The last thing you want to do after getting up early and enduring cold weather to drive to work is clean off your frozen car windshield. Unfortunately, there’s no way to avoid it if you want to see where you’re going, so here’s how to defrost your car windshield quickly on a cold morning so that you can get going as quickly as possible.
How to defrost car windshield
The easiest way to defrost the windshield is to make use of the defroster built into your car.
- Turn on the engine of your car and press the defroster (defogger) button and increase the fan speed to the highest setting.
- Turn on the Air Conditioner. It acts as a dehumidifier and makes the process faster.
- Turn off the air recirculation button. This will help to circulate air with outside which carry less water vapor than the humid air trapped inside and defrost the windshield faster.
- When ice has thawed completely, run your windscreen wipers and you’re ready to start your journey.
- Keep the AC running and Air Recirculation off to stop fog formation while driving.
If you’re car doesn’t have a built in defrost function, following methods will help you to defrost your windshield.
How to defrost windshield without Defroster
Method 1 – Using Rubbing Alcohol
- Mix one part of water with two parts of Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle (If you’re using a standard 12 oz. bottle, fill it with 4 oz. of water and 8 oz. of rubbing alcohol)
- Spray this solution on to the ice over your windshield and let it absorb for 1-2 minutes.
- Use a scraper or a gloved hand to wipe the ice off your windshield.
Alcohol has a much lower melting point than water (-173.5°F) and alcohol will release heat when come into contact with ice over the windshield making it thaw faster.
Method 2 – Microwaved Socks with Rice
- Fill 2 socks with rice and microwave them for 30 seconds.
- Get inside the car and place the socks in the inside of the windshield and slowly glide them all over the windshield so heat is transferred from socks to the windshield to the ice.
- When the ice has melted, you can scrape it off using a scraper or with gloves.
- Turn on the windshield wipers and you’re ready to go.
This needs to be done carefully to prevent the windshield from absorbing too much heat from the rice and cracking. We advice you to keep the sock for 5 seconds at a given spot and glide it to the next spot.
Method 3 – Use a commercial De-Icer
De-Icers have a high methanol content and act like the rubbing alcohol sprays we mentioned in Method-1. You can store this inside the car and can be re-used when necessary.
We recommend Prestone Windshield De-Icer if you’re looking to buy one.
How to prevent frosting of the windshield
During the winter, most of us have to deal with frost buildup on our windshields that can really impair our visibility and make driving more dangerous. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to prevent this from happening. Here are five ways to keep your windshield frost-free and safe all winter long!
- The most effective method is to use a car cover to protect windshield, side mirrors and other windows from frosting
- Use a De-Icer as the windshield washer fluid. These contain methanol and will prevent the buildup of frost.
- Rubbing alcohol spray – Use 2 parts rubbing alcohol with 1 part water spray to prevent frosting (See method 1 above)
- Vinegar Spray – Use 3 parts of Vinegar with 1 part of water in a spray bottle and spray over all windows to prevent them from frosting
- Cut an onion or a potato in half and apply over the windshield. This will prevent ice adhering into glass
- Park the car facing East so in the morning warmth from the sun will start the melting process of frost formed overnight
During winter, the windshield will fog very easily while you’re driving. To prevent this you can turn the AC on and turn off the air recirculation button on the AC.
You also can use a moisture absorber inside the car to absorb excess moisture and prevent fogging of windshield. Cat litter act as a good homemade moisture absorber in this case!
Few other tips to protect your car from cold in the winter
Winter weather can be tough on your car, especially in areas where temperatures drop to below freezing and ice covers the roads for weeks at a time. Snow and ice can damage your car’s exterior and by protecting your car this season, you’ll help prevent winter weather from causing costly mechanical damage, improving the resale value of your vehicle and keeping you safe on the road.
Here are some tips on how to protect your car this winter season with relative ease.
1. Check your battery and replace if its old
The battery in one of the components of the vehicle that is most affected by the cold. Surely on some occasion it has happened to you that when you try to start the vehicle in the morning, after a frosty night, it does not start.
To avoid these situations, check the age of the battery and, if it has reached its average life, it is better that you replace it at the first sign of depletion. It is important to know that after 4 years, batteries tend to lose effectiveness.
2. Check expiry date of Coolant
We all know that periodically we have to check the coolant level, but did you know that you also have to check if it is expired? With use, coolant loses its properties. If you see that its color is translucent, has lost intensity, or is blackened, you should change it as soon as possible. The most advisable thing is that you empty it and replace it to avoid surprises.
In addition, we recommend purging the coolant circuit and replacing it every five years since with the passage of time it accumulates impurities that raise its freezing point (normally it is from -4ºF).
3. Use a lubricant to avoid door locks from freezing
Another problem that you can find when the cold gets worse is that the locking mechanism of the doors freezes. A big inconvenience if you are in a hurry. It is not recommended to use brute force to try to open the car because it could damage the mechanism.
It is best to use alcohol or even a hand dryer to open the doors without forcing them. To definitively avoid the problem, there are lubricant sprays with which you will avoid freezing.
4. Keep the engine running for a couple of minutes before hitting the road
Starting the car is one of the key moments to drive safely during winter. It is important that before you hit the road, you keep the vehicle idling for a few minutes so that all its mechanics can warm up a bit, including the oil, the steering fluid, and the brake fluid. If you see that your windshield is covered with ice, it is best to start the car before you start scratching and turn on the heating so that the windows warm up on the inside.
5. lift the wiper blades so that they don’t stick to the window
You can also use corks or rubber bands to prevent them from coming into direct contact with the glass and from being adhered to it by ice. Likewise, it is worth remembering the importance of filling the windshield washer fluid compartment with a fluid with antifreeze properties otherwise it will freeze very easily and will not fulfill its function.
6. Use a car cover
One of the most recommended solutions during winter is to use a car cover that completely covers the vehicle in order to prevent the parts from freezing and that in case of hail the paint and the glass is not affected. In the market you can find models that adapt to all types of vehicles, and that are really easy to put on thanks to the self-adjusting hemp that they usually have.
If you’re looking for a car cover to protect your car from snow and ice, we recommend the Platinum shield car cover which will work well during other seasons as well.
Platinum Shield Car Cover
- Custom made for each car type
- Highly durable
- Great value for money
Platinum shield is my recommendation based on experience if you’re looking for a great cover to protect your car during Winter.
In the event that you are not convinced, you can always use a cover just for the wiper area which will prevent you from having to scrape off the ice and will not stand out as much as a full car cover.
While scraping snow and ice off your windshield, there’s a chance you might scratch it. Here’s the guide to fix a scratched windshield so you can repair it at home.
Long periods of low temperatures, exposure to rain and snow, and harsh winds can cause major damage to your car, regardless of the season. During winter, it’s especially important to protect your car from these elements—if you don’t, you could be faced with costly repairs and even potential safety issues. Protecting your car from cold weather damage can help ensure that your vehicle lasts longer and that you stay safe on the road this winter.