Tips for Removing Ice Safely Off Your Windshield

January 19th, 2022 by

During cold winter months, ice often accumulates on your vehicle’s windshield, making driving challenging and dangerous. It can prevent you from seeing things clearly so you can drive safely. A bit of snow on your car isn’t a big issue, but a solid sheet of ice on your windshield can be a hassle.

At Performance Honda, we understand that the change in seasons means tackling an ice-covered windscreen becomes an inevitable, undesirable addition to your morning routine. With these handy tips, defrosting your vehicle’s windshield will be more manageable than ever.

Removing Ice Quickly and Safely


ice on windshield in fairfield, oh

Image via Popular Science

First things first, if you find yourself with a vehicle covered in snow, never apply hot water onto your windshield as the sudden temperature change can cause your windshield to crack. Instead, try some of these tips to remove snow and ice off your windshield safely. Don’t forget to clear off your headlights, windows, and taillights in addition to your windshield.

Check Your Wipers

Ensure your wipers are off before starting your vehicle. Otherwise, you risk damaging them if they get stuck to the windshield due to freezing temperatures.

Start the Engine

Start your car and activate the defroster if your car has one. As your vehicle idles, crank up the heat to help melt ice on the windshield. If you have a heated windshield and side mirrors, turn them on. Allow enough time for your car to warm up, making it easier and quicker to safely get rid of ice from the vehicle. Complete de-icing should take at least 10 to 20 minutes.

Use an Ice Scraper, Brush, and Squeegee

Always use a rubber squeegee, a plastic scraper, or a soft bristle brush to clear off the ice from your windshield. Use the scraper gently so that you don’t accidentally damage your windshield. Avoid using metal scrapers, which can scratch the glass and damage wiper blades. After removing the snow, use a soft brush with bristles to wipe away excess water.

Use a Windshield De-Icer Spray

A windshield de-icer solution will help you remove ice from your car faster. Observe the instructions first, and don’t overuse the de-icer on your windshield.

Use an Alcohol and Water Based Solution

You can create your own de-icer that has a lower freezing point than water by mixing two parts 70% isopropyl alcohol, one-part water, and some dishwashing soap. With this solution, you will prevent melted ice and snow from refreezing on your windshield. If you want, you can substitute the alcohol with three parts vinegar. A saltwater solution will have the same effect if you don’t have rubbing alcohol or vinegar.

Warning: Using vinegar or alcohol-based de-icing sprays can break down your car’s protective layer over time. Make sure that you continue to wash and wax your vehicle regularly to minimize the impact of using these sprays.

Windshield De-icing Methods to Avoid

During winter, people employ many de-icing techniques that they might not know are damaging their cars.

Don’t use hot or warm water

It is surprisingly common to see drivers defrosting their windshield with hot water, but that is a definite no-go situation. The thermal shock, the sudden temperature change from sub-zero temperatures to almost 100 degrees Celsius, can crack your windshield, resulting in costly repairs.

Don’t rush the defrosting process

Your vehicle takes utmost 15 minutes to defrost thoroughly, so don’t rush the process, as this could damage your car or cause unsafe driving. Drive off after the windscreen and mirrors are fully clear of snow, mist, and ice.

Avoid wiping the inside of the windscreen with a piece of cloth

Though it might give you short-term relief, it’ll leave marks on your windscreen, which could make it more difficult to see out of in the long run.

Don’t use your windscreen wipers until all the snow has melted

Your wipers are not strong enough to scrape off solid ice, which may damage the rubber. If the wipers themselves are icy, using them while frozen may damage the wiper motor.

Don’t leave your car running

Not only does leaving your vehicle running make it easy for auto thieves to steal it, but it may also nullify your insurance if it gets stolen. Additionally, leaving a parked car’s engine running on a public road could result in a fixed penalty notice.

How to Prevent an Icy Windshield

An ounce of prevention goes a long way toward keeping your car’s windshield free of snow and ice.   If you don’t have access to shelter for your vehicle, such as a garage, then you can employ some simple tips to stop your windscreen and windows from freezing up.

Cover your car

Invest in an inexpensive tarp to cover your automobile when it’s parked. Just ensure that you secure it with bungee cords so it doesn’t blow off.

Park your vehicle facing east

If you park your car facing east, Mother Nature will defrost your windshield for you. Because the sun rises in the east, it’ll naturally thaw out your windshield, and you won’t be stuck scraping ice in the cold.

Rub raw onion on your windshield the night before a big freeze

This unusual tip will keep frost from forming on the glass. Cut the onion in two halves and apply it the night before. The oil from the onion will line the windshield with a protective layer that works wonders.

From all of us at Performance Honda, we hope you have a safe winter and that you find these tips for removing snow safely off your windshield helpful. In case your windshield has sustained damage, you’ll want to repair it or replace it straight away. At times, even the most experienced drivers make mistakes while clearing ice from their windshields. From cracks to scratches, we service all windshield issues.

Are you on the hunt for a new Honda car, truck, or SUV before winter arrives? Take a look at some of our new and used car inventory to find a model that fits your lifestyle! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about auto financing or auto service scheduling.
Performance button code

Call Us

Posted in Maintenance