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A wiper is shown wiping away the rain on a windshield.

A Look at the Various Ways You Can Rain-Proof Your Windshield

When I first moved from Pennsylvania to the Sunshine State, I decided it would be a good idea to put some Rain-X glass water repellent on my windshield. After all, it was a two-day journey, and I was bound to run into some bad weather along the way, especially once I got to Florida. It was the best thing I ever did as I watched the rain droplets bead up and fall away from my field of vision—that is, until my windshield cracked somewhere in South Carolina, and I had to get it completely replaced.

It was a bummer for sure, especially since I didn’t get around to Rain-Xing my windshield again, and let me tell you, rain-proofing your windshield makes a huge difference. It’s like you don’t even think about the weather when it comes; you just keep driving as you normally would, and your windshield is always clear. From window sprays and water-repellent products to Rain-X wipers, there are many ways to add this luxury to your vehicle, and if you’re looking to do this yourself, you’ll want to know all about your options, as well as the benefits and limitations of each.

Window Sprays

To say you have plenty of options when it comes to water-repellent sprays is an absolute understatement. Rain-X is going to be the go-to, of course, because virtually everyone has heard of it, but you can also make your own window spray as well. The ingredient list is as follows:

  • 2 tbsp. liquid dish soap
  • 1 cup distilled vinegar
  • 2 cups rubbing alcohol
  • 3 qts. water

Just combine all of the ingredients into a spray bottle and spray onto your windshield. Rain-X works similarly, as it’s recommended to spray the contents onto a cloth and apply it to your windshield in circular motions. Once it’s dry, you may see a bit of a hazy look to your windshield, which you’ll want to wipe away with a clean cloth.

Pros of Window Sprays

Using a spray solution on your windshield is going to be quite simple and affordable, as most products can be purchased at your local auto parts store, Walmart, or even online for under $10. It doesn’t require a lot of time, and anyone can do it. It’s a convenient way to rain-proof your windshield so that you can travel safely, no matter what kind of weather is coming your way.

Cons of Window Sprays

Although applying these window sprays is pretty straightforward, you’ll want to follow the directions so that you don’t end up with a lot of streaks on your windshield, which is common. This isn’t just annoying while you’re driving, but it’s unsafe too. Another thing you’ll have to remember is that this isn’t a permanent solution. Rain-X, for example, is said to last up to 60 days, which means you’ll need to continuously apply this product to enjoy its benefits. It’s also not without a mess, as you’ll have to take the time to apply it—maybe getting it on your hands and your car in the process—which isn’t always a win for drivers who want a less messy rain-proofing option.

A person is shown spraying a windshield and wiping it with an orange cloth.

Rain-X Wipers

Convenience is everything nowadays, and what’s more convenient than windshield wipers that already have Rain-X on them? Gamechanger, if you ask me. So, how does it work? The Rain-X product is on the wiper blade and as it works, it transfers the product onto your windshield. So, when you use your wipers for the first time, the Rain-X product is applied to your windshield, and then as it wears off, all you need to do is run your wipers again, and more of the product gets on your windshield—it’s as simple as that.

Pros of Rain-X Wipers

The obvious advantage is the fact that you don’t have to waste time applying Rain-X in tiny circles on your windshield. All you have to do is buy the wipers, toss your old wipers, and install these. The clerk at the auto parts store will even do it for you if you’re unsure of your wiper installation abilities. Another huge advantage is that your wipers will last longer since you’re only going to use them when you need to apply more of the product. Then, you just enjoy Rain-X working as it should without putting excess wear and tear on your wipers.

Cons of Rain-X Wipers

Rain-X wipers are going to cost more than a simple water-repellent spray. It’s only natural, seeing as they’re much more convenient and, well, they’re your windshield wipers as well. These will run you anywhere from $20 to $40, depending on the type of wiper you need and the vehicle you drive. Just like sprays, this is not a permanent solution, as your wipers will need to be replaced at some point, so you’ll want to keep that in mind as you’re factoring your budget for vehicle maintenance.

Ceramic Protection Films

Protection films are mainly used to protect against impact; however, they also offer impressive water-repelling capabilities, making them popular with drivers. In addition to protecting your windshield against scratches and other damage, the hard coating of the film helps water droplets bead up, just like you’d expect when using Rain-X. This ceramic coating is made of a solvent-based resin, not only protecting your windshield from damage but also from the elements.

Pros of Ceramic Protection Films

The biggest advantage is the fact that this type of rain-proofing is more long-lasting than a silicone-based film, like Rain-X. Typically, ceramic films will last a year or more, depending on where you live, which is a big benefit. They’re very durable, protecting your windshield so that any rocks that kick up on the interstate have less of a chance of damaging it, making this a good pick for many frequent travelers.

Cons of Ceramic Protection Films

This type of rain-proofing lasts much longer, which means it will be more expensive. It’s known to have a long cure time—up to 24 hours to fully cure, and it’s also more difficult to apply, which is why this is best left to the professionals. If you want to do it yourself, it will be cheaper, but even without labor costs, a ceramic protection film kit can end up costing around $80. This coating will also not cover up any existing imperfections, so if you’re looking to do that, you’ll want to opt for something more permanent.

Windshield wiper fluid is shown being sprayed onto a windshield.

Glass Window Treatments

This brings me to my last option—glass window treatments. This chemical is applied to your windshield that bonds with it to not only repel water but also fix any imperfections in the glass. This chemical is applied to the windshield and reacts to the silica in the glass, bonding with it and becoming part of the glass.

Pros of Glass Window Treatments

It’s permanent. No need to reapply any type of product or replace any parts. Unless you need a new windshield, as I did, you will never have to worry about reapplying any chemicals to your windshield. There is also no cure time, so you’re able to drive away and enjoy the views in front of you right away.

Cons of Glass Window Treatments

Since it’s permanent, it’s going to be more expensive than other forms of rain-proofing. You’ll be directed to a professional installer and quoted a price based on your particular windshield, make/model of car, etc. If you want to rain-proof your windshield on your own, this isn’t an option here.

You Have Many Options to Choose From

As previously mentioned, you have a lot of options. The good news is that you have plenty of ways in which to rain-proof your windshield, all available at varying price points and skill levels. If you want something that is affordable and quick, you’ll want to choose either a spray-on water repellent or Rain-X wiper blades. If you want longer-lasting protection, a ceramic coating may be right for you; however, if you want to go big, glass window treatment coatings will do the trick. It’s important to determine what type of protection you want, your budget, and your skill level for best results.