There is nothing worse than coming out to your car on a cold morning and finding your windshield frozen solid. Sure you can start the car and leave it running until the ice melts (though this is bad for your car and for the environment) or you can scrape the ice off of the windshield using a scraper tool or a credit card, but you don’t want to take the time to do either and you certainly don’t want to get ice on your clothing or hands.
Luckily there are methods proven effective at preventing the ice from accumulating on your windshield. You can accomplish this by either coating the windshield with an anti frost solution which can be homemade or store bought, or by physically covering the windshield with a barrier. There are other tricks you can try as well, but these are the effective methods.
Methods Effective At Preventing Ice
- Wiping the windshield with a homemade solution such as vinegar or salt and alcohol
- Cover your windshield using a car cover, a piece of cardboard, carpeting, a plastic bag or a towel. Do the same with your side view mirrors.
- Park facing East and let the sun do the work
- Make your windshield wiper fluid a de icing solution to help you melt the ice morning of
There are a ton of options to try for your vehicle to keep it from icing over or rid yourself of existing ice the day of. If these are done properly, you won’t have to take the time to cover your car with a car cover
Preventing Your Windshield From Icing Using A Homemade Cover
If you don’t have time to spray down your windshield with a DIY ice prevention spray, you can simply cover it using things you have around the house. Items that are effective include utilizing a towel, rubber car mats, piece of cardboard, paper shopping bags, shower curtain liner, or even a piece or two of clothing.
Solutions To Make And Spray Before A Cold Night
These sprays are effective at preventing a windshield from icing over to begin with. There are several options for you to try and I’m confident that most of you will have exactly what you need under the bathroom sink and in your kitchen cabinets.
The vinegar mixture is a highly effective anti icing solution. What you’ll need:
- Any type of vinegar
Mix the vinegar and water with a ratio of 3 to 1. You want the vinegar to be really prevalent in this solution as it is the active ingredient that prevents the freezing from occurring. Add the solution to a spray bottle and apply a heavy coating to the windshield. If you so choose, apply it to all the windows and mirrors on the exterior of the car. Then wipe down the windshields and mirrors with an old towel. This solution can also be used the morning of to dissolve any ice accumulation.
Rubbing Alcohol Solution
The mixture of rubbing alcohol and water is an awesome and cheap way to prevent a windshield from freezing over.
- Rubbing Alcohol Or Vodka
Mix the alcohol and water with a ratio of 2 to 1. You want the rubbing alcohol to be prevalent in this solution as it is the active ingredient that prevents the freezing from occurring. Add the solution to a spray bottle and apply a heavy coating to the windshield. If you so choose, apply it to all the windows and mirrors on the exterior of the car. Then wipe down the windshields and mirrors with an old towel. This solution can also be used the morning of to dissolve any ice accumulation.
Using Salt Water
If you have no other options, you can use a mixture of salt and water to prevent ice from forming on your car, but doing so is something you should only do in emergencies or sparingly. Salt is corrosive to your vehicle and will allow rust to form on the car. This is something the underside of your car might see over time thanks to the salt put on the road by the plows. Rust isn’t something you want to give your car because it is unsightly and severely devalues the vehicle.
If you still want to use this solution: mix a few tablespoons of salt into a glass of water and add the solution to a spray bottle and apply a heavy coating to the windshield. If you so choose, apply it to all the windows and mirrors on the exterior of the car. Then wipe down the windshields and mirrors with an old towel. This solution can also be used the morning of to dissolve any ice accumulation.
Other Anti-Icing Methods
These aren’t your typical sprays, but there are still items you can find around your house to prevent ice from forming on your car. Consider this less traditional approach to keeping your vehicle ice free.
Using An Onion
This trick really works! Cut an onion in half down the middle of the vegetable and take it out to your vehicle. Place the cut part of the onion to the glass and rub the onion in. Thoroughly cover all glass areas in your car. You will have to do this the night before a freeze, but the onion has oils in it that can prevent the windshield from icing over.
If you are new to a Northern state or just new to driving in the snow, these few tips can save you time and effort in your battle with the elements. Let them do the heavy lifting for you.
Park Facing East
This isn’t going to prevent your windshield from icing over, but if you aren’t someone who rises before the sun, this trick will at least partially melt the ice for you. If you park your car where the windshield is facing the sunrise, it will warm the ice on your car. Once the sun has done most of the work, you can use a scraper or even your windshield wipers to clear the glass on your car.
Covering Your Side Mirrors
If you want to keep your mirrors free from ice, the best ways to do so are to cover them or coat them. If you’ve decided to cover them, a plastic shopping bag or a freezer ziplock bag will do a great job. You can secure them using a hair tie or rubber band.
Preventing Your Windshield Washer Reservoir From Freezing
Be sure you have flushed out the fluid from your reservoir before the first really cold night. You’ll want to add a fluid that is specially made for the cold weather and has a lower freezing point than the traditional. If you don’t have access to this, you can also add rubbing alcohol to whatever it is that you put in your reservoir.
Non Preventative Fixes
You can use these tricks in the morning of to melt away or remove the ice from your vehicle.
Getting Rid Of Ice
If you need to melt the ice on your car quickly and didn’t do anything to prevent it, you can still use the anti ice solutions we talked about earlier. These solutions are great for preventing ice from forming but they will also melt ice in a hurry making it easy for you to remove from the vehicle.
If Ice Forms Inside Your Car
In some cases ice can form inside a vehicle. It won’t matter what steps you took to prevent ice accumulation on the outside of the car because the inside will be frozen or fogged up from the moisture. Ice forming on the inside of the car means that the car isn’t airtight. If you’ve checked over the vehicle and can’t find where the leak is coming from, you should immediately take your vehicle into the mechanic to prevent mold and mildew from accumulating in the vehicle.
You Can Always Just Scrape The Car
When all else fails, scraping the windshield of a car doesn’t take that long. Having a scraper tool in your house or on your person during the winter months is never a bad idea. It may be a pain but in a pinch you can quickly rid your car of ice within a minute or two.
What Not To Do
Whatever method you choose, from utilizing an onion or another DIY ice preventative or covering the windshield with some household items, there is one thing that you never want to use and that is HOT WATER.
If you add hot water to a freezing windshield, you are inducing extreme pressure on the glass by quickly changing the temperature. This could leave the glass cracked and you with a new issue entirely before your morning commute. Use vinegar or rubbing alcohol mixed with water instead to melt the ice. It will be just as effective.
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