How to defrost your windscreen safely?

What is the best – and safest way – to defrost an icy windscreen?

Winter is here and that means frosted-up windscreens for some of us even here on the Kapiti Coast.

As you well know – driving with an iced windscreen is extremely dangerous

So let’s find out what is the best way to remove a frosted over windscreen? Here are a few tips.

There are many ways to remove ice from your windscreen. But why not prevent it in the first place?

It goes without saying that starting the car, winding the heat right up and blasting the inside of the windscreen will eventually do the trick. But that takes time and, more importantly, wastes fuel.

A free and far more eco-friendly option is water. Pouring luke-warm or even room temperature water over the windscreen will quickly melt off a light frost, while a heavier one may require a bit of scraping with a plastic scraper (never use a metal one, as it can scratch the glass).

After you have done this, be sure to turn your windscreen wipers on to clear the excess water so that it doesn’t simply refreeze.

What about pouring hot water on the windscreen? While it will melt the ice quickly, the drastic temperature change could cause your windscreen to crack especially if you already have a tiny crack somewhere in it, so best to avoid it.

I recommend buying a small ice scraper, they are cheap to buy and a worthwhile investment if you live in a frost-prone area.

Never use a metal scraper or kitchen utensil, such as a spatula or BBQ brush.

A hard bristled plastic brush may work for you as well.

While commercial de-icer products are available which you can spray onto your windscreen, an easy blend of 2/3 isopropyl alcohol and 1/3 water (some say with a few drops of dishwashing detergent) sprayed on a frozen windscreen will do the trick, followed, again, by some easy scraping and wiper-use.

As a precaution, lift the wipers off the windscreen in the evening, you can easily tilt them up so they don’t stick to the screen overnight.

To prevent ice build-up simply put an old towel or large piece of cardboard over your windscreen the night before.

Easy, really. But just remember what not to do – don’t use hot water, don’t use metal scrapers and don’t just drive with an iced-up windscreen hoping it will eventually melt.