Why Fragranced Screenwash/Windshield Fluid Is a Problem

Mar 28, 2023 | Health Issues from Perfume, All

Avoid fragranced screenwash - but unfragranced screenwash!

To be clear, by “fragranced“, we mean products that include “fragrance,” “parfum,” or “perfume” in their list of ingredients – three words that all basically mean the same thing: a concoction of thousands of synthetic chemicals, most of which are derived from coal tar, and 80% of which have never even been tested for their toxic effects on human health.

Almost everything you can imagine is fragranced today: toilet paper, paper towels, bin bags, magazines, books, clothes, scented pens and scented candles. Then there’s laundry detergent, washing up liquid, soap, shampoo, conditioner, suncream, make-up, lipstick – in fact, almost all cosmetic products, as well as, of course, air fresheners (especially the “Christmas Tree” in cars), “New Car Scent”, not to mention actual perfume, cologne and aftershave. And now there’s also screenwash (or windshield fluid as it’s called in the US).

The book, Perfume – The Hidden Bane of Your Health, by Johann Kellerer points out that “fragrance” is known to include three types of toxic chemicals:

  • phthalates (endocrine disruptors) that cause developmental malformations, infertility, immune system disturbance, nervous system malfunction as well as an increased risk of cancer
  • benzophenone – also a carcinogen
  • styrene – also a carcinogen
  • many others cause allergic reactions, headaches, respiratory irritations, intestinal disorders, birth defects, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, kidney diseases, thyroid disorders and even psychological effects such as depression, agitation and nervousness.

So, please be aware that every time you use your screenwash, you are giving yourself and your passengers (your children?) a large dose of these chemicals that immediately get blown into the car via the fan, which you and they then breathe in for a prolonged period since, if the windows are up, the car is an enclosed space. In fact, even with all four windows open, it takes a very long time to rid the car of the smell of the screenwash. This is why we recommend you buy, from now on, unfragranced screenwash. Empty your screenwash reservoir and then flush it out with several litres of fresh water before adding the unfragranced screenwash.

And the next time you get your car serviced, remember to ask your garage to top up your car’s reservoir with your unfragranced screenwash (that you will probably have to bring with you and hand to them), rather than let then top it up with their toxic version.

Here are the only unfragranced screenwash products we can find – please get in touch if you know of any others on the market:

Super UnScented Odourless Screen Wash (1L Super Concentrated) by F-JAS

Halfords -5 Ready Mixed Screenwash 5L