Skip

How do i prevent ice or frost on my car windows
December 13, 2011 8:34 AM   Subscribe

Car De-froster/De-icer?

I live in a cold climate, some days we get ice on my car windows and other days there is just frost. Is there a spray of some sort that I can spray all my windows periodically that will prevent ice and frost build up?
posted by snow_mac to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is my third winter in Minnesota and as far as I can tell, people just use a scraper (mine has a brush on one end to push snow off). You just have to block a little extra time into your routine for doing it. I usually start the car and turn on the defroster before I set about clearing the windows, it helps.
posted by padraigin at 8:52 AM on December 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


No, there's no spray that will stick around long enough to make it worthwhile to pre-treat your vehicle. Airlines would love something like that.

I use one of these scrapers - nicer to use than the plastic types.
posted by exogenous at 8:52 AM on December 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, There is! I'm in the UK, but I'd expect this is available in most places. I bought mine in a local store. Spray it on when you know a frost is due and in the morning, the wipers do all the hard work for you. I also spray a bit on the windscreen washer spray nozzles to keep them from freezing up too.
posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics at 8:54 AM on December 13, 2011


I have read that a vinegar spray is good, but I tried it last winter and it didn't work so well for me.

I just blast the defroster, then use a window scraper. I use a long one with a brush on the end. My neighbor taught me that if you flip your sunshades down it re-directs the defroster's heat back on to your windshield, so it clears much faster. I can get my windshield clear in a minute or two this way.
posted by apricot at 9:01 AM on December 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Carplan stuff that NordyneDefenceDynamics mentions really works. It's a very thick, gloopy liquid that I suspect contains a lot of glycerine. Rather than the frost sticking to the windscreen, it sticks to the preicer, which you can scrape off way more easily. The only downside is that it's water soluble, so if it rains, it would get washed off.

Other than that, I've had success with a thin nylon film sheet pulled tight over the windscreen and held in place with the doors.
posted by Solomon at 9:03 AM on December 13, 2011


After a hard frost I just chuck a couple of buckets of water over my car windows. Works well. Works even better if I remembered to collect them while showering.
posted by flabdablet at 9:03 AM on December 13, 2011


I throw an old towel or blanket over the windshield, closing the corners into the doors to hold it steady. Then in the morning, I can just whip it off for a totally clear windshield. This doesn't help with the other windows, of course, but nothing's perfect, I suppose!
posted by rosa at 9:10 AM on December 13, 2011


Using your wipers to clear frost is a near surefire way to ruin their sharp edge needed to clear rain effectively. The ice tears them up and it is surprising how sharp the edges need to be to do a good job with water.
posted by bz at 9:12 AM on December 13, 2011 [2 favorites]



After a hard frost I just chuck a couple of buckets of water over my car windows. Works well. Works even better if I remembered to collect them while showering.


Yeah, be careful of that. It can break the seals and that ends up being a bit of a pain.


I throw an old towel or blanket over the windshield, closing the corners into the doors to hold it steady. Then in the morning, I can just whip it off for a totally clear windshield. This doesn't help with the other windows, of course, but nothing's perfect, I suppose!


Much better idea.
posted by Elmore at 9:23 AM on December 13, 2011


Be aware that many anti-freeze or de-icing agents are toxic. (Which is why, relatedly, you would never want to spill or dump car radiator anti-freeze fluid outside either.) Anyhow, check ingredients before using one of these products - you might not want to be using something with ethylene or propylene glycol in areas where pets or other animals might come across the residue (which, unfortunately, tastes sweet rather than poisonous). Scraping ice every morning all winter long sucks, but the consequences of shortcuts can suck even more.
posted by aught at 9:28 AM on December 13, 2011


Just to confirm that the CarPlan (aka Tetrosyl) product linked above is 10-30% ethylene glycol (called ethanediol in the UK). Wikipedia has a page mentioning that a "lick" is considered a dangerous dose for a child or pet (versus a mouthful for an adult).

As far as scrapers go, I've heard people enthuse about the IceDozer. I have to admit I myself just get a generic dept store scraper and replace it every couple of years when the edge gets dull. (I live in upstate NY, so the ice can be punishing here - the worst is the thin layer of ice you get from freezing rain or drizzle that's very hard to scrape off.)
posted by aught at 9:44 AM on December 13, 2011


After a hard frost I just chuck a couple of buckets of water over my car windows. Works well. Works even better if I remembered to collect them while showering.

Careful: Pouring warm-to-hot water on an icy windshield can crack it, or make an imperceptible crack large.

I think it isn't so bad to let the car run to warm up before you get going anywhere, anyway, leaving plenty of time to scrape the windows (sometimes inside and out, in my experience). That's just life in Western New York, for me.
posted by Riverine at 10:25 AM on December 13, 2011


This isn't exactly answering your question but remote car starters are not that expensive. It will get the de-icing job gone and give you a nice warm car to climb into. It may not be the most eco-friendly option but, then again, neither is spraying chemicals all over.
posted by scottatdrake at 11:16 AM on December 13, 2011


Prestone makes a de-icing spray, but it doesn't work very well. It melts the frost, but the active ingredient seems to evaporate quickly and you are left with a streaky mess. Maybe combined with a squeegee it would work better?

What I DO recommend heartily is de-icer windshield washer fluid. I LOVE the Rain-X brand. Yes, it costs $3 instead of $1 for the blue juice, but that is a $2 luxury that is well worth it to me.

It also doesn't take too long to let the defogger do its work. Start the car, turn the heat on max and recirculate. The air doesn't have to be hot to work, just a little above freezing to warm up the window.

(I also have a snow brush that has a squeegee on it. Works way better than a scraper on very light frost. Half the time, the windshield is melted by the time I work around the car cleaning the windows.)

(It also helps to just learn to love cleaning off the car. I decided to do that, and it makes it kind of fun. I love cleaning ALL the frost off the windows and ALL the snow off the car now, and secretly feeling superior to the people who drive around with frosty cars.)
posted by gjc at 5:42 PM on December 13, 2011


« Older I am a young and pretty colleg...   |  Is there any scholarship out t... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.


Post