Does Warm Water Defrost Car Windows?

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It can be annoying when you are running late to work and exit your house only to see your car buried in six inches of snow! You don’t have time to scrape it off, and you are wondering if maybe you can just pour some hot water on it.

Never pour hot water on a cold windshield, as drastic temperature changes can cause the glass to crack or even shatter. You are much better off scraping your car off, turning your car on early, or making your own de-icing fluid instead. 

Want to know what else you can do to prevent ice from accumulating on your windshield? Let’s look at all the information we found about de-icing your windshield and the best tools to do it. 

Should You Throw Warm Water on Your Car to Defrost it?

Man cleaning car from snow and ice with brush and scraper tool during snowfall

Throwing warm or hot water on your car to defrost the windows is never advised. Glass is very sensitive to drastic temperature changes, and going from hot to cold so quickly can cause the glass to shatter. 

Although car glass is slightly different from ordinary glass, it could still shatter or crack when you pour warm water on it. Therefore you are better off finding another way to defrost your windows because replacing the glass entirely will be costly. 

What are Some Safer Alternatives?

While you can’t throw warm or hot water on your windshield, there are several safer alternatives for getting the ice off your windows and getting you to work on time. Below is a list of the best methods for de-icing your windshield. 

Turn Your Car on Early

Turning your car on earlier than you need is the best way to defrost your windows for light frost or snow. Cars have built-in defrosting properties and can quickly rid the windshield of snow and ice once started. 

The only problem with this is that if you live in an unsafe area, your car could get stolen if you go back inside to get ready as your car defrosts. Also, you can never start a car in a garage as the build-up of carbon monoxide can cause death. 

The only alternative is having two sets of keys and using one to start the car while using the second set to lock it as you head back inside to let your car warm up. Of course, you can also sit in your car as it warms, but this may not be as comfortable as your home. 

Scrape Your Windows

Besides just turning your car on, you can also invest in a simple ice scraper like this one (on Amazon) to get the ice off your windows. If it is a frigid day, we recommend combining this with the above method to get the ice off your windows as quickly as possible. 

Note: Thick layers of ice can be challenging to get off using this method, and if you are short with a taller car, you may find it difficult to scrape the entire window free of ice and snow. 

De-Icing Spray

De-icing spray like CRC’s Ice-Off Windshield Spray (on Amazon) is a great way to shorten the time it takes to rid your windshield of ice and snow each morning. You can make your own solution by mixing ⅔ rubbing alcohol with ⅓ water in a spray bottle.

Spray the mixture on your windshield, then wait a few minutes to let it do its job. You may still need to brush away some snow, but it should be much easier. Never use any other chemicals besides rubbing alcohol, water, or windshield wiper fluid on your vehicle, as they could cause damage. 

How to Prevent Ice from Building Up on Your Windshield 

Besides just struggling with your icy windshield in the morning, there are several ways to prevent ice from building up on your windshield in the first place. Using one of these methods can make it a breeze to get going to work on a snowy day. 

Park in Your Garage

It may seem like a hassle to clear out the junk in your garage to park your car, but this is truly the best way to keep ice from building up on your windshield. In addition, your vehicle will be protected from moisture all night long and won’t be as cold in the morning when you slide in to leave. 

Get a Cover for Your Car

Can’t possibly part with any of the stuff in your garage? Then invest in a cover you can put on your car at night. This will keep moisture off your windows and prevent ice from forming. If it snows hard, however, you may find it difficult to remove the cover itself, so this isn’t a perfect solution.

Apply De-Icing Products

Did you know there are some de-icing products you can apply in advance? These products typically need to be applied before the temperature drops below freezing, but they can go a long way toward shortening your battle with the morning ice and snow.

Apply a de-icing product the night before you expect it to snow or the temperature to drop below zero. You may still need to brush away some snow, but there shouldn’t be any problematic ice you need to scrape off. 

Best Products for Removing Ice from Your Windshield

Attractive man smiling and cleaning snow off his car

Sometimes, you may struggle to remove the ice from your windshield because you have the wrong product. Below are the best products for removing ice from your windshield. 

Calcium Magnesium Acetate

Calcium magnesium acetate is a more environmentally friendly option than traditional salt ice melt and is safe for applying to your windshield. Just be sure to get a pure calcium magnesium acetate product and not one that is simply coated in the material. 

The Better Ice Scraper

Sadly, those small ice scrapers you can grab for a dollar or two may not cut it for the level of ice you have built up on your windshield. When this is the case, purchase the Better Ice Scraper (on Amazon), specifically designed to help you scrape off thick ice. 

The Snow Shark

Remember earlier how we mentioned scraping a large vehicle can be difficult for a shorter individual? The Snow Shark (on Amazon) solves that problem by making getting ice off a large window a breeze. 

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