How to Soften a Car’s Wiper Blade Rubber

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How to Soften a Car’s Wiper Blade Rubber

Maintaining visibility during heavy rain is a must, so you must learn how to clean and keep your windshield wiper blades’ performance at 100% all the time. Over time, though, windshield wiper blades can deteriorate, especially their rubber. The harder the rubber becomes, the less efficient it will be, and the more dangerous it will be for you. To soften the rubber and make it efficient again, you need to follow several easy tips.

Factors That Affect a Windshield Wipers’ Performance

The blade’s rubber’s condition plays a very important factor in the efficiency of your wiper, but there are other considerations to remember.

  • Windshield slope and area. A sleek windshield with plenty of glass area puts more wind against your wipers, forcing the blade away from the glass, especially if you’re moving at high speeds.
  • Wiper arm’s spring tension. Important in keeping the wiper refill tightly in contact with the windshield, giving superior squeegee effect.
  • Pressure points/claws holding down the blade. The more pressure points, the bigger the area where the wiper arm’s pressure is spread. These also give more flexibility.
  • Blade material. Many blades are made using a natural rubber, but there are some with a composite structure; a firm rubber in the blade body for support, and a soft pliable rubber on the squeegee surface for improved wiping capabilities.

If the first three factors are all all right, then it’s the rubber that needs your attention. Instead of replacing it immediately, here’s how you can soften it.

Softening The Blade Rubber Again


  • Clean cloth
  • Soap
  • Petroleum jelly
  • White vinegar


  1. Prepare your car. Park it in a clean and roofed space, away from the sun. There shouldn’t be any hindrances while you perform the procedure. Get your materials out and ready, as well.
  2. Carefully lift the wiper blade’s arm up, and position it away from the windshield. This gives you easy access to the blades.
  3. Check and see if the blade rubber has been torn, frayed or cracked. If it is, then you shouldn’t clean them anymore, but replace them instead. If the rubber is still intact, then you can proceed.
  4. Get a small amount of vinegar and put it on a cloth. Wipe it along the length of the rubber wiper blades. Do this twice, gently, making sure the vinegar has cleaned the blades and soaked into them as well.
  5. Get another clean cloth and dampen it with water. Wipe it along the rubber, to remove excess vinegar.
  6. Wipe the rubber with a dry cloth.
  7. Get an ample amount of petroleum jelly and wipe it along the blade’s length, making sure the jelly soaks in the rubber. Don’t wipe the blades off, and let the jelly air dry for 10 minutes.
  8. Lower the arms of the wiper on the windshield again. The rubber will now be considerably softer and will work better than before.

Do not underestimate the importance of a well-functional windshield wiper rubber. As long as it stays soft and efficient, it will keep you out of harm’s way every time you go for a drive. If the problem lies in the windshield wiper itself, though, maybe you should consider changing it instead. It’s awfully dangerous to have malfunctioal windshield wipers.



  1. backsavekkk said,

    on November 28th, 2011 at 2:52 pm