Get on the road faster with our defrosting tips

When the cold mornings return, don’t get left standing out in the cold. With a bit of prep and the right tools, you’ll be able to get your car safely defrosted – and you back on the road quickly.

Our handy guide talks through the tricks to defrosting your car in record time, without damaging your windows and windscreen.

1. Use warm water

The key with this method is to use warm, not hot water – pouring boiling water on freezing glass can make it crack. Pour the water from the top of the window or windscreen and wipe away melted ice with a scraper. If you don’t have a scraper, a bank card or smooth piece of plastic will work, too.

This is a tried and tested method for defrosting your car. If you need to, you can even try adding some rubbing alcohol to the water to shift stubborn patches of ice 

2. Try de-icer

It’s a good idea to have a can of de-icer with you during winter – it’s a really effective way to get rid of ice and ideal for times when you might not be able to get hold of warm water. Wikihow recommend concentrating on the iciest patches and using the de-icer generously to remove the ice quickly. Once it starts to dissolve, use a scraper or cloth to scrap the ice off.

3. Make do with your heaters and a scraper

This is the slowest solution, but will still defrost your windscreen properly so you can drive off safely.

With the engine running, turn your heaters on full – use the defrost setting and the air conditioning to stop the inside glass from misting up. Work around the car with a scraper, getting rid of ice from all windows and mirrors. Finally, use your windscreen wipers to remove any remaining slush and water.

4. Remove snow build-up first

If you have a layer of snow on your car, a soft brush is a good way to remove it. Once the snow is off, you can remove any ice using one of the methods above. Remember to remove snow from the roof, front grills and lights of your car, too.

5. Prevent it from happening

Do away with the wasted time and hassle of de-icing altogether by stopping ice building up before it can start. You can buy specialist window covers to keep the cold out, or simply use an old towel, sheet or large piece of cardboard. The key is to cover your windows before any moisture or ice forms. In the morning, simply remove the cover to reveal your frost-free window.

And a few don’ts…

Although it can be a faff to wait for your car to de-ice properly, you could get a fine and 3 points if caught driving with ‘porthole vision’ – (when you only have a small area of the windscreen to see through), so it’s worth taking the extra time to defrost your car completely.

Finally, don’t be tempted to leave the engine running while you pop back inside – this is an open invitation to thieves and many insurance companies won’t pay out if your car is stolen this way.


With a little bit of prep and an eye on the weather forecast, you should be able to make it through winter mornings without too many defrosting delays. What are your favourite methods for ensuring your car is safe for winter weather? Let us know on our Facebook page.


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