Using De-Icer

Published: 11th January 2010
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Ice scrapers are a tool that almost everyone has in their car at all times to enable them to clear the ice from their windscreens by physically breaking it and rubbing it off with the rubber blade. However this isn't really enough to alone present a comprehensive solution to the problem of icing, the first weakness of course being that you need to stop and get out of the car in order to use it. Other detractors are the fact that it involves fairly difficult manual labour, can take a long time, and make quite a mess. In some cases the ice will be so firmly encrusted onto the glass as to mean you can't scrape it off without damaging the glass and having to call out an auto glass repair or replacement company. The other solution then is de-icer, which is a chemical that comes in a spray can that instantly breaks and melts ice to make it easy to just rub off without even needing the scraper. Windscreen wipers on their own are not enough to remove frost from your windscreen, and the soapy water in the jets is likely to be frozen at this point. However by mixing some de-icer in with the liquid in your bonnet, you can prevent it from freezing and give it ice melting properties of its own. By simply squirting your window and activating the wipers then you can clear most ice while you're still moving (though it's still a good idea to remove as much as you can before you set off in case you find it doesn't work as well as you'd hoped). In some extreme cases your washing solution in the windscreen wipers will still freeze despite the de-icer, but in such situations you can simply spray the can out of the window onto the windscreen. Wind down the driver's seat window and fire the can out onto the top of the windscreen while driving. This will then allow the de-icer to drip down the windscreen as you drive, and you can then use the windscreen wipers to clear any ice that's left. Obviously this can serve as a distraction and will mean you don't have your full attention on the road, however it is certainly preferable to continuing driving without being able to see, and as it's illegal to stop on most motorways it might be the only option.
If you don't happen to have any de-icer to hand, then there are other methods you can use to melt the ice on your windshields, and the most common and possibly most reliable is to use warm water. This will melt the ice on your screen without freezing (as cold water would) or breaking the glass due to the extreme jump in temperature (as boiling hot water would). Use a kettle then to half boil some water then pour it gently over the glass in your car to disperse the ice. From here you will be able to clear the remainder with a cloth or a scraper.

Learn more at auto glass Minneapolis. Author works for windshield repair Minneapolis.

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