How to Soften Wiper Blade Rubber


Wiper blades not only keep rain water off a car's windshield, they also help provide a clear viewing area for the driver. Therefore, keeping your wiper blades working and in top shape is important. Hardening of the blade's rubber, however, can reduce their effectiveness. This hardening occurs naturally over time as the blades are exposed to sun and other elements. If the rubber on your wiper blades has hardened, a few things will help restore their usefulness.

How to Soften Wiper Blade Rubber
(Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Cloths
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Soap
Step 1

Lift the wiper blade arm up and away from the windshield. This will give you easy access to the blades.

Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media
Step 2

Inspect the blades for cracked or torn rubber. If the rubber part of either blade is torn or frayed, then the blade needs replacing.

Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media
Step 3

Put a small amount of vinegar on a cloth and gently wipe the vinegar the entire length of both of the rubber wiper blades. Wipe the blades twice, gently, making certain that the vinegar has cleaned the blades as well as soaked into them.

Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media
Step 4

Wet another cloth with plain water and gently wipe it along the rubber of the blades to remove any excess vinegar. Wipe with a dry cloth to dry the rubber.

Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media
Step 5

Dip a cloth into petroleum jelly and wipe it along the entire length of the rubber of each blade, making certain that the jelly has a chance to soak into the rubber. Do not wipe off the blades; allow the petroleum jelly to air dry for at least 10 minutes.

Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media
Step 6

Lower the wiper arms back onto the windshield. The rubber on your wiper blades has now been treated and should work for several rains.

Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media

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Tips & Warnings

  • Clean the entire windshield with vinegar followed by a water-and-soap wash to remove grease and any wax that has built up over time.
  • Avoid getting the petroleum jelly on the windshield. If the jelly gets on the windshield, clean it off with a cloth dampened with vinegar, followed by a vigorous wiping with a cloth dampened with plain water.


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