Winter is coming. And when you’re running late to work, it’s handy to know how to de-ice your car quickly. If you’re in a situation where it’s an emergency, you don’t want to be scraping away at your windscreen and praying the engine will turn over.
Here are some handy hints to get moving faster when it’s cold and icy.
Quick Ways to De-Ice Your Car
Fill a bucket with warm (not boiling!) water. Take it outside and throw it on your windscreen. Your windscreen will deice quickly, leaving a slush that can be easily cleared with a glove or a scraper.
The Vinegar Trick
Combine 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water into a mixture. Pour it into a spray bottle and spray it liberally for a quick way to de-ice a car. This home-made de-icer will quickly break down the ice and clear the screen.
Use Actual De-Icer
Don’t spend ages scraping away at the windscreen. Speed up the defrosting process with de-icer. This alcohol-based solution is readily available at petrol stations, but can leave smears on the screen.
Use Technology (if you’ve got it)
If you have anything close to a new car, you’ll probably find that the windscreen heater, anti-fog and de-ice functions in your car will do a quick job at clearing the ice and frost from your windscreen and windows.
Or when all else fails…
What to Avoid When De-Icing A Car
- It is not advisable to pour boiling water on to your car windows when the temperatures outside are cold. The sudden warmth hitting your windscreen could lead to the glass cracking. Never use anything other than a car-specific scraper to remove the frost from your car.
- Scratching off the ice with a credit card or sharp object can cause your items to snap or your screen to become scratched. Also be careful never to leave your car unattended with the motor running while you go in and grab something to help you remove the ice.
- It might be tempting to dash out, turn on the car and hop back in for a cup of Bovril, but don’t. It’s illegal (even in your own driveway), invalidates your insurance and people can nick your car.
- Getting up an hour early. That’s for chumps.
How to Stop Your Windscreen From Freezing
Covering your windscreen in a blanket or screen protector can help prevent frost from forming on your car. Soak an old towel in a solution made up of water and table salt and then place it over your car windows the night before. Salt lowers the freezing point of water, so moisture is prevented from frosting over on your screen. You can also make a frost-fighting solution by mixing one part of water to two parts of alcohol.
Storing your car in the garage also works (if you have one). If you don’t have a garage or a car cover, you could try rubbing white vinegar, or half an onion over your windscreen the night. Rumour has it this will keep the frost off your windscreen… One thing’s for certain though, you’ll look absolutely mad…