What’s The Fastest Way to De-Ice Your Windshield?

September 30, 2020

When temperatures drop and winter sets in, it’s more important than ever to prepare yourself for icy road conditions and longer commutes. And one thing that can slow you down on a frigid winter morning is an icy windshield and side windows. But with the right tools and tricks, you can clear the ice and snow in record time.

Don’t fret if you’re faced with a frozen windshield this winter. We’ll show you the best (and fastest) way to de-ice your windshield. 

If you wake up to an icy windshield, your first thought might be to warm up your car, wait for your windshield to defrost, and pull out your ice scraper to clear off that layer of ice. But this can be time-consuming, especially if you’re in a hurry to get on the road. What’s a better, faster way to de-ice your windshield? 

Answer: Adding a de-icer spray into your routine. 

Below, we outlined two simple steps for safely de-icing your windshield in no time. 

    1. Apply de-icer spray

    You can buy windshield de-icer sprays from most automotive and hardware stores, but it’s just as easy to make your own at home. With some simple household ingredients, you’ve got a de-icer solution that can get you through those winter windshield woes. 

    There are two types of de-icer sprays that you can make yourself:

      I. Isopropyl alcohol & water de-icer spray

      Mix two parts 70% isopropyl alcohol and one part water in a spray bottle. Spray this homemade de-icer solution on your frozen windshield to help loosen and melt the ice. 

      Why it works: Alcohol has a lower freezing point than water. It freezes at -15 degrees Celsius vs. 0 degrees Celsius for water. This homemade windshield de-icer spray won’t freeze when you spray it on your iced-over windshield. It thaws the ice instead. 

      II. Saltwater de-icer solution

      Mix a few teaspoons of table salt into a spray bottle full of water. Road salt is also great if you have it. 

      Why it works: Saltwater also has a lower freezing point than regular water. It will melt the ice on your windshield without freezing over. 

      Because these homemade de-icer sprays have a low freezing point, you can safely store them in your car without the risk of them freezing. Keep a bottle in your trunk for easy access anytime you need to de-ice your windshield. 

    2. Scrape your windshield gently

    After spraying your windshield with de-icer spray, it’s important to scrape off the ice safely. To protect your windshield, use a soft brush to push away any loosened ice. Then use a plastic ice scraper or rubber squeegee to get rid of the more stubborn bits of ice. And don’t overspray your windshield – use just enough de-icer solution to get the ice melting. 

What NOT to do when de-icing your windshield

You might be in a rush to get that ice off your windshield. But don’t let a moment of haste let you make these mistakes when it comes to de-icing your windshield.

    1. DO NOT pour hot water on your windshield

    Hot water and a frozen windshield are two things that should never go together. If you pour hot water on your frozen windshield, the extreme change in temperature can cause your windshield to crack.

    2. DO NOT hack the ice away

    Remember, your windshield is made of glass – so be gentle with it when scraping away the ice. Don’t try to crack the ice by hammering away at it. And avoid using metal tools like car keys to scrape away the ice – they’ll only scratch your windshield. 

How to prevent an icy windshield

What’s better than quickly de-icing your windshield on a frosty morning? Not having to de-ice it in the first place. Consider these preventative measures to keep your windshield frost-free, even after a blustery winter night.

    1. Cover your car or park it in a garage

    Parking your car in a garage is one of the best ways to prevent a frozen windshield. But not everyone has the luxury of a garage or indoor parking space. If you’re parked outside and know the temperatures will be dropping, consider covering your car with a tarp or protective car cover. You can even cover your windshield with a large towel or sheet fastened under the wipers.

    2. Fill your car with a winter windshield washer fluid

    Your windshield wipers can help get rid of ice and snow as it melts. So, before winter creeps up, make sure to fill up your washer reservoir with a winter windshield washer fluid. This type of washer fluid includes a de-icer that won’t freeze when sprayed on your windshield. Also, consider replacing your wiper blades for optimum performance.

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If your current car won't weather another winter, visit Canada Drives to find a vehicle you can depend on for all seasons. We’ll help you find your next daily driver with fast & affordable auto financing to boot.

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