Top tips for de-icing your car

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 2 years ago

4 min read

  • Advice
  • tips
Man scraping Windscreen

Bad weather is fast approaching, so make sure you're prepared with the WhoCanFixMyCar top tips for de-icing your car

The temperature is finally starting to plummet, with snow forecast in some areas of the UK next week. If you fail to clear your windscreen of ice and snow, you could end up with a £100 fine and three points on your licence, so don’t get caught out by the bad weather - check out our dos and don'ts for de-icing your car below!

The Do's

Do stock up on the essentials

Buying a bottle of de-icer is one of those things that can be easily forgotten or overlooked, but having one on hand will seriously speed up the process of de-icing. You’ll also need an ice scraper - ideally one that’s designed to do the job rather than a random object you find in the glove box!

Top Tip: If you don't have any de-icer to hand, you can make your own using a half-and-half mix of water and vinegar!

Do turn on your engine and air con/blowers

Make sure the temperature is set as high as possible so it melts any ice and snow quickly. If your car has air conditioning, now’s a good time to use it - it will help to remove any moisture from the air (helping to de-mist your car in the process). 

Do use a blanket 

This is a new trick that’s recently been popularised by TikTok users. Simply leave a blanket covering your windscreen overnight, making sure that the fabric is secured by your windscreen wipers, then remove it the next morning when you need to use the car. 

Do park strategically

If you’re able to, try to park your car so that the windscreen is facing east. That way, when the sun rises it will start melting any frost or ice that’s built up throughout the night. 

And the Don'ts

Don’t pour boiling water on your windscreen

This might seem like the obvious solution, but pouring boiling water on your windscreen can actually do more harm than good. In fact, even using lukewarm water poses a risk to the glass. This is because glass expands quickly when it gets warm, and it will contract just as quickly when it cools down thanks to the cold air, making it crack. Not to mention the fact that the water will re-freeze!

Don’t ‘porthole’

Portholing refers to the process by which some drivers clear only a small portion of their windscreen so they can see through it, rather than the whole thing. This could get you into trouble with the police if you’re caught as it still counts as driving with an obscured windscreen. 

Don’t use your windscreen wipers too soon

Try to avoid using your windscreen wipers until you’ve cleared the majority of ice off the windscreen. If they are frozen in place, turning them on could damage them.

Don't use your hands to wipe windows

It can be tempting to do this, especially if you don't have a cloth immediately to hand, but it will only cause problems in the long run by leaving greasy smears on the glass. Instead, store a lint-free absorbent cloth with your de-icer and scraper and that should do the trick.

Want to read more like this? Check out our handy hacks every driver should know and how to make sure you're driving legally in winter.