The Best Way to Get Ice Off Your Car Windows

The Best Way to Get Ice Off Your Car Windows

Make quick work of deicing your car windows on winter mornings.


Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

 

 

It’s tough in the winter when you go out in the morning and find your car windows all iced up.  “Now where did I put that ice scraper the last time I used it?” Scraping the ice off the windshield and rear windows are especially a problem because you have to bend way over the car to do it.  Ice and dirt gets on your clothes and you are so cold before you are through.

 

If the ice is not too thick you can probably get away with using a Deicer spray.  These are available at local Auto supply stores, hardware stores and your local super market.  In selecting a Deicer be sure to get one that contains methanol or methyl alcohol.

 

Many deicers contain ethanol or ethyl alcohol (drinking alcohol) while others contain isopropanol or isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol).  Don’t try to drink the ethanol containing ones because they also contain a “denaturing agent” that renders them poisonous.

 

Deicers come in a convenient spray bottle.  Simply spray the deicer all over the window starting at the top and working down.  That way as the solutions runs down from the top it will continue to work on the ice on the lower part of the window.  Most deicers have a red or blue dye in them so you can see where you have strayed. These spray deicers are particularly valuable for deicing car mirrors which are very hard to scrap with a ice scraper

 

The reason that any of these deicers work is that they lower the melting point or temperature of the ice (water).  That means that if the outside temperature is 26 degrees Fahrenheit water will be frozen because water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.  When you spray the deicer onto the ice the methanol lowers the ices melting point so now the water is liquid at 26 degrees instead of a solid.  Methanol is better than ethanol or isopropanol because it lowers the ice’s melting point more then the others do.  The lower the melting point the easier it is for the ice to turn to water again.

 

If the ice is a little thicker you may need to apply the deicer a second time but eventually it should melt away.  Deicers will not work on thick ice so you are back to the scraper I’m afraid.

 

A word of caution, be sure that your windshield wipers are not still frozen to the window before you turn them on.  Normally the deicer will free them as it runs down onto them.  However, it is best to check them first by just lifting them up a little, because if you start them and they are still frozen it might pull the rubber scraper element off the wiper.  Now, that’s another problem you don’t want on a cold winter morning.

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andy, posted this comment on Feb 2nd, 2011

This was very helpful and very informational. I don’t mind scraping, but the ice was soo thick, I literally couldn’t. Ill try that stuff to help though, maybe it can melt a little for me to make it easier for me to scrape. Thanks a lot!

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