Most people use an ice scraper to remove ice from their car windshield during the winter months. While it’s an annoying task, it’s certainly necessary to get thick layers of ice off your windshield before you can drive safely. But can ice scrapers damage your car’s windshield?
Metal and glass ice scrapers can scratch your car’s windshield. Instead, defrost your car and use a plastic ice scraper to remove the ice without applying too much pressure. Windshield covers and deicing sprays are good alternatives to ice scrapers.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can use an ice scraper properly without scratching the windshield, the best scrapers to use, and some alternatives for de-icing your car in the winter.
Will an Ice Scraper Damage Your Car Windows?
If you have no option but to park your car outdoors in the freezing cold, you’ll have to go through the annoying task of removing ice from the windshield in the mornings.
An ice scraper is commonly used for this purpose. However, if you aren’t careful while using an ice scraper on your vehicle, you’ll may notice scratches and cracks forming on the windshield.
Of course, this depends in part on the type of ice scraper you’re using. Nonetheless, even if you use a feather in the wrong way, it can scratch your car’s windshield!
For starters, you’ll need to buy an ice scraper that’s less likely to scratch your car’s windshield. Also, no matter what type of ice scraper you get, don’t use it on any other surface of your car other than the windshield.
It’s best that you avoid metal or glass ice scrapers on your windshield because they’ll certainly damage your vehicle. Ice stuck on a windshield often contains sharp objects like stones, twigs, and dirt, so removing it with a glass ice scraper can result in cracks and scratches.
Trying to remove thick layers of ice and snow from the windshield with a metal scraper is also a bad idea. Even though metal scrapers will get the job done faster, especially if you have a thick layer of ice on your windshield, they’re more likely to damage the glass.
What’s the point in saving a few minutes with a heavier ice scraper only to spend more time and money taking the windshield in for repairs?
How to Properly Use an Ice Scraper on Your Windshield
If you use it properly, an ice scraper can help you to remove excess ice and snow from your car’s windows without causing any damage.
Here are some tips for using an ice scraper properly:
Defrost Your Car
Before rushing to scrape the windshield of your car, it’s better that you first defrost the ice.
Even if you don’t have much time to melt all the ice, defrosting it a little will make it easier to remove, and you won’t have to risk scratching your windshield by applying extra force.
To defrost ice on your car’s windshield, simply turn on your car’s defogger. Make sure that you set it on high.
After that, turn on the fan and set it to a high temperature so that the warm air melts the ice. If you want the fan to act as a dehumidifier, just turn on the AC of your car.
Wait for around 10 minutes for defrosting. However, if the layer of ice is too thick, add a few more minutes to the process.
Use Plastic Ice Scrapers
Buying a plastic ice scraper is the best solution to prevent damage to your windshield. These scrapers are designed for the purpose of removing thick layers of ice and snow from windows without causing any scratches or cracks.
Plastic isn’t as heavy as metal, and you may find using a plastic ice scraper a bit annoying because it takes more time to get the job done.
However, using a plastic ice scraper is ideal in the long run because you won’t have to deal with windshield scratches.
Also, if you defrost the ice before using the scraper, you’ll be able to easily remove it with a plastic ice scraper.
Don’t Apply Too Much Pressure
Using a plastic ice scraper doesn’t mean that you should apply a lot of pressure to remove the ice. Applying too much pressure, even with a plastic ice scraper, can leave scratch marks on your windshield.
In fact, applying more pressure won’t even help you scrape off the ice more quickly. It’ll only increase the risk of scratching your windshield because you’re applying more force against the glass.
Even if you’re sure the ice is dirt free, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Take your time while clearing the windows.
Never Tap or Hit the Windshield!
If the windshield of your car is covered with a thick layer of ice, then you might think of tapping it to break off the stubborn ice layer. However, hitting the ice layer could cause cracks in the glass.
You’ll have to be patient and gentle while removing the ice, even if it means spending a few more minutes to get it right.
What Are the Best Ice Scrapers on the Market?
There are plenty of options to choose from if you need a good-quality ice scraper. Here’s a list of the best ice scrapers on Amazon:
- Hopkins SubZero 16621 Ice Scraper (on Amazon): This scraper has a long handle that gives you a good grip on the tool and allows you to clear the ice effectively.
- Snow Joe SJEG01 Ice Scraper (on Amazon): This ice scraper has a brass blade that helps you to clean ice more quickly than an ordinary ice scraper.
- RevHeads Ice Scraper (on Amazon): This ice scraper breaks away from the traditional design. It has a claw-shaped head that removes thick layers of ice easily.
- Premium Ice Scraper Set (on Amazon): The set has two lightweight ice scrapers with foam on the handle. These are made of plastic, so they won’t scratch or crack your windshield.
What Are Some Alternatives to Using an Ice Scraper?
If you don’t like the idea of using an ice scraper or if you’ve been using it for some time now and find it tiring, then you should consider these alternatives:
Use a Windshield Cover
Invest in a high-quality windshield cover (on Amazon) that will protect your windshield from snow. A cover will save you from using an ice scraper since removing ice and snow from a windshield cover is a lot easier to do.
You can also buy a de-icing spray (on Amazon) to effortlessly remove the ice and snow from the windshield of your car. Or, you can make your own deicing spray.
To do so, mix rubbing alcohol with tap water or mix salt with tap water. Either of these mixtures will help you to remove ice from your windshield.
Commercial and homemade de-icing sprays are safe, but you shouldn’t use them excessively, or they may affect the shine on your vehicle’s windshield.