How to Properly Remove Snow From Your Windshield: A Guide From blog: How to Properly Remove Snow From Your Windshield: A Guide From

No one enjoys scraping snow and ice off a frozen windshield every winter morning. But if you live in a cold climate without access to covered parking, this can be a daily reality. The team at knows that it can be tempting to complete the job as quickly as possible – especially when your feet are freezing. But rushing to remove ice can cause serious damage to your car. Read on to learn how to safely, efficiently and quickly defrost your windshield today.

Warm up the Windshield

Let heat begin working its magic by warming up the car first. Turn on the defroster, with the heat level on high but the blower on a low or medium setting. Let it run for a few minutes to soften the ice or snow. Five minutes of heat can save five minutes of active scraping, but don’t use another source of heat such as boiling water or a propane torch to speed the process along. Intense heat can cause frozen glass to crack.

Use a Liquid Solution

The team offers two ice-melting solutions that are quick to make at home when you wake up to a frozen windshield. Mix two parts isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) and one part water and spray liberally over the icy glass. Alcohol has a lower freezing point than water and will begin to melt the ice. If you don’t have rubbing alcohol on hand, try mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water to make a windshield spray. The acid in the vinegar will eat into the ice, which makes it scrape off easier. Commercial ice melting sprays are even more efficient and are available online or at an auto parts store.

Choose a Good Scraper

The best windshield scrapers are made of hard plastic, not metal. Metal ice scrapers can cause hairline scratches that weaken the glass over time, and if too much pressure is applied, they can even crack the windshield. The team suggests buying a scraper that has a telescoping rod, especially if you have a truck, van or SUV with a large windshield. Some scrapers have a brush along one edge; this is helpful for removing loose snow. Just make sure it’s a soft, nylon brush, because stiff bristles can dull or damage the painted areas around the windshield.

If you’re caught without a scraper on a snowy morning, a credit card or a stiff plastic kitchen spatula can substitute for one. Try to use a card that doesn’t have an EMV chip. Though exposing it to ice and moisture once or twice isn’t likely to damage it, the vigorous action of scraping could harm the chip and make it unreadable the next time you try to use it.

Prevention Tips

Your team suggests spraying the windshield with vegetable oil spray or a commercial product such as Rain-X before winter storms arrive. This creates a protective film that prevents snow from adhering strongly to the windshield. Otherwise, you can totally prevent the problem by purchasing a windshield cover at an auto parts supply store. Put it on the car each night, and in the morning, you just peel it back, shake it off and go. Windshield covers attach to the vehicle’s mirrors or wheel wells, and some even have anti-theft features. In a pinch, you can create a temporary windshield cover out of cardboard or paper bags. Simply secure them under the wiper blades.