How to Clear Your Windshield in Cold Weather
by Steve Dearborn
Icy windshields are pain. If you live in a cold climate, youíre already familiar with the various
ways in which a thick crust of ice can put a freeze on your day. Icy windshields can make even
the most punctual of us 15 minutes late for work.
Of course, you canít just drive off with an ice-covered windshield. Barreling down the highway
with obstructed vision is distracted driving, which endangers the lives of you and everyone on
the road with you. You need to clear that glass. Here are some ways to get things right before
you hit the road.
Scrape the Ice Off by Hand
This is maybe the least pleasant method of clearing ice and snow off your carís windshield and
windows, but itís a classic. Scraping your windows off the old fashioned way is effective; youíll
be able to get every last flake off, allowing you to drive to your destination in piece.
Hereís what you do:
- First, start your car.
- Make sure the defrost feature is set to full blast.
- Next, make sure youíre wearing warm winter gloves. You donít want to risk frostbite just for a quick ride.
- Then, get out your ice scraper. Everyone should keep a good ice scraper in their cars.
- Finally, get scraping! Keep a firm grip on the scraper and get every little crunchy, white speck of ice and snow off your windshield.
- Go to all your windows and scrape them off, too. There are more windows than just front and back.
- Drive off happy and safe!
Let Your Defrost Do All the Work
If youíve got the time, thereís no need for you to suffer through the defrosting process. Turn your
car on, crank the defroster up, wait inside your house or apartment, and come back out once
the ice is gone. You should still use your ice scraper to wipe any condensation that could blur
Unfortunately, there are a few problems with the ďwait and let your car do the work for youĒ
method. The first problem is, obviously, time. When the snow is blanket-thick, and the ice is
diamond-hard, your defroster might take 30 minutes or more to melt it all on its own (and even
then youíll up brushing a significant amount off by hand). The second problem is that you
probably donít want to leave your unguarded car running on the street without your supervision.
If youíve got multiple keys, no big deal, but many people only have a single key; getting out of
your car while itís running could leave you vulnerable to theft. The third problem is that youíll
waste gas waiting. And nobody wants to waste gas with prices as high as they are!
Buy Some Defrosting Formulas
Lots of companies these days produce and sell canned or bottled products that will quickly do the work for you. Spray
it on as instructed and wait; the formula will take care of your cold vision problems in no time. These
might not work for climates in which the snow falls hard and heavy, but for those living in
moderate ice-fall conditions, store-bought formulas might be just the thing you need to make the whole process easier.