Having to remove snow and ice from your windshield every morning can be a hassle. It eats into your time and can force you to stand outside for long in the cold. Fortunately, there are several solutions available on how to make your own DIY windshield cover for snow and ice.
These alternatives are inexpensive and sometimes free. All you need are a few household items. With the best windshield covers costing as much as $20 and more, it pays to know how to make one at home.
DIY Windshield Covers for Snow and Ice
1. Vinegar and Water
A mixture of vinegar and water is perhaps the most popular solution to preventing snow from sticking to your windshield.
The recipe is 3 parts of white vinegar to 1 part of water. Mix the two in a spray bottle and spray the solution on your windshield every evening after parking your car.
The vinegar prevents snow and ice from sticking. It is important to dilute it with water as recommended lest it causes harm to your wipers or the weatherstripping around the windows.
Damaged wipers can cause scratches on the windshield once the snow and ice are removed.
Also, do not use too much water to dilute the vinegar. This can cause freezing rather than prevent it. Be careful not to spray the solution on the car’s paint as well.
Vinegar can corrode or even burn through the paint. It’s also important to note that it has freezes at 280F and below depending on its composition. Therefore, it may not be that effective in some areas.
Other alternatives include using a mixture of 50% isopropyl alcohol and water or a salt and water solution. These also work depending on the temperatures. Keep a bottle inside your glove box for convenience.
Be careful when using mixtures as some solutions can reduce visibility on your windshield once dry.
2. Homemade Windshield Cover
For this solution, you’ll need something to cover the windshield overnight. Some of the items that people use include:
- A set of rubber car mats
- Carpet Remnants
- Pieces of cardboard
- Feed sacks
- Plastic table cloths
- Plastic sheets
- A heavy trash bag
- Old shower curtains
Simply slide any of these under your windshield wipers once you get home. Leave them held securely by your wipers and cover your windshield.
For cardboards, feed sacks, and sheets of plastic paper, you can secure them in place using duct tape.
For carpet remnants and other similar items, you can tuck them in into the door of your car and have them drape over the windshield.
All you need to do early in the morning is just slide them off your windshield and shake off the snow. You won’t have to stand outside in the freezing cold scraping or defrosting.
Beware that some of these materials can get wet due to rain, sleet, or humidity. This can cause them to freeze on the windshield. So be sure to confirm what works well for the weather you’re in.
Tips When Using Your DIY Windshield Cover to Prevent Snow and Ice
1. Warm the car
Always let your vehicle warm up first thing in the morning before scraping or removing the windshield cover from your vehicle.
This helps the interior of the car to warm up before you set off down the road. If you do not do this, the frost re-forms on the windshield due to temperature difference.
This is common, especially in 12-degree weather. Start the engine and let the car idle for about half an hour. Use the defroster setting in your car to warm the glass.
2. Avoid hot water
It may be tempting to pour hot water on your windshield and windows in the morning to help thaw the ice. However, this is a bad idea.
The Automobile Association (AA) and the American Automobile Association (AAA) both advise not to pour hot water on a cold windshield.
The rapid temperature changes can cause the glass to crack or shatter suddenly. Pouring cold water is also a bad idea as it can freeze on the glass and make it harder to clear your windshield.
It’s only okay to use hot water to remove ice on other non-glass parts of your car. This includes the door handles. Pour a steady stream of the water while clearing the ice with a soft brush.
3. Avoid metal scrapers
It’s also important to use the right tools when scraping off ice. Metal ice scrapers can cause scratches on your windshield and leave cuts on your paint.
Opt for a plastic ice scraper or a combined nonabrasive foam brush to remove snow cover from your car. There are brushes available on the market specifically for removing snow.
Avoid using a propane burner as well as it can cause harm. Other tools that you should stay away from include spatulas, keys, crowbars, and knives.
4. Inspect other parts
It’s important to inspect other parts of the car to ensure that there’s no ice. For example, make sure there’s no snow obstructing the tailpipe.
If there’s snow inside the exhaust, remove it carefully to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. When the tailpipe is clogged by snow or ice, exhaust fumes are rerouted into the vehicle since they have nowhere to go.
This can be a potential health hazard. Exhaust fumes are not always detectable by smell. Therefore, they can be fatal. Furthermore, a clogged muffler can cause excessive exhaust backpressure.
The gases are pushed back into the engine and can effectively cause damage to it. One of the most common symptoms is a loss of power.
You also don’t want to drive your car with snow on the roof. This can be dangerous, especially for other drivers. The snow may fall on their windshield, potentially obstructing their view.
On That Note
As seen above, it’s easy to make a DIY windshield cover that will keep snow and ice from sticking to your windshield. All you need is something that can go over your windshield and act as a barrier between the car and the snow.
The material of the item you use should be strong enough to handle wet snow. Also, it’s important to ensure the cover does not get blown away by strong winds. Keep it secured using duct tape or by tucking it into the doors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I put a towel on my windshield to keep ice off?
Yes. You can prevent ice and frost from forming on your windshield by covering it with a dry towel. The ice will form on top of the blanket and keep your windshield safe. However, in areas where the temperature is expected to drop below zero, do not use a towel or blanket. It may freeze on your windshield.
Does Dawn alcohol and water melt ice?
According to NBC News, mixing hot water with rubbing alcohol and dish soap helps to speed up melting and prevent further icing. The ice bubbles up when exposed to the mixture and starts to melt.
Does baking soda melt snow?
According to The Independent, sprinkling some baking soda on your windshield should help melt the ice or snow. The only problem with this solution is that it may take longer than expected.
Will peroxide melt ice?
Hydrogen peroxide doesn’t speed up ice melting. It is much slower than using other home remedies like calcium chloride, sodium chloride salt, and laundry detergent. Bleach is said to work fastest when poured on ice. However, some of these harsh chemicals can cause damage to your car’s windshield and paint work.
Can you put sidewalk salt on your windshield?
You can use sidewalk salt or table salt to help remove ice from your windshield. Mix it with water and spray it on the glass. Be careful not to use too much as excessive exposure to salt can damage the glass.