How to Properly Maintain Your Windshield Wiper Blades
Ever get smears and blurs from using your windshield wipers? Most likely it means your windshield wiper blades are either dirty or worn out. But wiper maintenance is easy and can prevent this from ever happening again. Here's how to maintain your windshield wiper blades to get their full value:
Inspect the blades
Before you do anything, you need to determine if your windshield wiper blades are even still good. Factory blades are likely to wear out not only from use, but from the stress of water and snow, extreme temperatures, and even the constant exposure to the UV radiation of the sun. Silicone blades are less likely to wear out for any of these reasons. Inspect your blades for signs of cracking or discoloration. If they look worn out, replace them.
Wipe them every three months
The most basic part of maintaining your windshield wiper blades is just keeping them clean. Dirt and grime can accumulate under the edge of the wiper blade or anywhere the blade meets the bracket that holds it to the wiper arm. This grime can corrode the rubber of your blade, shortening its lifespan, as well as leaving smears on the windshield with each wipe. Run a clean cloth along the wiper blade every three months to remove dirt buildup. If you can associate doing this with every change of season, you'll never forget.
Twice a year, prep your blades for protection
This couldn't be simpler. You'll want to keep a good protective coat on your windshield wiper blades but, before you apply it, you need to get them thoroughly clean. Just dampen a clean cloth with white vinegar and wipe it along your blades to get them spotlessly clean. Now, you're ready for the protective coat.
Use a rubber protectant
There are many brands of rubber protectants and any of them will do. After cleaning the blade with vinegar, dab some rubber protectant on a fresh, clean cloth and rub it into the blades. If you do this every time you get your oil changed, you'll never forget.
Choose the right blades
The maintenance steps above will prolong the life of any blade, but shoddy wipers are shoddy wipers no matter what you do. By paying a little extra for premium blades made with silicone rubber, you'll save a lot on the lifetime of your car.