Put Down the Scraper: How to Prevent Ice on Windshields

prevent ice on windshield

Have you ever watched the videos of boiling water freezing instantly when thrown in the air? It has to be below -30F to do that. It doesn’t have to be that cold for winter weather to make driving dangerous. Simple frost on your windshield can critically obscure your line of sight.

In most states, operating a vehicle with frost-obstructed windows or mirrors is a misdemeanor offense. But, get into an accident because of it and someone could get killed! Clearing your windshield is all-important in frosty weather, but it’s difficult.

Wouldn’t it be easier to simply prevent ice on windshields rather than standing in the cold with a scraper? Read on to learn more.

Tricks to Prevent Ice on Windshields

We can’t promise you will be scraper-free all winter long. These suggestions will help keep your windshield clear with a minimum of effort. Some of them are so easy you will wonder why you didn’t think of them sooner.

Even when it isn’t cold enough for snow or the ground to freeze, your car windows and mirrors can get fogged and frosted. Use these tricks to prevent ice on windshields from forming in the first place.

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If your glass has small pits or cracks, get them repaired before the winter season begins. The stress of repeated freezes and thaws is likely to make the damage worse.

Park Inside

If at all possible, a nice, snug, above-freezing garage is your best bet. No ice crystals form there! Your insurance company also favors indoor, secured parking, so this method of keeping your windshield safely clear also keeps your premiums low.

You are unlikely to need to replace a windshield due to falling icicles inside the garage. Your locks and doors won’t freeze, either.

If it’s still cold enough and moist enough to frost a windshield inside your garage, then take a look at the next step.

Cover Your Glass

To keep mirrors clear, a couple of plastic bags and rubber bands work great. For your windshield, a couple of large bathmats or rubber doormats will do the trick. Lift your wipers up off the glass and place the covers. This prevents any chance of the wipers freezing to your windshield.

Some people use a large sheet of cardboard or canvas, others swear by a shower curtain. You can double up the effectiveness of the covers through use of a de-icer.

De-Icer or Ice Prevention Spray

There are several recipes for ice prevention spray. A few spritzes before you cover your windshield at night and your windshield will be clear in the morning. Try one of these in a large spray bottle.

Vinegar Method

Mix one part water with three parts white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture over the glass while it is ice-free. The spray will help keep ice crystals from forming.

Vodka Method

Mix two parts vodka (any rubbing alcohol or 191 will work, too) and one part water in a spray bottle. Spray the windshield generously before retiring for the evening to prevent ice from forming. The solution instantly removes ice from a windshield and can be used as a quick de-icer.

Keep the bottle in your car, as you can also use it to prevent fogging on the inside. You can also add alcohol (vodka, 191 or rubbing) to your windshield washer solution to keep the lines from freezing. Just make sure your alcohol has no sugar or color residues to gum up the works.

As you use the washer fluid on the windshield, it will keep your glass and wipers free of ice while driving.

Commercial Formulas

There are several commercial formulas available for use as an ice prevention or de-icer solutions. You may find these easier to use if you don’t mind the chemical residue. Commercial antifreeze is often toxic. It can poison animals, children, and the soil.

Use an Onion or Potato

No time to get a spray bottle? Raid the pantry for a potato or onion. Cut one in half and rub the cut side down all over the window. Ice crystals will have trouble sticking.

You can also use the same cut half on the inside to prevent fogging.

Face the Sun

If you forget the above tips, try to park your vehicle facing the rising sun. This way the heat from the sun can melt the worst of the frost before you have to come out and muscle it off.  Even better if you can use a dark-colored sunshade inside the glass.

Don’t Forget to Prevent Fog

Ice can obscure your vision dangerously. Unfortunately, so can fog on the inside of the glass. Treat the inside of the glass with your de-icing fluid to prevent fogging.  You can also use an onion, a bit of soap, or little shaving cream.

Window fog due to the warm, moist air of your breath meeting the cold windshield and windows. To prevent it, you need to remove the moist air or remove the cold windshield. For this reason, keeping kitty litter in the car tends to dry the air out inside the car.

Running your defroster to warm the windshield often fogs the windshield further. If you have an air conditioner, run it at the same time to reduce the moisture inside the cabin.  Keep a felt chalkboard eraser in the car to wipe off the windshield.

Clear Windows are Safe Windows

Driving around with your windows even partially obscured is dangerous. You can face a fine or even get charged with negligent driving if you get caught.  Use these simple tips to keep you and others on the road safe.  There is no need to spend time in the cold clearing off the windshield.

Prevent ice on windshields before it even starts. Use your time to spray or cover your windshield before you go inside each evening. You will never have to scrape again.

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