How To De-ice Your Car

Sure, there are pros to winter in the Pacific Northwest. There are winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, there are snowball fights and fun with snowmen and forts, and lets not forget the epic beauty of a snow covered forest or mountain.

Even ice has its plus side in the right scenario – i.e. ice skating. But with the cold temps also comes a little extra upkeep — shoveling, plowing, and our least favorite: de-icing. What do you do when you are in a hurry to leave for work in the morning, only to find ½ inch of ice on your windshield?

We have a few tips on how to de-ice your car as fast as possible, without hurting your Subaru

how to de-ice car

Tip #1 DIY De-ice Solution

That’s right, you can make this yourself. It’s simple! You have two options: rubbing alcohol or vinegar. If you go the rubbing alcohol route, you just need to make a mixture that is ⅔ rubbing alcohol, and ⅓ water, in a spray bottle.

Vinegar is a little different, mixing a 3-to-1 ratio of white vinegar to water. Once you have your solution of choice, you simply apply the spray to the ice and watch as it begins to melt away.

You can also use these mixes proactively, by spraying your windshields at night (or before expected ice), making it harder for ice to firmly stick to the glass. FYI, this DIY also works for window fog!

Tip #2 Prevention is key

The easiest way to de-ice your vehicle, is to get ahead of the ice game before it happens. Did you know that if you cut a potato or onion in half and rub it along your windshield, it will be hard for ice to stick to the glass? Sounds like an old wives tale, but it’s true.

The chemicals from the food create a thin film that acts as a barrier to the glass, making the ice easier to remove! You can also spread shaving cream with a rag on the inside of your windshield to act as an anti-fog liquid when you’re working on heating up your car against the cold temperatures.

Tip #3 Car settings are your friend

Listen, we know this is all about getting through the ice without adding a lot of time to your day. That’s why it’s important to use your car settings efficiently. Don’t wait until you have to leave, to go out and turn on the heat full blast while you sit in the freezing car for 15 minutes.

Instead, follow these instructions:

  • Set a timer 20 minutes before you need to leave
  • When timer goes off, turn on your car and heat full blast, directed toward your windshield

Pro Tip: Invest in a remote starter (which we can help install) to heat up your Subaru from the warmth of your home!

Tip #4 Not all scrapers are equal

Seriously, you want to have a decent ice scraper. Ideally, a long scraper with thick, durable plastic is best. If your scraper seems flimsy, it’s probably not going to hold up on those days you really need it. To make your scraping easier, let your car heat up a bit, apply your spray, and the ice should move right out of your way.

While we are confident you can come up with many creative ways to de-ice your Subaru, we wouldn’t be doing our due diligence if we didn’t say this: DO NOT pour hot water on your windows. This can cause the windows to crack, or even shatter.

Some people will say you can pour lukewarm water on the ice…but we advise to avoid all water pouring. If your door handles are frozen shut, you can pour a little lukewarm water on the actual handle, but nowhere else.

We love Seattle and our wonderful neighbors all around Washington, so if there’s any way we can help you run your Subaru efficiently these winter months, reach out to us. The holidays are over, but winter is just getting started!

Take time with the extra precautions, and save yourself a headache down the road. Click here to schedule an appointment at Suburb Service, or call (206) 364-8089 to reach our Seattle location. Show your Subaru some winter love.

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