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The Do’s and Don’ts of De-Icing Your Windshield

Winter is finally here to stay, and with snow emergencies comes the need for drivers to clear their cars of ice and snow. There are a lot of different ways to clear snow from your car’s windshield, and some are better than others. Today, we discuss the Do’s and Don’ts of de-icing your windshield.

Do – Be cognizant of your surroundings. If there’s snow and ice on your windshield, there’s probably snow and ice on the roads, which can make it tough for drivers to stay in the middle of their lane. Try to scrap off most of your windshield and rear windshield while on the curb side, and only venture out to the street side when no cars are passing.

Don’t – Pour hot water on your windshield – If you knew somebody with a hot tub growing up, odds are you’ve gone hot tubbing in the winter. If you’re a daredevil, maybe you even made a snow angel or just ran around in the snow before quickly jumping back in the hot tub. If so, you’ve experienced the shock of going from super cold to super warm and vice versa, and while your body may be able to handle it, your windshield may not. Pouring hot water on a frozen windshield can cause what’s known as “thermal shock,” and it can result in a shattered windshield. If you’re set on using water to de-ice your windshield, make sure it’s cool or lukewarm at most.

Do – Consider de-icing solutions – Sometimes you can prevent snow and ice from accumulating by treating your windshield with de-icing solutions. Certain homemade salt or vinegar based concoctions are alright, but spending a few bucks on a solution at a trusted car care center is a worthy investment. While you’re there, you can also pick up formulas that you can spray on right before scraping to help ease the process.

Don’t – Use a brick, rubber mallet or metal shovel to clean or break up ice on your windshield. This may seem like common sense, but if you don’t have a scraper in your car, you might go looking for the next best object, and that can be a huge issue if you’re not careful. Only use plastic or soft tipped scrapers to avoid damaging your windows.

Windshield De-icing tips

Do – Be smart about where you park. This doesn’t directly involve de-icing your windshield, but here us out. Preferably you’ll park your car in a garage or covered parking stall before the snow hits, but if you park outside, park in a safe spot. Unlike summer where you might want to find a tree to provide your car with some shade, you’ll want to do the opposite in the winter. Particularly heavy snowstorms, like a few we had last winter, can dump a lot of snow in an area in a short period of time. If you park under a brittle tree that can’t handle heavy wind or snow, you may wake up to find a tree branch fell and damaged your windshield. Avoid parking under trees if you know a snowstorm is on the way.


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