Most drivers have experienced this scenario – most British drivers at least. It’s late. You are just about to go to bed. Looking out the window for the last time that day you can see that the sky is calm and clear, there’s even a few stars, dazzling and twinkling, enveloped in the velvety darkness. All is well with the world.
Then, after a cosy night snuggled under a warm duvet you wake, open the curtains and see that Jack Frost (or possibly Elsa from Frozen – take your pick) has paid a visit. Everything – including your car - is now gently shimmering under a blanket of ice.
What to do? You can’t be late for work, there’s that meeting with your boss, the kids to be driven to school and now you have the added pressure to scrape the ice from your windscreen. Arghh!
Don’t panic – we have your back. Our team of experts at Lookers have put their heads together and come up with some top tips to help you defrost your car in a hurry - even without a scraper. You’re welcome!
Here's 10 ideas you could use to get on the move:
- Credit Cards. This ubiquitous item is something most of us can lay our hands on quickly and the edge can be used to gently scrape away the ice. Just be careful though not to accidentally damage the magnetic strip on the back of the card – it could render it useless. As an alternative hold onto a used gift card.
- Spatula. A quick rummage through the kitchen drawer should see you armed with the perfect tool. Broader than the credit card it will cover a larger area quicker.
- Tepid Water. (hot water will crack the glass) while running the windshield wipers - no scraper needed - ice turns to slush and windshield wiper wipes it away.
- CD cases. For many this is the go-to gadget in an emergency. Easy to hold, it won’t damage your windscreen.
- A ruler of any kind. A quick rummage through your child’s schoolbag should see you triumphantly retrieve this most effective scraper substitute. While you are at it, why not just ask your child to also do the scraping too?
- Battery Powered Hairdryer. Ok, these may be thin on the ground in many households, but if you have one handy this will do the trick in a few seconds. Indeed it may be worth making a purchase just for this purpose!
- Start your engines! Allowing the car to warm up with the heater on full blast will ensure you are not only nice and toasty as you leave, but the screen will be nice and clear too. Just be careful not to leave your car unattended. Could be an easy target for an opportunistic thief!
- De-icer. Next time you are at the supermarket, pop a can of this in your shopping trolley and then leave in your car when you de-cant the rest of the shopping into your kitchen. A few sprays will see you on the road in no time.
- Potatoes. Perhaps not the most obvious! Another method is to cut a Potato in half and rub it over the screen the night before. Potatoes contain Glycerol which is contained in anti-freeze.
- Towel. Turn your car off with the wipers up and slide the towel or small blanket under. The wipers hold it on and it stops the wipers from getting stuck too. Next morning you should be able to lift off in one piece to reveal a nice clear windscreen.
For more handy ideas and advice visit our winter driving tips page and while you are there, feel free to share your own.
By Tracey McBain