How to Quickly and Safely Get Ice Off Your Windshield

Wintertime brings a lot of woes, including needing to de-ice your windshield before heading off to work. This means you might be running late for work regularly during the wintertime, making your office and co-workers mad. Also, if your car has thick ice on it, you might be stuck scraping for 10 minutes or more.

Man cleaning snow from car windshield with brush

If you don’t have a garage or covering to park your car during the wintertime, you can be sure that your car will have ice on the windshield most mornings when you wake up to work or school. Knowing how to get ice off your windshield can make your winters more enjoyable and give you the tools you need to ensure you’re not out scraping for minutes on end.

While ice scrapers might be the first thing that pops into mind, you’re often left standing out in the cold with frozen fingers during this method. Defrosting from the inside of the car is much easier, but it means wasting gas and more time.

A combination of different methods is often the best way to keep your windshield ice-free during the winter. You can also put some preventative measures into place to make your mornings much more manageable. For example, consider using a spray on the coldest winter mornings to help you.

Vision Safety

Unfortunately, if you’re running late for work or a meeting, you might be tempted to scrap the ice from the driver’s side and get moving. This might seem like a good idea, but once you’re out on the road, you will realize that you can’t see as well as you need to drive properly.

Driving with a windshield that isn’t fully defrosted is extremely dangerous, even though hundreds of people do it every winter. If you are trying to get the kids to school on time, you might also be tempted just to start driving. Remember that you need to make sure you are driving with a fully defrosted window, especially with the kids in the car.

Seeing just from one spot of the windshield doesn’t give you complete visibility of the road you need when driving. Simply having a spot from the driver’s side is not enough. If it’s cold enough to have ice on your window, there is probably ice on the road. This is even more of a reason to ensure you have all the help you need when driving. Give yourself a little extra time each morning to make sure you are deicing the windows.

Preventative Measures

You just have to deal with ice being on your windshield in the cold winter months most of the time. Once you are ready to leave, you can begin spraying the windows or using another tool to get the ice off. If you don’t want to do this every morning, though, you can follow some simple tips to prevent ice from collecting.

One of the best ways to keep ice from collecting is parking your car in a garage or other covering. This isn’t always possible, though, depending on where you live.

Keeping Car Windows From Freezing Overnight

You can either get some de-icer spray for this or make your own solution. Any solution you make needs to have a lower freezing point than water, or it will not work. Some people use the vinegar solution, three parts vinegar, or one-part water.

You can also use a solution of two parts rubbing alcohol and one part water.

A salt solution can also work with 4 cups of distilled water and two teaspoons of non-iodized salt. Boil these for 20 minutes.

All these solutions have freezing temperatures lower than water, so they can effectively melt the ice. You can spray this on the windows before you sleep and wake up to ice-free windows.

Parking your car in the east can also prevent ice because your vehicle faces the sun. This will help to melt the ice faster. But, of course, this method only works if you wake up and leave for work after the sun comes up. If you have to leave before the sun comes, this method will not work for you.

Remember that side mirrors and windshield wiper blades can also freeze. You can cover them with a freezer Ziploc bag or a plastic bag. This will prevent the ice from being able to form. Make sure you keep it sealed tightly with a rubber band or clothespin. You can also wipe down the wiper blades with a soft cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol. This will keep them from sticking onto the glass.

You can also use sprayers on your side mirrors and wiper blades if you are concerned about them sticking onto the glass. Just make sure you use a spray safe for cars and a lower freezing point than water.

How to De-Ice Your Car Windshield?

Man taking off ice from windscreen

Whether it’s your first time in a northern winter or you’re experienced with the snow and cold, you might be wondering what tips and tricks are out there to help you make your mornings easier. Use this guide for all the dos and do not to make each winter morning a little more enjoyable.

Tips:

The biggest tip to follow is to make sure you leave enough room in your morning schedule to remove all the ice from your car. If you wake up late or start your morning late, you might be tempted to start driving before your car is fully de-iced. This can be dangerous for you and your other passengers.

In addition to waking up early, there are also some rules you can follow when it comes to the process of getting the ice off the windows. Make sure to follow the dos and don’ts below and buy some equipment to make the entire process much more manageable.

Dos & Donts:

The biggest thing to remember is to never remove the ice by dumping a bucket of water on the car, especially warm or hot water. This can cause the glass to go into thermal shock and break the glass. You might then end up with cracks in your windshield, and you will have to repair them. Also, even cold water could freeze on contact, which can make the layer of ice on your windshield even thicker.

Instead of being tempted to use water, consider getting some equipment such as a scraper and brush. Getting a good quality ice scraper will allow you to get the ice off your car quickly and efficiently.

Using Spray, Scraper, or Brush:

Below we will discuss more on using sprays, but you also need to make sure you have a scraper and a brush. Even if you use a spray, the brush and scrapers will allow you to get the ice off the car faster so that you can be on your way to work or school.

Use a Water and Alcohol Spray:

Use a commercial or household-made spray to help remove the ice from your windshield. It can make the scraping process much more manageable. Whether you buy a de-icer or make your own, always make sure you keep it at room temperature. You don’t want to keep it in the trunk of your car, where it will get frozen, and then you will be stuck without a spray. If you need to carry it places with you, such as to work or other areas where your windshield might re-ice, then keep it in your purse or briefcase so that it stays inside at room temperature.

If you want to make your spray at home without spending money on many ingredients, you can combine 70% isopropyl alcohol and one part water in a spray bottle. This works the best because the solution will have a freezing point of 5 degrees while water has a freezing point of 32 degrees. Applying it to the icy windshield will have an immediate and straightforward effect on melting the ice.

You can also use a saltwater de-icer spray for the icy car. Pour some water into a spray bottle along with a scoop or two of salt. Saltwater has a lower freezing point than water, making it melt the ice right on contact. Road salt will be even more effective than table salt if you have access to any.

If you don’t want to make your spray, you can also buy de-icer spray from your local store. They usually have it in stock right before the cold winter months come around. They will usually be in the automobile aisle. They will always be more expensive than your own, but it will save you time making your own.

All the solutions are easy to use. You just have to spray it evenly on the window to get rid of any ice.

Melt Windshield Ice From the Inside Out

Another popular method of getting ice off the car is by doing it from the inside of the car. You can use this method along with sprays and scrapers or by itself. It will take some energy and gas from your vehicle, but you also get to stay inside where it’s warm instead of standing outside scraping and spraying ice.

You need to start your car and turn the temperature to the highest setting. Next, select the defrost mode for the front and rear windshields. Finally, turn on the blower on full blast. Make sure during this whole process that the tailpipe is clear. If you have something blocking it, you risk getting carbon monoxide poisoning to yourself or other people in the car.

Using a sprayer, a scraper, and the defrosting method will be the quickest way to get ice off your car.

Conclusion

The biggest thing to remember is never to dump water or another solution not mentioned in this article unless you want a cracked windshield. This can lead to many problems, including needing to completely replace the windshield, which can be a lot of money and effort. Instead, using an alcohol spray that you make at home or a commercially bought spray can be an easy way to remove the ice without causing damage to your glass.

Keeping your windshield defrosted before driving is crucial for safe driving conditions. You should never start driving before the window is de-iced and you can clearly see the road. This can be frustrating, but you need to make sure you wake up in the mornings with enough time to get all the ice off the windows.

While sprays are the most efficient way to remove ice, you can also use a scraper or brush. This can get most of the ice off your glass. You might also want to use some gloves while doing this, so you don’t end up with frozen and sore fingers.

No matter what method you choose to use, make sure you stay safe this winter and keep the road safe for others by taking care of your windshield and removing all the ice before driving.