How to Clean Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers are important to keep in good health. They are an often overlooked safety item that is vital to navigation during heavy rain, snowfall or even a bombardment of those bugs that go splat. This article will show you very easily how to increase the life of your wipers through regular cleaning and inspection.


  1. Image titled Clean Windshield Wipers Step 1
    Take a general look at the windshield of your car.
    • If there is no visible build-up of dirt (very dirty) then move on. If there is visible dirt, to minimize the amount of work, wash the windshield as you would the entire car. You can go to a car wash or just simply rinse the area off with a garden hose. The goal is to remove the worst of the stuck on debris.
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    Lay out all of the cleaning products that you intend to use in a location that is easy to reach from the windshield. If the hood is flat enough you can place them there.
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    Lift one of the windshield wipers gently and decide what orientation is easiest to clean the blade.
    • If you can lift the arm up all the way and it stays- great!
    • If you can flip the wiper over so the blade is facing upward- good!
    • If you can just get your hand under the wiper-okay!
    • If you cannot do either than you may have to improvise or remove the wiper.
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    Place the wiper in the preferred orientation. For this example the best on this car was to flip over the blade and allowing it to rest against the windshield. The hand towel was used to prevent damage to the windshield.
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    Spray some cleaner liberally onto a paper towel. You may want to double it up in order to add strength and have enough cleaner.
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    While holding the wiper, wipe from one end to the other back and forth at least a couple of times.
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    Inspect the paper towel, it should have no discoloration. Discard the paper towel and repeat the cleaning process until this is achieved.
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    Run a fingernail along the blade carefully to check for a consistent texture. If any blemishes are found (cuts or chunks missing) then stop and replace the wiper blade.
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    Operate the wipers while dispensing the car’s own washer fluid and confirm that the wipers leave a streak-free path in both directions.
    • Yes: Congratulations, you are done!
    • No: Repeat the cleaning process.
    • No again: Clean the windshield and repeat the wiper cleaning process.
    • No again, again. Something else beyond normal cleaning is going on here. For example you could have a stone chip in your windshield or wiper blade failure that requires replacement.


  • Make sure to read every label of a product before using for directions and safety.
  • Ensure that you can reach the required area and are in good enough health the perform this task. A shorter person may require assistance in the form of a step-stool to reach along the windshield to clean the wipers.

Things You'll Need

  • Alcohol-based window cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Small hand towel

Article Info

Categories: Cleaning Cars | Car Maintenance and Repair