See if this sounds familiar: You’re running late for work, but you think if you leave right now, you’ll still be on time. Then you spot your windshield. It’s covered in thick ice that will take at least 10 minutes to chip away. So much for making it to work on time.
This scenario has happened to all of us who park our cars outside overnight in the winter. Fortunately, there are quick ways to get ice off your windshield without pounding on it with a scraper. Just follow these tips from Glass Doctor®.
Make or Buy De-Icer Spray
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Here are your options:
- Isopropyl alcohol and water windshield de-ice spray: Combine two parts 70% isopropyl alcohol and one part water in a spray bottle. Since this liquid has a freezing point of 5 degrees—as opposed to 32 degrees for water—applying this solution to your icy windshield has a fast effect.
- Saltwater de-icer spray for the car: Pour water into a spray bottle and add a scoop or two of salt. Since salt water has a lower freezing point than fresh water, it starts to melt the ice on contact. Road salt is even more effective than table salt in this recipe.
- Buy a commercial de-icing spray: Most store-bought windshield de-ice sprays work well, but they are more expensive than making your own. You can find it at a local car supply shop or in the automotive aisle of most big box stores.
TIP: No matter what type of de-icer you use, store it at room temperature in your house, not in the trunk of your car.
TIP: Never attempt to remove ice from your car by dumping a bucket of water on it. Warm or hot water could cause the glass to crack due to thermal shock. Even cold water is a bad idea because it could freeze on contact, making your problem even worse.
Melt Windshield Ice from the Inside Out
Here’s how to speed up the effects of windshield de-ice spray:
- Start your car.
- Turn the temperature to the warmest setting.
- Select “defrost” mode for the front and rear windshields.
- Turn on the blower to full blast.
TIP: While idling your car to defrost the windshield, make sure the tailpipe is clear. Any blockage from ice or snow could result in dangerous carbon monoxide exposure for anyone sitting inside the car.
Remove Ice Fast
- While the defroster works on melting the ice from underneath, apply your de-icer spray from above. Let it sit for a minute or two to start working.
- Lightly chip away at the ice with your windshield scraper.
- As the ice begins to come loose, wipe it away onto the ground.
TIP: Don’t over-apply the de-icer. Simply spray it as needed to get the ice to start melting.
TIP: Once the snow and ice are gone, finish the job with a quick wipe from a squeegee, soft-bristled brush, or your windshield wipers to remove any residue from the de-icing spray.
Schedule Auto Glass Services with Glass Doctor
Winter is a time for more than just frozen windshields. Chips and cracks are also more likely this time of year because of the expansion and contraction of the glass in fluctuating day and nighttime temperatures. If you discover the glass is damaged while de-icing your windshield, don’t delay a repair or replacement. Glass Doctor offers fast, affordable, reliable services when you need them most.