There’s nothing quite like waking up just in time to get out the door for work, only to find that there is a layer of snow and ice on the windshield, obscuring your vision and making it impossible to leave the driveway. There are many tricks that drivers use to try to get out of the house in a hurry in these circumstances, but some of them can lead to damaged or even broken auto glass. Here, we will examine some tips for removing snow and ice from your windshield.
Hit the Defroster!
While it may not be the fastest solution when you are running late for work, one of the best things you can do is to turn on the car and start the defroster. It will gradually warm up the window, and with it, the ice. It may take five or ten minutes for the glass to warm up enough that the ice can be removed, but it will work and it will save you a lot of muscle and a lot of potential damage to your windshield.
Avoid the Urge to Use Hot Water
It seems perfectly logical. Pour hot water on the cold ice and it will melt, allowing you to easily wipe it away, get in your car, and head to the office. Unfortunately, physics throws a bit of a curveball in this logic. Pouring hot water on a frozen windshield causes it to undergo a rapid temperature change, and the result may well be a shattered or cracked windshield. If you have to use water, use cold water, which will gradually break the seal of the ice without putting your windshield at risk.
Use a Real Ice Scraper
Using a plastic ice scraper and a soft bristled brush can help you get rid of both ice and snow. The brush will quickly get rid of any loose snow, while the plastic scraper will lift ice off of the windshield so that it can be brushed away. This is best done after the defroster has been allowed to run for a few minutes so that the ice isn’t as firmly adhered to the windshield. Avoid the urge to use items besides an ice scraper, especially metal items such as a spatula, which can scratch, chip, or pit your windshield glass.
Skip the Wipers
It is not uncommon for people to rely on their windshield wipers to get ice off of their windshield. Even when your windshield has been partially heated by the defrosters and the ice isn’t firmly adhered to the glass, this is still not an advisable way to de-ice your windshield. While using your wipers to remove excess ice is not damaging at all to your auto glass, it puts a great deal of stress on your wiper blades. Rely on this strategy and you will find yourself replacing your wiper blades much sooner and much more often than you would like to. Pulling your wipers outward during snow can also help protect them while making it much easier to scrape your windshield.
It Takes Time, But It Isn’t Hard
Removing ice from your windshield can be a time consuming venture. Of course, you can always cover your windshield or park your car in the garage if you have one, but for many people, ice accumulation is just a part of living where temperatures get cold. Learning how to properly de-ice a windshield is very important if you live in or visit these climates, as it can help protect both your auto glass and your wipers.