Tips and Tricks On De-Icing A Car Quickly06 January 2021
First off, no matter what you've recently seen on TikTok or other social-media outlets, boiling/hot/warm water and windscreens do not mix! When poured on to a windscreen, the sudden temperature change can cause it to crack. With that somewhat obvious public-service announcement out of the way, we've got some tips and tricks to speed up safety de-icing your car.
It’s been a somewhat chilly start to 2021 with the cold blast which made the festive period slightly more Christmassy – though not as much fun when you're needing to bob out or head into work in your car.
Get up earlier, give yourself time to fully defrost/de-ice/remove snow from all your windows and your roof. Apart from the danger of crashing, you could face a £60 fine and 3 points for driving with poor visibility from frosted-up windows. Clearing the snow off the roof will stop it sliding down on to the windows under heavy braking, completely obscuring your view, and will also stop a plume of snow spray behind you as you drive down the road, reducing visibility for fellow motorists.
Don’t leave the engine running with the heater on, and go back inside... You'll be inviting opportunist car-theft and may not be covered by your insurance policy.
If you want to get a head start on the defrosting while eating breakfast or getting the kids ready for school, fill a hot water bottle make sure the lid is tight, wrap it in a towel and place on the dashboard. The towel protects the dashboard from the heat, and any minor spillage while regulating the heat transfer to the windscreen. Again, the recent ‘fill a zip lock bag with hot water’ social-media video trend is once again asking for a soggy interior: see tip five.
Once you've started the vehicle, direct the airflow from the heaters towards the windscreen, but don’t turn the heat to maximum hot, as this will cause condensation on the screen. Even blowing cool air on the screen will help the defrosting process until the air inside the car can be successful warmed by the heaters; after about five minutes you can turn the heat to full.
Use an ice scraper! A CD Case (remember those?) or credit/store card that has sharp edges, will damage the glass and likely snap as well! Ice scrapers have a specially designed bevelled edge to clear ice, but not dig into the glass.
A little de-icer goes along way, while it's not the most environmentally friendly product, eco-friendly versions are also available. Both types can be dangerous to cats and dogs and been known to rot window rubbers, but a concentrated blast can give you a head start. You can make eco-friendly de-icer by mixing water and vinegar or water and alcohol. You can find many a recipe online, but it's just simpler to follow tip one: get up earlier!
When the inside of the windscreen is iced up or steamed/fogged up its beyond sole destroying, but there are a few quick actions which can limit this happening.
- Remove condensation inside the vehicle: wet clothes, floor mats and soggy umbrellas spring to mind. Get everything out and dry it out before putting back in the car.
- Make sure your heating isn't set to recirculate, as this only circulates damp are around, and you make it wetter by breathing.
- Open a window: crack a window down a little while driving, to let air out and circulate the air. When the weather improves and the air is warmer, open some windows up to dry out the car.
- Use your AC if fitted, even in winter by nature it's designed to dry the air which should reduce the amount of moisture inside your vehicle.
- and the big one, clean the windows with a good quality Automotive window cleaner, making sure you fully remove any residue. Dirty windows allow the moisture molecules to form and grip to the window. They're many an old wives tales on what helps to reduce fogging, there a special treatment you can apply but these are only as good as how clean the windows are. We've found applying shaving foam to the window and removing all residue does help reduce fogging, and a tip proven by NHL players!