Admittedly, I’m sort of rambling here, but those are common questions from friends/family unfamiliar with Volvo and/or European cars. Those questions are usually followed by, “Do they work?” or “Can you really tell the difference?” A friend asked me just yesterday as he was looking at the front end of my car.
To which I answer yes, they are activated when I squirt the windshield. Sometimes they’ll ask if there are washer nozzles. I tell them I can tell a difference, thought not really when I use them in the fair weather months (spring, summer, and fall), but night driving in the winter when the roads are all salty and nasty.
I ask them to imagine driving without windshield wipers/washers and how dirty the windshield gets along with the lack of visibility. Then I suggest they think about the light emitted from the headlights, sometimes telling them the dirty headlights act as a diffuser (not good) or like trying to shine a flashlight through waxed paper. I ask them if they ever wash their headlights when they wash their windshield at the gas station. Then they get it. And that is usually followed up with a “that’s cool,” “interesting,” or some other eureka-type expression.
Depending on how interested they are in the conversation (or if they're still confused), I might follow it up with something like, “it’s a European car thing and that they have some sort of headlight washer, whether they have wipers and/or washers nozzles.