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The five best ways to defrost your car – and how to prevent icy windows


Defrosting your car can be a chore when you’re in a rush on a cold winter’s morning. When de-icer sprays and scrapers aren’t getting the job done, there is nothing more frustrating than waiting for your car to defrost before legally being able to drive it. As the sets in for good, beating the is key to saving time in the mornings – but what are the best ways to defrost your car?

Is it illegal to drive with icy car windows?

Driving with foggy windows or ‘distorted vision’ could land you with a huge fine or even worse – in a road traffic accident.

While it may seem tempting to leave your car to defrost as you drive, it is deemed as an offence under Rule 229 of The Highway Code.

The rule which details the code on driving in adverse weather conditions states that drivers must:

  • Demist and clear all mirrors
  • Clean all lights
  • Make sure their number plates are visible
  • Remove all snow from their vehicle that might fall into the path of other drivers

The rule states that snow on the roof of a vehicle is not an offence unless it flies off onto your windscreen or into the path of other drivers.

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How to defrost car windows quickly

The first step to defrosting your car should always be to start your engine and blast the AC on its warmest setting, targeting the front and rear windscreens.

Scrape the loose surface frost from the car before applying a warm compress or alcohol-based liquid to your windows.

Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a powerful agent which can cut through thick layers of ice in an instant.

Mix one part water with two parts isopropyl rubbing alcohol and pour over the windscreen.

You can add a few drops of dish soap for a cleaner finish once the ice is melted.

How to stop your car from freezing over

With the frosty weather here to stay, the best way to keep your car free from ice and ready to drive is to be prepared.

Preventing a glazed windscreen will save you precious time in the morning while stopping nuisance passers-by from tampering with your frosted car

There are plenty of ways to prevent ice from gathering on car windows, with everything from root vegetables to bed linen doing the trick.

Duct tape door handles

Taping door handles the night before frost is expected will stop the door handles from freezing up and potentially locking you out.

Onion rub

Halve a large red or white onion and rub the open surface on your car windows the night before a freeze is predicted.

When the temperature drops significantly in the evening it’s best to get out and try this to save time de-icing your car in the morning.

Fold bed linen

Making a protective film for your car windshield will prevent ice from building up overnight by insulating the glass.

Rubber bath mats, folded bed sheets or even a sunshade will work well to prevent a frosty car, just use your windshield wipers to keep the layer in place.

Saltwater soak

Soak a tea towel in salt water and leave it on your windshield overnight.

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