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Dealing with a frozen car: how to de-ice a car in 4 simple steps

Don't let the winter weather freeze today's plans! Find out how to de-ice your car easily, with our step-by-step instructions.

Updated

how to deice a car: deicing a car windscreen

Key steps

  • Turn your car on and allow it to idle.
  • Speed up the melting process using a solution of saltwater or rubbing alcohol and water.
  • As it melts, use a squeegee to wipe away residue.
  • Never use hot water as this could break glass.
  • Ensure your exhaust is clear of blockages.

Has the onset of winter left you battling a frozen car each morning? Well, worry no more! In this article, we'll show you the best way to de-ice your car, including step-by-step instructions.

Don't have time to deal with a frozen car in the mornings? Cover your car with a tarp or sheet. Tie it down to make sure there are no gaps.

How to de-ice your car, step by step

With the following four steps we’ll show you how to de-ice a car.

  1. Firstly, you need to start your car. Allow it to idle, and warm up the car. Select the defrost setting on the temperature gauge if your car has one.
  2. Leave it for at least 15 minutes.
  3. The best way to defrost cars is to apply a solution to the ice to speed up the melting process.
    • Spray your car with a saltwater solution. Make sure you take care to only spray it lightly on glass, as salt can cause damage to glass surfaces.
    • Mix a solution of 2-parts rubbing alcohol and 1-part water. Spray it onto the ice.
    • If your homemade solutions fail, try using a commercial de-icer.
  4. Once the ice begins to melt, use a squeegee to wipe away the residue, clearing windows, headlights, and more of ice.

Important dos and don’ts of how to defrost cars

You’ve now learned the best way to de-ice a car, but you should also make sure you take into account the following important dos and don’ts:

  • DO ensure you clear the exhaust, ensuring that there are no blockages such as ice, snow or other materials. This will prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • DO keep an ice scraper in the car throughout the winter months.
  • DO consider covering your windshield (use tarp or a sheet!) to prevent ice build-up.
  • DO make sure you keep your car clean, to make it easier to de-ice the surface without causing damage. For advice on this, use our guide to how to clean a car.
  • DO NOT use warm, hot, or boiling water. This could break the glass.
  • DO NOT leave salt on your car glass as this could cause damage to the glass surface.

Hopefully, our tips on how to defrost your car will help you get ready to leave on time, even on cold winter mornings!

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Originally published