Does Hot Water Work To Defrost The Windshield Fast?

frozen windshield

When you’re in a rush to work, the last thing you want is to deal with ice on your windshield. It’s impossible to drive safely when you can’t see the road. Many will try quick fixes to solve the problem but they might do more harm than good if they choose the wrong methods. For example, some might grab hot water from the kitchen and pour this onto the auto glass. It’s hard to blame people who do this since they are simply aiming to defrost windshield fast. However, experts discourage this method because of the damage that may result.

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The Principle Behind Using Hot Water Work To Defrost The Windshield Fast

cracked windshield

It seems logical enough. Ice is simply water that has cooled below the freezing temperature. Any moisture on the surface of a windshield can freeze overnight during the winter. By heating the ice, it can melt and drip away to reveal the glass that has been hidden behind it. Hot water can do the trick. Boiling water can do it even quicker. When people are in a hurry to leave the house, they might think of this and act first before considering the possible negative consequences. They are simply keen on driving out immediately.

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Why This Method Doesn’t Work And Can Lead To Problems

Melting ice with heat isn’t really the issue. The sudden change in temperature is what people should be concerned about. Ice isn’t the only thing that will feel the heat, after all. The glass will feel it, too. Overnight exposure to cold will place it in a contracted state. It will expand rapidly the moment hot water touches it, then contract again after being cooled by the environment. These physical changes in size may not be noticeable to the naked eye but it can cause cracks to appear on the glass surface due to strain. The hot water may even damage the paint and leave white stains.

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The Proper Way To Defrost Your Windshield Without Causing Damage

Below, we share a few ways to properly defrost your windshield.

1. Use De-icing Spray

Car owners should anticipate the possibility of a frosted windshield when the cold months come. They should stock up on solutions such as a commercial de-icing spray. Just buy them off the shelf for convenience. The chemical compound melts ice while covering the glass surface with a protective layer that prevents frosting. After the initial usage, removing ice should be much easier.

If you have no access to a de-icing product, then make one at home using simple ingredients such as water and rubbing alcohol. Mix them in a 1:2 ratio. Place the mixture in a spray bottle and squeeze the trigger. You can store this in your garage or in your car for quick access. Start spraying from the top and allow the liquid solution to sit for about a minute for it to do its magic. Once the ice has melted, use the wipers to clear the windshield.

2. Start The Engine

car defrost

Another way to solve the problem is to make the car generate heat slowly and wait for the ice to melt by itself. If the vehicle has remote start capability, then activate it. If you need to, then trudge through the snow and start the engine manually. Turn on the heater as well so that the interiors can rise in temperature gradually. This should defrost the windshield in about 10 minutes or so. You need to be more patient with this method but it is far safer than pouring boiling water on the glass. Perhaps you can do it first thing in the morning before breakfast or a bath. Once you’re ready to head out, your car will be ready for you.

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3. Use An Ice Scraper

how to scrape ice off of your windshield

The third method requires brute force. If you don’t have a spray and you can’t afford to wait for the ice to melt, then use an ice scraper to clear the windshield. This should be a permanent fixture in your compartment during winter. When buying one, choose a scraper with a plastic blade. This will be gentler on the glass surface compared to metal blades. You are less likely to cause unsightly scratches with the right tool. In case there is thick snow above the ice layer, consider using a snow brush with soft bristles. Check the handle to ensure good grip and durability.


Always use the safer methods of defrosting your windshield. If you see cracks due to using hot water to melt ice, then contact a professional auto glass shop for windshield repair or replacement. Act fast to prevent further damage to the glass.


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Liberty-Auto-Glass-LogoLiberty AutoGlass is your go-to when you need an experienced and trustworthy auto glass shop in the area. Our team consists of licensed auto glass technicians who can provide the best auto glass services, including windshield replacements, chipped windshield repair, and even more. We also work with all major insurance companies and can handle your claim from beginning to end.

Our shop has certified technicians with the knowledge and experience to deal with any of your problems. You are guaranteed honest assessments, reasonable rates, and exceptional services. Liberty AutoGlass also offers mobile auto glass services. Give Liberty AutoGlass a call to schedule a free estimate today.

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