How to

9 February 2017

Life Hacks - Prevent Your Car Windscreen from Freezing Over

De-icing your car on a cold winter’s morning can be an infuriating task. De-icer gets the job done, eventually, but it’s never a pleasant experience circling your car for ten minutes on a frosty morning, and that’s before the dull wait for the ice to actually melt begins. Scrapers have similar drawbacks, being highly time and energy-consuming. So, rather than engaging in this daily task, it could be better to look at ways to prevent your windows from freezing over in the first place. Here we offer some handy little tricks that could do just that, alongside some additional advice concerning some common mistakes.

What Not to Do

Regardless of what you may have been told, I feel I must take this opportunity to strongly advise against the idea of using boiling water to de-ice your windows. I honestly thought that this was widely-known, but as I scanned through a few select forums in order to research this very article I became increasingly aware that I was mistaken. The rapid expansion of the glass due to the sudden rise in temperature will likely cause the window to shatter; true, that does mean it won’t freeze over, so job done?

Seriously though, don’t try it. It could be a very expensive mistake.

It is also worth noting that police forces throughout the country have issued warnings against leaving your car running and unattended on your driveway in order to clear any ice. This gives an open invitation to potential thieves and could also invalidate your insurance, leaving you to pick up the bill yourself.

Cover Your Windows

A purpose-made car cover is a simple way to prevent the formation of ice on your windscreen, as it will stop both rainfall and morning dew from reaching the car. Simply cover your car on a night and uncover in the morning for a fairly hassle-free method of ice prevention.

If you would rather not pay out for a purpose-made cover, you can instead opt to use the rubber mats from your car’s footwell, or even a door or bath mat. This will keep moisture away from the glass whilst also being heavy enough to stay in place in strong winds.

I have also heard countless people swear by the use of cardboard or newspaper for this purpose, but others report that, when wet, these materials could actually stick your window and freeze in place - far from the result you were hoping for. If you opt to try this technique, do let us know how it works out!

Treat Your Windows

A technique I had heard very little about up until recently, but apparently a very popular one, is to treat your windows with diluted vinegar in order to prevent freezing. The ratio should be 3 parts vinegar to one part water, and that mix is extremely important. Due to the acidic nature of vinegar (the same trait that is attributed with giving the substance its ice-fighting properties), it can cause significant damage to paintwork and rubber seals if used in overly-high concentrations.

Some also state that you can achieve a similar effect by rubbing half a raw onion over your windows, although I am unsure as to the validity of this particular technique.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.