It is not safe to drive if there is ice on your windshield. Always remove ice and snow from your windshield before driving to ensure your own safety and that of other road users.
Method 1 of 2: Removing ice
Step 1. Start your car (if you can) and let the engine idle for a while to warm up
If it freezes very hard, it is better not to turn the heating up too high, because then the glass can break. Wait at least 15 minutes for the glass to warm up.
- Never try to de-ice a window with cold or warm water. Warm or hot water can break the glass. Cold water can freeze again, putting you even further from home.
- While the car is warming up, you can check for ice or snow in your exhaust. Remove any blockages to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If you're going to drive while it's snowing, it's best to wait until the ice has melted before moving on to the next step. It can take up to 15 minutes for the ice to melt sufficiently.
Step 2. Spray your car with a solution of salt and water
Salt will dissolve the ice. The ions in the salt lower the freezing point of the water, so that the water does not freeze as quickly. Do not put too much salt solution on your window, because too much salt can damage the glass.
Regular table salt works fine if it's not very cold. If it's really freezing hard, you're better off using brine, the stuff that treats roads to remove ice and snow. The chemical composition of brine makes it more suitable for melting ice
Step 3. Spray your car with a solution of alcohol and water
Fill a plant sprayer with two parts rubbing alcohol and one part water. Spray your windows with this mixture.
- You can also add a few drops of dish soap to the mixture. This will lower the freezing point of the water, in the same way as salt. The ice will melt faster than with warm water.
- You don't have to worry about using too much with this method; the glass will not be damaged.
Step 4. Buy a defrost spray if the other methods don't work
A spray specially made for this also works well, but it is a lot more expensive. You can also find defrost spray at stores with accessories for cars or gas stations.
Some popular brands of defrosting spray are: "Valvoline Deicer" and "Prestone Spray-on Windshield De-icer."
Step 5. Use a window squeegee or soft brush to remove the ice residue
After letting the liquid soak in, you can wipe the liquid and ice from your windshield and your car.
After about two minutes, the liquid will melt the ice. But not all the ice will disappear, you will have to remove the remains with a brush or squeegee
Step 6. Buy or find window scrapers, brushes and brooms before it starts to freeze
Keep these in the trunk so you can scrape ice if you don't have other tools to hand. Press it against the windshield and use short, powerful movements to chop away the ice.
- Window scrapers are specially designed to scrape ice off your windows. They are usually made of plastic with a sort of scratching knife on one side and a handle on the other, in some cases combined with a brush. Some can be extended to reach difficult places. You can buy them at auto accessories stores, gas stations, large supermarkets, and tool stores.
- If you don't have anything else at your disposal, you can also use a window puller, but that is less effective. A scraper is made of plastic, which works better for removing ice than a rubber squeegee.
Method 2 of 2: Take proactive measures
Step 1. Cover your windshield with a burlap bag, towel or sheet and weigh it down so that no ice can build up
Only use this method in environments with light snowfall as it can become a heavy blanket when crushed by snow.
- Dampen the towel with a solution of water and salt and place the towel on your windshield overnight. Dissolve a spoonful of salt in a liter of water and place the towel in this mixture. Wring the towel out slightly so that the water does not drip off. Place the damp towel on your windshield and hold the towel in place by placing your windshield wipers on top.
- You can use your towel multiple times. Store the towel in a plastic bag after each use and add a little water to keep the towel moist.
Step 2. Spray your (ice-free) windows with a commercial spray to prevent ice, or make your own mixture of water and vinegar
Put three parts vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle. Spray a thin layer of this solution on your thawed windows before going to bed to prevent ice the next morning.
Do not spray too much vinegar on glass, as this can damage your windshield. Also watch out for your paint, vinegar accelerates oxidation and can lead to rust or corrosion
Step 3. Pour a little rubbing alcohol into your windshield washer fluid reservoir
This prevents the liquid from freezing.
This trick is much cheaper than buying windshield washer fluid with antifreeze. Keeping your windscreen free of ice doesn't have to be expensive
Step 4. Cover your car with a cover when you are not using the car
Fasten the cover securely to prevent the cover from slipping off or being blown up by the wind.
- The best way to prevent icing is to park your car in the garage. By not exposing your car to the weather, you avoid having to de-ice your car.
- It can also freeze slightly in the garage. But a small layer of ice can probably be removed by your car's heating.
Be patient! Most damage from scratching is caused by a lack of patience. Most people don't scratch the whole window pane, and don't wait for the heater to melt the ice. Remember that safety comes first; if that means being late for work, so be it
- Be patient, never drive with ice on your windows. You are endangering yourself and others unnecessarily.
- If you're driving and it suddenly starts snowing hard, stop at a gas station and buy a bottle of WD-40. Spray your windshield with WD-40 and the accumulated ice will immediately melt. When the glass is clean, you can spray it again to prevent new ice from forming.