5 steps to de-ice your car

Are you rushing to get to your destination on a cold winter morning? Ensure your vehicle operates efficiently and safely. De-icing your windscreen can be time-consuming; shortcuts taken will lead to vehicle damage. Here are five essential steps to de-ice your car effectively:

Step 1 – Check your wipers:

  • Make sure your wipers are not on when starting the vehicle.
  • Frozen wipers not working when switched on, can damage the wiper motor, or the rubber can be stuck and tear off when trying to wipe.

Step 2 – Start the engine and heat the interior:

Your vehicle needs to have a warm engine in freezing conditions before driving. This can decrease the chance of any engine faults due to the cold weather.  

  • Start the engine and
  • turn on the heat, aiming the air vents to the windscreen.
  • Turn the rear window heater and heated mirrors (if you have them).
  • Use the AC as it removes moisture within the vehicle, this will stop the car from misting up on the inside.
  • Use a lint-free absorbent cloth to clear misty windows. Using your hand can leave greasy smears.

Step 3 – Clear the snow:

  • Use a soft brush to wipe excess snow (headlights, tailights, front grille).
  • Brushing the front grille reduces the risk of the engine overheating.

Step 4 – De-icing solution:

  • Spray or apply the de-icing solution on the icy areas.
  • Follow product instructions.

Step 5 – Scraping while waiting:

  • Once the de-icer has started to work, proceed to scrape the windows around the vehicle.
  • Start from the top and work down.
  • Apply gentle pressure to prevent damage to the glass.
  • Drive once the ice/snow is all clear

Beware of these risks:

Hot/ Lukewarm water.

Do not use hot or lukewarm water on your iced windscreen. Heat can expand glass, but cold air will cause the glass to contract. The flexing in glass effectively causes a crack in your windscreen.


On days when the weather is freezing, warm water can refreeze faster than cold water, leading to a thicker layer of ice on your windscreen. The windscreen wipers will then freeze to the glass, causing further implications if you try to turn them on.

To avoid these implications, follow the steps above. You can drive safely, effectively de-icing your motor ensuring clear visibility when driving in winter conditions.

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