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How to de-ice a car

With the weather turning colder and the nights drawing in, it means allocating a bit of extra time in the morning to thaw out the car before you set off. Yes, we’re talking about that annual winter ritual of de-cing the car. Did you know it’s actually illegal – not to mention dangerous – to get behind the wheel unless all your windows are clear. 

Here are our top five tips for de-cing the car quickly and effectively:

Tool up

A can of de-icer and a scraper are still the best method. While some people might favour coating the windscreen with a raw potato or leaving a hot water bottle on the dashboard before bed, the tried and tested way to get best results is a good quality scraper and some de-icer. Avoid using bits of hard cardboard or credit cards – you could end up scratching the screen.

Watch the wipers

If you have automatic wipers, switch them off before starting the car. As the car freezes over, the wipers will too and any sudden movement can damage the blades. Also, don’t leave your wipers on auto or half way across the screen. In fact, on very frosty mornings, it’s often a good idea to lift them off the screen completely.

Boiling water is for tea only!

NEVER pour boiling water over your windscreen or windows. While it will melt the ice the dramatic change in temperature means you could end up cracking the screen. So save the boiling water for a nice warming cuppa before you start the de-icing process.

De-misting is crucial

It’s not just the outside of the car that needs attention. De-misting the inside of the screen is equally important. Don’t think that air conditioning is just for summer either – it helps dry the air and keep the screen clear. Never use your hand to wipe misted up windows either – you’ll leave smeary marks, and could even scratch the screen if you’re wearing jewellery.

Invest in a car with a ‘quick clear’ windscreen

To really make life simple in winter, consider buying a car with a heated ‘quick clear’ windscreen. These used to be only available in Fords thanks to a long-running patent, but they’re now available (often as part of an optional winter pack) on a host of makes and models including Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, Fiat and Hyundai.

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