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#2104458 - 12/13/10 07:00 AM Rubbing Alcohol into Windshield Washer Fluid?
George7941 Offline


Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 1424
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I have some bottles of Rubbing Alcohol Compound bought from a drug store. Its ingredients are
Medicinal : 95% Ethanol Anhydrous
Non Medicinal : Camphor, Diethyl Benzyl Benzoate and Diethyl Phthalate.

Rather than flush it down the drain, I was thinking of adding it to Washer Fluid. Any negative consequences to it? Like rubber hose deterioration?
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#2104459 - 12/13/10 07:05 AM Re: Rubbing Alcohol into Windshield Washer Fluid? [Re: George7941]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 22953
Loc: ME
I've always thought methanol, in washer fluid at 70%, was harsher than ethanol. In my uninformed opinion you'll be fine.

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#2104463 - 12/13/10 07:11 AM Re: Rubbing Alcohol into Windshield Washer Fluid? [Re: George7941]
Tdbo Online   content


Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 1539
Loc: Ohio
I did that with some summer washer fluid I bought accidentally. Worked fine.
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#2104466 - 12/13/10 07:13 AM Re: Rubbing Alcohol into Windshield Washer Fluid? [Re: George7941]
scurvy Offline


Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 2243
Loc: Chicago IL USA
I also see no detriment to it, but I can't see that it's going to help any if that's what you're going for... sounds like you're just trying to dispose of it though. The existing methanol in the fluid will be far harsher to any rubber tubing.

You could also use it in small doses as gas line antifreeze since you've got the high test azetrope and not the watered down 140 proof version.
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#2104503 - 12/13/10 08:06 AM Re: Rubbing Alcohol into Windshield Washer Fluid? [Re: George7941]
chubbs1 Offline


Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 4574
Loc: Merritt Island FL, USA
Read the manual for the vehicle. I believe mine says not to use anything like that in the washer fluid. May hurt paint job and rubber.
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#2104506 - 12/13/10 08:07 AM Re: Rubbing Alcohol into Windshield Washer Fluid? [Re: George7941]
Tom NJ Offline


Registered: 07/27/06
Posts: 1588
Loc: New Jersey & Virginia
The Diethyl Benzyl Benzoate and Diethyl Phthalate are pretty aggressive on elastomers, but the dosage is small. I would be inclined to dilute it with standard windshield washer fluid.

Tom NJ

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#2104534 - 12/13/10 08:49 AM Re: Rubbing Alcohol into Windshield Washer Fluid? [Re: George7941]
meep Offline


Registered: 02/20/07
Posts: 2395
Loc: Southeast
for years, I've done this:

1 gal water.
1-3 tsp liquid dishwashing soap (for the sink, not the machine).
a splash or 2 of rubbing alcohol.

into the washer tank.

works great.

M
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#2104554 - 12/13/10 09:19 AM Re: Rubbing Alcohol into Windshield Washer Fluid? [Re: George7941]
NateDN10 Offline


Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 1329
Loc: Rochester, NY
It should help keep it from freezing, too, if you didn't buy the cold-temperature variety washer fluid.
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#2104557 - 12/13/10 09:20 AM Re: Rubbing Alcohol into Windshield Washer Fluid? [Re: George7941]
Thermo1223 Offline


Registered: 04/18/05
Posts: 1598
Loc: Easton, PA
If my Dad could run 99.999% pure methanol from his work in the minivans washer tank and not have any issues. I think you'll be just fine.

Story was he had summer fluid in and if memory serves at least 2-3 liters of it. He basically topped off with pure methanol from his work(chemical company) to tune of about 1-2 liters for the thaw.

It worked and the windshield was never cleaner in the winter!!! LOL

This was way pre 9/11 because now if he left work with it(oked by his dept.) there would be a police chase to follow.

Use it only in a full tank or as was suggested measure out small quantities for the gas tank to prevent water in the fuel lines.
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#2104618 - 12/13/10 10:38 AM Re: Rubbing Alcohol into Windshield Washer Fluid? [Re: George7941]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 22953
Loc: ME
Don't put 95% alcohol in your gas tank, the other 5% water won't be good for anything.

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#2104641 - 12/13/10 11:10 AM Re: Rubbing Alcohol into Windshield Washer Fluid? [Re: George7941]
AuthorEditor Offline


Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 1405
Loc: New York
Why?

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#2104660 - 12/13/10 11:33 AM Re: Rubbing Alcohol into Windshield Washer Fluid? [Re: George7941]
Seguino Offline


Registered: 11/28/09
Posts: 311
Loc: Vancouver BC
Isn't camphor an oil? Before you dump it into the washer tank, perhaps put a splash on a rag and see if it leaves a film on the glass.

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#2106357 - 12/14/10 10:03 PM Re: Rubbing Alcohol into Windshield Washer Fluid? [Re: George7941]
mechtech2 Offline


Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 19479
Loc: Chicago Area
Methanol is the killer -it's brutal.

But isopropyl rubbing alcohol is great in winter washers. Some water should probably be added if you have 95% alcohol.
Note that you will have no soapy/washy characteristics.

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#2121124 - 12/29/10 08:26 PM Re: Rubbing Alcohol into Windshield Washer Fluid? [Re: George7941]
sleddriver Offline


Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 1426
Loc: Central Texas
I've been using this DIY windshield washer formula for years:

1/2 ga. warm water
16 oz bottle of rubbing alcohol
1/2 tsp Dawn dish detergent
optional: 1/4 cup sudsy ammonia
optional: 1 tblspn Jet Dry

Fill up with additional water to make a gallon.
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#2124209 - 01/01/11 09:48 PM Re: Rubbing Alcohol into Windshield Washer Fluid? [Re: George7941]
lenjack Offline


Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 125
Loc: Pennsylvania
Confusing. Rubbing alcohol is isopropyl...your bottles are ethanol...ethyl alcohol.
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