Temperatures in the UK are expected to drop to as low as -13C by the end of this week, according to new weather maps.
With a cold snap looming, drivers will be dreading setting their morning alarms 15 minutes earlier so that they can defrost their cars.
Scraping off ice from your windscreen could add extra stress and time to your morning routine.
If you aren’t able to fully remove the ice from your windshield, you could face a fine – driving with limited vision, as well as being dangerous, could end up costing you £100 and three points on your licence.
However, if your obstructed view unfortunately ends up causing an accident and your case ends up in court, you could face a £5,000 fine and up to nine points on your licence.
READ MORE: Viral TikTok car plunger hack could cause ‘irreparable damage’
Icelandic driving experts at Lotus Car Rental have shared their top tips on how you can prevent your car from getting icy, keeping you safe and potentially saving you some money.
Spray vinegar on your windscreen the night before
Getting ahead of the game and planning the day before a forecasted freezing cold night could save you a lot of time and effort. Preparing a solution of mixed water and vinegar the night before and spraying it on your windscreen should stop your car from getting really icy.
Vinegar’s freezing point is a lot lower than water’s, which makes it a great de-icer. The water doesn’t have a chance to settle and freeze on top of the vinegar – mixed with water there’s less opportunity for frost to form and means you won’t spend loads of time scraping ice off your windscreen in the morning.
Leave time for your car to warm up
Those of us in a rush in the morning could be guilty of being too impatient and scraping the ice off the car before it has had a chance to properly warm up – but this could be damaging your car.
It’s common for people to grab the first item they see, whether that be a credit card or a key ring, to start scraping the ice away. However, both of these “alternative scrapers” could risk breaking or chipping the glass of the windscreen, which can be costly to fix.
Leaving a good 10-15 minutes to put your front and rear demister on max will be enough to see the ice begin to melt away from the heat. Then you should be able to wipe away any excess water with your windscreen wipers. This will prevent any potential damage to the glass and has the added bonus of keeping you nice and warm for your journey.
Park your car facing East
If possible, a very quick and simple tip that could give you an extra 10 minutes in bed in the morning is to park your car facing east the night before. As the sun rises in the east, it will put your windscreen in a prime location for the sun to melt away any ice on your windscreen.
However, this is dependent on how early you need to leave the house and how much sunlight you get.
Use a deicing fluid
Keeping a bottle of de-icing fluid in your car or home is beneficial to speeding up the process of defrosting. De-icer is fairly easy to find in most supermarkets and petrol stations and usually relatively inexpensive. However, if you don’t want to spend any money then it’s possible to make an equally effective homemade alternative.
To make your own, mix half a teaspoon of washing-up liquid with some rubbing alcohol. Give it a quick shake and spray it onto your windscreen.
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Don’t forget about your windows as well. Although the windscreen is the main part of the car that needs to be clear, it is extremely dangerous to leave your other windows frosty too. You will have obscured vision to the right or left of your car which can be dangerous for yourself and other people, and can even cost you three points on your driver’s licence.
Rubbing alcohol works to defrost your car, but so does vodka! If you have any spare alcohol lying around the house you may not want to ‘waste’ it – but if your windscreen badly needs de-icing, it could be a time-saving option.
Due to the alcohol content in vodka it makes it the perfect de-icer for the freezing winter months. Mix water to the vodka and pour the mixture into a spray bottle to easily cover your windscreen.
Rubbing a potato or onion on your windows
A popular TikTok hack that works is cutting a potato or an onion in half and rubbing it on your windows to stop them from steaming up. Both of these vegetables have a similar effect to vinegar, the sugar molecules break down frost as soon as it forms on the window, creating minimal freezing for when you go to de-ice your car in the morning.
Be mindful that although this hack will almost certainly work, sometimes vegetables can smear your windscreen and impact your ability to see the road clearly.
Hot water in a sandwich bag
This is another popular hack that has gone viral on TikTok – pouring hot water into a sandwich bag and rubbing it across your windscreen to melt the ice. This will remove the ice in seconds and prevent any scratching on the windscreen.
It’s important to use warm water rather than boiling hot water, as pouring extremely hot water directly onto your windscreen could lead to the glass cracking. It is worth bearing in mind that cold weather might result in melted water refreezing and causing the windscreen wipers to stick.
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