The Right Way to Use an Ice Scraper on Your Car

You should always keep an ice scraper in your car during winter.
You should always keep an ice scraper in your car during winter. / mathieukor/E+/Getty Images

For many drivers, the stress of traveling in the winter starts before they get into their car. De-icing windows is an unpleasant start to any commute, and if you live in an area with freezing weather, there’s no way around it. Though you can’t skip the chore, you can make it easier by taking advantage of a feature on your ice scraper you may be ignoring.

According to Lifehacker, the ridges on the back of your plastic scraper serve a vital purpose. Next time you’re struggling to scrape off a stubborn ice sheet, flip the tool over and rake it across your frozen windshield. This won’t remove the ice, but it will score it and weaken its hold on the glass. Scoring the ice in a crosshatch pattern has an even greater effect.

Once your windshield looks like an old scratch-off ticket, take the blade of your scraper and wedge it beneath the ice. The frozen matter should break off more easily than it would have if you hadn’t taken the time to score it. To make your life even easier, turn on the engine and windshield defroster so you can tackle the ice from the bottom side as well (assuming your car door isn’t frozen shut). Spraying salt water onto the ice can also jumpstart the defrosting process. Salt water freezes at lower temperatures than regular water, so it will thaw the ice on contact. Just avoid dumping a lot of water onto your windows at once, no matter the type of water or temperature. Even cold water can cause frozen glass to crack.

The scoring method may be familiar to seasoned winter drivers, but it’s not the only trick you can use. To prevent frost from forming on your car overnight, try rubbing a cut onion over the windows. This will leave an invisible residue on the glass, making it harder for moisture to solidify when temperatures drop.

[h/t Lifehacker]