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How to Remove Snow and Ice from Your Windshield

You need to remove snow and ice from your windshield for safe driving. Here are the best tips for how to deal with winter weather, whether you have time to invest in the proper tools or need quick help for an unexpected freeze.

Best Ways to Remove Snow and Ice from Your Windshield

Ice Scraper

If you live in a climate where you will certainly have winter weather, you definitely should invest in an ice scraper. They are inexpensive items and can easily be stored in your vehicle. Check out my helpful list of the best ice scrapers, as well as tips to prevent scratching your car or windshield.

Ice-scrapers are highly effective in quickly removing ice from your windshield; however, they are less useful for removing snow. Especially if you have a large amount of snowfall, such as in a blizzard.

If you don’t have an ice scraper, you can improvise by using an old credit card or a spatula to scrape off the snow and ice.


A soft household broom is effective at brushing off small amounts of snow and ice from your car’s windshield.

Brooms are generally better for snow, as most brushes won’t be able to remove ice which has frozen onto your windshield. Brooms are just one of the surprisingly effective ways to remove snow without a shovel.

De-Icing Spray

One excellent way of removing ice from your windshield is with an de-icing spray. This is especially great if you don’t have the physical strength or ability to stretch across your car’s windshield to scrape the ice off. I like this de-icing spray which comes with an attached ice scraper.

You can buy these from your local auto parts store.

Or try making a DIY de-icing spray by mixing two-parts rubbing alcohol with one-part water. Apply the solution to a rag or put it in a spray bottle, and any ice on your car will easily rub off.

Be sure to check out all of our helpful Emergency Preparedness articles for dealing with snow and ice.

Use Your Car Heater

You can use your car’s heating system to melt the ice. Turn on your de-foggers if you have them and put on high. Or turn on the vehicle’s heat as high as it will go and aim the vents towards the windshield as much as possible. I’ve done this many times in the past when I unexpectedly had an icy windshield. This method is not the fastest, but it requires little effort on your part.

You should also check if your car has heated windshield, as these are built to remove ice quickly, meaning you won’t need any other tools. 

Hair Dryer

Just like using your car’s heater, you can use heat from a hair dryer to melt snow and ice. However, you will need a power supply for the hair dryer, which can be a problem for many.

How to Prevent Snow and Ice On Your Windshield

Save yourself a lot of effort by preventing snow accumulation in the first place. Here are some simple ways to keep your windows clear of winter weather.

Windshield Covers

One of the best ways to avoid ice from forming on your window is with a windshield cover. You can buy universal windshield covers online, from a car store or in some cases from a large grocery store such as Walmart.

Just place the cover on the windshield and rearview mirrors the night before. In the morning, simply remove the cover.

While this will prevent ice build-up, snow will still accumulate on the cover.

If you do not have a windshield cover or you want to save money, you can improvise with an old blanket, tarp or shower curtain. You will need to find a way to secure these covers to your car, as they probably won’t be able to be tucked into your door easily.

Vinegar and Salt Solution

Another way to avoid ice from building up is with a vinegar and salt solution.

Mix ordinary vinegar or salt from your kitchen with a bit of water, and then spray your car’s windshield. Spread the solution around with a rag, and this will protect your car’s windows from ice build-up.

Be careful only to apply to glass, though. Vinegar and salt can corrode metal and cause damage.


One of the strangest ways of stopping ice and snow from settling on your windows is with half an onion. Rub the outside of your windshield with a cut half of an onion. The vegetable’s natural oils will leave a coating that prevents it from freezing over. 

Strange, but true!

Rub half of an onion on your windshield before winter weather to prevent ice from sticking.

Park Facing East

If you are looking for a simple solution to prevent ice and snow build up, park your car facing east so that the sun can naturally melt you frozen-over windshield.

Need more helpful tips for dealing with winter weather? Check out these articles:

Deirdre Henry

Friday 7th of January 2022

Thank you for the helpful hints to remove ice from the car windshield. Didn't know the one about the onion. Shall try that. Deirdre.


Saturday 8th of January 2022

Thanks, Deirdre!