Having to get ice off your windshield is an annoying winter problem. Here’s how to defrost a windshield without wasting energy and contributing to air pollution.
Before getting ice off your windshield the right way, it’s essential to avoid removing it in a way that damages your car or causes unnecessary harm to the environment.
Don’t defrost your windshield with:
1. Boiling water. As good an idea as it might seem, don’t pour boiling water over frozen windshields and car windows. The sudden temperature change can easily cause glass to shatter or crack, and the boiling water can also damage paintwork.
2. De-icer spray. One of the most common methods to defrost a car quickly is de-icer spray. Unfortunately, de-icer usually contains harsh chemical additives that are damaging to the environment. Worse still, it can be fatal to animals and humans if ingested — even in small amounts.
3. Car heaters. If you’re interested in protecting the environment, avoid blasting your car heater to defrost your windshield or rear window. Running the engine when you’re not driving creates unnecessary air pollution and needlessly wastes gas.
Luckily, learning how to defrost your windshield with simple eco-friendly alternatives is easy — and doesn’t involve using chemicals or wastefully running your engine.
How to Defrost Windshields Sustainably
Here’s how to get ice off windshields quickly and economically. Want to learn more? Check out Fast & Eco-Friendly: How to Defrost a Windshield Without Heat.
1. Use A Plastic Scraper
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. You can’t get much simpler than a scraper for defrosting windshields and windows in the colder months.
You can try going down the DIY route and scraping frost from windows using an old CD case, for example, but car scrapers are designed for purpose, are cheap, and generally last a long time. Improvising with other items could scratch your windows, causing you further problems down the line.
2. White Vinegar
If you know that it will drop below freezing overnight, spray your windshield with a mixture of three parts water and one part white vinegar. Although this solution doesn’t melt ice, it does deter ice from forming in the first place. However, be careful not to use too much white vinegar, as it can damage paint and the rubber seals around the exterior of your windshield if you use too high a concentration.
Another easy way to defrost windshields is to mix one tablespoon of salt with two cups of room-temperature water. Using a clean sponge or cloth, apply the mixture to your windshield and the salt will melt the ice instantly.
In a spray bottle, mix two parts rubbing alcohol with one part room-temperature water in a spray bottle for one of the most reliable methods of getting ice off windshields. Spray the solution on your windshield and watch as the ice slides right off.
5. Dish Soap
Again with a spray bottle., take a bottle of 70% isopropyl alcohol, add in a few drops of biodegradable dish soap, then apply it liberally to your windshield. When the job is done, rinse or wipe off the excess to avoid damaging your paint or window seals.
6. Warm Rice Bags
They require a bit of effort, but warm rice bags can also help defrost windshields. Just put some uncooked rice in a heavy-duty zip-lock bag and microwave for 30 seconds. Rub the bag across the inside of the windshield when you’re sitting warm inside. It warms the glass and can melt the ice on the windshield’s surface.
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