What to do in a pinch – cleaning a streaking windshield wiper with rubbing alcohol

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If you’re in a pinch like I was and your windshield wipers are causing streaks on your windshield, you can wipe the rubber wiper blades with a napkin then apply some alcohol-based hand sanitizer along the length of the windshield wiper. (I had an Ethyl alcohol 62% hand sanitizer in my vehicle.)

This little trick got me out of a scary situation.


We were recently driving over a high mountain pass when it started pouring rain. The windshield wipers left a huge smear right across my sightline. It was terrible.

I’ve driven over this mountain range dozens of times in the past 25 years and this was the worst visibility I’ve experienced.

I sprayed the windshield with the windshield washer fluid, but it didn’t help.

So I pulled over to the side of the road, and inspected the wiper. The rubber looked intact. I wiped the rubber blade with a napkin, but that by itself didn’t help. The smear was still there.

Then I remembered something I’d read in a book years ago – that you can clean your windshield wipers with rubbing alcohol.

But I was in the middle of the mountains. I didn’t have rubbing alcohol…or did I?

I found a bottle of hand sanitizer in the console. I read the ingredients and saw it was an alcohol-based sanitizer. (Ethyl alcohol 62%)

I squirted some onto my hand then just used my fingers to apply the hand sanitizer along the length of the wiper blades.


It worked so well. The smear was gone. I could see again. I was so thankful I had that little bottle of hand sanitizer in the vehicle.



Is this a good long term solution?

I’ve read that long term use of rubbing alcohol could cause the rubber to dry out and crack. So this may not be the greatest long-term, regularly-used solution, but it worked amazing in a stressful situation like I had.



I hope this little hack helps you out of a bind.


Thank you.

Tim from LearnAlongWithMe.com

Tim worked in construction for a few years before going to university. Then he worked as a community pharmacist for 10 years and now works as a full-time writer and online publisher. He has experience in several different, far-reaching lines of work.
“I sincerely hope you find the articles helpful and informative.”
Tim from LearnAlongWithMe.com






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