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How to Properly Clean Frosted Glass?

May 31, 2024

Struggling to scrape away the windshield and window frosting collected on a cold morning? Frosted glass on your car not only takes a lot of time to clean but can be quite dangerous while driving and is also illegal in some states.

But there’s nothing to worry about! We have brought together some clever hacks to take care of the frost on your car window and windshield quickly and easily. We’ll cover methods that use everyday household items, and one of them even keeps you warm. We will also talk about preventing ice from forming in the first place.

Let’s get started!

Understanding Frosted Car Glass

The image above shows a frosted glass windshield of a car.

Frosted car glass is a common winter woe, and this blog will cover how to clean frosted glass in simple but effective ways. But before that, understanding the science behind it can help you prevent it from happening in the first place. Here’s a breakdown of what causes frosted glass and how to keep your windows clear:

  • Temperature Drop: Frost forms when warm, moist air comes into contact with a colder surface. As the air cools, its ability to hold moisture decreases. This excess moisture condenses on the colder car window, forming tiny ice crystals—frost.
  • Humidity: The higher the humidity level in the air, the more likely frost is to form. So, on a cold, damp night, you’re more likely to find your windows frosted over in the morning.

Now let’s talk about how to clean the frosted glass of your car with some easy methods.

Method 1: DIY De-Icer

If you live in an area where it snows frequently, you can easily find a de-icer spray to clear the frost from your windows and car glasses. However, you can skip the store-bought stuff and make your own de-icer in minutes:

What You’ll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol (available at most drugstores)
  • Dish soap
  • Spray bottle

Start by pouring the rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle. Add a few drops of dish soap for extra cleaning power, screw on the lid, and mix by shaking well.

How to Use It

Spray the de-icer directly onto the frosted parts of your window. Let it sit for a minute or two (the more de-icer you use, the faster it works). The ice should melt or loosen significantly, which you can then brush off easily. Use a plastic scraper or gloved hand to clear the softened ice.

Bonus Tip: For super cold climates (below -20°F/-29°C), store-bought de-icer might be a better option, as homemade versions can freeze.

Method 2: Credit Card (Last Resort Only)

While the above method will take care of window frosting within minutes, sometimes you might not get time to go to the store and buy rubbing alcohol. This method uses an everyday item, but use caution as it can damage your credit card.

What You’ll Need

An old or expired credit card (avoid using laminated cards as they can be wobbly)

How to Use It

  1. Turn on your car’s defrost setting so that it is high enough to melt some ice while you work.
  2. Slide the long edge of the credit card at an angle against the window, applying firm pressure. Keep the card straight to avoid bending or breaking it.
  3. It is important to know that scraping with a credit card requires more effort than a dedicated scraper. You may need to apply significant pressure, so be persistent.
  4. Use your windshield wipers and fluid to remove ice shavings that accumulate as you scrape. The fluid will help melt any remaining ice, and the wipers will remove the shavings.

Method 3: Warm It Up from the Inside

This method is a great way to stay warm and cozy while de-icing your windows.

What You’ll Need

Rice socks or hand warmers (available at most convenience stores)

How to Use It

  1. Heat up a sock filled with rice in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Alternatively, activate a hand warmer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. While seated inside your car, carefully move the warm pack back and forth over the inside of the window. The warmth will melt the ice on the outside.

Caution: Similar to using boiling water, holding a hot pack in one place for too long can crack the glass. Keep it moving to avoid stressing the window. Once the ice starts to melt, you can continue melting the rest as you move the pack to different areas.

Method 4: Prevent Ice Before It Starts

While this may not be a way to clean the already frosted glass, it’s worth mentioning. The best defence against frost on your windows is to stop it from collecting in the first place.

What You’ll Need

Large towel, sheet, or piece of cardboard

How to Use It

  1. Before dew or ice forms at night, cover your windows with a towel, folded sheet, or cardboard. Secure the cover tightly against the window to prevent moisture accumulation.
  2. For your windshield, use the wiper blades to ensure the cover does not move. For other windows, use weights like small rocks to secure the cover.
  3. In the morning, simply remove the covers. They might be damp or icy, so place a waterproof tarp in your trunk before storing them. You may need to lightly scrape any remaining ice patches with a plastic scraper or your gloved hand.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Using boiling water: While it may seem like a quick fix, pouring boiling water on your frozen windshield can cause the glass to crack.
  2. Scraping with a metal object: Metal scrapers can scratch your car windows. Use a plastic scraper or a gloved hand instead.
  3. Forgetting to turn off your defroster: Once the frost has melted, turn off your car’s defroster to prevent the inside of your windows from fogging up.
  4. Leaving your car running unattended while defrosting: This is a safety hazard and a waste of gas.

Ready to Tackle That Frost?

Frosted glass windows and windshields on winter mornings can be a real hassle. But with a little preparation and these clever hacks, you can be on the road quickly and safely.

Remember, spending a few extra minutes to remove frost from your windows is an investment in your safety and the safety of others on the road.

If you encounter a leak in your windshield while cleaning out the ice or want to replace or repair your windshield or windows, NuVision Auto Glass’s professionals are ready to serve you. They also provide an instant quote for your vehicle’s auto glass repair or auto glass replacement cost when you submit your vehicle details. For more information, contact us today!

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