Your windshield wipers are outside of the car where they get pummeled with dirt, rain and bird droppings. Not cleaning your wiper blades on a regular basis will cause them to work ineffectively, and you may find that there are still streaks of rain that are not removed when you turn the wiper blades on. It isn't hard to keep your windshield wipers clean, so just add it to your maintenance routine.
Washing Under the Blades
Lift up your windshield wiper blades when cleaning the outside of your car. Make sure you completely clean underneath of the blades. This is where most of the dirt gets trapped during a storm. If you fail to clean this part first, your clean wipers will just spread the dirt across your windshield. Use your car wash solution and a rag to remove the dirt, then hose the soap suds off.
Cleaning the Blades
Pour a teaspoon of lemon dish soap in a small bucket or trash can and add a gallon of hot water. Dip a clean rag in the water and use it to wipe down each side of the wiper blade. Re-wet your cloth with the dish soap, then run the cloth under the blade. Finally, wipe down the base of the windshield wipers, being careful to clean in all of the joints. It is not necessary to dry the windshield wiper blades off--let the sun take care of that for you.
When to Replace Your Blades
Most windshield wiper blades need to be replaced on a yearly basis, unless you live in a dry climate. In this case, you may get away with replacing your wiper blades every two years. Keep an eye out throughout the year to make sure your wiper blades are not damaged. If they become dry or rotted, replace them right away. If you notice they are not working properly, go ahead and replace them as well. Wiper blades only cost you a few dollars and can be purchased at department and auto parts stores.
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