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Quickest way to remove ice from your windscreen

All of a sudden we’re experiencing proper winter, which has got us thinking about de-icing our cars. Because it’s time consuming. And if there is a way to get an extra couple of minutes in bed, we’re all ears.

The current situation

The AA ran a study with over 22,700 members and found that around two-thirds (66%) of drivers use a scraper and just under half (45%) use de-icer, or both of them. Good so far. Over 1 in 10 people surveyed (13%) use hot water to clear the ice. Tsk tsk! Whilst hot water might technically be the fasted way to clear ice, you’re also putting your windshield at serious risk of cracking. Plus, if it’s really cold it won’t work anyway – the water will just turn to ice and probably freeze your wipers to the screen good and proper in the process. Not ideal.

As well as pouring a scalding kettle over their windscreen, 12% admit they don’t bother fully removing all the ice. Younger drives (aged 18-24) are far more likely to be guilty of this (20% admit to it) but it really should be avoided; the impaired visibility and increased likelihood of an accident isn’t worth the couple of minutes saved. 

The best method? De-icer!

Spray your de-icer directly onto the windscreen and give it a few seconds to soak in and get to work. Then grab a scraper (far more effective that your gloved hand!) and start unearthing the ice. You might need to repeat this a couple of times in particularly stubborn areas, but you’ll find that with the help of de-icer the whole process is much faster than with just a scraper.

If you want to speed things up, the AA recommend starting the engine and switching on heated rear screen and mirrors and allowing the air-conditioned air to gentle warm the glass. This will make using your scraper and de-icer much more effective.

Pro tip: Don’t leave your wipers in auto if frost and ice is forecast, if your wipers get frozen to the glass your wiper motor could get damaged.

If you are looking to save money, you could also try making your own de-icer. It’s simply a combination of rubbing alcohol with a few drops of dish soap. Just pour into a clean spray bottle, screw the top on and shake a little to combine.

Prevention is best

Of course, technically the fasted way to de-ice is your car is to avoid it in the first place! And don’t worry, you can still lower your risk of ice even if you don’t have a toasty snug garage.

You’ll just need something windscreen sized, like a folded up sheet or piece of cardboard. Place it over the exterior of your windscreen and try and make it sure it is tightly fit with no loose gaps. If there are any pockets, you’re much likely to get ice form.

In the morning it is likely to be damp, so it would be a good idea to line your boot with something waterproof to place it on. Whilst this method should really reduce the usual amount of ice on your windows, the odd spot may still occur. You can quickly rid this by spot-scraping of any sneaky bits of ice, which is far quicker than trying to get ice off your entire windshield! 

published: 02/02/2016 09:25:30

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