Stop Windshield Wiper Blades from Squeaking

Squeaking windshield wipers are very annoying and can distract the driver or make passengers go nuts! There is no right way to fix this problem, but here are some methods that work.


  1. Make sure the windshield wipers can move properly. If you want your wipers to not chatter or squeak as they move across the glass, the first thing you want to do before you try any of these other suggestions is simply to make sure that the wiper can flop over in both directions. The wiper blade should never appear to "dig" into the windshield or remain vertical as it wipes across the windshield. It should always trail or sweep the windshield. To remedy, twist arm in the necessary direction until the wiper blade is able to flop equally in both directions. Then you will have silent wipers.
  2. Clean the windshield glass thoroughly. Try one of these products (but not all at once):
    • Windex
    • Vinegar
    • Baking soda (sprinkled on a damp paper towel).
  3. Replace your wiper blade refills regularly. Blade refills are not terribly expensive, so you may prefer to get good ones. Replace them at least once per year, before the rainy season.
  4. Refill your windshield wiper fluid. Lots of wipers skip when the windshield isn't quite wet enough, so check your fluid level and top off if necessary.
  5. Make your windshield wipers softer. Try one of the following ways:
    • Use WD-40: Put a little WD40 on a paper towel and wipe the squeaking wiper blade with it. Be careful though; petroleum based products such as WD-40 can start to eat away at rubber, leaving it dry and brittle. Eventually, the rubber will crumble if you over-apply such products.
    • Use rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol will not rot or ruin the wiper blades. Dampen a paper towel section with rubbing alcohol. Wipe the windshield wiper blade. This will clean off dirt and oil. Repeat until you remove all dirt and grime.
    • If the blades are about a year old or more, don't bother trying to soften them; just go ahead and replace them.
  6. Check to see if your blades or the wiper assemblies under them are too loose or too tight. Too little or too much tension between the glass and wiper can cause chatter or squeaking.
  7. If you've recently applied Rain-X or wax and noticed chatter, remove the product with a normal car polish. Rain-X and other wax products can create a film that causes chatter in the wiper blades.
  8. Replace your wiper assemblies. With time, use, and trauma, the actual assemblies holding your wiper refills in place can become misshapen. If your windshield wipers no longer conform to the contours of your windshield, it’s time to get new ones.


  • When you have a free day, try various methods in case one does not work on your particular car.
  • After finding a perfect new set of windshield wiper blade refills, be sure to keep notes on the brand name and type so you don't have to go through this ever again.
  • Make sure that your windshield glass is really clean without waxes and oils. This could make the glass very slippery and cause problems.
  • Wipe the edge of the blades monthly with an alcohol wipe (you can get them at any drugstore). This will remove any grease, debris, and loose bits of rubber from the blade, making them last much longer. You might need to wipe them more often in winter to remove any road salt or sand that splashed onto the windshield, or any time of year if you spend a lot of time driving on gravel roads. If your rubber blades have a graphite shine on them, it means they are impregnated with graphite powder for reduced noise: mind to wipe them gently to avoid stripping this coating.


  • Don’t use wipers when the windshield is frosty. This can cause erosion or even tear the wipers.
  • Never wax your windshield as this could make the glass and blades very slippery and prevent you from seeing in harsh weather conditions.
  • When replacing your blades, it may take some trial and error, as the blades you choose depend on the type of car you own and how a particular type of wiper blade fits.
  • Don't follow other cars too closely. The road splash contains rubber compounds that build up on the glass that can cause chattering. The film on your windshield builds up quicker when it first starts raining.
  • Do not ever add dishwashing detergent to your washer fluid. This will leave the glass "squeaky clean," as it does for your dishes

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