Does Washer Fluid Color Really Matter? (Explained!)

Your windshield washer fluid is important when it comes to making sure that your windshield stays free of any dirt or minerals all brought by the regular dust that the wind carries and by rainwater and snow.

That said, when you shop for different windshield washer fluids, you may notice that different fluids come in different colors.

So, does the washer fluid color even matter when it comes to your windshield washer?

Does washer fluid color matter?

If you just want to clean your windshield, then the color of the washer fluid doesn’t matter. There is no standardization when it comes to the formulation and color of windshield wiper fluids. However, if you want to maximize the effect of a certain fluid, then it is best to stick with that one.

The thing you need to know about windshield washer fluids is that they can be of any kind of formulation so long as the brand you buy is made to be used to clean windshields. That’s why the color of the washer fluid doesn’t matter. You can even use distilled water as a substitute.

However, because there are some fluids that have special effects, that is the time when you might want to stick with one fluid color.

Can you use any type of windshield washer fluid?

When it comes to your windshield, cars have a washer function that will allow you to spray a liquid all over the windshield so that you can use the windshield wiper and the liquid or fluid to clean the windshield even as you are driving.

This usually comes in handy whenever you are driving under dusty, rainy, or snowy conditions that can bother your windshield visibility because of all of the dirt, rainwater, snow, or minerals that are on your windshield.

In that sense, the windshield washer fluid becomes an important part of the equation here because, without the fluid, it will be very difficult for the windshield wipers to clean the windshield. That’s why you should use a windshield washer fluid and that the fluid reservoir always has a good amount of whatever fluid you use.

So, when you are out shopping for a good windshield washer fluid, one of the things you will notice is that there are plenty of different types of windshield washer fluids that you will see on the shelves. With a simple Amazon search, you can even see different types of windshield washer fluids that are all marketed to have different purposes. In that regard, can you use any type of windshield washer fluid?

What may surprise a lot of you here is that, yes, you can use any kind of washer fluid for your windshield washer. The reason is that there is no standardization in terms of what the “correct” washer fluid is for your windshield washer. As long as the fluid works and is able to clean the windshield washer, you can basically use any kind of washer fluid out there.

In fact, there are those who would rather stick with a good solution of water and soap when they are filling up their windshield washer reservoir. As long as the soap is sensitive enough and is capable of cleaning the washer, it can even work as a windshield washer fluid. But be warned that there are some types of soap that can harm the paint of your car, and that is why it is best to stick with the sensitive type of soap.

On top of that, you can go with plain old distilled water when you want a good windshield washer fluid. That is because, as long as the windshield washer has a type of liquid or fluid that it can spray on the windshield and as long as the fluid you are using is sensitive and is capable of cleaning, it really doesn’t matter what kind of fluid you use. However, when using water, always use distilled water because any kind of water might end up depositing some minerals in the washer system or on your windshield.

That said, if you do insist on using the commercial windshield washer fluid that you can find in stores, it is perfectly alright to use any kind of windshield washer fluid, especially if your only purpose of using a windshield washer is to clean your windshield. All windshield washer fluids are formulated to clean the windshield, but there are those that tend to do more than just clean.

And that is what leads us to our next topic about washer fluid color.

Does washer fluid color matter?

Going back, any kind of windshield washer fluid will work for your windshield washer system. They are all guaranteed to work in the sense that they will help clean the windshield. However, you may have noticed that different washer fluids tend to have different colors even if you look at the different liquids coming from the same brand.

So, does the windshield washer fluid color matter?

As far as the cleaning prowess of the windshield washer fluids is concerned, then the color of the washer fluid will not matter. That is because, again, there is no standard when it comes to windshield washer fluids. As long as the windshield washer fluid can clean the windshield in a manner that is safe and effective, then it doesn’t matter what color of fluid you use.

However, what you should know is that different windshield washer fluid colors stand for something. There are some washer fluids that have different colors because they have different formulations. The different formulations in these differently colored washer fluids are meant to do different additional things to your windshield.

For example, the orange Rain-X windshield washer fluid is labeled as “all-season”, and that means that it can be used for any kind of season. This formulation may also have a special kind of ingredient that will allow water to bead so that it will be easier to wipe it off your windshield when the wipers are moving.

Another example is Rain-X’s purple windshield washer fluid, which is meant as a de-icer. That means that this fluid is best used during the winter because it puts a protective coating on your windshield to prevent it from freezing during the coldest winters.

So, all that said, all of these washer fluids with different colors have their own unique purposes. Some of them are meant to make the windshield more hydrophobic, while others are meant to make the windshield more resistant to ice. But the fact of the matter is that all of these fluids have the same primary purpose, which is to clean the windshield.

In that case, if you are only looking to make sure that the windshield is clean, then the color of the washer fluid will not matter. However, if you are looking for that extra stuff and additional benefit that a certain windshield washer fluid comes with, then that is when the color of the fluid matters. 

What color is windshield washer fluid traditionally?

As mentioned, there is no standard when it comes to windshield washer fluids. That means that different windshield washer fluids have differently colored fluids depending on the brand and on the ingredients that are in the fluid.

However, in most cases, the usual kind of windshield washer fluid that is used for all seasons comes in a clear bluish color that has a consistency that is similar to water. That’s because this is merely water with additional ingredients that will allow the product to clean the windshield. 

But there are also some windshield washer fluids meant for all seasons that come in different colors, such as orange. It really depends on the brand of the windshield washer fluid, as a different brand may come with fluids with different colors that are not necessarily the same as the ones you see in another brand.

Can you mix blue and orange washer fluid?

We mentioned that different windshield washer fluids come in different colors due to the fact that these fluids have different purposes. But what happens when you mix two different washer fluids in the reservoir? Can you mix blue and orange washer fluid, for example?

Yes, there is nothing wrong with mixing different washer fluids that come with different colors. That is because the colors of the fluids are immaterial when it comes to their overall primary purpose, which is to clean the windshield.

However, if you are looking to take advantage of the extra benefit of a certain washer fluid color, then mixing it with another color, such as mixing orange with blue, will not allow you to maximize the benefits of that washer fluid.

So, if you have an orange washer fluid that comes with an ingredient that causes water to bead up, mixing it with a plain blue washer fluid that is only meant to clean the windshield will essentially dilute the ingredients of the orange washer fluid and will make it less effective at causing water to bead up.

In the same way, if you mix an all-season washer fluid with a de-icer, you won’t be able to take full advantage of the anti-freezing capabilities of the de-icer washer fluid during winter because it has become diluted.

So, all that said, there is nothing wrong with mixing washer fluids of different colors as long as you know that you are only after the cleaning properties of the fluids. However, if you are after the extra benefits, then it would be best to stick to one kind of windshield washer fluid instead of mixing it with other fluids.

Sources

CAN YOU MIX WINDSHIELD WASHER FLUID? THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Can blue and orange windshield washer fluid be mixed?

What Kind of Windshield Washing Fluid Should I Use?