There’s nothing quite as annoying as spending 30 minutes in the icy winter weather deicing your windows and windshields. You’re cold, your hands are freezing, and you’re just over scraping the windshields.
But what if I told you there are special deicers that would do the job for you? They will also get you out of the cold weather and into your car in three minutes. That sounds amazing, doesn’t it?
Now, what if I told you that all you need to make these deicers are a couple of ingredients readily available in most homes? If you want to see how to make some of the best homemade solutions for deicing your car windshields — keep on reading.
Why Deicing Your Windshield Is Important
Let’s say you don’t want to deice your windows; what’s the worst that could happen? Well, because of the low visibility, you could cause an accident and hurt yourself and others in traffic.
In addition to being dangerous, ice can also damage your windshield and cause a leak. In fact, ice is the number one reason for a leaky windshield. So, if you don’t want to hurt yourself or damage your car, knowing these six homemade solutions for deicing is key.
Six of the Best Homemade Deicing Solutions
Now, all of the deicing solutions I’m about to show you are easy to prepare and only take a few minutes to make. Also, a bit later, I’m going to tell you some of my favorite deicing techniques.
We’re also going to talk about what you need in order to prevent your windshields from freezing in the first place.
1. Isopropyl Alcohol
First, I wanted to start with isopropyl alcohol, just because it’s the easiest solution that requires the least amount of effort. All you need is one cup of water, one cup of isopropyl alcohol, and a spray bottle.
I recommend using a 70% alcohol solution, instead of 50%, just because it has a higher potency and it will clean the ice faster. Before you apply it to your windshield, shake the bottle well so that the water and alcohol mix well.
When you get to your car, apply a liberal amount of the solution to your windshield and just watch the ice melt away. You can turn your wipers on to spread the solution faster. It will get rid of the ice in a matter of minutes and leave your windshields frost-free.
You can also spray a bit of the solution on your car locks if you notice that they’re frozen. Since the solution itself won’t freeze in low temperatures, I recommend always having a bottle of it in your car, just in case.
2. Rubbing Alcohol and Dish Soap
Another great trick is to take 70% rubbing alcohol, an ounce of dish soap, and distilled water, and mix it all together in a spray bottle. The alcohol and distilled water will melt the ice, while the dish soap prevents it from forming again.
Vinegar is another one of those tried-and-true methods that you can’t go wrong with. For this trick, all you need is water, white vinegar, and a spray bottle. Use one part water and three parts vinegar for the solution.
Now, the one downside to using vinegar for deicing is that it is kind of a slow process. If the ice is thick, you might need to spray your windshield a couple of times and wait a few minutes. Just be careful when using vinegar, because it can chip the paint of your car in some cases.
Since most commercial windshield deicers have ammonia in them, it’s a pretty safe bet to use on those cold winter days. All you need is 70% distilled water, 30% non-sudsing ammonia, and a large plastic bottle to mix it in.
It’s better to go with an ammonia solution without suds because it won’t freeze in the low temperatures or leave any residue. Also, you can add a bit of dish soap to your solution to protect the windshield from freezing again.
Next up is a water and methanol solution that you can use if the ice is extremely thick. Simply mix 10% methanol with 90% distilled water in a spray bottle and splash it across your windshield. I recommend putting some food coloring into the bottle just so you don’t mix it up with some other solution.
6. Alternative Solutions
If you don’t have any of the ingredients I’ve mentioned on deck, there are a couple of other things you could use:
- Beet juice
- Saltwater pickle juice
- A soft drink
Even though these might not be as effective as some of the previous solutions, they can still get the job done in a pinch.
How to Deice Your Windshield
The three main points you have to cover when deicing your windshield are:
- Remove the snow
- Spray the solution
- Clean the ice
First, use a broom or brush to remove the snow from your windshield. Even though some solutions will melt the snow as well the ice, it’s easier to clean it first so you have better access to the ice.
Now, since not all solutions work the same, you might need to get an ice scraper or squeegee to clean your windshield. For example, isopropyl alcohol should immediately melt the ice away, but methanol won’t have the same effect.
Also, while you are waiting for the solution to start working, you can get inside your car and start the heating. By doing so, the ice will melt faster and it’ll be easier to clean. Once the ice is completely gone, turn your windshield wipers on to remove any remaining water off your windshield.
How to Prevent Your Windshields from Freezing
The best way to protect your car from morning frost is by covering it with a fabric. You can use the professional polyester covers, or just use a rubber bath mat or folded sheet.
I also recommend mixing in a bit of the isopropyl deicing solution in your windshield washer fluids. It’ll be much easier to get an even amount over your windshield. Also, you won’t have to wait in the freezing snow for it to thaw out.
Finally, get ahead of the ice by setting up the night before. You can spray some of the vinegar and water solution in the evening. Using vinegar will prevent the ice from forming in the first place.
Those were all the tips and tricks I had for making homemade deicing solutions. Personally, I love using isopropyl alcohol and water for my windshield because it seems to be the quickest way to remove ice. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to what you have handy and how thick the ice is.
As you know, it’s better to be safe than sorry. With that said, I recommend trying out some prevention methods before the first frost. If you can, use a tarp over your car and keep it sheltered somewhere.
Also, always carry a deicing solution and a scraper in your car. If you’re in a pickle and quickly need to remove ice from your windshields, they can be real life-savers.