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How to Clean Windshield Wipers: 3 Easy Tips for Safety

Learning how to clean windshield wipers can help you stay safe on the road.

It’s important to know how to clean windshield wipers properly to ensure that you have the clearest, safest view possible of the road ahead — whether driving through rain, sleet or snow. Wipers deal with a lot of grime, salt and dust, and, as a result, they can easily get too dirty to effectively keep your windshield clean. Here are three easy tips for cleaning your wipers.

1. Individually Wash Each Wiper Blade

All too often, wipers are forgotten when washing a car. Sure, they get the same soap suds splashed on them as the windshield, but few people take the time to pick up each wiper and carefully clean off the blade with a towel or sponge. Learning how to clean windshield wipers means taking this extra step each and every time you run your vehicle through the wash. You’ll no doubt be surprised by just how much grime you pull off of each blade.

2. Keep Glass Cleaner in the Car

Sometimes you may find yourself miles from the nearest car wash, but suddenly dealing with a streaky windshield wiper that is smearing, more than clearing, the glass in front of you. In these kinds of situations, pulling into a service station and using the questionably clean squeegee just won’t do. You need backup — and that comes in the form of portable glass-cleaning wipes that you can stash in your glove box or trunk. Using these to clean the smears off of your windshield and wipe down each blade will help remove stubborn gunk that’s keeping your wipers from doing their job.

3. Regularly Inspect Your Wipers

Even if you learn how to clean your windshield wipers and do so often, no blades last forever. Each time you wash your wipers, it’s worth inspecting the blades for cracks, missing chunks or a lack of tension in the spring mechanism that holds them flat to the glass. If you notice that your wipers have seen better days, replace them before the next rainstorm or snow squall hits.

It’s easy enough to add your windshield wipers to your regular set of car-cleaning chores, and doing so will help you stay safe out on the road.

Check out all the vision and safety parts available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on how to clean windshield wipers, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.


Benjamin Hunting View All

Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time.  I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.

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