It’s that time of year: leaving the house to start your daily commute with five minutes to spare and realising your car has iced over. This can happen even when the days are mild so make sure you try and leave as much time as possible in the morning to defrost thoroughly.

The most important thing to remember when de-icing your car windows is not to drive until they are completely clear and staying that way. With potentially slippery roads, reduced light and adverse weather conditions it is never worth risking setting off only to have your window fog up again 30 seconds later. 

Here are our top five defrosting methods:

1. Warm (not hot!) water

Using lukewarm water is a quick and easy way to defrost your windows and can be incorporated into your morning routine. Switch the kettle on as you get ready and then leave it to cool before you head out of the door. If you use boiling water, it could cause your glass to crack so make sure you leave it long enough before pouring it over the windscreen. 

Be careful when you pour the water over the car that it doesn’t run off and catch you. Run your car’s defroster at the same time to prevent the windows from steaming back up.

2. Using a scraper

It’s a traditional method and it takes some muscle power but it works and that’s why we still use it. Invest in a good scraper with a nice wide surface area to save yourself time and wear gloves so that your fingers don’t freeze. 

While you’re scraping it’s a good idea to get your defroster going at the same time so your car is nice and toasty once you’re done.

3. De-icer

This is a quick and easy way to defrost your windows but it can be costly as cans have to be replaced regularly. Stand well back when you spray to avoid breathing too much in or getting any in your eyes. It’s also a good idea to wear a pair of gloves while you do this as the end of the bottle can get really cold to touch!

4. Tuck your car in at night

One way to avoid having to defrost your car at all in the morning is to cover it over at night. You can buy a car cover from Halfords, or use a piece of card, an old towel or a folded sheet. Make sure they cover the full length of your windscreen to avoid dew leaking underneath and causing frost on exposed areas.

A handy tip is to use your windscreen wipers to hold the cover in place. Just make sure to be gentle and not stretch them too far.

5. Patience is a virtue

One of the best ways to defrost your car thoroughly so you avoid it fogging up again as you drive off is to warm your car up slowly using its own heating system. Get the engine going as soon as possible and turn your heating up full blast, ensuring it’s directed at the windows and not left pointing in the direction of your toes from the night before.

Put your windscreen wipers on so that they can clear away melted ice or snow and prep the windscreen for your impending journey. If you have de-icer in your screen wash dispenser, give that a few squirts too to help the defrost process on its way.

With this method the main thing to remember is not to leave your car unattended while the engine is running. It's best to sit in it while the defrost takes place. Remember your insurance would be void if an opportunistic thief should jump in and steal it. Take the short time it takes to defrost to listen to the radio – traffic updates may come in handy – or simply take the opportunity to enjoy the winter scenery before you start the day ahead.