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Hardware store rain repellent works – why pay more at the shop?

Rain-X Original (207 ml squirt bottle)

Available at: Canadian Tire, Wal-Mart, Home Hardware, Amazon

Price: $5.99-$6.99

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Winter driving in Canada means a new windshield in the spring. Last week, when I picked up the truck with the new windshield, the repair shop offered a free coating of its rain repellent. It's a $30 treatment reapplied every four to six months. Being the cheap wad I am, I went to the hardware store to purchase a bottled version for my car.

Rain-X Original is a topical treatment you wipe onto a clean auto window to repel the rain. As it says on the back of the bright yellow bottle, it "seals the microscopic pores of glass with a super-slick, non-stick invisible barrier." And that is basically what the glass shop applied, but for considerably more money.

The Rain-X went on swiftly and within minutes I was driving in the rain. The water instantly beaded up and blew off. The results were much the same when test-driving the truck with the commercial application.

Some people suggest not using it on the front windshield because the wiper blades might wear it off. But I have a whole bottle and it was less than $7 so I'll just reapply. That's a whole lot cheaper and quicker than dashing off to the glass shop.

How well it repels snow and sleet will have to wait a few months. Sadly, it does not repel rocks.

If you have questions about driving or car maintenance, please contact our experts at globedrive@globeandmail.com.

Follow us on Twitter @Globe_Drive.

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