Linda Sarhan has been a freelance writer and researcher for 20+ years and has a B.A. in English and creative writing.
Jack Frost has made his way to your home and is doing more than just nipping at your nose. He is creating longer times to be able to leave for work in the mornings by creating a sheet of ice across your car windows. Before you reach for your driver’s license or maxed-out credit card, consider using a few of these tips to make de-icing your car windows easier.
Time to Warm Up
Before starting to tackle the chore of removing ice from your car windows, first, get in and start the car. Let your car run for about five to ten minutes. Then turn your heater on. Some vehicles have an automatic climate control feature that allows a defrost setting. Even still, other vehicles have electric window strips, especially on the back window that is designed to help melt ice and snow that has accumulated on the window. The heat will help start the melting process to loosen up the ice on the window to make it easier to scrape off. The reason why you are supposed to let the car run for a bit before turning on the heater is to limit the stress of the two contrasting temperatures which could damage your windows.
There are a variety of brands of de-icer that will help loosen the ice that has built up on your windows. This will make it easier when it comes to scraping the ice from your car windows. Prestone has a de-icer with a built-in scraper. Another popular brand of de-icer for windows is by Rain-X. Rain-X also has a de-icer with a built-in scraper for a fraction of the cost. In addition, Rain-X has a de-icer windshield wiper fluid. This can be purchased in a two-pack through Amazon.com for less than $10.00.
Another idea to use as a de-icer is adding five tablespoons of rubbing alcohol to your windshield wiper fluid or use a spray bottle with half water and half rubbing alcohol. Yet another homemade de-icer is using three cups of white distilled vinegar to one cup of water. Carefully pour into a spray bottle and spray on your windshield to help loosen up the ice.
There are several styles of scrapers available these days. Many are of a simple design and others come with added features. The most popular added feature is a heater. Make sure the heater attached to the scraper doesn’t get too hot because the extreme heat could crack your window. One popular scraper with a heater can be found at Sears for $26.00.
If you know it will be frosty overnight, consider using a car cover. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of covering the entire car, there are alternatives. Use a blanket to cover your windshield so that all you have to do is remove it the next morning to have an ice-free windshield. Don’t want to use a blanket? A thick, black garbage bag does the job just as well.
Some people think that going in for warm or hot water will melt the ice faster thus letting them leave sooner. Perhaps so, but you risk cracking your windows and thus leaving you with the cost of having to replace them, not to mention making you late to work. The key is to warm up slow and easy to remove ice efficiently, which ultimately makes your mornings run a bit smoother.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2014 Linda Sarhan