Windshield wiper blades are exposed to elements, inclement weather and road dirt. The design and quality of manufacture and frequency of upkeep determine how long blades last. In general, conventional blades have a six-month lifespan, while hybrid or flat blades can last up to one year. Dirty rubber elements tend to wear down prematurely. Here are a few ways to clean and prolong the life of wiper blades and make sure you know the right windshield wipers size in case cleaning is not effective and windshield wiper replacement is needed.

How To Fix Common Windshield Wiper Problems

The rubber edges of windshield wiper blades must be clean and intact to function effectively. Inspect each blade by lifting it up and running your finger along the rubber element. Worn or split rubber or damaged wiper arms require replacement. Specialized tools are not necessary to replace most wiper blades. If you need equipment to work on the wiper assembly or other vehicle components, save money with car jack rental or renting other equipment for vehicle maintenance and repairs.

Vehicle makes and models have different types of wiper blade assemblies and attachments. Conventional blades with a central bridge and articulated links were standard on most vehicles until recently. New cars now tend to come with flat blades and a hingeless beam design. Tensioned flexors made of metal support the rubber element and function as an integrated spoiler.

Vehicles with conventional wiper design may be fitted with hybrid or flat blades. A vehicle with flat blades is not compatible with conventional wiper blades. The windshield wiper design and blade attachment will determine the ease of cleaning, replacement or repairs. Before you clean blades, make sure wiper components are properly mounted and check the condition of the rubber elements. If all of the parts are in working order and the blades are dirty rather than worn, you may want to attempt cleaning prior to replacement.

What Are Home Cleaning Supplies to Clean My Wiper Blades

There are several effective household cleaning solutions for windshield wiper blades. Apply a small amount of dish liquid to a damp sponge or rag and wipe down rubber elements. You can also clean wiper blades with windshield washer fluid.  Either substance and application method is effective at eliminating debris that can diminish wiper performance.

After you wipe down blades, allow the rubber to dry before spraying windshield wiper fluid on the windshield and checking how the blades perform. If windshield wiper blades continue to leave behind streaks or make the windshield look hazy, replacement may be necessary.

The blades on front windshield wipers tend to wear out sooner than a back window wiper blade on vehicles equipped with this feature. Even though back windshield wipers tend to be used less frequently, exposure to the elements and varying temperatures can cause all of the wiper blades on a vehicle to wear out prematurely. You can expect to get about six months of use out of standard wiper blades and up to twelve months of use out of hybrid or flat blades.