How to Properly Remove Ice from your Car Windscreen

For many people, removing ice from the car windscreen is part of the normal morning routine in Irish winter months. It means getting up five minutes earlier every morning (or getting into work five minutes late), but you have no choice – most of the time when there is ice on the windscreen you simply cannot drive your car until it is clear.

There are several methods of clearing ice, however. That leaves the question – what method is the most effective and which should you use? Here is what the experts say at major motoring organisations.

Best Method

There is actually only one safe and effective way to remove ice from your car windscreen. You need a proper ice scraper and a can of de-icer. You can use each separately rather than together but together is the most effective method.

The process is simple – you spray the de-icer over the entire windscreen. This will start to melt the ice. You then use the scraper to scrape off the ice, particularly the ice that the de-icer doesn’t penetrate.

What You Shouldn’t Do

Most of the other methods of removing ice from your windscreen fall into the category of things you should avoid. This includes using other items to scrape ice from the window. Commonly used examples include credit cards and CD cases. They can work in that they often do effectively remove the ice, but you might scratch your windscreen in the process. It is much safer to use a specially made scraper.

Another thing you shouldn’t so is to boil the kettle and pour the water over the windscreen to melt the ice. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, boiling water might make your windscreen crack. Secondly, the water will inevitably end up on the ground and may then freeze, making the ground slippery and dangerous.

Another technique that many people try is to use your windscreen wipers to remove the ice. This can be effective if you have de-icer in your screen wash but you will probably damage the wiper blade in the process. That is inconvenient – more inconvenient than standing outside for a couple of minutes scraping off the ice. In addition, a set of wiper blades will probably be more expensive to buy than a scraper.

Simply sitting in the car with the engine running and the heating blasting is not a good idea either. It is a technique which takes a long time, but there are other issues with this method too, i.e. it wastes fuel, it is damaging to the environment (because of the extra emissions of running your car when you are not actually driving), and it adds to the wear of your engine.

In addition, it is important to remember at this time of year to never leave your car unattended while removing ice from your windscreen. A common scenario is turning the car on and letting it warm up inside while you finish getting ready, or going back inside the house to get something to remove the ice from your windscreen while the car is running. Car thieves are known to look out for this behaviour, so you might find your car is gone when you get back – probably along with your house keys if they are on the same key fob as your car key.

Finally, don’t drive anywhere until the ice is fully removed from your windscreen as ice greatly reduces your visibility. It is also sensible to remove the ice from your side and rear windows too.

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