The Quickest Way to De-Ice Your Windshield

January 3, 2018
It's that time of year again. If you live in an extra chilly climate, you're probably fighting a daily battle with a frosted windshield. You were supposed to leave for work five minutes ago, right? Yet you're stuck with zero visibility and a defroster that's just not cutting it.

Your first inclination might be to find something hot to melt the ice off, such as boiling water, but that kind of extreme temperature change could result is irreversible windshield damage. So what are some better options?

deice windshield

De-icing your windshield without causing damage

First things first, turn on your defroster. The defroster will work from the inside of the vehicle, safely warming the glass and getting rid of any moisture within. It will also speed up the de-icing process.

Now for the outside. It really comes down to two tools for effective and efficient de-icing of your windshield: using a good quality scraper (not your debit card), and a de-icer solution.

So how do you choose the right scraper for your windshield? There's no need to spend $50 on the Rolls Royce of ice scrapers. The prices for these devices all hover around $10 on Amazon. Choose a scraper with good reviews and maybe an add-on or two, such as a brush or grippy handle.

You have a couple options when it comes to making a de-icing solution: Make it yourself or buy it online. For the path of least resistance, there are several options available to purchase that offer an easy-to-use sprayer, loosening and/or melting the ice in seconds through the work of a chemical reaction.

To DIY your own de-icing solution, grab a spray bottle and choose one (or both) of the following:
  • Combine 1 cup of water with 2 cups of rubbing alcohol
  • Combine 1 cup of water with 3 cups of white vinegar
Spray it on a few minutes before you plan on leaving and the ice should scrape off with significantly less resistance.

Bonus: If you have issues with car locks icing up, they even make lock defroster that has great reviews from cold but satisfied customers!

As a preventative option, you can soak a towel in a saltwater solution and place it over your windshield the night before. Ensure that you're not expecting 3 feet of snow, as this can be heavy and messy to remove the next day!

Look at you with your ice-free windshield and coffee in hand, ready to take on the cold day in a safe manner.

No matter what, don't be this guy:



About the Author

Kimberlea Buczeke is an automotive expert at RepairPal, the leading online source of auto repair resources and estimates. With many ASE Master certified mechanics on staff who have decades of experience, RepairPal knows all the fine points of car repair.

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