SAN ANGELO, Texas (Concho Valley Homepage) — As winter weather blankets parts of Texas with frozen precipitation many drivers will need to de-ice their windshield prior to driving. Here are some tips from AAA Texas on how to prevent and remove windshield ice.

Never Use hot water or metal ice scrapers

To remove ice from a windshield, follow these steps:

  • Start the engine
  • Set the heater to defrost
  • Adjust the airflow to recirculate
  • Move the temperature control to full heat

Applying a commercial glass de-icer spray to the windshield is also helpful. These products generally contain methanol, which is the best form of alcohol for de-icing. However, like pretreatment sprays, they may be expensive and contain pet-hazardous ethylene glycol.

AAA Texas also recommends a “do it yourself” de-icer of one part isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and two parts water. The isopropyl alcohol sold in stores ranges from 50 to 90 percent purity. The higher the purity, the lower the freezing point and increased de-icing capability. Adding a few drops of dish soap will help coat the ice more evenly. Apply the solution with a spray bottle that has been stored indoors (to add warmth which can aid the de-icing process). Alcohol-based de-icing mixtures freeze at around 5 degrees Fahrenheit versus 32 degrees for water.

Once the ice starts to melt use a plastic scraper, windshield wipers, rubber squeegee, or soft bristle brush to finish removing the ice from the windshield. AAA Texas warns to never use a metal scrapper which can scratch the glass or hot water because the thermal shock can crack the glass. Additionally do not tap the glass with any tool to attempt to break it up.

Vehicle Protection

Vinegar-based pretreatments, alcohol-based de-icing solutions and dishwashing soap are not directly harmful to your vehicle’s paint. However, they do remove car wax and can leave the finish exposed to the elements and corrosive chemicals such as road salts.  If you use windshield pretreatments or de-icers on a regular basis, periodically wash and rewax any affected areas of the car as weather permits.

If you cannot see clearly out of the car in every direction your odds of being involved in a collision go up. In order to avoid bodily injury or a costly car repair, it is best to play it safe and remove all snow and ice.