How To Scrape Ice Off Of Your Windshield To Prevent Cracks

When the cold weather hits, the inevitable happens – ice collects on your car windshield and windows, piling up and freezing so hard it becomes almost impossible to remove. This poses several inconveniences, mainly if you are in a hurry. Thick ice takes a while to scrape off, and the harder it has frozen, the more difficult it is to chip away.

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Best Ways To Remove Ice & Avoid Windshield Damage

In this article, we discuss the proper ways to remove ice from your windshield. By following these steps, you can prevent causing any damage to your auto glass.

Use Your Car To Remove Ice Off Of Your Windshield

Warming up your car will help de-ice the windows and windshields from inside. While this may not totally melt the ice if it is too thick, the layer of warmth between the window surfaces and the ice will make it easier to scrape off.

How To Do This Safely:

  • Check the tailpipe: Make sure it is clear of any blockage before starting your car. A blocked tailpipe will cause carbon monoxide emission to be pushed back into the interior of the car and fill it up. Carbon monoxide is dangerous when inhaled, so make sure it is released from the car.
  • Start the car: If it has a defroster, turn it on using the highest setting. The defrost mode will help melt the ice on the rear and front windshields. Keep the blower on at full blast for several minutes.

car defrost

Use A De-Icer On Your Windshield

A de-icer contains a chemical compound that reacts with water. When the de-icer comes in contact with ice, water molecules fail to bond which prevents freezing. A de-icing spray acts as a solvent that dissolves ice and snow. This solution may contain inorganic salts such as calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, or even common table salt. It may also contain organic compounds and/or a type of alcohol, including methanol and ethylene glycol.

Apply the de-icer spray on top of the ice layer and let it sit for a few minutes. The de-icer will help break down the ice, so it is easier to scrape off. The combination of the heat from the defroster and the de-icer spray will quickly melt the ice and shorten your waiting time. Allow the ice to melt away. You could also help the process along by lightly chipping on the ice to break it further. This works well for very thick layers.

Make Sure You Use The Right Tool When Scraping Ice Off Of Your Windshield

Using the right tool to finish the job is as important as using the right solution to melt the ice. The wrong tool can easily scratch the windshield and windows. Use plastic ice scrapers that are designed specifically for use on car windshields. The bristles on the brush must be soft to avoid damaging the fiberglass. Lightly but firmly scrape off the ice from the windshield and the windows. Once the layers of ice have been removed, use a squeegee or a soft, dry absorbent cloth to wipe off any moisture and de-icer residue.

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Do Not Use Your Windshield Wipers

Car wipers are not built to scrape off ice from your windshield. Do not attempt to use wipers on an ice-covered windshield. The frozen ice can damage the wipers by wearing down the rubber and exposing the metallic components. If the wiper blades are frozen, turning on the wipers will damage the wiper motor.
hot water to remove ice

Avoid Hot Water

Pouring hot water over a frozen windshield may be tempting because it makes sense but it can damage the windshield glass permanently. An ice-covered windshield has a very low temperature. Pouring hot – or worse, boiling – water will cause a sudden change in the temperature of the glass. Glass molecules tend to expand due to heat, but since the windshield is still exposed to ice, the molecules will simply contract just as quickly. This can cause the windshield to crack. Avoid using lukewarm water as well.

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If you are in a hurry…

Scrape off as much ice as you can while letting the car warm up. If you have more time, allow the car to warm up gradually while brushing off top-layer snow. In about 10 minutes, the ice will have melted well enough to be scraped off safely.


Call Liberty AutoGlass When You Need Windshield Repairs & Replacements

Call Liberty AutoGlass when you need an experienced and dependable auto glass shop in the area. Our team of licensed auto glass technicians can provide auto glass services, including windshield chip or crack repairs, with excellent results. Liberty AutoGlass also works with all major insurance companies. We can handle your claim from start to finish.

The shop has certified technicians with the skills and experience to deal with any related problems. You can expect honest assessments, reasonable rates, and exceptional services. Call Liberty AutoGlass to schedule a free estimate today.

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