Winter is closing in and there is an unmistakable chill in the air, that can only mean that it’s time to get to grips with how to defrost your windscreen quickly and effectively. At Autoglass, we know that the change in the seasons means tackling a frozen windscreen becomes an inevitable, unwelcome inclusion in your morning routine. With the help of this handy guide, defrosting your car windshield will be easier than ever before.
Dangers of Changing Temperature
Before we discuss how to defrost your windscreen, it’s important to take a moment to consider some of the issues the change in weather is liable to cause. Your windshield is designed to protect you from weather conditions, flying debris and serious injury in the case of collision. Good quality, correctly installed windshields are surprisingly sturdy. So, it may come as something of a surprise how vulnerable they can be to sudden temperature shifts. Your windscreen can expand and contract depending on its exposure to different temperatures. This exposure to varying weather conditions and their associated affects on your windscreen can result in lasting damage. Read our article about 5 common causes of windscreen damage.
The best way to avoid this damage to your windscreen is to avoid exposing it to radical temperature changes, this is true even when dealing with an already frozen windshield. When you defrost your windshield or rear window – avoid applying boiling water directly to the glass, as this may damage it.
If not done correctly, defrosting your car windscreen can cause major damage. But, sunnier weather conditions can also prove problematic for windshields. You should avoid leaving your car parked in direct sunlight on very hot days. It is also wise to avoid turning up your air conditioning too high if the car’s interior has become particularly hot.
How to Defrost your Windscreen and Rear Window
Firstly, to avoid damaging your windscreen, you should only apply lukewarm water when you defrost your windscreen. You will find that the amount of water required will depend on the size of the windshield or rear window that needs defrosting. Apply the warmed water to the frozen area by pouring or splashing it directly onto your windscreen. The ice should quickly soften and melt to the point where it can be wiped away with a cloth, glove or your windscreen wiper.
Applying boiling water to your windscreen not only risks damaging the glass. Believe it or not, in extremely cold conditions, hot water can freeze faster than cooler water. So, if you apply hot water to a frozen windshield, you may find it refreezing again soon.
With De-icing Spray:
There are a number of chemical sprays for defrosting your windscreen available on the market. You will find no shortage of windscreen defrosting sprays to choose from at most garages/motor factors/ hardware stores.
If you would rather not apply chemicals to your windscreen or shell out for some store-bought de-icing spray, there is also the option of making your own at home. Mix 1/3 of a cup of water with 2/3 of a cup rubbing alcohol to produce a defrosting spray yourself. Due to rubbing alcohol’s freezing point of -128°C, this spray should clear icy windscreens with ease.
You can also use certain, homemade de-icing sprays as a preventative measure. Mix 2/3 parts white vinegar to ⅓ part water. Spray this mixture on your windshield before the temperature drops in the evening. This solution should prevent your windshield and rear window icing up so you can avoid having to defrost your car windshield in the morning.
Like with so many things – the best way to deal with defrosting your windscreen is to avoid having it freeze over in the first place. At night, cover your windscreen with some cardboard, you can secure it in place with your wipers. This protective layer should curtail some of the cold weather’s affect on your windshield. Don’t forget to cover your wing mirrors too. In the evening, you can cover your mirrors with plastic bags that you have held in-place with elastic bands. This little bit of forethought will take some of the struggle out of your winter commute.
Although, this tip may be of little help to those who depart before the sun has risen in the morning. We recommend that you park your car facing East so, as the sun rises, your windscreen may defrost naturally.
Nobody likes to start a winter morning with a credit card in-hand, manically scratching away at a frozen windshield. We hope that these tips have managed to take some of that undue struggle out of these brisker mornings. If you do sustain damage as a result of a drop in temperature as always we are here to help. Use our useful guide to discover whether you need a windscreen replacement.
Be sure to check the Autoglass blog fortnightly to keep informed of articles just like this one. Stay wrapped up and drive safe!