Is it safe to use water as Windshield Cleaner?

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Is It Safe to Use Water as Windshield Cleaner?

Owning a car is all about maintaining that car. And one of the most simple, yet important things to maintain is a clean windshield. A dirty windshield can pose a hazard as it’s distracting and limits your view when you drive. Auto shops sell special formula that we depend on to refill the windshield cleaner in our cars. However, some prefer to use water instead. Does it matter? In this post we will explore the different factors to consider in comparing the benefits and risks of using formula versus water as windshield cleaner.


We’re all trying to save a few bucks these days. Obviously, water is free while formula is purchased. Using distilled water is better than tap water which comes at a small price. If cost is a concern for you, water is the best choice for your wallet.

Environmental Impact

Some drivers immediately opt for water instead of windshield washer formula because of the environmental impact. The majority of windshield cleaning formulas contain toxins that can be harmful to the environment, people, and animals. Water is the safest choice if you are focusing on the environmental impact of your washer fluid.

Risk of Freezing

One of the best benefits of washer fluid is that it does not freeze in cold weather. With water, you’re potentially putting yourself at risk for a frozen windshield. Not only can this make for a dangerous situation when driving, but it can also damage the reservoir and other components if the water freezes. This might not sound like a big deal for drivers living in particularly warm climates who will never experience a freeze, but it’s something to consider when you’re thinking about the overall safety of your windshield.

Overall Effect on Your Windshield

Using water as windshield cleaner isn’t necessarily dangerous, but you won’t get the same “squeaky clean” effect formula offers. Formula is made specifically to clean your windshield while water is not. Formula has special cleaning power that water lacks to provide that crystal clear, streak-free clean. Water alone is unable to take off all of the pollen film, bug residue, dirt, and grime that formula is able to do easily.

Your Decision

In the end, water doesn’t clean a windshield as well as formula because it lacks the cleaning elements that make the formula so effective. However, you have a say in what’s put in your vehicle. Talk to your auto shop about what you prefer to use as windshield cleaner. Here at Star Collision, we listen to the desires and concerns of our customers to meet their needs and provide for a safe driving experience. Call us to learn more about your options in cleaning your windshield and the maintenance it takes to promote a safe driving experience!

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