Screenwash is not the most glamourous of things to buy for a car but try to run a car without any and you'll quickly notice its absence. As you drive around, dirt and muck build up on your windscreen and nothing short of a pitstop will cure this ailment. This is why screenwash is so important, not only does it stop your car windscreen from being filthy, it'll help you stay safe on the road.
And while it may be tempting to pick up a bottle of cheap screenwash from the supermarket petrol station, you can get a far superior product if you're prepared to look around. We've researched the subject to save you the tedium. But first, some questions.
Concentrated or ready-mixed?
The only difference between ready-mixed and concentrated is preference. Concentrated screenwash will take up less room in your car or garage, and result in less wasted plastic, but you'll need a ready supply of clean water to top up your screenwash. Ready-mixed can be simply poured in but the bottles will be much bigger and harder to store in your car.
What should I look for in a good screenwash?
The first thing you need to think about with screenwash is what the temperature is where you live. If you're living in the Scottish Highlands and used to thick snow then you'll be wanting a screenwash that can work in lower temperatures.
If you have pets or small children, you should ideally look for a screenwash that contains Bitrex. Screenwash is potentially lethal if ingested and often comes in bright colours that seem to attract youngsters. Bitrex is the most bitter-tasting thing in the world (it holds the world record) and will make anything unpalatable and almost impossible to swallow should a child or animal try to drink some.
The best screenwash
Autoglym Ultimate Screenwash 500ml
Why the winner? Because it's great value; because it's highly concentrated and makes about 16 litres of screenwash; because it's small and easy to store; because it's very effective; because it doesn't freeze until -45u00b0C. That's why.
Prestone Concentrated Screenwash 5L
This solution is highly concentrated, with a dilution ratio of 1:9 in winter and 1:19 in summer. Therefore five litres will last you an awfully long time. Though unable to match Autoglym's -45, the Prestone screenwash will still work down to -23u00b0C. While it's the 'budget' option here it's still very effective.
Holts Concentrated Screen Wash 5L
Best for de-icing
With a dilution ratio of 1:9 (in summer, dilute down to 1:1 in winter), this five-litre bottle of screenwash will still last a while. This is great for use in winter because in addition to removing muck, it also melts ice. Contains Bitrex. There's also a smaller one-litre volume available if you'd prefer.
Totally Essential Screenwash 500ml
Non toxic screenwash
Totally Essential's formula is biodegradable and doesn't contain toxic methanol or ethylene glycol. The container is made from recycled plastic. But it needs to be good too because it's a lot more than the other options. And it is. This is even more concentrated than the Autoglym screenwash and can make up to 20 litres of screenwash. It cleans well in a streak-free way. To help battle residue build-up, it also contains rain repellent.
You may also want a funnel
Laser Funnel 140mm Orange
Make topping up your screenwash an easier task by investing in a simple funnel to ensure you don't drench your engine block in screenwash.