Don’t you just love scraping ice off your car window? Ya neither do I.
There are fast ways to get ice off your windshield. Some of these methods are safe and some are not. Here I will show you the ways to do it without breaking the glass.
The Safe Way to Scrape the Ice off Your Windows
I’ve read a lot of methods to get ice off of car windows. Some of them are clever. Most of them are not good for the glass though. The methods below are the correct way to de-ice your car windows.
How to Get Ice off Windshield with Alcohol
This homemade de-icer mixture uses alcohol to melt the ice. No not the kind you drink!
You will need an empty spray bottle to put the mixture. Fill the spray bottle with two parts rubbing alcohol and one part tap water. Rubbing alcohol can be found at any pharmacy.
Spray the fluid onto the windshield and the ice will start to melt. You want to let it sit for a minute. Now you can use an ice scraper to clear the remaining ice away.
The freezing point of rubbing alcohol is much lower than water. It can be as low as -26° F (-32° C) depending on the strength of the alcohol¹.
Keep the spray mixture inside the house when not in use. This will keep it at room temperature ready to use.
Windshield De-Icer Products
Don’t feel like mixing your own solutions? Try some of these ready-made products.
The Prestone Windshield De-icer has good reviews as well as their washer fluid.
How to Get Ice off Windshield Without a Scraper
Don’t own an ice scraper? You can use items from around the house in a pinch.
Plastic gift cards and old credit cards can be used to scrape the ice off your car windows. Be aware that they can be damaged so use an old card that you no longer need.
Plastic spatulas are a good substitute to use as an ice scraper. Do not use metal spatulas as they will scratch your windows!
How to Keep Car Windows from Freezing Overnight
The best way to stop ice and snow from covering your car is to keep it covered. Not everyone has a garage to park in but you can consider getting a carport.
An easy way to cover the windshield is to use an old blanket or plastic sheets. You will have to weigh it down with something to keep it from blowing off. These magnetic windshield covers will do the job.
Installing an interior car warmer will quickly heat up your vehicle.
More Helpful Tips for Winter Weather
Here are a few more tips for the winter months:
- Get a set of winter tires if you don’t already own any
- Keep a portable snow shovel in the trunk in case you get stuck
- Don’t forget to stock a first aid kit and survival kit in your car
- Cat litter can be used as a traction aid when you get stuck
- Make sure to follow my guide to get your car ready for winter
What NOT to do When De-Icing Your Car Windows
Here are the methods I have read about that are not safe for de-icing windows:
Hot water is not recommended for clearing ice from the glass. The quick change in temperature can crack your car windows. Use room temperature water instead.
Vinegar can leave pit marks on glass and is probably not good on paint either. Stick to rubbing alcohol.
Salt is another one I’ve seen in use. I don’t use it on my car as it will damage your paint.
Blow dryers and heat guns are a bad idea for the same reason as hot water. The temperature change can be bad for glass.
Do you have any methods you would like to share? Let me know in the comments.