De-icing: Motorist demonstrates hack to avoid an icy windscreen
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Scraping the windscreen in the freezing cold is an unwanted and time-consuming job – especially for those rushing out the door ready for work or the school run. Having endured the harshest of temperatures throughout winter for many years, the driving experts at Lotus Car Rental in Iceland have shared nine “top hacks” for not only getting rid of the ice on the car, but preventing it too.
Rub onion on top of the windscreen
Onions have a similar effect to vinegar, and if you don’t have an onion in the cupboard, then drivers should try potatoes instead. The sugar molecules from these vegetables can work to break down frost as soon as it forms on the window.
Drivers should cut an onion or a potato in half and then rub it generously all over the windows and windscreen the night before and this should drive the frost away.
Park the car facing East
Something as simple as parking the car in the right place can give drivers one less job to worry about on a cold morning. Because the sun rises in the east, it can melt away the ice on the windscreen – giving drivers a few extra minutes in bed. However, it will depend on how much sunlight motorists get and how early they leave the house.
Use a bed sheet if your car is parked outside
Putting a bed sheet or large piece of cardboard over the windscreen and using the wipers to hold it in place overnight is an effective and cheap way to shield it from the ice.
Spray vinegar on the windscreen the night before
With a little forward planning, drivers can stop frost from forming in the first place, and spraying the windscreen with a solution of mixed water and vinegar will help with this. Vinegar is often used as a de-icer because its freezing point is much lower than water’s, meaning the water doesn’t have the chance to settle and freeze on top of the vinegar.
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Heat up the car
If drivers have forgotten to do any of the steps above to prevent ice from setting, then heating up the car is the first step. Whatever motorists do, they should not be tempted to use their wipers on the icy windscreen as that won’t de-ice the car in any way and is more likely to damage it.
Instead, motorists should turn their front and rear demister on max and the ice will start to melt from the heat. Drivers can then wipe away any excess water with your wipers, and return the fan to normal.
Also, drivers should not be tempted to go inside the house to stay warm as it’s not unusual for thieves to steal defrosting vehicles from driveways.
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Use a proper car ice scraper
If drivers are in more of a rush, they can start to scrape the ice as the car warms up. However, don’t be tempted to cut corners and grab the nearest flat object, like a bank card. Attempting to scrape bits of ice off with anything other than a car ice scraper could just result in a scratched windscreen.
Use a deicing fluid
Try to keep a bottle of de-icing fluid either in the car or in the house to speed up the ice scraping process. It can be bought at most supermarkets and petrol stations. While there are many homemade alternatives that are just as effective at removing ice, nothing quite beats the ease of the real thing.
Fill a bag with warm water
If drivers don’t own a car ice scraper or have de-icer fluid to hand, then this is another option to try for a quick result. It may sound obvious but it’s always worth mentioning that motorists should never pour boiling hot water onto their windscreen.
While one in five of drivers admitted to doing this, even pouring lukewarm water can cause car windows to crack, especially if they are already chipped. Instead, pour some warm water into a ziplock bag and then rub the bag over the windscreen. This hack went viral on TikTok last winter because it takes the ice off in seconds.
Last but not least – there’s always alcohol
Drivers might not like the sound of wasting a bottle of vodka on their car but depending on how desperate they are at that moment, it will do the job. The alcohol content in vodka makes it a great de-icer in minus temperatures – even if it drains the alcohol supply.
It’s important to remember driving with limited vision during icy weather conditions is not only dangerous but can also land you with a £100 fine and three points on your licence. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with these top tips and begin implementing them into your daily routine.
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