Jill of All Trades: Quick and easy tips to extend the lifespan of windshield wipers

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We're into the season where the days are shorter and the weather has turned and you, generally, need to use your windshield wipers more when you're driving.

 And, it might seem like you just replaced your wiper blades not that long ago but, already, they're not cleaning that great. Is it possible that you have to replace them again?  Not so fast, says Jill Washburn, our Jill of All Trades.  You may be able to revive them and squeeze some more life out of them.

Jill says that windshield wipers can get a build-up of crud (road dirt, oils, environmental elements, etc.) and it starts to affect their performance.  She's got some quick and easy tips to help extend their lifespan and give you better vision on the roads.  And, she's going to show us that it can be done without harsh chemicals.

#1  Grab a paper towel, or even better a diaper wipe, and put a splash of rubbing alcohol on it (the 91% kind works best).  Run the towel/wipe up and down the edge of the wiper blade that comes in contact with your windshield.  You won't believe the crud that comes off of the blade!  You made have to do this a couple of times to get it really clean.

#2  If you have the essential oil blend known as Thieves Oil in your house, you can use that and do the same thing.  Thieves Oil will cut through the crud even better.  Jill says it made her wipers like brand new.  It only takes a couple of drops on a paper towel to get the job done.  Because Thieves oil is pricey, Jill says it's not worth buying just for this task, but if you already have it in your house, it's another great use for this oil that is great for all kinds of tasks.

#3  Once you've got the outside of the windshield handled, Jill's got one more tip for the inside.  Most windshields acquire a stubborn build-up over time on the inside, and it can really make it tough to see in low light, bright glare or bad weather.  It's a combination of off-gassing from the vinyls in the interior and environmental factors.  Common household white vinegar comes to the rescue here.  Jill cautions against spraying it everywhere inside your car because it could cause damage to some interior materials.  Just spray or drizzle some vinegar onto a paper towel and clean the inside of the windshield.  Again, you'll be surprised how it cuts through the film that has built up over time.  Depending on how bad yours is, it may take a second go 'round to get it completely clean.

Now you're ready for Fall and Winter driving!  And, if your wipers start to lose their effectiveness again over time, you can quickly use these tips again to get you through the rest of the season.


You can see just how easy this job is by clicking on the video player below.