How to Get Ice Off Your Windshield

Person with scraper learning how to get ice off windshield

How to Get Ice Off Your Windshield

Dealing with ice on your windshield during cold weather can be a stressful start to your morning. Removing the snow and ice from your car is essential for winter driving safety. Fortunately, there are several effective methods that make this chore just a little easier. Here are safe and reliable ways to get ice off a windshield.

Best Ways to Get Ice Off Windshield

The best way to keep ice off your windshield is to prevent it from forming there in the first place. A little bit of preparation can go a long way in saving you time and effort during chilly winter mornings.

De-Icing Spray

There are several ice/frost prevention sprays you can buy. These are designed to help make ice or frost removal easy. Simply apply the spray to your windshield the night before. In the morning, the ice or snow should slide off easily with a scraper.

Windshield Covers

If you want to go a step further, consider purchasing a windshield frost cover. These weatherproof covers prevent frost and snow from accumulating on your windshield. Look for one that can cover your entire windshield for best results.

Preventing Snow on Side Mirrors

Many cars have a built-in mirror defroster that activates at the same time as the rear window defroster. If your car doesn’t have that, consider tucking in your mirrors to protect them from snow. If your mirrors don’t swivel, you can adjust the mirrors downward before you turn off your car. This will help prevent snow from accumulating. Just remember to set your mirrors back when you drive in the morning.

Use some de-icing spray on your side mirrors to help keep the ice off. If snow or ice do end up on your side mirrors, de-icing spray will also help you brush it off.

Keeping Wipers from Freezing

To prevent your wipers from freezing, lift them up at night or before the rain or snow comes. This will also keep them out of the way for when you’re brushing off your windshield. Just remember to put them down gently when you’re ready to drive!

Never Pour Hot Water on a Frozen Windshield

Under no circumstance should you pour hot water on a frozen windshield. This is extremely dangerous. The sudden change in temperature will cause the glass to crack or shatter. Glass is a poor conductor of heat, and the uneven change in temperature causes the glass to expand and contract unevenly.

Can I Pour Cold Water on my Frozen Windshield?

You should also never pour cold water on a frozen windshield. While not as extreme, cold water will still create some thermal shock for the glass. The stress may cause microfractures or weaken the glass over time.

Water is not as effective at melting ice as other methods. It would take a long time for cold water to melt and ice, and may actually make things worse by freezing on contact with your windshield. The water will also run off your car and drip on the ground, where it can freeze and create icy patches.

Why is the Inside of My Windshield Frozen?

The inside of your windshield will freeze if there’s excess moisture in your car. This can happen when you track in water or snow from your clothes and shoes. Running the heat will help remove excess moisture from your interior.

To defrost the inside of your windshield, run the defroster setting and use a clean, dry microfiber rag to wipe away the frost as it melts.

If you find that your windshield is often frozen, you may have a leaky window or door seal. If your car has damaged or worn weather seals, outside moisture or water can leak inside. Bring your car to a reputable shop to have it looked at.

How to Properly Defrost a Frozen Windshield

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget to treat your windshield before a frost. If one morning you find your windshield under a thick coat of ice, start by turning your car on and letting it heat up. Don’t turn the defroster on high just yet- keep it at a low level and slowly increase.

Meanwhile, spray the surface with a de-icing spray. Get your ice scraper and work your way towards the middle of your windshield. Scraping too hard can lead to damage, so let your defroster work until the ice comes off easily. Keep in mind to never use a metal object to scrape ice off a windshield- you can easily scratch and damage the glass. Be patient and take your time, and don’t forget about your rear windshield!

If you find that ice is forming on your windshield as you’re driving, make sure you’re using the windshield defrost setting on your AC system. Use windshield wiper fluid with antifreeze to keep the ice off, and make sure your wipers are in good condition.

The best way to stay safe driving in wintry conditions is to avoid driving altogether. If you must venture out, make sure you and your car are prepared. Don’t forget to winterize the rest of your car while you’re preventing ice on your windshield.

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