There’s often a myriad of things that can go wrong with your car due to freezing weather. Your engine could get frozen, your car could get stuck in the snow, your windows and windshield could get frozen, or all of this could happen at the same time.
Driving while your windshield is covered in ice is unsafe and challenging as it impairs your vision. Taking the time to de-ice your windshield before you drive out in the winter might be inconvenient, but it is the most effective way to reach your destination safely.
Stay with us, and we’ll walk you through the five fastest and most effective ways to get ice off your windshield.
How to Get Ice Off Windshield
1. Commercial De-icer Products
There are a variety of commercial chemical sprays for defrosting your windshield. In truth, most store-bought de-icing sprays are effective, but they’re also more expensive than manufacturing your own. They’re available on Amazon, in a local auto supply store, and in the automotive section of most big box stores.
It can be exhausting figuring out which product is best for your vehicle. We researched so you don’t have to; we recommend Prestone AS244 Windshield De-Icer – 17 oz. Aerosol.
Before you use any commercial de-icer product, ensure you carefully read the instructions.
2. Warm Water
Warm water is a great and simple way to get ice off your windshield. You can either pour the water directly or put it into a spray bottle before applying it to the windshield. The warm water will cause the ice to soften immediately and melt till you can wipe it away with a towel, squeegee, or your windscreen wiper.
Coldwater, as you might’ve guessed, will enhance the thickness of the ice on your glass. While hot water might seem like a bright idea, it could break the glass by causing what’s known as a thermal shock. This is because the rapid change from one extreme temperature to another might create fractures and breakage, resulting in missed trips and repair costs.
Additionally, in freezing weather, hot water freezes faster than colder water. So you may simply be worsening your condition. As a general rule, avoid extreme heat or extreme colds when trying to de-ice glass safely. The only time to pour water over your windshield is when the water is lukewarm.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda works in the same way salt does. It removes ice by dropping the freezing point of water when it mixes with it. Like salt, Baking soda is most effective in areas with moderately cold weather and not extremely cold weather.
Additionally, Baking soda is less alkaline than salt. This makes it less likely to damage bricks or concrete. To use baking soda, mix it with water and apply the mixture to the ice.
4. Rubbing Alcohol
Combine two parts of rubbing alcohol and one part of water. Then apply the solution to your windshield with a spray bottle.
Because alcohol has a freezing point of 5 degrees, compared to 32 degrees for water, the ice on your windshield will melt very quickly. If the ice is thick, you may need to repeat the process until the ice is completely gone.
The most common method for melting ice is to use salt. Salt lowers the freezing point of ice from 32 degrees Fahrenheit to 15 degrees Fahrenheit rather than melting it outright. This implies it won’t function in severe cold, but it’ll work well in locations where the temperature remains between 20- and 30-degrees Fahrenheit.
To de-ice your windshield safely, mix salt with water and pour the salty water over the ice. Heat is produced as a result of the chemical interaction between salt and water. As saltwater has a lower freezing point than fresh water, it begins to dissolve ice as soon as it comes into contact. Additionally, the salt prevents the glass from freezing again.
Use a plastic ice scraper to remove the ice as it begins to thaw to speed up the process. You should only use a plastic scraper to remove melted ice pieces and should never be pushed against the windshield, as it could damage the glass if used with enough pressure.
While table salt is effective, rock salt is the most prevalent salt used to melt ice. It’s made up entirely of sodium chloride, which comes from subterranean salt mines. Simply put, it’s a harsher variant of table salt.
When using a lot of salt, be cautious since it can harm plants, corrode metal, and destroy concrete over time. It can also irritate pets and leave a residue on your shoes. It’s best to use it sparingly and keep it away from your grass and garden.
Epsom salt and sugar are safer choices. They’re kinder to plants and surfaces but less effective on the ice.
Brush the ice away with a squeegee, soft-bristled brush, ice scraper, windshield wipers, or even a credit card once it has started to break down. Metal scrapers can scratch the glass and ruin the wiper blades, so don’t use them.
Windshield Ice Prevention Techniques
While the techniques listed are quick and effective, they’ll still take some time and effort. The fastest and easiest way to de-ice is to prevent the ice from ever forming in the first place. Here are some ways you can prevent ice formation.
- Cover Windshield
Ice may be prevented by using a tarp, cardboard, or an old sheet to cover the windshield. Wiper blades, weights, etc., can be used to keep the lid from blowing off.
Covers should only be worn when little to no snowfall is predicted. Ensure you use clean covers as dirty covers might harm your vehicle’s paint.
- Soak Windshield Covers in De-icer Solution
Soak your covers in a saltwater solution or a water and vinegar solution. Between uses, store the wet cover in a plastic bag.
If you find ice on your windshield, remember these five easy methods to clear it out. If your windshield has already been damaged, you should have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible. A car with a cracked windshield can limit your line of vision and put you at an increased risk of an accident.