With a big winter storm just around the corner, the D.C. area is bracing for a battering of snow, ice, and freezing rain. It’s tempting to snuggle-up at home when the weather outside is frightful, but that’s not always possible. Sometimes, you must get out and brave the cold. You lace on your boots, double-wrap your scarf, layer on your coats, and then head out to your car…which is covered in snow and ice.
If you’ve parked your car outside during a chilly winter’s night, there’s a good chance that an icy windshield, frozen locks, and foggy windows await you in the morning. You could spend a half hour scraping and chipping-away at ice, or letting your car warm-up with the engine running and defroster on, but there’s a better way. Avoid frozen fingers and save on time (and gas!) by employing some of these handy tricks of the trade to get you on the road quickly and safely.
De-ice your car windows in a jiffy
Is your car windshield covered in stubborn, stuck-on ice? Put down the ice scraper and instead reach for a bottle of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol. Mix one part water with two parts isopropyl alcohol in a clean spray bottle. Spray the solution lightly over the entire windshield. The ice should melt away instantly.
Even better? You can prep this solution in advance and leave it in your car for when you need it in a hurry. Isopropyl alcohol has a freezing point of -128 °F, so you can leave this mixture in your car and use it whenever you need.
Just remember: You’ll want to protect your vehicle’s paint job, so only spray a light mist of the solution and rinse off your car later if possible. Sometimes, the melting ice and snow will do this for you. A small amount of rubbing alcohol on your paint won’t hurt, but it’s best not to leave a lot on for a long period.
De-fog your car windows fast
A lot of moisture in the air can cause your car windows to fog excessively. Wondering how to defrost your car windows stat? Here’s how to get rid of extra fog and moisture the fastest.
- Turn on your vehicle and crank the heater up all the way. Hot air holds more moisture than cold air, so the heat will pull moisture from window surfaces.
- Turn your fan on high. More circulation is better.
- If you have a defogger or defroster button for the front or back windows, turn it on.
- Press the A/C button, which activates the coils in your system. The fan then becomes a makeshift dehumidifier, drying the air faster.
- Turn off the air recirculation button. This allows fresh air to enter and exit the vehicle, taking with it the moisture-heavy warm air and replacing it with the dryer cold air.
- Crack your windows, which further facilitates the exchange of warm and cold air.
There you have it! How to defrost your windshield quickly or de-fog your windows during the frigid winter months. Of course, Metro Motor is on hand if you need any help replacing your windshield wiper blades, testing your battery, swapping out your all-season tires for snow tires, and any other vehicle prep or maintenance to help you get your family and your vehicle safely through winter.
Vehicle care information made available by Metro Motor is presented as helpful advice for general maintenance and should not be construed as instructions for at-home vehicle service. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual and a licensed, professional mechanic for diagnostics and repair.