The key word in our header is ‘properly’. Great damage can be caused to windshields by using ill-advised methods of clearance. Before we consider actions to take when defrosting, it’s worth fully considering one other key step – avoidance. Many drivers don’t appreciate that, sudden or prolonged exposure to quite drastic temperature changes can see a windscreen either contract or expand – causing potential damage over a period of time.
Therefore, taking the time to protect your windshield by parking inside your garage (even if does take a few moments longer) or by investing in a quality cover can be a positive move. As the seasons change, it’s also wise to keep an eye out for the weather forecast and be well-prepared for early or late season frosts. At a pinch, the use of some cardboard, placed under your wipers to keep it in place, can be helpful, if not fully preventative. Wing mirrors can also be protected by the use of plastic bags!
However, if your windshield does need to be defrosted, here are key tips to follow…
The temptation can be to use boiling water to get the job done as quickly as possible. As previously mentioned, sudden temperature changes are not good for the health of your windshield. In fact, boiling water also cools very quickly, and can even end up adding to the problem! Therefore, the key is to use lukewarm water. Pour or splash this directly onto the frozen area, allowing it to melt to a consistency that can then be dealt with using the tools mentioned below.
There are a wide range of professionally-produced sprays available form supermarkets, hardware stores, auto-shops, and the like. However, many people are reluctant to use chemicals on their vehicle, thereby also exposing them to the environment. It is possible to develop a home-made alternative. One such solution is to mix one third of a cup of water with two thirds of rubbing alcohol (which has a freezing point of -128C and that’s well beyond anything we’ll ever experience.
This might be too grand a name for some items you might use. Obviously, careful use of proper windshield scrapers is a given. But you can also use gloves, cloths, other plastic items. The key is to make sure your choices won’t damage the windscreen itself – and using tools to attempt to chip off thick ice is never recommended!
Using a Preventative Spray
We talked earlier about prevention through providing cover. If that is not possible, then you can try creating your own spray to use at night to avoid the morning problems that a heavy frost delivers. One such solution motorists have found to often be effective is to mix one third water with two thirds white vinegar. This is sprayed onto the windshield well before that drop in temperature that night-time (or also freezing daytimes) brings.
Defrosting your windshield, credit card frantically in increasingly frozen hands, is not a great start to any day! By the way, if you are not making an early start, positioning your vehicle facing the rising sun can allow natural processes to help! If you’d like to discuss the protection of your windscreen, then contact our experts at Bama Auto Glass.