Waking up to an icy windscreen is a familiar scenario for many of us, and as winter approaches, defrosting your car’s windscreen will soon become part of the daily routine.

It may seem like a straightforward task, but some methods for defrosting a car windscreen can do more damage than good.

In this article, we’ll talk about how to defrost a car windscreen and the best ways to do it.

The best way to defrost your car windscreen

Defrosting your car windscreen effectively is essential for safe driving during cold winter months. Here is the best way to defrost your car windscreen:

1. Turn off your wipers

  • Before you start defrosting your windscreen, make sure that your wipers are switched off. If your wipers are on when you start the engine then there is the risk that they could become damaged.

2. Start the engine

  • Turn on your car’s engine and stay with your car.
  • Put the warm air blower on and make sure it is set to the windscreen setting as this directs warm air to the windscreen, helping to melt the ice or frost.
  • If your car has a rear window defroster or heated mirrors, turn it on. This will help clear the rear window and mirrors, improving visibility.
  • Increase the temperature of the heater to the highest setting for the fastest results. However, be careful not to overheat your car or use a temperature that could damage the interior or windshield.
  • Turn on the air conditioning as this will remove any moisture in the air to prevent the windscreen from misting up.

3. Clear snow from the roof and grille

  • Using a soft brush, remove all snow from the roof and grille of your car, as it can slide down and obstruct your view while driving.
  • Make sure your lights are visible.

4. Scrape the windscreen

  • While you wait for the windscreen to defrost, use a scraper to remove ice and frost.
  • For faster results, use de-icer.

5. Be cautious

  • Once your windscreen is clear, be cautious and drive safely, as roads may still be slippery in cold weather.


How to prevent your car windscreen from freezing

The most effective way to prevent your car windscreen from freezing is to park it in a garage. However, if you don’t have access to a garage, there are other ways to prevent ice on your windscreen.

Invest in a windscreen cover

A windscreen cover is an inexpensive way to prevent your car from frosting over. This simple accessory acts as a barrier against the frost, covering the glass to prevent frost from forming directly on the windscreen.

You don’t need to invest in an expensive product; in fact, you can make your own DIY windscreen cover using a piece of thick cardboard or a similar material. This DIY approach can be just as effective in stopping your car windscreen from freezing over.

Keep in mind that while windscreen covers are generally effective, strong winds can potentially dislodge them. 

Use de-icer

Not only can de-icer be used to defrost car windscreens but some de-icers can be used as a proactive measure to prevent frost buildup. Applying de-icer to your car windows the night before a cold snap creates a protective shield that prevents frost from sticking to the windscreen, making it easier to remove.

Use white vinegar

White vinegar can be used to prevent frost from accumulating on your car windscreen. Create a solution by mixing three parts white vinegar with one part water and spray it on your windscreen the night before. As this mixture dries, it forms a protective barrier with a lower freezing point, making it harder for frost to stick to the glass.

How to stop a car windscreen from freezing on the inside

Preventing your car windscreen from freezing on the inside is important for visibility during the colder months. Here are some tips to avoid ice from forming on the inside of your car windows.

Keep the interior dry

When the temperature of your car is low enough, moisture in the air will condense on surfaces and begin to freeze. Make sure the interior of your car stays as dry as possible. Avoid leaving wet items like coats or umbrellas in the car overnight.

Use moisture-absorbing products

Place moisture-absorbing products like dehumidifier pads inside your car. These can help reduce humidity levels and prevent condensation on the interior of the windscreen. Alternatively, a tub that contains salt, rice or cat litter can be placed in your car to stop your windscreen from freezing on the inside.

Leave the windows ajar

Leaving the windows slightly open can allow moist air to escape from the car, reducing the chances of your car windscreen freezing from the inside. However, ensure the crack is small enough to maintain security and not let in too much cold air.

Use a windscreen cover

Windscreen covers can be used on the inside of a car to prevent frost. Placing a cover over the inside of the windscreen can help to maintain a warmer temperature and reduce condensation.

Check the car’s ventilation and drainage

If the previous methods do not prevent ice from forming on the inside of your windscreen, there may be a more serious matter causing the issue. Problems with your car’s drainage or ventilation can result in a damp car interior. This constant dampness makes your car vulnerable to icy windows during winter and fogged-up windows in the summer.


Things to bear in mind when defrosting your car

When defrosting your car, there are several important considerations to keep in mind to ensure the safety of your vehicle. But what are they?

Use car technology to your advantage

Some new cars are equipped with remote heating technology, which offers the convenience of pre-warming and defrosting your car without setting foot inside it. If your vehicle boasts this capability you should embrace it in the colder months.

Through remoting heating and defrosting your car, you can plan ahead and ensure that your car is both toasty and frost-free when you need it. This not only gives you the comfort of stepping into a warm and ready vehicle but also prevents any threats posed by thieves.

Keep your car safe from thieves

Defrosting a car windscreen takes time, but it’s crucial to resist the urge to leave your vehicle in pursuit of somewhere warmer. Leaving your car with the engine running makes your vehicle a target for potential thieves. Should your car be stolen under these circumstances, an insurance claim will be denied because you left your keys in your car unattended.

Make sure the windscreen is completely clear

If you are in a rush it can be tempting to drive off as soon as the first signs of defrosting are visible. However, driving off while ice is obscuring your view is not only extremely dangerous but can result in a £100 fine and 3 points on your licence.

Frequently Asked Questions