance is too extra for our needs, but it also contains Bitrex, a bitter substance to stop children and pets ingesting dangerous levels of detergent.
Five litres for a fiver and a little goes a long way. Top stuff.
2. Prestone Extreme Performance Screen Wash
- £7.49 from Amazon- buy here
Prestone is a top brand when it comes to car-based formulas.
Significantly more expensive than the Halfords option, Extreme Performance Screen Wash provides power to shift even the most stubborn muck on your windscreen, while driving.
Whether it’s bird poo, dead insects, tree sap or grime flicked up by other drivers, this screen wash has varying ratios depending on the season.
Prestone recommends using neat in Winter, 9:1 ratio in Autumn and 19:1 in Spring and Summer.
In Winter, it melts ice down to -18ᵒC and prevents dangerous sun dazzle, with deflective nanotechnology.
3. No Nonsense Concentrated Screen Wash
- £4.99 from Screwfix.com- buy here
This No-Nonsense concentrated screen wash pips Halfords at the post on price by a mere penny.
Its anti-smear formula is incredibly popular.
Out on the market, it performs well on delivery, price and even fragrance.
Cutting and cleaning well through Winter grime, Spring sap and Summer bugs, the five-litre bottle will make as much as 25 litres once diluted.
A great value-for-money product that prevents refreezing in cold conditions, as low as -10°C. The only downside is that it doesn’t contain Bitrex, so don’t be surprised if you find cats trying to lick the windscreen.
If you're going to give your car a bit of TLC, take a look at our selection of the best car wax, pressure washers, and car polish.
Enjoyed our roundup on the best windscreen washer fluids? Check out our dedicated Sun Selects motoring section.
To browse our full range of Sun Selects recommendations, be sure to head back to the Sun Selects page.
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