How to De-Ice Your Car

Step by step
How to De-Ice Your Car

The ability to see out of the windshield is the single most important safety prerequisite to driving a car. If you can’t see, you obviously can’t drive. If there’s snow and ice on your windshield, always remove them completely before setting off. You’ll be greatly increasing your visibility and the overall safety. If you live in an area where winter is particularly harsh and want to learn how to de-ice a car, follow this simple guide.

Warm Up the Car

volkswagen winter snow cold

Get in your car and start it up. Let it idle for a bit and press the “defrost” setting, provided your car has it. Never pour water on the windshield to defrost it. The sudden swing in temperature can cause thermal shock and break it rather than just defrost it.

Spray a Saltwater Solution

windshield car red snow ice

Salt dissolves the ice via a chemical reaction rather than melting it with heat. Mix a spoon of salt in a small cup of water and apply that to a spray bottle. Be generous with how much you spray on the windshield as you don’t want to damage the glass after all.

Apply a Alcohol/Water Solution

windshield car ice snow

Make a 2:1 alcohol to water solution and fill a spray bottle with it. Spray it onto all windows as much as you want, as there’s no risk of damaging your car.

Use a Commercial De-Icer

old red car ice snow

If all else fails, get a commercial formula which is guaranteed to work. It’s expensive, yes, but at least it won’t let you down. You can purchase these commercial products at your local car supply store and even gas stations.

Scrub the Residue

car ice snow

Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub away any reside from the windshield. Once the saltwater or alcohol solution starts melting the ice away, it will leave residue. You have to scrub that residue off otherwise your visibility from inside the car will still be impaired.

The Ice Scraper

snow car driving on road

It’s a good idea to keep an ice scraper in your car in case you don’t have access to alcohol, water or salt. Ice Scrapers have been specifically design to scrape ice from your windshield, without damaging the glass in the process. Do note that it will take longer because you’re breaking the ice rather than melting it, but if it’s the only choice you got, it’s better than nothing.

Proactive Measures

snow red convertible cold

To prevent your windshield from icing over, cover it with a tarp, a towel or a sheet. Again, commercial ice-prevention sprays do exist, but they’re costly. Alternatively, cover your whole car with a tarp (car cover) when you’re not driving it.

That’s it really. If you’ve got access to water and salt (or alcohol), we’ve shown you how to de-ice a car in mere minutes. The Ice Scraper is a slower alternative, but an alternative nonetheless. Preventive measures are even better though, so get yourself a commercial solution if possible and never worry about your windshield icing over again.

Related articles