A clear windscreen is one of the basics of safe motoring, and there’s a seemingly infinite array of screen wash products to keep your glass clear but, like the Chipex Aquaphobic additive on test here, more are adding rain repellent to the mix.
The result, after some time allowing the product to build and protect the glass, is a windscreen that repels water. Rain beads on the surface and, at speeds beyond about 20mph, starts flying off the screen as if by magic.
Such is the effect of Chipex’s Aquaphobic Screen Wash that light rain at motorway speeds doesn’t need any windscreen wiper action at all. That’s arguably a good thing, as we did find that Chipex’s product left a smear after each wipe, but it cleared within a second or two.
Where the additive works better than a single windscreen treatment is that the protection is constantly replenished and repaired, with every squirt of the windscreen washers adding another thin layer of repellant.
We’ve used Rain-X’s similar product before, but we’d place the Chipex product ahead – water clearance was more pronounced from the first use, and didn’t wear out over the few days we tested things. We’d expect the effectiveness to be broadly similar after several weeks, but the Chipex product still offers some distinct advantages.
Chief amongst them is that it’s should be more usable in winter as it mixes with a regular antifreeze screenwash without a problem. It’s rival acts as the antifreeze as well, meaning you’ll get through that much more quickly, and these additives aren’t exactly cheap.
That said, thanks to the way the products are diluted, you’ll find the Chipex additive lasts significantly longer. A one-litre bottle of Chipex Aquaphpobic screen wash will create as much as 40 litres of treated washer fluid, while the Rain-X competitor will dilute to just five litres. The cost per litre of the Rain-X is £1.60, once diluted according to instructions. For the Chipex additive, it’s just 35 pence.
Ignore the sticker price; the Chipex Aquaphobic Screen Wash will work out much cheaper than its rivals. It’s also, in our unscientific tests, a better performing choice.
We were so impressed by the Chipex Aquaphobic Screen Wash, we’ve organised a prize draw over at our sister site, Professional Pickup & 4×4, to win an amazing bundle of Chipex products worth around £75!