Homemade Windshield De-Icerby George Medici
Winter weather brings snow and sleigh riding to the delight of children of all ages. It also brings blizzards, freezing rain and icy roads to the dismay of motorists. There are dozens of consumer products on the market today that safeguard vehicles against inclement weather, especially de-icers that are used to remove ice and snow from windshields. Choosing a particular de-icer can be confusing, not to mention expensive. Follow these guidelines for making your own windshield de-icer that can be a viable alternative to a more expensive, store bought product.
Empty spray cleaner bottles can be filled with de-icier liquid and applied directly to snow and ice on the windshield. Wait a few minutes before running the windshield wipers or using an ice scraper, although you should see fairly immediate results. Drivers also can spray de-icer onto the windshield before a storm to prevent freezing and ice buildup.
Another application is adding de-icer directly to your car’s windshield washer fluid. Not only will this effectively remove ice and snow from your windshield, it also will prevent wiper lines from freezing in extreme cold weather.
A key ingredient to a homemade de-icer is isopropyl alcohol, more commonly known as rubbing alcohol. It has a strong odor and is colorless as well as flammable, so keep away from children. Rubbing alcohol is relatively non-toxic and widely used as a solvent and cleaning fluid. Read the label for safety precautions.
Another common ingredient for de-icers is vinegar. Its primary constituent is acetic acid, which comes from the fermentation of ethanol. There are several types of vinegars as well as scores of applications for its uses besides cooking and food preparation.
Recipe Using Alcohol
Mix one part water to two parts rubbing alcohol. Also add dishwashing liquid to the mixture, one teaspoon for every three cups of mixture. Apply liberally to the glass with a spray bottle. Additionally, consider pouring one or two cups of rubbing alcohol directly into your existing wiper washer fluid. This will help ensure continued use of washer fluid during all winter driving conditions.
Recipe Using Vinegar
Mix three parts of white distilled vinegar to one part water. Spray the windshield and all the windows and mirrors. Wait a few minutes before wiping off ice and snow. It’s not necessary to use a detergent because the vinegar acts as a cleaning agent. This may not work as well as an alcohol-based de-icer.
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