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After a snow storm or freezing rain, you may wake up to a frozen windshield. Removing ice from the windshield can be a hassle, but it is a necessary step before you can drive your car. Luckily, there are several methods for safely and effectively removing ice from auto glass.
Defrost & Remove Ice
Chances are, your car has a defrost setting on the temperature gauge. Turn it on and wait ten or fifteen minutes. Make sure that the glass is heating up slowly, as rapidly changing the temperature can cause your windshield to break. Never pour hot or warm water on your windshield to defrost it, as this can also cause the glass to crack. Pouring cold water is also a bad idea, as it can freeze on the glass and make matters worse. Once the ice has started to melt you can begin removing it with a scraper and brush. Be sure to always scrape horizontally across the glass. Vertically chopping at the glass can cause it to chip and crack. Never use a shovel or knife to remove ice. It is also a good idea to keep an ice scraper in your car during winter months. If your windshield does become damaged while removing ice, there is a terrific auto glass repair Spartanburg SC company that can fix it.
Saltwater can melt ice with a chemical reaction, dissolving the ice and keeping the water from refreezing. Mix water and salt together in a spray bottle and shake or stir until the salt has fully dissolved. Spray the saltwater solution on your car’s windshield and windows. Be sure not to use too much as heavy exposure to salt can damage auto glass. Once the ice starts to dissolve, use a squeegee, brush, or your windshield wipers to wipe away the residue.
Alcohol and Water Solution
Rubbing alcohol and water can also be mixed together to remove ice. Add one-part water to two-parts rubbing alcohol, mix well, and fill a spray bottle. Spray liberally on your windshield and auto glass and watch the ice melt! Be sure to brush any remaining ice or reside off the glass before driving away.
If the homemade solutions aren’t strong enough, there are several commercial de-icer products that can be found at any car supply store. These products work well but can be expensive, so try the homemade formulas first. If you live in an area with consistently bad winter weather, a commercial de-icer may be a good investment.
Hard water spots form when mineral deposits like magnesium and calcium in water are left behind from sprinklers and car washes. These minerals are alkali chemicals so they require an acid to remove them. Luckily, many household items are acidic and can be used to clean water spots.
Mix equal parts water and vinegar and fill a spray bottle. White distilled vinegar works best, but in a pinch, any kind will do. Spray the vinegar solution on the glass, allow it to soak, and reapply as needed. Meanwhile, soak a towel in the same solution and spread it over the glass, scrubbing gently. Allow the vinegar on the glass to soak in and reapply if it seems to be drying out. Spray the area one more time with the vinegar solution or just plain water, then use a dry towel or squeegee to remove the water.
If you don’t have any vinegar in your kitchen, lemon juice will work the same way. You can either rub a cut lemon directly on the surface of the glass, or make a solution of lemon juice and water and mix in a spray bottle.
If all else fails, applying toothpaste to water spots can be an effective way to remove them. Toothpaste is designed to remove build-up, so it makes sense that it would work on mineral deposits. Simply add a little water and apply the paste to the glass and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Then scrub lightly with a toothbrush or sponge, wash it away with water, and then use a glass cleaner to remove any residue.