How long does Rain-X last?
June 9, 2007 12:16 PM   Subscribe

How long should Rain-X last?

I bought a strange deodorant-shaped 'applicator' bottle of Rain-X. In under a week, my windshield is back to 'normal'. Is this typical? I can't find much on how long it's supposed to last. (I've used my wipers sparingly, and haven't washed my car, so it's like I've rinsed it all off.)

I'm wondering if I should go out and buy a 'normal' bottle of the stuff for better results, or if I should come to expect it to last no more than a week. (And has anyone tried Aquapel as an alternative? It sounds like it lasts longer, but does it work as well? I've come to LOVE Rain-X, I just can't stand its short lifespan.)
posted by fogster to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
Normal Rain-x with a proper application lasted me about 3 months on average. But I'm sure YMMV depending on how often it rains and how often you wash your car.

Never tried the "deoderant" style applicator.
posted by idiotfactory at 12:28 PM on June 9, 2007

I got some concentrated Rain-X to put in my windshield fluid container -- it gets diluted by regular washer fluid. Works really well, I've found, but I haven't done the regular application to know how it compares.
posted by barometer at 12:31 PM on June 9, 2007

I think the first time I applied it, it only lasted a few weeks. Then again, I lived in Oregon at the time....

After that, I bought the little bottle of plain rain-x, applied it *twice* to a dirty windshield and let it dry, then washed the car normally with soap and water in my driveway. It lasted a couple of months, and I put the washer fluid additive in at that point to keep it 'fresh'.
posted by SpecialK at 12:39 PM on June 9, 2007

Not directly an answer to your question, but as an officially-franchised LazyBastardTM I like the Rain-X pre-mixed washer fluids. They're usually just a bit more than the generic at Wal (Yeah, I know) Mart, and no worries about the protection wearing off because you forgot to mix stuff in.
posted by Opposite George at 1:25 PM on June 9, 2007

Wash your windows well before applying. I have found that it will last much longer on a clean window.
posted by horsemuth at 1:32 PM on June 9, 2007

Yeah, I've found that the average lifespan is on the order of a couple of months, not just a few days. (But that's been for the liquid version you wipe on and buff off, not the bar.)
posted by LairBob at 4:37 PM on June 9, 2007

For what it's worth, I think the wipe on liquid I've been using for many years needs more frequent applications recently (over the past year or so) than I recall in the past - Perhaps the overall formula changed at some point?
posted by jalexei at 7:29 PM on June 9, 2007

I agree with Opposite George (or should that be I don't disagree with him?). The pre-mixed kind is a no-brainer. Lasts forever if you keep buying that kind. I get the Ice Melty kind in the winter and switch to the Bug Melty kind in about May.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:57 PM on June 9, 2007

The pre-mixed stuff is, indeed, cool. One drawback I have found, though, is that the "overspray" where it gets on your windshield, but does not get swiped by the wiper, dries cloudy.
posted by SampleSize at 9:57 PM on June 9, 2007

I've been an avid fan of Rain-X for at least 10 years on several different cars, and I still highly recommend it to all of my driving friends. I never undertake a really long road trip (1000 km+) without applying a fresh coat; just to be sure.

The regular liquid bottle of Rain-X should last you an average of 8-12 weeks, depending on the various factors, such as if you applied it onto a clean windshield, if you did two applications and buffed it dry. The windshield washer version doesn't do as good a job, nor does it's effects last as long -- it does a decent job if you use it to "extend" a regular application of Rain-X though.

If you do a lot of long distance highway driving, wash your windshield regularly to remove bug guts, driving in rainy conditions and such will also reduce your overall window of effectiveness. Older pitted windshields and shitty windshield wipers can also tend to reduce the time frame.

So, to make it last the longest possible -- use the pure liquid version of Rain-X and apply two coats of it on a freshly cleaned windshield, buffing afterwards.
posted by Jade Dragon at 11:34 PM on June 10, 2007

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