How to stop your car windows from freezing

A woman scrapes a window to remove frost from her car
Avoid the dreaded early morning scrape (Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

Temperatures dipped to almost -10C in some parts of the country earlier this week, and many woke up to a frosty car this morning.

Winter hasn’t even officially kicked off yet, which means that this is only the start of the cold weather we can expect in the months ahead.

If you want to avoid spending your winter mornings scraping the windshield if your car, then you’re in the right place because we’ve got tips on how to de-ice your car and how to stop your windows freezing in the first place.

How to stop car windows from freezing

All you need to stop your windshield from freezing is an old towel, water and table salt.

Mix the salt with the water and soak the towel in the solution.

Place the wet towel on your windscreen so that it covers the window, and leave it on overnight.

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When you wake up in the morning, your window should be ice-free.

How to de-ice your car

If a frosty window has taken you by surprise, then you can de-ice your car by using a saltwater solution and wiping or spraying it on the glass.

Make sure you avoid the metal parts of your car, as salt is corrosive.

Instead of salt, you can also use surgical spirit or any strong alcohol you’ve got lying around – in this case, the mixture should be two parts alcohol, one part water.

If your house is teetotal, white vinegar will also do the trick – the mixture should be three parts white vinegar and one part water.

Spraying this mixture on the glass the night before should also work as a way to stop the window from freezing up overnight in the first place.

If you decide to scrape the ice off your car, avoid using things like credit cards, as they could scratch the glass.

Don’t use hot water as the sharp temperature change could cause the glass to crack, and using a hairdryer to melt the ice on your window is dangerous as it could result in electrocution.

The AA recommends:

Get up at least 10 minutes early to give you time to prepare the car.

Don’t drive off like a tank-commander, with a tiny hole cleared in the windscreen. Clear all windows using a scraper and de-icer.

Use a cigarette lighter to warm a key for a frozen lock. Don’t breathe on the lock, as the moisture will condense and freeze.

Plan routes to favour major roads which are more likely to have been cleared and gritted.

Put safety before punctuality when the bad weather closes in. Allow extra time for winter journeys but be prepared for the inevitability of being late for work due to unexpected delay.

Why does my car freeze on the inside?

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If your car is freezing on the inside, that could be a sign that there’s too much moisture in the air inside your car.

To stop this from happening, you can leave one of your windows open just a crack, provided you keep your car in a garage or similarly dry place.

You can also leave absorbent things such as rice pr cat litter in your car to soak up any excess moisture. Alternatively, you could buy a disposable dehumidifier.

How to stop screenwash freezing

There are screenwash brands you can use, such as Halfords -30 Concentrated Screenwash, which promise to not re-freeze on your screen when used neat.

MORE: Are we in for a white Christmas after Met Office issues weather warnings for snow and ice?

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