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Can Ice Scrapers Scratch Your Windows?

Struggling to get dangerous ice off of your car windows before going to work in the morning? Ice scrapers are designed to remove ice, however you may be worried about scratching your windshield or car while removing thick ice.

There are some reasons you should be worried about using a metal or plastic ice scraper on your vehicle. Here’s everything you need to know about whether ice scrapers are bad for your windows.

Should I Use An Ice Scraper On My Windows?

When it comes to ice scrapers, it is not a straightforward case of whether you should or shouldn’t use one. After all, you need to get ice off of your windshield and car windows for safe driving.

Instead, it is more important about the type of ice scraper you use.

Car Ice Scrapers with Metal Blades

While picking out an ice scraper, make sure you avoid anything made of solid metal with a sharp blade. While you might think metal scrapers would be ideal as they’re sturdier than plastic ones, this isn’t the case. 

Metal blade ice scrapers are more likely to damage and scratch your windows. Another problem you will encounter with a metal scraper is if you are removing ice in a hurry and slip, you might nick your car’s paint. If you scratch your car’s paint, you may need to get a new paint job, which will cost a lot of money. 

The best metal ice scrapers are made of soft alloys and have duller blades as not to cause any scratches. 

Plastic Ice Scrapers

While there an array of great metal scrapers on the market that won’t damage your car windows, it is best to choose a plastic one to avoid any nasty surprises.

If you are buying an ice scraper with a brush, you will want to make sure the bristles are hard, but not so hard that they could cause scratches on your windows. Finding the right balance can be tough, as you will want a scraper with bristles strong enough to dust off the ice, but not so soft that it doesn’t work effectively. 

The Best Ice Scrapers on the Market

Ice scrapers are safe to use on your car windows as long as you know which product to buy. Try to avoid sharp metal scrapers and brushes with hard tips, as these are known to damage windows and chip paint off cars. If you definitely want to buy an ice scraper, here are a few of the best on the market so you can avoid damaging your windows:

Hopkins 532 Mallory 26″ Snow Brush with Foam Grip

This snow brush and ice scraper hybrid comes highly recommended. The Hopkins 532 comes with a 4″ blade with ice chippers that will break through hard ice with minimum fuss. The brush features four rows, which are the perfect strength for removing ice. It also has a foam handle, so you scrap ice without hurting your hand. 

AstroAI 27″ Snow Brush and Detachable Deluxe Ice Scraper

The AstroAI 27″ Snow Brush is similar in design to the Hopkins 532, with a snow brush on one end, a scraper on the other, and a foam handle for comfort. One unique feature of this ice scraper is that you can separate the brush and scraper for easy use. It also has a slightly wider scraper so you can clear your windows even quicker. 

Mini Ice Scraper for Glove Compartment

Looking for an ice scraper that fits neatly in your glove compartment? Consider the RevHeads Ice Scraper. This pint-sized scraper features a claw that’s built to break up large clumps of ice. One of the main selling points of this product is its durability. RevHeads claim this ice scraper will outlast your car if you use it correctly. 

Premium Ice Scraper Set

The cheap and cheerful Premium Ice Scraper Set features two lightweight, handheld plastic scrapers with 3.5” blades. These ice scrapers have foam handles and are advertised as being scratch-free. They also come with a year warranty in case they happen to break. As they come in two-pack, you’ll have a spare if you happen to misplace one of them. 

Do Heated Ice Scrapers Work?

An ice scraper with a heating element seems like it would work faster than normal ice scrapers. While they can melt the ice easily, there are several other factors that make heated ice scrapers less than ideal to use.

First, the heated ice scraper needs to have a power supply. You will need to plug in the appliance into your car’s 12V power supply. Then, the window or door will need to stay open for the cord to come out to your windshield. This can be problematic if it is snowing or sleeting outside, and you do not want your vehicle’s interior to get wet. And the scraper can take some time to warm up.

Second, the cord needs to be long enough to be plugged into the power supply and reach the windshield. Even if you were able to plug in the ice scraper to an electric outlet outdoors or in the garage, you are limited by the cord length or needing extension cords.

Third, the heated ice scraper will be hot after using. There must be a safe place to lay it down while it cools off. You likely won’t be able to simply place it on your car’s floor. You will need to leave the ice scraper at home, or buy a heat-protection mat (similar to using for curling irons) to lay down the ice scraper as it cools.

If you would like to try this winter appliance, we recommend this heated ice scraper with a built-in flashlight and ice chisel, as well as a scraper with a heating element.

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

Ice Scraper Alternatives

There are a few alternatives you can to an ice scraper, which will effectively remove ice and snow from your car without a lot of fuss. 

Windshield Cover 

You can avoid having to deal with snow or ice by purchasing a windshield cover. These covers lay over the windshield and your rearview windows. You do not have to cover your entire car or truck. Ice will not be able to settle on your windshield overnight. Then in the morning, just take off the cover and you won’t have to deal with removing ice.

A windshield cover is best used if you know there will be freezing temperatures overnight. 

Credit Card

If you need to use your car and you do not have anything else to clear your windshield, consider using a credit card. With their dull, plastic edge, credit cards are a great alternative to using a regular ice scraper. Just make sure to use an old credit card, in case you accidentally snap it!

Tip: Keep plastic gift cards that you have used up in your glove compartment. That way, if you need ice removal on your windows, you can use an old gift card, rather than the credit cards that you use for purchases.

Snow Broom

You won’t always remember to prep your windows for snow and ice before winter weather. A great alternative to an ice scraper is a snow broom. Snow brooms have foam or rubber edges, so they don’t scratch up your windows. Many snow brooms are extendable with a long handle, which means you won’t have to reach over your windshield while cleaning off the snow.

De-Icing Spray

One clever way to rid your windows of ice is with an De-Icing Spray. You can purchase these solutions from auto part stores. All you need to do is mix the solution with some water and put it on a rag or in a spray bottle. Then apply it to your windows and watch the ice melt away.

Here are more helpful winter weather tips for dealing with snow and ice: