If you’re running late or delayed, you haven’t got time to wait for the screen to defrost, but did you know there are items in your house that can help?
Driving with limited vision during icy weather conditions is not only dangerous but can also land you a £100 fine and three points on your licence.
So, to equip Brits for not only getting rid of ice but preventing it from setting in the first place, cold-weather car experts from Iceland, Lotus Car Rental, have offered 9 of their most effective but often unknown tips.
Tips to defrost your car windscreen
Park your car facing east
Something as simple as parking your car in the right place can give you one less job to worry about on a cold morning.
Because the sun rises in the east, it can melt away the ice on your windscreen for you – giving you a few extra minutes in bed. However, it will depend on how much sunlight you get and how early you leave the house.
Spray vinegar on your windscreen the night before
With a little forward planning, you can stop frost from forming in the first place and spraying your windscreen with a solution of mixed water and vinegar will help with this.
Vinegar is often used as a de-icer because its freezing point is much lower than water’s, meaning the water doesn’t have the chance to settle and freeze on top of the vinegar.
Rub onion on top of your windscreen
Onions have a similar effect to vinegar, and if you don’t have an onion in your cupboard, then try potato instead! The sugar molecules from these vegetables can work to break down frost as soon as it forms on the window.
Cut an onion or potato in half and then rub it generously all over the windows and windscreen the night before and this should drive the frost away.
Use a bed sheet if your car is parked outside
Putting a bed sheet or large piece of cardboard over the windscreen and using the wipers to hold it in place overnight is an effective (and cheap!) way to shield it from the ice.
Heat up your car
If you’ve forgotten to do any of the steps above to prevent ice from setting, then heating up your car is the first step.
Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to use your wipers on your icy windscreen as that won’t de-ice your car in any way and is more likely to damage it.
Instead, turn your front and rear demister on max and the ice will start to melt from the heat. You can then wipe away any excess water with your wipers and return the fan to normal.
Also, don’t be tempted to go inside the house to stay warm as it’s not unusual for thieves to steal defrosting vehicles from driveways.
Use a proper car ice scraper
If you’re in more of a rush, you can start to scrape the ice as the car warms up.
However, don’t be tempted to cut corners and grab the nearest flat object, like a bank card. Attempting to scrape bits of ice off with anything other than a car ice scraper could just result in a scratched windscreen.
Use a de-icing fluid
Try to keep a bottle of de-icing fluid either in the car or in the house to speed up the ice-scraping process. It can be bought at most supermarkets and petrol stations.
While there are many homemade alternatives that are just as effective at removing ice, nothing quite beats the ease of the real thing!
Fill a bag with warm water
If you don’t own a car ice scraper or have de-icer fluid to hand, then this is another option to try for a quick result.
It may sound obvious but it’s always worth mentioning that you should never pour boiling hot water onto your windscreen. While one in five of us has admitted to doing this, even pouring lukewarm water can cause car windows to crack, especially if they are already chipped.
Instead, pour some warm water into a ziplock bag and then rub the bag over your windscreen. This hack went viral on TikTok last winter because it takes the ice off in seconds!
You might not like the sound of wasting a bottle of vodka on your car but depending on how desperate you are at that moment, it will do the job.
The alcohol content in vodka makes it a great de-icer in minus temperatures.