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As drivers, we spend a long time looking through a car windshield. You might think that there is not much to discover about something as common as a windshield. However, as shown in an earlier article, “Why Does a Car Windshield Have Small Black Dots,” a windshield, like life itself, is full of mystery. With this in mind, we have another mystery to unravel for a windshield: the secret apple trick.

What happens when you rub an apple on a car windshield?

Apple in front of a car windshield, highlighting the secret trick for rubbing an apple on a windshield
Apple and car windshield | Mark Putzer, MotorBiscuit

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Also, when it comes to a car, rubbing an apple on a windshield keeps the rainwater away. 

To see this magic trick in action, grab an apple from your local grocery store, produce stand, or farmer’s market. Or, if you’re lucky, you can pick one from your backyard tree. Any variety of apple will do — Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Braeburn, Delicious, Fuji, Gala, or Granny Smith. Pick whichever one satisfies your taste buds, but it makes no difference to your car windshield. All apples will make the magic happen. 

How to do the rubbing an apple on a car windshield trick

Cut apple held over a car windshield, highlighting the secret trick for rubbing an apple on a windshield.jpg
Apple and car windshield | Mark Putzer, MotorBiscuit

The apple-on-the-windshield trick is simple to do but no less amazing. After you grab the apple, cut it in half. Take one apple half and then rub the cut surface all over the windshield. Rub it up in down, side to side, or around in circles. It doesn’t matter which way, as long as you cover all of the windshield.

Person rubbing an apple on a car windshield, highlighting the secret apple trick for a windshield
Apple and car windshield | Mark Putzer, MotorBiscuit

When you cut the apple, it releases malic acid, which is the secret ingredient that makes the magic happen. Rubbing the apple and, consequently, the malic acid on the windshield creates what’s called the “lotus effect.” The leaves of a lotus flower repel water. Likewise, the malic acid from an apple repels water when rubbed on a windshield. 

When rainwater falls on a windshield after you rub it with an apple, it won’t stick to it. The water just rolls off, resulting in a clear view, as you can see below in the video from the Smart Fox YouTube channel. 

You can do the apple trick for when your windshield wipers are worn or broken

While it’s advisable to replace worn or broken windshield wipers as soon as possible, the apple trick can serve as a temporary remedy. With the malic acid from the apple on a windshield, the view is clear enough to drive during rainy weather, even when not using the windshield wipers. The rainwater just simply rolls right off the windshield.

Another benefit of the apple trick is the malic acid makes it easier to remove dirt, debris, and insects from the windshield. Additionally, you can rub the apple on the car windows and see similar results. The apple trick also works well for the headlights.

As an alternative to the apple trick, you can use apple cider vinegar instead. Create a solution of water and apple cider vinegar and then spray it on the windshield and windows. You’ll see similar results as the rubbing the apple trick. Also, the apple cider vinegar solution is an effective tool for removing ice from the windshield and windows during the winter. 

The wonders of windshields never cease to amaze.


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