How to Safely De-Ice Your Vehicle

March 9, 2024

Car owners in the Cleveland area are no strangers to icy windows and windshields. Every morning in the winter, we wake up to cars coated in tiny little crystals. Ice can be beautiful, but not when it means waking up an extra 30 minutes earlier to give yourself time to scrape without being late for work. Luckily, we know how to quickly, easily, and safely de-ice your vehicle. Time to hit snooze!

When de-icing a car, never use hot water to try to melt the ice. When hot liquid comes in contact with a cold solid, the solid rapidly expands. Translation: your frozen windshield will crack and shatter. However, on days that are at or just below the freezing point, using lukewarm water to slowly melt the ice may prove effective. The water will turn the ice to a soft slush, which is much easier to remove with a scraper than a big sheet of ice. Be forewarned: if the temperature is significantly below freezing, this method could backfire. The warm water may instantly ice as it runs over the surface of your car, freezing your windows and doors shut.

You may find you prefer a de-icing fluid. Commercial de-icing fluids are usually made from isopropyl alcohol because it has a lower freezing point than water, which helps melt ice from windows. An alternative is to make your own: one cup of rubbing alcohol with three drops of dish soap shaken in a spray bottle will work, as well as a solution of three parts vinegar to one part water.

Here at your local Northeast Ohio Rad Air Complete Car Care & Tire Centers, we personally recommend using the windshield defroster. Turning on the defroster before you start scraping will help loosen some of the ice and make scraping easier. We can inspect your vehicle and ensure that the defroster is working properly. Our customer service team is here to answer any questions or respond to any concerns, and you can schedule your appointment online today.