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How To Safely Remove Ice From Your Windshield

Here in Thornton and throughout the state of Colorado, the winter season brings about freezing temperatures. After a winter storm, you may see that stubborn ice has remained on your windshield. To prevent windshield damage, it’s crucial to remove this ice safely. 

Preventing Ice on Your Windshield

Before we cover the best methods for removing ice from your windshield, let’s discuss how to prevent this issue in the first place. 

  • The best way to avoid ice on your windshield is to park your car in a covered enclosure, like a garage or a covered carport. 
  • If covered parking isn’t an option, cover your windshield to avoid ice formation. This can simply be done with a tarp, or even a big sheet if you have no other option. You can secure the covering with the wiper blades, magnets, or weights. Windshield covers sold at auto parts shops often have built-in magnets to ensure that they stay secure over your windshield. 
  • For even further protection, you can soak the windshield cover in a saltwater solution (1 tablespoon of salt dissolved in one quart of water). As you likely know from seeing people salt the pavement in the winter, salt will keep ice from forming. 
  • For a quick ice-preventer, combine one part water and three parts white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray this solution on the windshield and windows of your vehicle. This will stop ice formation. But, beware – this solution can also compromise the wax on the painted surfaces of your car if left on for too long. So, be sure to wipe off any of the solution that ends up on surfaces besides your auto glass. 

Removing Ice From Your Windshield

De-Icer

Using a de-icer solution is one of the quickest and most effective methods for removing ice on your windshield. It works by quickening the natural melting process of ice. 

You can either make a de-icer at home or purchase one at the store. While store-bought de-icers are effective, they’re also far pricier than homemade options (which often provide equally successful results. 

Here’s how to make de-icer at home for your auto glass in Thornton:

Mix one part water, two parts, 70% isopropyl alcohol, and a couple of drops of dish soap. Pour this solution into a spray bottle and apply it to your frozen windshield. This solution’s freezing point is five degrees, which is far lower than water’s freezing point of 32 degrees. So, when you apply this solution to your auto glass, it will work quickly to melt the ice. 

Saltwater

Saltwater can work as both a preventative measure, as mentioned above, and a removal method for windshield ice. The ice will start to melt once it comes into contact with the saltwater. For the best results, use road salt instead of typical table salt. 

Note that for all types of de-icers, you should stick to room-temperature storage. Don’t simply store the de-icer in your car, as it will be subject to extreme temperatures. 

Heat The Interior of Your Car

Instead of (or in combination with) a de-icer, you can melt the ice on your windshield from the interior of your car. To do this, first start your car. Then, adjust the temperature to the hottest mode and choose the defrost setting for the windshields. Finally, increase the blower until it’s at its maximum. This will gradually melt the ice on your auto glass. Just be sure that the tailpipe isn’t obstructed as you do this, as a blockage could lead to carbon monoxide exposure for those in the vehicle. 

Avoid Dangerous Ice Removal Methods

While it may be tempting to break the ice on your windshield manually for removal, steer clear of this method. The force on your windshield can lead to cracks and other types of windshield damage. Additionally, don’t try to de-ice your windshield by pouring hot water on it. This sudden, extreme change of temperature will also often lead to windshield cracks. 

Note that while pouring hot water on a frozen windshield can cause auto glass damage, pouring pure cold water on the ice won’t help, either. This will simply cause the cold water to drop to the temperature of your frozen windshield and freeze, too, exacerbating the issue. 

You don’t want to have to call up your windshield repair team on a freezing winter day here in Thornton. When you stick to safe ice removal methods for your auto glass, you won’t have to!