Iced car windows – ice scraping in frosty conditions: here’s how you can de-ice your car window

As soon as the temperatures drop, the annoying ice scraping becomes a daily chore. We tell you how to make your work easier and what you need to keep in mind.

Ice scraping in the early morning - tedious, but necessary

Winter comes and with it strikes year after year the hour of the ice scraper. This tried-and-true helper is used to remove snow and ice from frozen car windows. But what is really important when scraping ice so that no scratches occur?? And are there useful alternatives, which make the every morning scraping superfluous? We tell you the best tips and tricks about ice scraping in winter.

Which ice scraper should you use?

The commercial ice scraper is made of plastic and is very cheap, usually you can get it for a few euros in stores. However, there are differences in quality: when buying, look for a model with a sawtooth edge to be able to remove thick layers of ice. In addition, a smooth ice scraper edge makes sense. A rubber lip on the ice scraper is ideal for wiping away water films. Basically, the model should also be made of sturdy plastic, so that it does not break directly when subjected to greater loads.

What ice scrapers NOT to use?

On the other hand, you should not use your check card. This may work for smaller icing, but is often broken afterwards. Equally ineffective are CD cases or hob scrapers – in the worst case, these will scratch your windshield.

Are there alternatives to the ice scraper?

Alternatives to the traditional ice scraper are numerous, although the classic is still probably the most popular option:

De-icing spray – if you don’t feel like tedious ice scraping, you can also use de-icer spray. But be careful, in any case make sure that the product does not attack rubber or varnish. Effective for defrosting windshields is a high alcohol content, which increases the thawing effect.

Protective tarpaulin for the windshield – to keep your car window free of ice, use a protective tarpaulin from the outset. This is simply placed on the windshield the night before and removed in the morning, sparing you the need to scrape the ice off.

Is it possible to thaw frozen glass with hot water??

It is obvious to use hot water for defrosting – however, you should better not make use of this measure. Because the large temperature difference between hot water and ice-cold disk does not stand these. In the worst case, stress cracks form in the glass.

Cold or lukewarm water on frozen windows: Does this really work?

In fact, when de-icing windshields, it is very effective to pour cold or lukewarm water over them in advance and then simply use a squeegee (like the one you use to clean windows) to work on them. It is only important that the water remains liquid long enough. Whether you use cold or lukewarm water depends on the outside temperature. For the lukewarm variant, you can prepare a watering can or bottles filled with water the day before and place them near the heater, for example.

Can my windshield be damaged during ice scraping?

Almost any ice scraper – be it metal, plastic or rubber coated – can leave scratches on your windshield, at least in theory. The reason for this is usually fine dirt particles that have settled in the ice layer. When scraped across the windshield, they act like sandpaper and can leave fine scratches behind. Therefore, remember to give your windshield a final cleaning, for example with the wiper water system, when you park the vehicle the evening before. It is also effective to spread windscreen antifreeze on the windscreen with a spray bottle.

By the way: A clean windshield not only prevents scratches, but also freezes less strongly – because the ice has hardly any possibilities to "cling" to the windshield.

Car window frozen from the inside – what you can do

In extreme cold, your car can freeze not only from the outside, but also from the inside. The culprit is humidity in the air inside, which is deposited as frost on the window pane. Here, too, the ice scraper comes in handy. In addition, you can direct the ventilation of your car to the windshield. If there is still residual moisture, wipe it off with a cloth. The so-called defrost function can also provide a quick remedy if the windows start to mist up from the inside. Simply set the blower to full power and the haze disappears.

To avoid frozen windshields in the interior of your vehicle in the first place, make sure that you ventilate regularly. Also, avoid carrying too much snow and moisture inside if possible. So-called dehumidifiers are also helpful – these small cushions absorb the excess moisture. A DIY alternative can also be tinkered with in a few easy steps: Simply fill charcoal or coffee into a can and store it in the car, the substances remove the moisture from the air.

DO NOT use indoors you should:

De-icer sprays – they do not only smell unpleasant, but are also dangerous to health in such a small space.

Strong heat sources – do not use hot air blowers, fire sources or hot water, otherwise the windshield may crack.

Do I have to scrape my window completely free or are a few holes enough??

Scraping the windshield free in the morning may be time-consuming, but for your own safety and that of other road users, you should make sure that the windshield is as completely de-iced as possible. Quickly scratched peepholes are not sufficient, instead there must be a sufficiently large field of vision in all weather conditions. Otherwise, according to the catalog of fines, a fine of 10 euros may be imposed. In case of an accident there is a risk of joint liability. License plates, turn signals, headlights, taillights and car roof must also be free of snow and ice.

Ice scraping while the engine is running – is that allowed??

Quick and easy way to thaw a frozen car window is to start the engine and let it run. However, this method is not permitted. Section 30 of the German Road Traffic Regulations (StVO) states: "When using vehicles, unnecessary noise and avoidable exhaust pollution are prohibited. It is especially forbidden to leave vehicle engines running unnecessarily."Here, too, drivers must expect a fine of 10 euros and possibly the displeasure of their neighbors.

Windscreen heating instead of scraping ice?

Both front and rear windows now have a heating function in many models of cars, which is very convenient, especially in the winter. However, these are special features that the manufacturers charge quite a bit for. According to "Auto Motor Sport", the cost is several hundred euros – VW, for example, charges around 340 euros, Jaguar 357 euros and Volvo 480 euros. Those who opt for such a solution despite these additional costs can enjoy a free disc in a few minutes, depending on the thickness of the ice layer.

When using windshield heaters and the like, keep the following in mind. However, remember not to strain your battery too much. This is particularly vulnerable in winter and cannot always compensate for such high loads by recharging the battery alone.

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