Best screenwash 2024

Ensuring your washer fluid is topped up is essential, but which screenwash is best for the job, and which are best avoided? We've tested a selection to find out...

Best screenwash

How do you choose your screenwash? Chances are, like most people, you only realise you need some when your car's washer bottle is empty, at which point you pop down to the shops or the local petrol station and buy whatever’s on the forecourt.

However, it does make sense to think a little more carefully about your screenwash choice – you see, not all screenwash is made equal. 

It has two basic functions: firstly, and most obviously, to aid in the cleaning of your screen by lifting dirt away from it as the wipers sweep. But the second is to keep your washer fluid from freezing in the depths of winter. 

And if your choice of screenwash isn’t up to the task, you could find your washer fluid freezes, not only making it impossible to clean your screen properly when the roads are at their muckiest, but also causing damage to pipes and tanks under the bonnet. 

So to help you work out which product is best, we’ve put 10 popular brands of concentrated screenwash to the test.

The products or services referenced in this story have been reviewed independently by our experts. When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network. However, this will never influence our opinion or ratings.

Screenwash product test windscreen

How we tested each screenwash

First we cleaned the windscreen of our test car using a glass cleaning product. We then divided the screen into four sections using masking tape, coated the whole screen in a sprayed-on solution of mud and let the mud dry.

We diluted each of our products 1:1 water to screenwash (except Autoglym which, due to its high concentration, was diluted to an equivalent 1:9), and used a spray bottle to apply screenwash down one side of a given section. Then we used a clean, new wiper blade to simulate the sweep of a car's wipers.

We allowed the streaks to dry, inspected the results under fluorescent lighting, took notes and photos to enable later comparison, then repeated each test to verify our results. 

Each time we’d used up all four sections, we cleaned the entire screen again with glass cleaner and re-applied more mud from the same solution as before, to ensure consistency, before continuing the tests.

1. BEST BUY – Prestone Extreme Performance Concentrated Screenwash (2.5l)

Price as tested £4.50 (£1.80/litre), Tesco

Prestone screenwash

Buy from Amazon
Minimum temperature -18deg C

On balance, we reckon the Prestone screenwash is the best you can buy. Despite its very reasonable price, it provided one of the best cleaning performances in this test, leaving its section of the screen almost entirely streak-free and lifting grime very well.

It’s also quite a concentrated formula for the price; in neat form it should be tough enough to deal with even the worst British winters, and when diluted it goes a lot further than its competitors while achieving similar results.

What Car? says 5 stars

2. AA All-Season Screenwash Tablets (x8)

Price as tested £8.75 (£1.09/tablet), Amazon

AA screenwash tablets

Minimum temperature -4deg C

The trouble with screenwash tablets is that the dilution ratio is fixed. Each of these makes up five litres, so if your washer bottle is smaller, or you only need a top-up, you have to find a way to save the extra for later, otherwise they become quite a costly option. Having said that, these tablets offered the best cleaning performance of any product in this test. It’s just a shame they don’t offer much cold-weather protection.

What Car? says 4 stars

3. Halfords -10 Concentrate Screenwash (2l)

Price as tested £4.99 (£2.50/litre), Halfords

Halfords screenwash

Minimum temperature -10deg C

This is one of a range of Halfords screenwashes – you can get -20deg C and -30deg C versions, and all can be bought in a five-litre bottle as well as this two-litre bottle.

That would drop the per-litre price somewhat, though we couldn’t find the five-litre version on sale in our local shop. Even so, the Halfords screenwash is one of our more expensive contenders, but it promises decent temperature protection, and provided good cleaning performance in our test, even if it can't match the very best on either count.

What Car? says 4 stars

4. DriveTec Rain Repellant Screen Wash (5l)

Price as tested £4.79 (£0.95/litre), GSF Car Parts

DriveTec screenwash

Minimum temperature -10deg C

This is the cheapest per litre of all the liquid screenwashes in this test – and the only one that comes in at less than a pound a litre. A bargain, then, especially considering it also includes a rain repellant that should help to keep the screen clear in heavy downpours. Cleaning performance wasn't up there with the best, but certainly wasn’t the worst either, making this a solid option for buyers on a budget.

What Car? says 4 stars

5. Autoglym Ultimate Screenwash (500ml)

Price as tested £8.99 (£17.98/litre), Halfords

Autoglym screenwash

Minimum temperature -45deg C

The Autoglym screenwash has the highest per-litre price of all the products on this list, and it remains costly even when you consider its higher concentration. It doesn’t offer significantly better cleaning than the competition, either, though it’s still one of the better options on that front. Used neat, it provides mega cold temperature protection, but you’ll have to use a lot of it.

What Car? says 4 stars

6. TripleQX All Seasons Concentrated Screenwash (5l)

Price as tested £5.29 (£1.06/litre), Euro Car Parts

TripleQX screenwash

Buy from Amazon

Minimum temperature unknown

On the plus side, the TripleQX All Seasons screenwash is at least affordable – just £5.29 for a big bottle like this will tempt many buyers. However, cleaning performance isn’t brilliant, and there’s no guideline given as to the protection it offers against freezing temperatures. Indeed, the instruction to "pour directly into screen wash bottle" seemed to suggest it should be used neat – which made us wonder whether it’s really a concentrate (rather than a ready-to-use solution) at all.

What Car? says 3 stars

7. Holts Professional Concentrated Screenwash (5l)

Price as tested £7 (£1.40/litre), Euro Car Parts

Holts screenwash

Minimum temperature unknown

Holts gives no guidelines as to how far down in terms of temperature this screenwash will protect your car – you’re on your own on that front. And cleaning performance was pretty average – while it lifted dirt reasonably well, it left lots of streaks, even after our second pass. It's not expensive to buy, but neither is it quite as cheap as it should be given this average-at-best showing.

What Car? says 3 stars

8. CarPlan All Seasons Concentrate (2.5l)

Price as tested £8.66 (£3.46/litre), Amazon

CarPlan screenwash

Minimum temperature -4deg C

In terms of its cleaning performance, the CarPlan screenwash isn’t bad, even if it can’t match the best here. But frankly we’d expect better from the product with the second highest price per litre in this test – especially when you remember that its temperature protection is fairly mediocre.

What Car? says 2 stars

9. No Nonsense Concentrated Screen Wash (5l)

Price as tested £7.99 (£1.60/litre), Screwfix

No Nonsense screenwash

Minimum temperature -4deg C

There’s no indication of the minimum temperature this screenwash will protect down to on the bottle, though the Screwfix website says it’ll go down to a fairly uninspiring -4deg C. That’s probably enough for autumn or even a mild winter in southern England, but further north you’ll want something more capable in the colder months.

Cleaning performance was very poor, with lots of streaks and grime left – even after our second pass with the wiper blade – and given that this is supposed to be a budget option, it isn’t actually all that cheap.

What Car? says 2 stars

10. Unbranded screenwash tablets (x20)

Price as tested £3.99 (£0.20/tablet), Amazon

Unbranded screenwash tablets

Buy from Amazon

Minimum temperature 0 deg C

You can find tonnes of these unbranded screenwash tablets on Amazon, so we threw some into this test to find out just how well they perform. The answer is… not brilliantly. For starters, there’s no sub-zero temperature protection. Cleaning performance was the worst here, too, and we noted when we put the tablet in our bucket that it didn’t dissolve in a uniform way. Yes, they’re cheap, but you get what you pay for.

What Car? says 1 star

How we test products >>

The products or services referenced in this story have been reviewed independently by our experts. When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network. However, this will never influence our opinion or ratings.

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