Anywhere you go lately, it seems like small talk revolves around the weather. And it’s no wonder: it is bitterly cold outside. In fact, it is one of the coldest winters ever in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, with record-breaking low temperatures of -5 degrees Fahrenheit. (With the windchill, it can feel -25 degrees!)
When it’s this cold outside, you want to get where you’re going fast, and you don’t want to spend 20 minutes outside de-icing your car.
You’ve probably found a few “tips” online to quickly clearing your windshield, but are they safe or effective? After all, you don’t want to de-ice your windshield at the cost of damaging it!
We’re here to tell you the do’s and don’ts to removing snow and ice from your vehicle this winter. Keep reading to find out!
The Do’s and Don’ts of Windshield Snow and Ice Removal
DON’T do a rush job.
It can be tempting to clear off just enough snow and ice from your car to see through the driver’s side of the windshield, but this practice is both unsafe and against the law. Don’t ignore the passenger side of the front windshield, the back windshield, and the windows.
DO give yourself extra time to clear off your car.
When you don’t have to worry about being late for work or dinner with friends, the process of clearing off your car is much easier and less stressful.
DON’T leave your car running unattended.
Thieves love the winter for the simple reason that so many more people leave their cars unlocked and unattended for long stretches of time. You don’t want to risk losing something valuable inside your car—or the car itself—so don’t leave your car running if you’re not in it.
DO let your car run while you clear off the snow and ice.
Letting your car run while you sit inside it will eventually do the trick, but this takes a long time and isn’t very environmentally friendly. Instead, turn your car on to warm up the interior while you tackle the windows.
DON’T pour boiling or hot water on your windshield.
Windshields are a lot tougher than they used to be, but they can still crack from sudden temperature changes. (This is called a “stress crack” and happens often in the winter and summer.) Sure, pouring hot water on your windshield will get rid of the ice, but you’ll have a whole other problem to deal with!
DO pour cold water on your windshield.
This tip can seem a little counter-intuitive: won’t you just be adding more ice to your windshield? In fact, cold water will melt the ice just enough to allow you to scrape or squeegee it off without doing any damage to your windshield.
DON’T use anything made of metal to scrape ice off of the windows.
Metal tools will create grooves and scratches in glass. If you do this, you risk weakening your windshield and leaving it open to chips and cracks.
DO use the right tools.
A plastic ice scraper, brush with soft bristles, and window squeegee are the only tools you need to remove snow and ice from your windshield. They’re made to do the job without scratching your windshield.
DON’T use a DIY formula.
There are tons of posts on blogs and Pinterest claiming to have the perfect DIY de-icing formula. We caution against them because many are ineffective and some have the potential to damage your windows. One article, for example, advises using a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water. Unfortunately, this mixture isn’t really any better than plain old water, since it freezes at the temperatures we’re currently experiencing! You can save yourself the trouble.
DO use a professional product.
Consider purchasing a de-icer to help melt ice more quickly. A professional de-icer freezes at much lower temperatures (usually around -35 degrees Fahrenheit). Alternatively, you can buy a cover to place on your windshield to prevent ice and snow. (It’s similar to the sun shades you buy to keep your car cool in the summer.)
We hope these tips help you. From all of us at Jack’s Glass, stay warm and stay safe. And if your car windshield chips or cracks this winter, we’re here to fix it quickly and conveniently.