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How To Defrost Windscreen in Winter


Chilly weather for many signals the beginning of cozy nights, hot chocolate, and snuggles with the family. However, one downside of colder weather is having to deal with the nuisance of frosted windshields when you do eventually decide to stray outside, which can delay or even cancel plans altogether.

With the help of this handy guide, defrosting windscreens should be easier than ever.

Table of Contents
Why windscreens become frosted
How to defrost windscreens
How to defrost the windscreen during rain
The bottom line

Why windscreens become frosted

Snowy road view from a car windshield

The reason that windscreens frost over is that warm air has a higher capacity for holding moisture than cold air. Therefore, as the temperature decreases, the excess moisture in the warmer air condenses and forms tiny droplets on cooler surfaces. This can fog up windshields or become ice in colder temperatures.

How to defrost windscreens

The following steps will help you to defrost the windscreens faster.

Apply lukewarm water

A man holding a plastic water bottle

To prevent cracking your windshield, only use lukewarm water to defrost it, never boiling water, which can cause the glass to crack due to a sudden change in temperature.

Meanwhile, applying lukewarm helps to melt the ice without damaging the windshield, making it easier to remove ice and frost from the surface.

After pouring warm water onto the frozen area of the windscreen, wipe with a cloth, glove, or wiper.

Turn the heater on

A close view of aerator mouth

Using the car’s internal heater, direct the airflow towards the windshield, and in about 5 minutes, depending on the engine, the air should start getting warmer, which will help melt the ice on the windshield from the inside.

Once melted, removing the ice from the windshield should be easy with a scraper or wiper. The warm air also helps prevent the windshield from fogging up again by evaporating any remaining moisture on the glass surface.

Use de-icing spray

A blue spray bottle

Car supply stores stock various types of defrosting sprays for windshields specially designed to melt the ice and frost.

If you prefer not to use chemical sprays or want to save money, you can make your own defrosting spray at home. To make it, mix one-third a cup of water with two-thirds a cup of rubbing alcohol. This spray effectively clears icy windshields since rubbing alcohol has a freezing point of -128°C, making it an excellent defrosting agent.

Another option is to use a homemade de-icing spray as a preventive measure. Mix two-thirds white vinegar with one-third of water and spray the solution on the windshield before temperatures drop in the evening. This solution helps to prevent ice from forming on the windshield and rear window, so there is no need to defrost the windshield in the morning.

Take preventive measures

A vintage car parked in a garage

To make defrosting your windshield easier, it is best to prevent it from freezing over in the first place. This can be done by covering the windshield with cardboard at night and securing it with clips, protecting the windshield from cold weather.

Also, if you own a garage, use it to store the car overnight. Keeping the car parked in a garage or covered area can help prevent ice build-up, as it protects the car from the cold, night air. Storing the car in a garage can also prevent the inside of the car windscreen from freezing.

Remember to cover the wing mirrors as well. In the evening, cover the mirrors with plastic bags and hold them in place with elastic bands. These simple steps can make morning winter commutes easier to face.

Use a credit card to scrape the ice

A close-up of three credit cards

While using a credit card to scrape ice from your windshield in winter is not recommended, it can be a quick and easy solution if you’re in a bind. However, it is important to do it correctly to avoid damaging your windshield or credit card. Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Hold the credit card firmly by the short edge with one hand
  2. Use the long edge of the credit card to scrape the ice from the windshield. Do not use the side with the magnetic strip; it may scratch the glass surface.
  3. Scrape the ice gently horizontally, starting from the top of the windshield and working your way down
  4. If the ice is too thick or hard, use lukewarm water to melt it before using the credit card
  5. Avoid using too much pressure as this can damage the credit card or the windshield
  6. After using the credit card, clean it with a cloth to remove any debris or moisture

Using a credit card should be your last resort to cleaning your windshield; make sure to stock an ice scraper or de-icing spray once you have the time.

How to defrost the windscreen during rain

A black car in rain

A clear view of the road is extremely important when driving in the rain. These steps will help to defog your windscreen:

Switch on the air conditioner

Switching on the AC during rain helps keep the windshield clear because the AC system removes moisture from the air inside the car, preventing it from condensing on the windshield. This helps to ensure good visibility while driving in the rain.

Switch off air recirculation

Switching off the air recirculation during rain is recommended to keep the windshield clear because the air recirculation system reuses the same air inside the car, which can increase humidity levels. This can cause moisture to accumulate inside the windshield and impair vision while driving.

The excess moisture can be removed by switching off the air recirculation and allowing fresh air to enter the car. This can help to maintain good visibility in the car when driving in the rain. 

The bottom line

Defrosting a windshield during winter can be challenging but it can be done effectively and efficiently with the right techniques and tools. From using a de-icer spray to a homemade solution, using a scraper to a credit card, there are numerous methods that can be utilized to defrost a windshield.

It’s important to prioritize safety, be patient, and put aside enough time to defrost your windshield before hitting the road. If the car sustains damage during this process, you should seek professional help. Finally, it is important to stock the essentials for cleaning your windshield at home or inside the car. These can all be sourced from Alibaba.com.

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