Summary: During the winter months, or even a freak spring storm, it isn't uncommon to find the windows of your car covered in ice. Deicing your windows can be a bitterly cold experience, so why not learn the best possible ways for both preventing ice from forming on your windows and removing it in a hurry when you need to. Here's how. I really don't like going outside every morning to deice my windows. If you live in cooler (or even colder) climates, then chances are pretty good that you know what I'm referring to.
Over the years I have tried many different methods for deicing windows. I discovered that some work (though at a risk) while others seem to work just fine at preventing ice from forming (what better way of deicing your windows-provided you remember to do it, and others work-but require you to get really cold. Here are some methods, and a brief description of what happened to me when I used them.
- Defroster. Probably the most common method available. Unfortunately, this method also comes with risks. While a properly working defroster can quickly (no more than 20 minutes usually) remove icy build up, it can also worsen any preexisting cracks in your windshields if turned on too high. There is another drawback to this method, and that is its cost. You can't really run the defroster without turning on the engine, and that takes gasoline.
- Scraper. The traditional method for removing ice from windshields, a scraper should be in every vehicle that is in a cold climate. In fact, many car rental companies include them in their cars when you rent a vehicle from them during the winter. On average, this method can take about as much time as the defroster method, and while you are not as likely to crack your windshield, you will most likely get cold.
- Vinegar. One of the best ways for deicing your windshield and windows is to prevent the ice from forming at all. However, not everyone has a garage that they can store their car in. In those situations, it is best to use a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water. Use half vinegar (any kind, though I prefer white since it does not smell as much) and half water in a spray bottle and spray it on your windows at night. This helps prevent ice from forming. The only drawback is that you have to remember to use it at night, otherwise it doesn't do you very much good. Although you can still remove ice by spraying some on your windows in the morning, you'll just need a whole lot more.
- Rubbing Alcohol. For those who really need to move, try putting about 5 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol into your windshield washer reservoir. This turns the regular windshield washer fluid into a deicing agent at a fraction of the cost, and works wonderfully. Simply spray and use your windshield wipers as normal.
- Blanket. This is perhaps the easiest way to prevent ice build up on your windshield. Just place a blanket over your windshield at night, and remove it before driving anywhere.