The Best Way to De-Ice Car Windows
November 1, 2021
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November 12, 2018
Getting out of bed is hard enough on cold winter mornings, but the thought of having to go outside to de-ice car windows can make you want to hibernate till March. Having a plan in place before the cold descends can save you time when it does.
In this post, we’re taking a look at the best way to de-ice a windshield and some top tips from our tanker drivers. Nobody likes the extra time it takes to leave the house in winter, but those extra few minutes could save your life.
The Best Way to De-Ice a Windshield
- Turn off the wipers
The first thing you want to do when you find your car covered in ice is to get inside and check that the windscreen wipers are switched off. This is a key step but it is often overlooked.
You might think that turning on the wipers is a quick way to clear the worst of the snow off your car, but if the wipers are stuck to the windshield, turning them on can burn out their motor or destroy the rubber.
- Warm it up
Before you start scraping, the best way to de-ice a windshield is to turn on your car’s engine and put all of the heat up as high as possible. Ensure that hot air blows at both the front and rear windows to clear them as quickly as possible.
- Remove snow and scrape ice
While your car is heating up from the inside, step out of the car (remembering to close the door behind you to trap the heat) and take a soft brush to remove any snow from the vehicle. Make sure you brush the snow off the top of the car when you do this, or it could fall off while you drive. If that happens, it can block your vision or pose a hazard to other drivers.
Once there’s no more snow, go around each window with a scraper to help de-ice the car windows.
- Check every window is clear
Before you drive anywhere, make sure that the car is completely clear of snow and ice and that your windows are free from all fog or steam. It can be tempting to skip this step if you think you can see enough, but without full, unhindered visibility, you pose a serious threat to yourself and any other drivers on the road.
Our Top Tips
We spoke to some of our own Rix Petroleum tanker drivers, and they gave us a few tips that they find helpful for de-icing a windscreen.
- Ice scraper: When you purchase a new ice scraper to de-ice car windows, make sure it has a long handle so you can reach across the whole windscreen. You’ll speed up the time it takes to de-ice your windscreen and won’t have to lean right across your car to do it.
- De-icer spray: If you have run out of chemical de-icer, try spraying with a solution of salt and water. The salt has a much lower freezing point, so it will help melt the ice. However, be careful that the solution doesn’t touch the metals on your vehicle – salt is corrosive and could damage it.
- Saltwater towel: One tanker driver told us that if you leave a towel that has been soaked in a saltwater solution on your windscreen at night, your window will remain frost-free – this method is recommended by Metro
- Hot water: Never use boiling water from the kettle or even lukewarm water onto your windscreen. The sudden heat could create cracks, particularly if your window already has small chips in it.
Nobody likes to be standing around waiting for the car to heat up, and knowing the best way to de-ice car windows is a great way to minimise that time. For more cold weather advice, including winter driving tips and ways to keep warm when it’s cold out, check out our blog.