One of the most annoying occurrences that happen during the winter season is when you wake up to go to work or out with your family and discover the windshield of your car frozen. It’s frustrating because it leaves you with a lot of uncertainties — do you turn on the heat?
Does your car have a defroster? What if heat is not an option? What are some quick and effective ways how to de-ice a windshield? Here are 4 easy tricks how to defrost windshield without heat:
- Spray alcohol and water mixture
- Plastic scraper or a soft brush
- Use a de-icing product
- Portable vehicle defroster
Simple Steps How To Defrost Windshield Without Heat
1. Pour alcohol and water mixture
Today’s weatherman, Ken Weathers (yes, that’s the weatherman’s real name) shared a recipe for a DIY de-icing mixture that can defrost your windshield in seconds. Here are the simple steps to try this simple trick:
- Mix ⅓ part water and ⅔ part isopropyl or rubbing alcohol together
- Pour into a spray bottle
- Spray the solution onto your windshield
Now watch how the solution defrosts the windshield without heat and scraping. Here’s a simple explanation for this trick – “Water freezes at 0°C (32°F), while isopropyl freezes at -89°C (-128°F). Water will freeze during winter than isopropyl, so that’s why isopropyl won’t freeze fast and you can always bring a bottle inside your car.
Related: Windshield Wiper Fluid Not Coming Out? 4 Easy DIY Fix
2. Use plastic scraper
Snowbrush and ice scrapers are popular ways how to remove ice on windshields without using a defroster. However, you need the right scraper for the job. The most popular model scrapes the ice off of your windshield with a plastic or rubber blade. This works well for small amounts of ice but isn’t ideal for large amounts of snow. If that’s what you’re dealing with, look for a larger scraper with an edge to it.
You can use a scraper on the windshield, car windows, and hoods. They can also be useful on curved surfaces like fenders and bumpers. Many models have a long handle for use on high vehicles like trucks and SUVs.
If you don’t have a scraper, use a credit card or any other thin piece of plastic you have in the car that will help scrape away ice from the windshield. Pull off any remaining ice with your gloved hands – use caution not to damage the glass by scratching it too hard with your glove.
Don’t use metal objects as scrapers (or anything else!). Metal may seem like an obvious choice when it comes time to scrape off that stubborn frost, but it’s not a good idea to reach for.
3. Use a De-Icing Product
The cheapest ones are DIY solutions using household items like rubbing alcohol and water. However, there are plenty of commercial de-icers available on the market. They are easy to use, just spray the liquid on the windshield and wait for it to melt the ice. The chemicals contained in these solutions also prevent the ice from forming again. The commercial de-icers are not recommended to be used on a car’s body and paint, as they can damage it.
Related: How to Make Your Own Windshield Wiper Fluid
There are hundreds of ice-melting products available on the market. Some are more effective than others, but the most important thing is to remove the ice from your windshield as soon as possible. When choosing a product, look for one that contains glycol to prevent future icing and corrosion. Here are some de-icing solutions available off the shelf:
If you live in a climate where frost is common, you should keep a product like Rain-X® De-Icer Windshield Washer Fluid in your car to easily remove frost from your car windshield. This formula starts melting ice as soon as it hits the surface of your windshield – even at temperatures as low as -27° F. It also contains wash additives that help clear away road film and other dirt from your windshield for better visibility while driving. When mixed with water, this de-icer formula can be used in any vehicle washer reservoir.
4. Buy a portable vehicle defroster
Finally, here’s another trick to defrost windshields without heat. you can buy a portable vehicle defroster if the car has no heat or defroster. It’s dangerous to drive with frosted glass and fogged windows, so you’ll want to keep your car’s interior warm while you’re driving.
A portable defroster is a small, portable appliance that plugs into a car’s cigarette lighter and blows warm air onto the frosted area. The unit also has a scoop and scraper built into one end, which is useful for quick cleanups of water-damaged items like walls and floors.
The big advantage of the portable defrosters overrunning the air conditioner is that you can use them in all seasons — even in cold weather if you’ve got the heat cranked up inside your vehicle. The downside is they’re only effective at removing ice and frost from the windshield, so they’re less helpful for clearing fogged windows, which require more power.
The most famous brand is the portable car fan by FOB Protect. Plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter socket and switch to heat or cool and it will finish heating up your engine in 60 seconds. This car fan heater will help you solve the problem of fog and frost covering your car’s windshield and blocking your view so you can get on the road and get to your destination.
Can you pour hot water to defrost a windshield?
The American Automobile Association (AAA) does not recommend using hot water on a windshield. It can crack or shatter glass due to the sudden temperature change, according to an article from AAA.
Here’s how the article from AAA puts it: “While pouring hot water over a car’s windshield during low temperatures might seem like a good idea, it’s one of the worst things you can do, according to AAA. Hot water can cause your windshield to crack or shatter from the sudden temperature change.”
Instead, the AAA recommends starting the engine, setting the heater to “defrost”, adjusting the airflow to recirculate, and moving the temperature control to full heat. As the ice melts, drivers can use a plastic scraper, windshield wipers, rubber squeegee, or a soft brush to remove any remaining ice off of the glass.
Related: How Long Can You Drive With a Cracked Windshield? Top 4 Risks
If you have no defroster or heat in your car then, by all means, try these easy tricks. Using a mixture of alcohol and water sprayed on the windshield is one of the simplest ways to defrost windows but it is not effective in extreme cold. Scraping off ice and frost with a scraper or soft brush is an old-fashioned method that may work but is time-consuming.
Special de-icing products can help clear away slippery residue quickly, but they cost more than many people want to spend. A portable vehicle defroster is a wise investment for your winter needs. Using an air blower or de-icer, you can get hot air to flow over your windshield and speed up the thawing process.