Driving on a rainy day is pretty dangerous, and it would be even more dangerous at night time. It is easy to see why: rain limits vision. Think about it, when the raindrops fall on the car’s glass surface, they make it hard to see through them. And if it is heavy rain, raindrops do pass over the window. But still, their backtrack can blur the vision through windshield.
Windshield wiper blades can help in these cases; though, they can’t really clean and dry windows. And, sometimes, they even make things worse if the wiper blades are dirty. That is where Rain-X comes into play. Rain-X lets the water run off the front window and all the glass surfaces of a car. They are well popular and have made it quite easy to drive in the rain. However, some worry about the effects of these chemicals on the window surface and wonder: Is Rain-X bad for car windshield?
We will answer that question. But first, let’s see what Rain-X is and how it works.
What is Rain-X?
In simple terms, Rain-X is a mixture of chemicals that repels rain, water, and ice to help a car driver have a better vision of the road in bad weather. This treatment is a hydrophobic silicone polymer mixture, which causes water to rattle down and not stick to the glass surface on the windshield or the wiper blades.
Rain-X is quite popular among drivers, especially those who are bound to drive in rainy weather. It is also suitable for use on any glass; it can be front glass, rear glass, or car mirrors.
How Does Rain-X Work?
Rain-X is a water beading technology. Think of it as an invisible wall that prevents everything from getting to your car windshield. It not only helps water pass over, but also prevents insects and dirt from attaching to the window.
As it creates a protective film on top of your car’s glass surfaces it will work best if it is not disturbed or contaminated. Therefore it is good practice to make sure that your windshield wipers and wiper blades are not muddy. By doing a simple clean of your wiper blades with a wet cloth or towel the lifespan and effectiveness of your Rain-X is greatly increased.
What is inside Rain-X?
To answer the question “Is Rain-X bad for car windshields?” we need to see what chemicals are inside Rain-X, and see if they are destructive.
Ethanol, more generally called alcohol, is a flammable, colorless liquid that, among many other usages, is also used in alcoholic beverages like beer and wine.
Rain-X only works on clean and dry surfaces. That is why Ethanol is included in Rain-X. Ethanol removes all the dirt, dust, and oil on the windshield surface and then evaporates.
In short, Ethanol prepares the condition for Rain-X. Otherwise, Rain-X might not even stick to the windshield itself, let alone preventing other things from sticking.
Isopropanol, also known as Isopropyl alcohol, is a colorless, flammable chemical compound with a strong odor. This compound is known for its strong disinfecting ability and is widely used in pharmaceutics, clinics, clean rooms, and electronics.
Isopropanol is toxic to humans, and that is why we have it in the Rain-X solution. Since Rain-X is an Ethanol-rich compound, some alcoholic fools may consider drinking it. But knowing that there is a poison in it, too, they would probably abandon that foolish act.
3. Polydimethylsiloxanes (PDMS)
Polydimethylsiloxane is a high-performance polymer and a member of the silicones group. PDMS is a clear and inert chemical known for its rheological properties.
The Polydimethylsiloxanes used in Rain-X form a layer on the windshield and produce low surface tension that repels fluids like raindrops and water.
4. Ethyl Sulfate
Ethyl Sulfate is a chemical compound used as an intermediate in the production of Ethanol.
During Rain-X production, sulfuric-acid is also added to the mixture. Some of this sulfuric-acid mixes with Ethanol and creates its byproducts.
Chlorotrimethylsilane, also known as trimethylsilyl chloride, is a colorless volatile liquid, stable in the absence of water.
This compound is used to neutralize laboratory glass; so organics won’t stick.
6. Siloxanes and silicones, di-me, hydroxy-terminated
These are fragments of Polydimethylsiloxanes (PDMS) that can bond strongly to the windshield, making it harder for wipers to separate the Rain-X.
Can Rain-X Ruin a Windshield?
No, considering the chemicals it is built of, Rain-X can’t ruin the windshield. None of the chemicals in Rain-X composition is destructive or harmful for the windshield.
What other uses are there for Rain-X?
Rain-X can be used on pretty much any glass surface for water protection. The most common alternative use is on glass shower doors, which allows the water to bead off rather than stick and cause dirt to trap to the glass (making cleaning harder). Without Rain-X your glass shower doors can still be treated with other household items to protect them, such as polish or a glass wax.
It can also be used on mirrors as these are a form of glass. However, you should take care NOT to contact vinyl and aluminum surfaces with Rain-X as it can damage these.
What are Rain-X problems?
Generally, there are no problems regarding Rain-X. Many of the Rain-X old users have said that they never had a problem with this treatment.
However, few users report some side effects. For example, some users don’t recommend it for cars without wipers. They say it makes the visibility worse.
How to remove Rain-X from the windshield?
If you think your Rain-X treatment has begun to wear off, then it is time to remove Rain-X from the windshield, and if necessary, apply a new one.
Just remember how we said Rain-X is made of silicones. Well, these silicones are not easy to remove. So, to make your job easy, follow these steps:
- Wet the windshield: Use a hose or a nozzle to spray water on the windshield.
- Wash The Glass With Soap or Shampoo: Use soap or shampoo to create foam and use a towel to wash the windshield.
- Rinse The Foams: Again, use the hose or nozzle to spray water on the windshield and rinse it.
- Use A Windshield Glass Cleaner: There are many different glass cleaners in market. Find a quality one and use it to remove old Rain-X. The procedure is simple and classic: pour some glass cleaner on a towel and rub it against the windshield.
That’s it. Just do these and you should be able to remove the old Rain-X.
So, to conclude, the answer to our question “Is Rain-X bad for your car windshield?” is: No, it is not.
Many users have utilized this treatment for years and haven’t confronted any problem. Plus, from investigating its composing chemicals, we found no destructive chemical that can possibly ruin car windshields.
Not to forget, few users have had unpleasant experiences with this treatment. For example, some users don’t recommend it to cars that don’t have a wiper.
Also, when Rain-X gets old, it starts to wear off and obscure the vision. In these cases, you need to remove it. Since Rain-X is made of silicons, it can be a little hard to remove. So, follow the recommended steps to remove it easier.