Updated: May 27, 2015

RainX - What Does it Do?:

When I moved up to the Pacific Northwest about 8 years ago I was suddenly forced to drive in rainy weather and I was not used to it. My formative years had been spent in sunny California where it rains only periodically and you can pretty much avoid it. Up here in Portland, Oregon, you are stuck in the rain from November to April. Driving on I-5 next to big trucks that splash water on your windshield can make for hazardous driving and sudden downpours are always dangerous when on the freeway. A neighbor of mine introduced me to a product called Rain-X which is a spray that you put on your windshield and it helps you drive better in wet conditions. I had never heard of the product and was a little skeptical since I had never known anyone who used anything similar. I must say that after about 2 minutes of driving in hard rain with the Rain-X on the windshield I was thoroughly amazed at how much better my visibility was, and I wasn't even having to use the wiper blades that much. The stress of driving in rain was practically eliminated with a simple solution that you put on the windshield.
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How do you apply Rain-X? It's really easy, but first you need to clean off your windshield with a gentle glass cleaner so it's clean. Then, spray the Rain-X onto a dry paper towel or cloth and wipe it onto the windshield glass in a circular manner. Let it dry for a minute - you'll notice a haze appears on the windshield. Don't be alarmed, that is the Rain-X starting to work it's wonders. After the haze has dried, get a dry paper towel again and sprinkle just a little water on the windshield and wipe off the Rain-X haze. Even though it's hard to notice, the Rain-X has left an invisible film on the windshield - actually it has sealed all the microscopic pores in the glass so now when it rains, the water beads up on your windshield and improves your visibility by 50% or more. I have found that driving around town at 35 MPH or slower that the Rain-X works, but not as good as when you are driving down the freeway at 60 MPH +. The water still beads up in town, but the wind flow over the windshield doesn't help at those speeds enough. When I'm on the freeway doing 65 miles per hour, the water literally beads up and disappears as the wind takes it off the windshield. I often find myself going down the highway in a downpour using my wiper blades about 80% less than the guys driving next to me. It's really an amazing product and it's so easy to use that I don't know why other people aren't using it. Beyond helping drivers see in rainy weather, Rain-X also works to help remove ice, frost, salt, mud, and bugs that get on your windshield. In online reviews we read that if your windshield had an application of Rain-X on it, then removing ice was that much easier. Thin layers of frost come right off with a simple squeegee when the windshield treatment of Rain-X has been put down in advance. Even cleaning off bugs from a dirty windshield is easier when Rain-X has been used. How often do you need to spray on Rain-X? I have found that when it rains a lot, I put a fresh layer on every 45 days or so. Some people mention it's more like 2 or 3 months, but in the dead of winter I use it more often. I once heard a story from a friend that using Rain-X would slowly weaken your windshield and make it susceptible to cracks and chips but that is a total rumor that has no truth what so ever. View all the Rain-X windshield products here.

Buy Rain-X:

I found my bottle of Rain-X in Napa Auto Parts but it is sold in almost all car part stores nationwide as well as online. Amazon.com carries the entire Rain-X product line and Autobarn.com does too. The 16 oz spray bottle sells for roughly $7 and should last you many seasons of clean windshields during the harshest winter months. The products full name is Rain-X Original Glass Treatment and you can find details listed on their website at Rainx.com. They also offer a glass cleaner, 2 in 1 glass cleaner with rain repellent, anti-fog wipes, and de-icing spray. Since I only have to deal with rain my area, I have yet to see how their anti-fog wipes or de-icing spray works. From reviews, it sounds like all their products are fairly efficient at making your driving experience a much more pleasant one. I do know that the Rain X Original Treatment repels rain and sleet better than anything I have ever tried before. Amazon sells the 3.5 oz container for $1.99 but it needs to be squirted onto the windshield as it does not come in a spray bottle design.

Rain-X vs New Windshield Wipers:

Many people I tell about Rain-X (I get no financial rewards from the company) claim their wiper blades are sufficient to do the job so why spend more money. I tell them they should try Rain-X just once and see the difference. Why have your wiper blades on all the time when you don't have to. Wiper blades, when used regularly need to be replaced every year or so to maintain their best cleaning ability. If you use Rain-X on your windshield you will realize how much less you are required to run the windshield wipers and therefore they will last much longer. I have had one set of blades now for almost 3 years, mostly due to the Rain-X helping me eliminate the need to use the wipers all the time. If wiper blades are $15 or more for a set, then using a few dollars of Rain-X should make sense monetarily. Some new wiper blades use similar technology to that of Rain-X and they are coated with a special chemical to help the water bead up and flow right off the windshield. Try Rain-X in wet weather conditions and I think you too will be amazed at your improved vision while driving in rainy weather.

Rainx Reviews:

I'm not expert on car products, but I do know when one works. I looked in online car forums and on sites like Epinions.com to see what others are saying about windshield treatment products and which ones work best. Clarity Auto Windshield received good reviews, but nothing compared to those for Rain-X. Also, a product called Aquapel is listed as a good windshield treatment and you may have seen it trying to be sold on TV. They claim it lasts for months and it's a great rain-repellent. Owners of Rain-X have posted many reviews online including product comments at Amazon.com which are always telling. Many users will admit that if you are only driving around the city, then Rain-X is not the product for you because it requires higher speeds in order for the beaded up raindrops to blow off the glass. There are dozens of car forums online and we found several discussions around Rain-X and it's overall effectiveness. The main point that we found is that at higher speeds where safety is a big concern, Rain-X provided the best visibility available. Most owners still use their wipers, but not nearly as much as when the Rain-X was not applied to the windshield. The biggest complaints we heard were from people who tried Rain-X in areas that get lots of mist and they said it didn't help.