We are certainly seeing low temperatures this winter, and despite what the groundhog predicted, we’re not sure if it’s going away anytime soon. Along with the low temps, we bet you’ve been greeted at some point by a frozen windshield. And usually it’s at a real inconvenient time, like when you’re running out of the house to get to work! Before you start hammering off the ice–that could do great damage to your windshield’s glass–we have a few tips for you.
Here is what to do, and what not to do, when you need to quickly de-ice an icy windshield.
- Make a Homemade De-Icer: Store-bought de-icers certainly work well, but can be a bit pricey. Or you might find yourself needing something in a pinch and just don’t have any around. Try this: Mix two-thirds rubbing alcohol and one-third water and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Shake the bottle and spray the mixture onto the windshield. This usually works pretty quickly. Note: Do not keep the de-icer in the vehicle. Store it in your home at room temperature.
- The Vodka Alternative: If you indulge in a vodka drink every once in a while, you probably know that vodka doesn’t freeze–making it a good de-icer! Mix two parts vodka with one part water. Either using a spray bottle or pouring it, apply the mixture to the windshield.
- Pass on the Salt: Some homemade de-icers suggest using a mixture of salt and water. Although this might work to melt away ice, we refrain from suggesting it because if the salt gets on the body of your vehicle, it could damage the body’s paint.
- Defrost It: Turn the vehicle on. Choose the “defrost” mode on your heater for the front and back windshields. Crank up the blower! This may take a little longer than using a de-icer, but it will eventually do the trick. As the ice begins to melt, swipe it away to help the process move quicker.
- Don’t Use Water: Your first instinct might be to throw hot water over the icy windshield, but this will do more harm than good. Hot water could cause the glass to crack from thermal shock. Even cold water isn’t a good idea because it could freeze on contact.