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My wiper blades leave streaks on my windshield when I run them during rain and this is rather annoying to the point where sometimes I run the wipers with low frequency just so I don't the get the streaks (which affect my visibility) -- but then I pay the price in terms of lowered visibility from the rain.

What is a simple way to stop / prevent streaking caused by my wiper blades?

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There are several possibilities that can lead to streaks from the wipers:

  • Worn out wipers: replace them
  • Dirt particles or leaves: clean the wipers
  • Wax polish on the screen: clean the screen with an alcohol-based cleaner
  • Oil remnants from dust on the roads: clean the screen with an alcohol-based cleaner or with gasoline (explosive, be careful!)

For cleaning the screen or the wipers we always keep a spray bottle of household glass cleaner in the back of our car.

Sometimes even worn out wipers can be resurrected for a limited time until they can be replaced. This can be done by wiping the blades with your thumb. This will not only remove dirt particles but it will also somewhat "sharpen" the rubber plates from our skin.

  • 1
    Where I am, the most streaking occurs in winter, when dirty snow particles with possibly salt in them gets all over all the cars. That stuff streaks like nothing else. – J. Musser Mar 12 '15 at 0:40
  • @J.Musser: yeah - same here. Ice further aggravates damage to the wipers if not removed completely. – Takkat Mar 12 '15 at 7:11
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Windshield wipers need to be replaced about once a year, and the streaking you're experiencing in rainy weather is almost certainly due to worn out wipers.

If you have replaced them recently, or you cannot replace them soon, examine them and clean them. They need to be able to flex, and the wiper blade edge needs to be continuous with no cracks or missing pieces. Clean them to remove any dirt, particularly in the areas that would prevent the blade from flexing and moving, and dry them with a soft cloth. Then spend some time cleaning your windshield so the wipers don't have to work so hard running over insect leftovers and other windshield debris that might be stuck in place.

Lastly, you can try RainX or a similar product. These cause the windshield to be hydrophobic, which forces water to bead up and fall off the windshield more quickly. You'll improve your visibility, and even worn out wipers will be able to clear the windshield more effectively.

Replacing the wipers, however, is the best solution.

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Clean the wiper blades with a soft cloth. If that does not help, they may be worn out so you may have to consider replacing your wiper blades with new ones.

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To those all whose looking for permanent solution I found out your answer just wash the window with "Easy-Off Oven Cleaner Heavy Duty Trigger Spray" twice. and make sure it only touches your windshield just to be safe. And rinse it a lot. Mine looks like straight out of manufacturer now.

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I had this problem in my earlier car and the new car I am using now. I was wondering why this happens in a new car. All my internet searches lead me many things not worked for me.

Things did NOT work for me are: 1. Vinegar Treatment 2. Lime scale remover 3. Glass cleaner 4. Detergents 5. All highly priced branded car windshield cleaners 6. Lime Juice what not...Nothing worked. Some said like use a clay bar...blah, blah....

But the solution is simple and here it is

Just wash your wind shield with DISH WASHER SOLUTION. I live in Chennai, I used Vim Solution, But then it shall be the case every good dish washer solution out there in the grocery shop. Just use about 20 drops of dish washer solution, spray little water, rub it with a cloth or hands to lather and wipe of. Then wash and wipe with water.

In my understanding, the Tar / residual hydrocarbons from the vehicle exhaust get deposited on the wind shield and form a thin sticky film that causes smudge when wiped by the wipers. Don't waste your money buying highly priced car items sold in the Petrol Bunks, car accessory shops etc, I found them simply useless.

If you find spotted smudges, may be you could shave them off with a new shaving blade (INR 10 approx) or you can resort lime scale remover solutions.

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