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Great tips for how to get ice off a windshield


Gloved hand scraping ice and snow off of car windshield.

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Have you ever been late to work or made the kids be late to school because it took too long to scrape the snow and ice off your windshield? Are you dreading the winter cold, having to deal with the inevitable ice all over your car windows night and day?

To help you out, here are few handy tips on how to deice your windshields to help avoid accidents, delays, and potential frustration of not being able to see out of all of the icy windows.

Safety first!

  1. First of all, be mindful that it is NOT a good idea to pour hot or cold water on your car windows to thaw the ice, even if you think it may speed up the process. You may sustain window cracking or breaking, or the water may leave an even thicker layer of ice on the windshield. 
  2. Secondly, pouring salt on the roads and ground is a great way to de-ice the driveway, but leave the salt for the roads and not on your car or car windows.
  3. Be kind to your credit cards and leave them in your wallet. Use a plastic ice scraper to remove ice from the windshield as you may break the card, adding more frustration of not being able to use it while waiting for a new one to come in the mail.

Take a preventative approach

Consider adding a windshield cover to your winter car kit that has easy-to-use straps—this is something you can purchase at an auto-supply store. You can keep it handy in your car and use anytime for frost, snow, and ice on your windshield.

The manual way to de-ice your windshield

Here are the basics for using your car defroster and a plastic long-handled snow/ice scraper and brush combo on an icy cold morning. (Tip! Leave it in your car year-round under the seat.)

  1. Turn the car on and let it idle for a minute. Turn the defroster on full heat for both the front and the back windshield.
  2. Close the driver’s side door. Using the ice scraper, gently use vertical strokes for the side windows and horizontal strokes for the front windshield. For the back window, if your car or van has a small windshield wiper, you can turn it on from the driver’s seat and let the defroster do its job. Use the brush to eliminate all snow and ice fragments.

Using a DIY spray for quick ice removal

If you want to know how to get ice off windshield fast, some sources claim that this DIY de-icer speeds up the process of getting to work on time or the kids to school.

Sources say to try a DIY homemade de-icing solution made of one-part isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and two-parts water. The isopropyl alcohol sold in stores ranges from 50 to 90 percent purity. Higher purity provides a lower freezing point and better de-icing capability. A few drops of washing up liquid added to the mixture will act as a surfactant to help coat the ice more evenly. Apply the solution with a spray bottle and, if practical, keep it indoors so the added warmth can aid the de-icing process. Alcohol-based de-icing mixtures freeze at around -15°C versus 0°C for water.

We hope you enjoyed our tips on a how to get ice off a windshield. Be sure to check out our other helpful articles such as how to dispose of paint, how to remove sticker residue and how to clean cast iron.