If you park your vehicle outside during winter, you’re no doubt familiar with the tedious task of scraping ice and snow from your windshield. Something you may not know, however, is that improper ice scraper use can damage your windshield, despite the fact that ice scrapers aren’t inherently hazardous to your auto glass.


At Only 1 Auto Glass, aside from delivering excellent service, one of our primary goals is to help Twin Cities drivers like you take great care of their windshields. Below, we’re sharing a few helpful tips to help you prevent scraper-induced auto glass damage and windshield repairs.


Always Use Plastic Tools to Remove Ice and Snow

When your windows have a thick layer of ice and snow, using a metal tool to remove the buildup might sound like a smart idea. After all, metal is sturdier than plastic, so it’ll get the job done faster, right? Perhaps — but it’ll also damage your windshield in the process.


Anytime you need to remove ice from your auto glass, a plastic scraper is the only suitable tool for the job. Since these tools are designed for the sole purpose of removing snow and ice, they’re crafted to prevent glass damage during use.


Using a metal tool or any type of hard object that’s not designed for ice removal can cause deep etches in your auto glass that can only be remedied by a windshield repair specialist. If you have a tough time removing thick ice from your auto glass, allow your vehicle to defrost for 10-15 minutes before you attempt scraping. 


Use Light to Moderate Pressure While Scraping

Even if you’re not aware of them, your windshield may contain tiny rock chips or even hairline cracks. These types of minor damage can easily grow more severe under pressure, which is why it’s so important to avoid excessively forceful scraping when removing ice from your windshield.


To keep your vehicle out of the windshield repair shop, never use more than moderate pressure to scrape ice from your auto glass. If you can’t manually remove the buildup without really exerting yourself, run your defrost for a few minutes to loosen the ice. After your vehicle has a chance to warm up, you should be able to remove the ice with minimal scraper pressure.


Avoid Tapping Ice-Covered Glass With Scraping Tools 

If you’re in a hurry to get on the road and your windshield is covered in a thick layer of ice, it can be tempting to take any measures necessary to remove the buildup. But generally, ice removal shortcuts put your auto glass at risk for damage.


While there are a couple of quick hacks for removing ice buildup safely, pounding on the ice with a scraper tool isn’t one of them. Whatever you do, never try to break apart a thick layer of ice on your windshield by striking it with anything — even plastic tools can cause damage.


Because auto glass slowly contracts when it’s exposed to prolonged cold weather, your windshield is more vulnerable during winter than any other time of the year. When you forcefully and repeatedly strike the ice on top of that glass, it’s possible to chip or even crack your windshield. 


To avoid a trip to the windshield repair shop, always remove ice as gently as possible. You might be running late, but if you break your windshield, that’ll throw an even bigger wrench in your schedule. If you’re in a major hurry and need to remove windshield ice as quickly as possible, check out our blog, 5 Safe Alternatives to Using an Ice Scraper on Your Windshield, for some helpful tips.


Need Windshield Repair in the Twin Cities? Rely on Only 1 Auto Glass

When you need prompt, professional windshield repair or replacement, get in touch with our team at Only 1 Auto Glass. We have 15 locations throughout the Twin Cities metro and offer mobile auto glass repair service for your convenience. To get a free estimate, schedule an appointment, or learn more about our services, call us today at 651-789-1111 or send us a message, and we’ll be in touch!