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How to Get Ice off Windshield Without Scraper
Modified: February 7, 2023
Wondering how to get ice off windshield without a scraper? No worries, we listed many effective ways to do it that you can check out right here!
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Nothing can stop winter from coming and going every year. For drivers and vehicle owners like you, winter means not only cold weather and slick roads but also a high likelihood of ice forming on your windshields. When this happens, you usually would look for a scraper to get the job done, right? But what if it’s nowhere in sight and you have something you can’t be late for? Well, don’t panic! There are many ways to get ice off your windshield, even without a trusty scraper. We’ll go over them one by one in this article, so read on.
How to Prevent Ice From Forming on Your Car’s Windshield
While it’s good to learn simple tips and tricks for removing ice from your windshield, it’s always better to avoid the problem in the first place. You will effectively save time, money, and effort by doing so.
Park Your Car in the Garage
It’s a no-brainer that parking your car in the garage will protect it not only from the snow but also from rain and direct sunlight. If your house does not yet have one, don’t worry; you can always use a handy portable garage. It’s not as strong as a concrete garage, but it’ll do the job of keeping ice off your vehicle.
Cover the Windshield
Whether your car is parked in a covered carport or not, using a windshield cover is a precautionary measure worth trying. You can make a cover out of household items such as a blanket, bed sheet, curtain, and bath mat. Commercial windshield covers (such as the ones shown above) are the best option because they are designed specifically for this purpose. They will fit a variety of windshield sizes, and some even include magnets to keep them secure and attached to the windshield.
However, if you intend to use household items as covers, make sure they are securely fastened to your windscreen. Tie the sheets’ ends together with cables or other fastening materials to prevent them from slipping off or being blown away by the wind. Whatever cover you choose, keep in mind also that windshield covers are only suitable for areas with light snowfall (when the car is parked outside). Heavy snowfall will weigh down the cover, making it difficult to remove from your vehicle.
Use a DIY Vinegar and Water Spray Solution
Vinegar is not only an essential condiment and an effective cleaning product, but it is also an excellent ice-prevention solution due to its high acidity. It contains acetic acid, a substance that lowers the melting point of water, preventing it from freezing. As a result, if you spray a mixture of vinegar and water on your car’s windshield overnight (before using it in the morning), no ice will form.
When combining vinegar and water, you can use any type you want, including apple cider vinegar and white vinegar. Even so, white vinegar contains more acetic acid than apple cider, so it may be more effective to use. To make the solution, pour three parts vinegar and one part room temperature water into a spray bottle and shake vigorously. After that, spray it in thin layers on the windshield and leave it overnight.
Use Potatoes and Onions
It may sound strange and surprising to use potatoes and onions to prevent ice from forming on your windshield, but it works! How? The sugar molecules in these vegetables act as a protective barrier on the surface of the windshield, preventing ice buildup. As such, you must use a knife to cut these vegetables in half and then rub the inside parts across the windshield. Allow the enzymes from these vegetables to sit on the glass overnight, and you’ll wake up with an ice-free windshield.
How to Get Ice off Windshield Without a Scraper: Easy Ideas to Try
The key to ensuring your car remains usable throughout the winter is prevention. But what if the problem is already present? Save the prevention tips for later and try the following methods instead.
Warm up the Car
One of the easiest solutions is already built into your vehicle’s system: the defroster setting. Simply start the car, then adjust the defroster setting from low to medium, and wait for at least 15 to 20 minutes for the ice to melt from the windshield. Take note that while it may be tempting to immediately turn on the defroster, such a drastic temperature change could potentially weaken your glass windshield. To avoid this, gradually change the setting instead.
Aside from manually adjusting the car heat setting, you can also invest in a remote car starter, which will start and warm up your car with the press of a button on the remote. Of course, depending on the thickness of the ice, warming up the car can take up to half an hour, so it’s best to do so as you prepare to leave.
Defrost Using Household Items
If you’re wondering how to get thin ice accumulation off a windshield without a scraper, look for a CD case, a spatula, and a food container. These plastic items are safer to use than metal, steel, and wooden items and will not scratch your windshield. You will need to chip away the ice build-up with any of these items until it is completely removed or melted, just like you would with a scraper.
Of all these three items, the plastic spatula is the most effective to use. Since it comes with a handle, it’s easier to grip and maneuver. Both the CD case and the plastic food container, on the other hand, are slippery to grip but are still worth a shot.
Using the CD case can make the procedure fast since you can use its two parts to scrape off the ice. That means that it has a more extensive coverage than an average-sized spatula or plastic container. For the plastic food container, use one that is large enough to grip with your hand so that you can exert enough pressure on it to finish the task.
Use DIY De-icer Spray
One of the most straightforward and popular answers to the question, “how to get ice off a windshield without a scraper?” involves the use of items found in your hygiene kit and pantry cabinet: salt and rubbing alcohol. Adding these products to room temperature water has proven to be a more effective solution.
Rubbing Alcohol and Water De-icer
The mixture of rubbing alcohol and water, for instance, has a lower freezing point of 5 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, the mixture is a bit warm to use and will quickly soften and break the ice on your windshield. Its low freezing point also means that it won’t refreeze when sprayed on your windshield (unless the temperature outside becomes near a zero-degree Fahrenheit).
Simply combine two parts rubbing alcohol and one part tap water in a spray bottle to make this solution. Shake the mixture well. After that, spray the solution on your windshield and wait for a few minutes until the ice loosens up. Remove any remaining melting, sludgy ice from your screen with your car’s wipers or a brush.
Salt and Water De-icer
Salt alone can dissolve ice as it has a low freezing point but sprinkling it onto the ice on your windshield directly will not make the process quick. Therefore, you’ll need to mix it with water to speed up and simplify the thawing process.
To make the saltwater solution, fill your spray bottle with two cups of room temperature water and one to two tablespoons of salt. Let the salt dissolve completely in the water for one minute. Then, spray the solution onto your car’s windshield. Allow a few minutes for the solution to permeate and defrost the ice. Use your windshield wipers to finish the de-icing process.
Use a Commercial De-icer Spray
Now that you’ve discovered a few easy ways to get ice off a windshield without a scraper, it’s time to consider the commercial options and decide whether they’re worthwhile to invest in.
There are various brands of commercial de-icer spray available right now, like the ones listed above. They also come in many sizes and are easy to store in your car and garage. Moreover, they are generally applicable to use not only on windshields but also on the headlights, windows, side view mirrors, key locks, door handles, and latches. Best of all, they are quick-acting and will not harm your vehicle.
The drawback of using one though is that it can be harmful to humans and the environment. This is because they are made of hazardous chemicals such as ammonia, butane, ethanol, and propane, to name a few. Excessive inhalation and exposure to these chemicals may result in respiratory and skin infections in both humans and animals. Furthermore, the emission of these gases also contributes to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
How to Get Ice Off Windshield Without a Scraper: Ideas That You Should Avoid
It’s tempting to try every method to get rid of the thick ice on your windshield. But just like there are safe ways to get ice off a windshield without a scraper, there are also certain methods/products that can do more harm than good.
Hot or Freezing Water
The use of hot, or sometimes even boiling water, is definitely one of the results that will pop out when searching the question, “how to get ice off windshield without a scraper?” on the internet. Some claim it works, but it is an extremely risky method. This is because the sudden temperature shift can cause the windshield to shatter or crack.
Likewise, pouring freezing water on the windshield is counterproductive. Doing so only adds a layer of ice to the windscreen, literally doubling the problem, and making the ice more challenging to remove.
Hairdryers and Portable Heaters
Another remedy that you should avoid is the use of hairdryers and portable heaters. Using them to dissolve ice is ineffective due to their unequal heat distribution to the windscreen. The heated parts will only expand unlike the rest of the glass screen. It could cause the entire screen to weaken and crack instead.
Using any metal tools or objects as a scraper is also a big no-no. Unlike plastic scrapers, metal scrapers have a higher tendency of causing damage to your vehicle’s windscreen. They are heavier and are simply not made for this purpose. To be exact, using them can cause scratches and deep etchings on your windshield, necessitating costly repair or removal and replacement of the windshield.
What to Do After De-icing
Now that you know how to get ice off the windshield without a scraper, what should you do with the remaining snow on the rest of your car? Here are some pointers:
Brush off Remaining Snow
After de-icing the windshield, brush the snow from your car’s hood, trunk, roof, and exhaust pipe. To do so, use a snow brush or a snow broom. Whatever type of snow-sweeping tools you choose, make sure that it is strong enough and has smooth bristles or foam to avoid scraping or cuffing your vehicle’s paint. Opt for one with adjustable handles for easier, less time-consuming cleanup.
These tools can also be used if there is still snow on the windshield, particularly in the corners or near the wipers.
Keep a De-icer in Your Vehicle
Refreezing can occur anytime, especially when the outside temperatures fall below zero degrees. Hence, it is best to always keep a reliable de-icer of any kind in your vehicle.
Additional Tips on How to Get Ice off Windshield Without a Scraper
One can never have enough knowledge when it comes to de-icing and overall car maintenance during winter, so here are additional tips to help you.
- When starting your vehicle and warming it up, you must always make sure that its wipers are not turned on. This is to prevent their rubber parts from getting torn off in case they are stuck or frozen to the glass.
- While you wait for the inside of your vehicle to heat up, scrape the ice off it (using the items mentioned earlier in this article). Don’t leave your vehicle unattended while warming up (especially if it’s parked in your driveway), as this could be an ideal opportunity for thieves to break in.
- Always use protective gloves and thick clothes when de-icing your vehicle.
- Use light to moderate force and never tap the windscreen when de-icing/scraping. As you know, windscreens are fragile parts of your vehicle and can break under pressure. Don’t rush the de-icing process and allow the ice to melt a bit so scraping is easier for you.
- Never drive with only a partially clear windshield and with snow still on your car. This is hazardous not only for you but also for your fellow drivers and commuters. Driving with snow still on your vehicle is also prohibited in some states, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Summing It Up
Now that you know the answer to “how to get ice off windshield without a scraper?”, you don’t need to stress out every time you’re caught without equipment. Just follow any of the methods and tips above and you’re all set. Happy driving and here’s to more fun and worry-free winter!
Want to also keep your vehicle clean inside? Try these handheld vacuum cleaners that are not only perfect for tidying up your home but your vehicle as well!