How to correctly de-ice your car this winter

Always use a proper ice scraper, however tempting it is to use a credit card [Photo: Getty]
Always use a proper ice scraper, however tempting it is to use a credit card. (Getty Images)

As Jon Snow would say, ‘winter is coming’, and we’re definitely feeling the chill this month.

While the frosty mornings might look Insta-pretty, your frozen windscreen is not so ideal, particularly as you can guarantee you’ll have to deal with it on a day when you’re also running late.

In the search for a speedy solution many of us will turn to the trusty kettle and fling boiling water over the glass.

But, turns out that’s not a great idea.

Ditto using your credit card to be free of the frost.

Thankfully there are ways to effectively and quickly remove frost from your screen without causing damage or forking out for an expensive de-icer.

READ MORE: Is it legal to leave your car running while defrosting your windows?

What you shouldn’t do

Use boiling water

Research by Halfords, which polled 1,600 motorists about their winter motoring habits, a whopping half of all motorists have used a kettle of hot water to defrost their car windscreen.

But that could be a costly mistake as the sudden warmth hitting your windscreen in chilly temperatures could lead to the glass cracking.

READ MORE: Fake your way to warm car seats with Amazon's seat warmers

Just leave it

Sure it’s tempting to stick the heater on full and drive off hoping the screen will soon clear, but that’s a move that could land you in trouble.

According to the Highway Code “windows and windscreens must be kept clean and free of obstructions to vision.”

During the icy winter months, this is particularly relevant and you must clear the ice (or snow) from all of your windows, as well as both the front and rear windscreen, before driving.

Ditto clearing the condensation that forms inside the car.

The risk of not doing so is a potential £60 fine and three points on your licence for driving with limited vision.

Don’t be tempted to leave your car to defrost while you head back in the warm either as you’ll be risking a fine of £20 and three penalty points for leaving your car to defrost while the engine is idling.

The law says if your car's engine is running, you need to be “in control” of it, which likely rules out you being in your house in the warm while your car ticks over outside.

And, of course, if you’re busy getting breakfast inside, your car could also be an easy target for thieves.

READ MORE: Turn on more lights to keep warm, research suggests

Stick on the heater and wait for it to clear

Er, hello? Haven’t you been paying attention to the environmental warnings? While ultimately effective, this is the least environmentally friendly option thanks to extra fuel you’ll use.

Start the wipers

Tempting though it might be to speed the process along by using your wipers to help shift the ice, starting up wipers that are frozen to the windscreen or jammed by snow, could cause damage to the mechanism.

Use a credit card

Halfords found that over a third (35%) of drivers have admitted to using a bank card to scrape ice from their windscreen. While it may seem like a good idea, using anything other than a proper ice scraper risks scratching the glass.

Of course it could also cause your precious card to snap too, rendering you card-less, and potentially therefore cash-less.

Watch: Debunking de-icing myths

Effective ways to de-ice your car

Use a windscreen scraper or de-icer

Both offer the easiest and safest method to free your car of frost.

Make a DIY de-icer

While de-icers are effective, there are some more cash-friendly ways to remove ice from your screen.

One easy method is to mix up a solution of water with a teaspoon of salt, before pouring it over any frozen areas.

Use this sparingly, however, as salt could cause damage to the windscreen and avoid hitting the paintwork as it is also corrosive.

Mixing up three parts of vinegar to one part of water will also do the trick, but could be a little on the smelly side.

How to prevent your windscreen frosting overnight

Want to avoid the morning frost-clearing rush? Try soaking an old towel in a solution of water and table salt and placing it over your car windows the night before.

It works because salt lowers the freezing point of water, which means moisture is prevented from frosting over on your screen.

Shop: top-rated winter car products available on Amazon

Yahoo Lifestyle is committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. We may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

RevHeads Ice Scraper | £7.99 from Amazon

FREESOO Windscreen Frost Protector Car Snow Cover | £11.59 from Amazon

AA Winter Car Kit with Folding Snow Shovel | £17.17 (RRP £24.99) from Amazon

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