Rain-X and other similar products, such as Aquapel, are made of a hydrophobic (water-repelling) silicone polymer commonly applied to auto windshields. Essentially, it coats the glass in a substance that repels water.

Many people report that Rain-X eliminate the need to use windshield wipers, that water beads up and runs off without distorting the driver’s view. Rain-X reports that research conducted at a major university suggests that drivers’ reaction times improved by up to a second when using Rain-X as opposed to windshield wipers in rainy conditions.

Taken at face value, Rain-X seems like a fantastic product. Are there drawbacks to using silicone on your windshield?

  • Some people report a film or haze on the windshield after applying the product.
  • If you do use the windshield wipers while Rain-X is on the glass, streaks may appear for a second, possibly making it more difficult to see out of the windshield.
  • It takes quite a bit of work to buff the silicone into the glass, especially if you use too much of the product. If not properly buffed in, a film may linger on the glass.
  • You have to re-apply after several months.

Are you a Rain-X user? What are some experiences you’ve had with Rain-X or similar rain-repelling windshield products?