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Homemade Windshield De-Icer: Frugal Tip

Here’s a frugal tip sent in by a reader.

We always make our own windshield de-icer to save money.

Dissolve 1/4 cup of salt in one litre of hot water and add to an empty windshield washer fluid jug.

Add 500ml of Methyl Hydrate (about $10.00 for a 4 litre jug).

Fill to the top with water.

There you go – homemade window de-icer! Your $10 will get you about 8 jugs of fluid and you will save around $25 through the winter. Also, this will keep those plastic jugs out of the landfill.



  1. Brenden

    It sounds like a great idea but if w.w. fluid only costs $1.50 then you really aren’t saving very much besides saving plastic from going to the landfill.

  2. Gary

    Curious … what about the salt? Any extra rust on the car? I guess there is quite a bit coming off the road anyways. But nice idea to save money; I always thought about it. 😀

  3. Rachael

    Will this not freeze? I live where the temp drops to -40 or more… I think i will stick to the store bought stuff… but thanks for the tip…. as for the bottles my hubby recycles and uses them as floats for water markers

  4. Kim D.

    Where would you buy Methyl Hydrate??

  5. Noel

    Please remember to label the finished product properly and to mark POISON on the label, and make sure it’s stored in a container with a child safety cap. Methyl Hydrate is deadly poison. Regular windshield washer is also poisonous, and is labelled as such, and always comes in a child safe container. In general, poisons are best stored in their original containers, in case of accidental poisoning the product ingredients are on the label. Be Safe.

  6. Andy

    its a great idea but in reality after taxes on your 10 jug of Methyl Hydrate you save around $4.30 if you can get blue juice at 1.99 (1.99×8=15.92 -10=5.92-1.6( tax)=4.32 in Quebec sub your prov tax to recalculate its still 4 bucks and the blue stuff is usualy at 2.99 or more if not on sale so maybe you save $8 how much work is $8 worth to you???

  7. les

    I am echoing Noel here. We use it on our brake lines in the logging truck…it is highly toxic (causes blindness and death)…through inhalation, ingestion and skin absorption.

  8. aaron

    I think this is just to de-ice windows and not actual windshield wipers. Water will likely freeze.

  9. ren

    check out
    you can sell or trade gift cards there.

  10. Maxime is the biggest one I think!

  11. RB

    I just read this to my mechanic husband. He says this is a terrible idea. Methyl hydrate will destroy the paint on your car. He said spraying a salt based solution onto your windshield will only cost you tons of money in car repair bills. That salt water will rust anything metal and could destroy any electrical components or computer components that are often hiden in the area under where the wipers rest when turned off (in newer cars). Although I am sure many mechanics/garages would be very willing to fix the problems this could create, please save yourself the money of the repair and watch for washer fluid to go on sale, sometimes its as low as $1.49/jug! Not to mention, when you take your car in for an oil change, they should top up your windsheild washer fluid complementary!

  12. Cassie Howard

    Please note that this post is NOT about windshield washer fluid, but winsheild de-icer. They are two separate things.

  13. Stephanie

    I think it’s a pretty bad idea too. I work with saltwater all the time (aquariums) and it’s ridiculous how fast salt corrodes metal aquarium stands. I wouldn’t be putting it on my car.

  14. Curtis

    You do not need to put salt in the solution. Just one cup of Methyl hydrate (Methanol) same stuff…That’s what is put in windshield washer antifreeze. Methyl hydrate freezes at -96 Celsius..And yes you will save money. Not much but some..

  15. Jeff

    All winter windshield fluid is around 45-55% methanol. I’m not talking about deicer, I’m talking about the normal blue wiper fluid you can buy anywhere. The only ingredients are methanol, water, and blue dye.

    This recipe has too little methanol in my opinion, this will only protect against freezing down to -20C. Better to use too much than too little. 50% methanol will protect nearly to -40C and will put it more on par with the methanol content of typical winter washer fluids, which are usually rated for between -35 and -45C.

    No need to add salt, I can’t imagine any benefits to doing so.

    This won’t save you much money, but the advantage is if you’ve been using summer washer fluid you don’t need to dump all the old fluid onto the street before the first frost, you can just a little methanol and use up the rest of your summer fluid, by the time it really gets cold youve have used up all the summer fluid. Methanol is also a safer paint stripper than most, is great for removing latex paint, shellac and varnish as well as cleaning paint brushes.

    It can also be dumped straight into your car’s fuel tank used to remove water from fuel, increase octane, clean fuel lines, cylinders and injectors, and increase vapor pressure to assist cold starting. There’s even a section on methanol in my car’s user manual. The manufacturer has no problem with adding up to 1L of methanol to a full tank in addition to the 10% ethanol that’s already in there, but it does explicitly state not to use other fuel additives.

    Other countries already use methanol in their fuel instead of ethanol, they accomplish the same thing but methanol is cheaper.

  16. Ang

    Jeff, you’re spot on. The only educated and smart response in this thread. And yes, I totally agree about not adding salt – just DON’T! This will wreak havoc with your windshield washer hoses and motor. Methanol, water and a very small amount of car wash detergent (NOT DAWN, as this will strip any waxes or paint protection over time). Great hack in my opinion

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