What are the fluids currently used on commercial aircraft that have an in-flight windshield washer system (not just a wiper)?

And if they exist, are there fluids more "ecological" that could have a good cleaning capacity, especially on salt?

  • $\begingroup$ How would you get salt on the windshield? $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Mar 1, 2022 at 14:14
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer around the world there are airfields next to the sea. wind will carry the salt on the windshield for you. $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Commented Mar 1, 2022 at 15:04
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ There are, or were, alcohol based windshield anti-ice systems that sprayed it like a car. The Twin Otter had one, but the system was removed after an alcohol fueled cockpit fire that burned the pilot pretty bad back in the late 70s. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Commented Mar 1, 2022 at 15:07

1 Answer 1


Some aircraft do have windshield washers as part of the windshield wiper system. The washer fluid used is usually some combination of isopropyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, ethylene glycol, or propylene glycol.

Two brand names are TKS and Kilfrost.

TKS is 85% Ethanediol(ethylene glycol), 5% Isopropanol(isopropyl alcohol), and 10% Distilled water.

Kilfrost is also ethylene glycol, isopropyl alcohol, and pure water

In the past some aircraft also used these same fluids for windshield anti-ice/de-ice systems.

I am not aware of any “ecological” substitutes.


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