How to Clean Wiper Blades

Share This Article:

Are you wondering why your windshield wipers are leaving streaks? Streaky windshield wipers can be caused by dirt caught under the blades, damage to the blade, or dirt and damage to the wiper mechanism. Keeping your windshield wiper blades clean can go a long way toward a streak-free windshield. A good rule of thumb is to clean your wiper blades about once a month.

A well-cared-for set of windshield wipers should last about two years. If your wipers don’t seem to be working as well as they should, try cleaning them.

In this article, we’ll walk you through how to clean wiper blades to maximize their lifespan.

Clean wiper blades

1. Gather Your Supplies

You will need a few simple supplies to clean your wipers:

  • Paper towels or a cloth
  • Water
  • White vinegar or dish soap
  • Rubbing alcohol or windshield washer fluid

Optional supplies include:

  • Glass cleaner
  • Water repellent for windshields

2. Extend the Wiper Arms

Your wiper arms can flex away from your windshield for easy maintenance and repair. Turning your wipers on briefly so they move into the center of your windshield may make them easier to access. Gently pull the wipers out and away from the glass, following the hinge alignment at the base of the wiper arm. They should stay in place while you work.

This is also a great time to clean your windshield with glass cleaner and apply a water repellent.

3. Clean the Wiper Rubber

Hold the blade in place with one hand. Use a small amount of warm water with soap or vinegar and a towel to wipe down the rubber blades with your other hand. Wipe with a solid motion from top to bottom or side to side. Be gentle—don’t pinch the blade or use too much pressure.

Do this until all the dirt is removed. The wiper blade rubber should be smooth, flexible, and intact. If you notice tears, splits, or notches in the rubber, it’s time to replace the wiper blade.

4. Clean the Wiper Blade Arms

If the blade arms are dirty or rusted, they can cause streaks or uneven movement patterns on your windshield. Use soap and water to clean them. You can use a soft brush if you see dirt or grime trapped in small crevices.

5. Dry and Replace the Wiper Arms

Once you’ve washed everything, use a small amount of rubbing alcohol or washer fluid to wipe any leftover soap or vinegar residue off the rubber. Use a dry cloth to wipe everything else down.

Gently press the wiper arms back into place.

Talk to Your Take 5 Oil Change Technician

Now that you know how to clean your windshield wipers, you’ll be able to keep them in top condition and your windshield streak-free for the lifetime of your blades.

But if the blades are worn out, a cleaning won’t be enough to save them. If you think it might be time to replace your wiper blades, talk to your Take 5 Oil Change technician. They’ll assess your windshield wipers and advise you on their condition. They can also provide and install replacement blades during your oil change to further simplify your life.

Find a Take 5 oil change location near you for a quick oil change!

Extra Tips to Extend the Life of Your Wiper Blades

  • Keep your windshield clean and use a rain/water repellent.
  • Remove snow, ice, frost, and other debris with an appropriate brush or scraper.
  • Park your car out of the sun and harsh weather. The sun can dry out and crack the rubber. Frozen wiper blades can also crack and break.
  • Don’t use a degreaser or gunk removal product (like WD-40 or Goo Gone) on your windshield wipers—it’ll only make streaks worse.
  • If your windshield wipers seem to be moving unevenly, you can remove the blade from the hinge and clean the small hook with soapy water. This is also a good thing to do when replacing your wiper blades.
Connect with us
Oil change association certification
Autocare association certification
Car care aware certification
Recycle certification

©2024 Take 5, All rights reserved.