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Thread: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

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    Default windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    I find Rain-X does a good job but really doesn't last that long. To keep at or near full effectiveness you pretty much have to apply it weekly. Anybody try anything different?
    I live in a van down by the river

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    Flashaholic* whiskypapa3's Avatar
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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    I've been using Rain-X since it was a pup. Also use the orange-aid lookig Rain-X washer fluid in the washer as a "booster shot" and in a Spritz bottle to clean windows when they look dusty. Front windows last six to eight weeks and side and rear ones a whole season..

    My driving is mostly 50-60 mph on rural roads with little traffic so I don't get much road sludge splattered on the windshield.
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    Flashaholic* WNG's Avatar
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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    Zano Brothers makes a good product for glass, according to my cousin's results.

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    Flashaholic* Manzerick's Avatar
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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    Gel-Gloss makes a product called "No Streek glass polish which helps prep the surface for rain X. Really makes it stick better.

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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    STP Vision Blade used to be cheap and sold at Walmart but is no longer available. Lasts about 4-6x longer than Rain-X. Currently a similar (same?) product (that is also made by PPG) is Aquapel but it's far more expensive.

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    *Flashaholic* Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    Supposedly the best out there is now Aquapel. It has a Teflon base and works very similar to Rain-X but it last about 6-9 months compare to 2-4 weeks in my case with Rain-X. But it cost about 5-10 times the amount and I figure I have to really clean the windshield at least every 2-4 weeks anyway.
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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    I've got a friend who suggested that I add a cap full of Rain-X to my windshield wiper fluid. Any thoughts on doing this?
    Last edited by Sigman; 11-20-2006 at 04:42 PM.
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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    Quote Originally Posted by bfg9000
    STP Vision Blade used to be cheap and sold at Walmart but is no longer available. Lasts about 4-6x longer than Rain-X. Currently a similar (same?) product (that is also made by PPG) is Aquapel but it's far more expensive.
    Yup Aquapel is the same product. I got spoiled working at a shop tha carried it, so I got it for cost. It's truely an amazing product compared to Rain-X. It doesn't wear off the wiper contact area like Rain-X, it wears off evenly over the entire windshield. It also makes ice and bugs easier to clean.

    I could check into getting several and doing a mini-groupbuy if there was interest.

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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    Years ago I had a neighbor that was a clean car nut - he swore that waxing the glass would work better and last longer than rain-x. Seeing as how I would actually have to wash the truck to test this, I never got around to seeing if it worked.

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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    I've been repairing stone damaged windshields for 17 years - chips, stars and running cracks. If you ever want to consider repairing your windshield to avoid replacement, don't use this stuff.

    Years before I repaired windshields, I was driving a car and had used RainX on the windshield about 2-3 weeks earlier. I got caught in a downpour around DC on the beltway and although the manf at that time said to reapply 6-8 weeks, it not only didn't do its job, but it prevented the wipers from doing their job. Very scary situation.

    Many car related chemicals are much more sophisticated than they used to be, and create havoc for repairing windshields. If any of these chemicals get in a break on a windshield, they will affect the quality of a repair and in some instances, even prevent the possibility of a repair.

    Repairs prevent the need for replacement, are much cheaper than replacement and are usually paid for by comprehensive coverage EVEN IF YOU HAVE A DEDUCTIBLE. You don't break the factory seal on your original windshield and you're not adding to landfill problems.

    Even if it didn't affect my business, I still wouldn't use the stuff. If you decide that you don't like it, YOU CAN'T GET IT OFF. It has to wear off. And while it looses its effectiveness rather quickly, it remains on the windshield for quite a long time.

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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    You can actually get it off pretty easily with a polish. Even though PPG also makes aftermarket glass, I doubt they're trying to sell more windshields with the Aquapel. BTW it's $8 at Tire Rack.

    I don't particularly like the scattering effect of Rain-X (a solid sheet of water is easier to see through than millions of little droplets) but it absolutely prevents water spots or other things from adhering to the window. If it didn't make cleaning the windows so easy I'd probably just apply it to the part the wiper sweeps, since it does reduce abrasion from the wipers. Wax would also protect the glass and result in little standing droplets (though they wouldn't fall off as easily as ones caused by Rain-X).

    Rain-X is just siloxanes, which are the building blocks of what we normally refer to as silicones. Since they don't stick to plastic or paint nearly as well as they do to glass, they don't cause problems with repainting like silicone does. But if you're trying to glue something to the glass, polish it off first!

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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    I've been using Rain-X for twenty years now and for me it wears like iron. I get about a month to five weeks on one application. During Winter months it's much less so I supplement with the orange-aid looking Rain-X windshield washer fluid. Not all places carry this so I stock up.

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    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    How does the Aquapel work for the visors on motorcycle helmets? Or is there something else my bro could use?

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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    When I used to use Rain-X I found that treating the wiper blades with Armor All helped avoid the haze caused by the wipers. Rain-X seemed to last longer when the wipers were not dried out.

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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    Quote Originally Posted by greenLED
    How does the Aquapel work for the visors on motorcycle helmets? Or is there something else my bro could use?
    I've never tried it as I could never find an answer if it was lexan/plastic safe. If someone had a spare shield I'd try it when I retreat my windshield.

    And honestly I can't tell you how amazing Aquapel is, at least if it's put on correcting, to a VERY clean window. It's like the difference between a 2D maglite and a SF L4.

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    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    VWTim! My bro bought some Rain-X for his bike helmet, but we didn't think about it working (or not) on the visor until after the fact.

    I "discovered" Rain-X last year, and it's been a Godsend. I've never had the problem of it interfering with the wipers, though. Could somebody clarify what happens?

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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    greenLED, when the wipers start to wear away the coating they leave a haze of extremely tiny droplets with each pass. Reapplying the Rain-X will fix the problem, or using their windshield washer additive will at least minimize it until you can manage to dry the window and reapply. Aquapel doesn't seem to be as bad, but at some 30x the price you might expect that.

    And I could only find this about Aquapel. Rain-X was originally developed for the Lexan windshields of jetliners, and the old bottles did say it could be used on plastic. But after some polycarbonate Honda motorcycle windscreens were crazed by it, all references to plastic were removed from the label. My experience is it never lasted longer than 2 weeks on plastic or chrome anyway but has never damaged them either. OTOH it usually lasts over a year for me on glass when kept out of the sun (except where the wipers sweep).

    BTW I've found a really neat product that is like Rain-X for paint! It's Turtle Wax ICE Polish (not the detailer) and is ridiculously easy to use because it doesn't stain the black trim white (instead it turns it dark like a protectant) and buffs right off (actually a lot easier than Rain-X). I highly recommend it if you have new paint. See, unlike its name, it contains no polish but is only wax. So if the freshly washed paint feels rough you'd have to clay-bar it then polish first, but after that it's so quick to use that you could wax the car every time you washed it. Seems to last far longer than any protectant on plastic because it's waterproof.

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    Flashaholic goldenlight's Avatar
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    Thinking Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    Quote Originally Posted by bfg9000
    STP Vision Blade used to be cheap and sold at Walmart but is no longer available. Lasts about 4-6x longer than Rain-X. Currently a similar (same?) product (that is also made by PPG) is Aquapel but it's far more expensive.
    I have used Vision Blade for years, and still have a small stash.

    I've found it can last over a year, depending on weather. Having really good wiper blades/refills seems to really prolong it's life.

    I'm really annoyed that it's no longer being made; it's great stuff!
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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    Ever since I discovered Aquapel, I've given away all my unused bottles of Rain-X. Aquapel simply is a far superior product, and in the pretty harsh summer heat of South Florida, a single application always gives me 6 months of coverage at least. It's not really that expensive, given the quality of the product and how long it lasts. I've managed to pick up bulk quantities that works out to be around $2.50 per applicator on eBay in the past.

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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seikoguy
    Ever since I discovered Aquapel, I've given away all my unused bottles of Rain-X. Aquapel simply is a far superior product, and in the pretty harsh summer heat of South Florida, a single application always gives me 6 months of coverage at least. It's not really that expensive, given the quality of the product and how long it lasts. I've managed to pick up bulk quantities that works out to be around $2.50 per applicator on eBay in the past.
    Wow that is cheap, I'll have to look into that. The Auto shop I used to work at was paying ~$4 per applicator from Service Champ last year.

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    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    Does the lexan on motorcycle helmet's visor have any extra properties different than, say, a Lexan Nalgene-brand water bottle? It just hit me that it'd be feasible to test Rain-X's effects on a Lexan water bottle instead of risking damage to a visor (unless visors are different for some reason... AR, anti-scratch, even harder?)

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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    I think most of the better brand visors do have some antiscratch coatings.

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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    Resurecting this old thread. Is Aquapel still the best today? Also if you put this on your windshield, what happens to it if you use your wipers (i.e. does it smear or wear it off) on treated windshield?

  24. #24
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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    For an old post I would have figured that people would have already posted a real answer -- please, for best results follow the directions on the bottle carefully. I don't mean to sound like a wise guy but Rain-X simply works best when carefully applied to a thoroughly cleaned windshield. Putting the stuff on when there is "road film" on the glass won't cut it. You have to clean off all of the oil and grime first.

    Start off by waiting for a clear and warm day and also park the car in the shade. Clean the windshield with a very, very, very mild powder abrasive (try using good old Bon Ami -- it is available at most grocery stores and it is very cheap and I personally have never had it scratch the glass). Be careful of what you use -- you obviously do not want to scratch the glass. Use very damp cloths that are used only for this purpose and switch to a clean one often. Be sure to flush the glass repeatedly with a gentle stream of water. Do not spray it or use too much pressure. You want to flood the stuff off when you are done cleaning. Be sure there is no haze or residue. You almost cannot rinse too much.

    When the glass is clean and dry, take a clean cloth (again use a clean cloth that is only used for this purpose) and apply the Rain-X sparingly. A little goes a long way and too much doesn't help. Be sure to apply the Rain-X to a damp (not wet) cloth and use a circular motion. Allow the Rain-X to dry to a haze and then reapply the same way. Do not be afraid to use multiple cloths -- the washing machine won't know the difference and by the way, do not use fabric softener on them! When the second coat is on and dried to a haze, use clean cloths and polish the glass until it is clean and both haze free and streak free. That's it. You should see a big difference over just slapping the stuff on.

    Also, be sure to thoroughly clean the wiper blades. Do so often. Replace the blades about twice a year or more often as needed. If the windshield still streaks after cleaning both the glass and the wiper blades, it is time to replace the blades. Clean the windshield often but try to avoid the crap in the bucket when you fill up the car -- it is loaded with dirt and grime and probably oil and/or fuel. Use a good glass cleaner and clean rags or a very clean squeegee with clean rags. I use a spray glass cleaner and keep some in the car at all times with clean rags.

    I also use the Rain-X washer fluid. That helps keep the stuff going for a long time. How long? I apply Rain-X once or maybe twice a year. It works just like the first day I put it on right up until the day I re-do it. I live in upstate NY. There is a lot of grime, crud, and salt at this time of year but the Rain-X still works great. I find it easy to clean off ice and other stuff in the winter and the bugs come off easily in the summer, too.

    Last bit of advice -- don't wait to clean stuff off of the windshield. Crud, bird droppings, and bugs will make things worse the longer they are left to set up and dry on. If it needs cleaning, clean it now.

    Now, I don't want to let you think that all of the people around where I live are stone simple but here are some fun reasons I have found that have made a few people swear up and down that Rain-X didn't work for them:

    -- they put it on a dirty windshield. One person I knew had a leaky valve cover and could not figure out why the windshield was dirty and the Rain-X did not help.

    -- Rain-X will not help if the wiper blades are caked in road salt or are in shreds. No, really. It will not help. I promise. Of course there are people who will not believe this.

    -- they forgot that the windshield not only has an outside but also has an inside. Rain-X does not help no matter how well it works if the leak in the heater core is letting antifreeze mist up the inside of the car.

    -- Rain-X will not help if there are cracks in the glass no matter how much of it you use.

    Now, if I can drive on snowy, slushy, and/or muddy roads during a road rally, and I can drive many salt spray covered highway miles, and still have Rain-X not only work but work really, really well, and also have it last a long time, it ain't because there is a magical glass windshield in my 16 year old car. All it takes is time and elbow grease (and doesn't saying "elbow grease" make me sound like I'm an even older fart than I already am?).
    Last edited by chmsam; 03-04-2009 at 02:00 PM.
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    Flashaholic* skalomax's Avatar
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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    Rain-X user for about 1 month now

    Starting raining today and rain-x did its job real well. Water just beaded upwards and didn't even use my windshield wipers.

    Of course, everytime i wash my car I add some more rain-x, so i can't talk about Its effective time.
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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    Another reminder for those who don't read all of this thread. Using these chemicals pretty much ruins your opportunity to repair stone damages on your windshield.

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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    i use silblade wipers , theyre great ,they make rain bead up and i could see fine without using wipers

  28. #28
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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    Quote Originally Posted by kitelights View Post
    Another reminder for those who don't read all of this thread. Using these chemicals pretty much ruins your opportunity to repair stone damages on your windshield.
    While I definitely don't doubt your expertise, I've had one broken windshield (very large crack, not repairable) in the 20+ years I've been driving, but I've encountered rain hundreds maybe over a thousand times in that same span. Rain-X works, and even if it guaranteed to make my windshield unrepairable if a chip happens, I'd rather replace 1 or 2 windshields every 20 years to gain the benefit that Rain-X gives me. Besides, my insurance company paid for the one broken windshield I had, and will do so for any future ones, so it's a non-issue for me.
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    *Flashaholic* LuxLuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    Quote Originally Posted by chmsam View Post
    For an old post I would have figured that people would have already posted a real answer -- please, for best results follow the directions on the bottle carefully. I don't mean to sound like a wise guy but Rain-X simply works best when carefully applied to a thoroughly cleaned windshield. Putting the stuff on when there is "road film" on the glass won't cut it. You have to clean off all of the oil and grime first....blah, blah, blah....
    I didn't resurrect the thread to get a lecture on how to properly use Rain-X. I'm not going to put Bon-Ami on my windshield, nor follow all your steps like I'm doing brain surgery. Nor will 99.999% of the population. If something is that hard to use and requiring that much ongoing attention, it's a waste of money. I'll just use wiper blades alone.


    Quote Originally Posted by kitelights View Post
    Another reminder for those who don't read all of this thread. Using these chemicals pretty much ruins your opportunity to repair stone damages on your windshield.
    I don't care about repairing stone damage, and having mentioned that it is your line of work once in the thread is sufficient.

    I care about best and longest lasting water repellant effect...and whether wiper blades ruin (or significantly shorten) the function of it. It sounded like the Aquapel was the better performing/lasting product, but I never used it.

    I have used Rain-X in the past, and it works well for a relatively short time, and you get all amazed and excited...but about the time you forget to reapply it is when you will really need it and get frustrated that it ran out...so after 2-3 applications, I wrote it off and tossed the rest of the bottle. It's not a practical product design.

    If the Aquapel is the current 'state of the art' best performing & lasting product that's what I'm looking for. Not sure if something else has come out since. I have already ruled out Rain-X, so if nothing better, will just keep using wiper blades.
    Last edited by LuxLuthor; 03-04-2009 at 10:51 PM.

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    Default Re: windshield rain repeller, anything better then Rain-X?

    Quote Originally Posted by LuxLuthor View Post
    I didn't resurrect the thread to get a lecture on how to properly use Rain-X. I'm not going to put Bon-Ami on my windshield, nor follow all your steps like I'm doing brain surgery. Nor will 99.999% of the population. If something is that hard to use and requiring that much ongoing attention, it's a waste of money. I'll just use wiper blades alone.
    Well, you're absolutely right. Anyone can do or not do what they want. It's just that folks shouldn't blame the product if they don't use it correctly. Use it or don't, or use something more expensive, but that's still no skin off of my nose.

    Hey, some things do get a wee bit complicated but honest, Rain-X is dead easy. Over the course of a year it takes me maybe about a total of an extra 15 to 20 minutes. As a result I almost never have to hit the wipers above the lowest intermittent setting when at highway speeds even in a downpour and the windshield stays cleaner the rest of the time. Some folks' mileage obviously varies.

    Basically I'll just add it to the long list of things with the old "RTM" solution that almost nobody these days wants to figure out. I simply offered advice as to what works for me after little or no extra work.
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