Windscreen defrosting trick can cause ‘lasting damage’

Genius life hack shows you how to de-ice car windscreen

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With winter fast approaching, drivers are waking up to frosted windows and windscreen every morning before they leave for their commute. Many will have heard of some of the most common defrosting techniques, but attempting alternative methods could see drivers make mistakes.

Some drivers will still be reeling from the Met Office’s yellow weather warnings issued yesterday, with most of southern England, Wales and the West Midlands being battered by rain and wind.

A spokesperson for said: “Trying to scrape the windscreen of a vehicle on a cold and frosty morning can be a huge inconvenience especially before setting off to work or school.

“Every year it is almost guaranteed that drivers will use their credit card or an old CD to clear the snow from their cars, but this can cause lasting damage to a vehicle. 

“Making sure the windscreen is covered with tarp or some sort of sheet can help to ease the ice build up. And there are a number of homemade solutions that can be made that act as a great alternative to de-icer.”


When rushing to get to work in the morning, it’s easy to reach for the nearest flat object – like a bank card or CD – to scrape the ice or frost off the windscreen.

However, anything other than a car ice scraper can lead to a severely scratched windscreen, especially when using short, powerful strokes to chip the ice away.

A quick Google search shows that motorists can buy an ice scraper for as little as £1 from Halfords and Blacks, and even credit card-sized scrapers for £1.50 from Morrisons.

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Salt water

Drivers can make a solution using water and a teaspoon of salt and use a misting spray bottle to spray it over the windscreen.

If people don’t have a spray bottle, they can buy one for as little as 70p from The Range. Alternatively, they can use an old towel to spread it over the windscreen.

However, salt could damage the windscreen, as well as collect around the washer fluid nozzles. Avoid spraying the paintwork too, as salt might corrode the metal.

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Although boiling water may seem like the quickest method to clear a windscreen in a rush, it can leave drivers with larger problems than frost.

It can cause the glass to crack due to thermal shocking because of the sudden shift in temperatures from freezing to boiling.

Road users can leave 10 to 15 minutes before setting out to allow time for the car to defrost instead of damaging the vehicle in a mad panic.


While this may seem like the most obvious option for drivers to clear frost or ice, some drivers underestimate the cold temperatures in winter and don’t keep a spare bottle around.

Most de-icers will either be in a can or a spray bottle and have a fast-acting formula to help clear frost from windscreens and windows quickly.

Oftentimes, it is effective at temperatures as low as -20 degrees and helps to prevent re-freezing after clearing it initially.

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