Ice is nice. But not on your windshield.
As I type this, the first storm of the season is barreling up the East Coast. It’s November and no, I don’t feel prepared for winter. Not mentally prepared and not physically prepared. Still, when I head out tomorrow to run my errands, I’ll need to scrap the snow and ice from the vehicles before I go anywhere. Luckily, living my entire life with cold and snowy winters means I know a thing or two about that.
Here are my best tried and true hacks for making short work of windshield ice this winter. After all, you won’t want to be outside any longer than necessary when the wind chill is in the teens. Or worse.
1. Park Facing East
The morning sun (if you are lucky enough to get morning sun) will get the job started for you. If it’s a lovely sunny morning, Mother Nature will start to melt the snow and ice even before you have to head out.
2. Have the Proper Tools Available
Those of us who live in snowy climates pretty much always carry a snow scraper in the car. But two years ago, I got caught short. We had bought a new-to-us truck that summer. It didn’t occur to me to stow the scraper in the truck when we brought it home that sultry July day. So I was woefully unprepared when that first snow hit. I was forced to improvise. I used the best tool at hand: a credit card. Yes, my hand was a little cramped by the time I had the windshield clear, but it worked. I might one day again find myself without a snow scraper, but I can’t imagine ever finding myself without a credit card!
3. Make a DIY De-Icer
There are two well-known DIY ice fighters.
The first is a solution of one part water and two parts rubbing alcohol. Pour it into a spray bottle and spray the solution onto to an iced-over or fogged up windshield. Voila! Fog and ice disappear. Really.
The other DIY windshield ice hack uses white vinegar–one part water and three parts vinegar. Spray it on to get rid of the ice and fog. Even better, spray it on the night before and the vinegar solution will help prevent the ice and fog from forming in the first place. Spray the windshield wipers with the solution as well to prevent icy build up on them.
4. Bring an Extra Pair of Socks
No, these aren’t for you in the event the car dies and you have to walk miles in the cold to get help. Although they can be used for that too! These socks are for the wiper blades.
My wiper blades take a beating every winter. It’s my fault. I tend to start the car and immediately turn on the wipers, in the vain hope they will clear the windshield so I won’t have to. It rarely works. This sock/windshield trick will protect the blades. It works like this:
Pull the blades up from the windshield, just like you do when you wash the windshield. Slip a pair of old socks over the blades and leave them standing up for the night. It will make it easier to clean the ice and fog in the morning and it will prolong the life of your wiper blades. You can even spray the socks with the vinegar solution to keep the snow and ice from forming on them.
Now, you’re ready to deal with your car in the morning. Until then, settle in with a hot cocoa and enjoy the falling snow – while it’s still pristine and peaceful!