How to soften wiper blades
Soft wiper blades glide more easily over the windscreen and rear window and provide better visibility as a result. There are several ways to resoften wiper blades:
- Rubber care or silicone spray
Not all of the options presented here are equally suitable for resoftening the rubber lips. We've summarised the advantages and disadvantages of soft wiper blades.
How to soften wiper blade rubber and rubber lip care
The rubber lip is the wear part in itself. It has to wipe away quite a bit of dirt and water during its lifetime and is exposed not only to rain but also to sun. Over time, this makes the rubber porous and brittle. This is an ageing process that can’t be stopped, but it can be slowed down.
By learning how to soften windshield wiper blades, you can keep the blade smooth by treating the rubber lip with a special rubber care product or silicone spray about four times a year. This not only increases its lifetime, but also its sliding properties, which avoids squeaking and stops the wiper rubbing.
Another way to soften the wiper blades is using sandpaper. To do this, select a sandpaper with a fine grain size from about 600. Run it carefully and only with very light pressure over the edge of the rubber lip. You shouldn’t repeat this process more than once. Afterwards, the edges are soft again and the wiping result is usually much better than before, provided that the wiper blades aren’t too old. However, this method quickly reaches its limits, because the wiper blades still wear out and the sanding process can’t be repeated as many times as desired. Therefore, we advise you against regrinding the rubber lips. If in doubt, it's better to completely replace your wiper blades.
You can use a special cutter knife for wipers to recut the wiper blades. This method is similar to sanding. Care and tact are required when recutting, as imprecise work usually renders the wiper unusable and it has to be replaced. In addition, it changes the gliding properties of the wipers significantly. Since recutting often leads to a worse wiping result, we advise you against it in all cases.
Soften or replace directly?
The condition of the lip will tell whether you can soften your wiper blades or whether you should just replace them straight away. If it’s very hard, already porous or has cracks in some places, it should be changed. An outdated rubber lip often produces unpleasant noises such as squeaking or juddering. You can try to get some more life out of the wiper blades using the above methods. However, if the wiping result doesn’t improve or if the improvement is barely noticeable afterwards, it’s time to replace the wipers.