If you’ve lived in Minnesota long enough, you’ve no doubt experienced it: you rush out the door with barely enough time to commute to work, see a layer of ice on the windshield, reach for your ice scraper, but it’s nowhere to be found! What do you do next? How on earth will you make it work on time? At Only 1 Auto Glass, we know this scenario happens to just about everyone at some point. So, to help you safely get that ice off your windshield and make it to work on time, we’ve detailed five safe ice scraper alternatives for when you’re in a pinch.
Let Your Vehicle Warm Up
The absolute safest method of removing ice from your windshield without an ice scraper is your trusty defrost setting. Though, if you’re short on time, this method might not be your quickest bet. However, if you can remember to pop outside for two minutes while you’re getting ready to leave, your vehicle will be ice free when you’re ready to head out the door!
To safely melt the ice on all of your vehicle’s windows, start your vehicle and turn the defroster on a low to medium setting. Even if you’re in a hurry, avoid cranking the setting all the way up because the sudden temperature shift inside your vehicle can negatively impact your auto glass. Allow 15-20 minutes for your windows to defrost completely, and use your wipers to remove any remaining condensation.
Rubbing Alcohol & Water
It’s true—rubbing alcohol will quickly dissolve ice buildup on your windshield, so if you’re in a rush, this method is a safe alternative to using an ice scraper. Keep in mind, however, that rubbing alcohol does freeze when temperatures drop below 5°F, so if you’re dealing with sub-zero temperatures, save this method for another day. Here’s how to melt windshield ice with rubbing alcohol:
● Fill a spray bottle with two parts rubbing alcohol and one part room temperature water.
● Remove any snow buildup from your windshield before you begin spraying the solution.
● Spray the alcohol-water solution directly on the ice buildup.
● Allow one to two minutes for the alcohol to melt the ice fully.
● Use your windshield wipers to remove the remaining sludgy snow from the glass.
Salt & Water
The county spreads salt on the road to melt ice, so why not try it out on your windshield, too? No, you shouldn’t just sprinkle salt on your windshield and wait for the ice to melt, but mixing salt and water can get the job done quickly. Keep in mind, though: Heavy salt use on your auto glass can cause damage, so try to use this method only if you’re in a tight spot. Here’s how to do it:
● Mix one tablespoon of salt with two cups of room temperature water in a spray bottle.
● Remove any snow buildup from your windshield before spraying the solution.
● Spray the saltwater solution directly on the ice.
● Allow several minutes for the ice to begin to thaw.
● Use your windshield wipers to finish the job.
This method won’t work well unless there’s very little ice buildup on your windshield. Because a credit card is quite thin, it cannot withstand the amount of force necessary to remove thicker ice buildup. However, if there’s a light layer of frost or ice, a credit card will get the job done—it’ll just require more time than other methods. To remove ice from your auto glass with your credit card, approach the job much as you would with an ice scraper: just slowly chip away at it until it’s gone.
Vinegar & Water Spray
This method won’t remove existing ice from your windshield, but vinegar’s high acidity is a great preventative tool when you already know your ice scraper has gone missing. To inhibit ice formation on your windshield, here’s what you need to do:
● Mix three parts apple cider vinegar with one part water.
● Spray your clean windshield with the solution before you head inside. You can do this in a parking lot or in your driveway to prevent ice formation, whether you’re at work or home.
● Vinegar’s natural acidity will prevent ice from forming on your auto glass while your vehicle sits outside.
One thing to note: If your auto glass has existing chips or cracks, acid can cause further damage. Until you have your auto glass repaired, avoid using this method.
Only 1 Auto Glass: Premier Twin Cities Auto Glass Repair
At Only 1 Auto Glass, we know winter can be tough on your windshield, which is why we do our best to help you take great care of your auto glass. If you have existing rock chips or cracks in any of your vehicle’s windows, don’t hesitate to contact our team for prompt, professional auto glass repair. Don’t allow those cracks to grow out of control when temperatures drop! To learn more about our auto glass repair services or to schedule your appointment, give our team call at 651-789-1111, or feel free to message us on our contact page.