As the Met Office predicts more snow to fall this week, drivers across the UK will be dreading its effects on their car windscreens.

The forecaster is warning of “heavy snow” with the potential to cause “significant disruption” on Thursday and Friday with five to 10cm of snow in many locations.

Although, the Met Office stresses that it is safer not to drive in heavy snow or icy conditions, if you do need to drive you must prepare for your journey beforehand.

The motoring experts at have compiled a list of tips to help you effectively clean your windscreen and windows before setting off in freezing temperatures.

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A spokesperson for said: “Trying to scrape the windscreen of a vehicle on a cold and frosty morning can be a huge inconvenience, especially before setting off to work or school. Every year it is almost guaranteed that drivers will use their credit card or an old CD to clear the snow from their cars, but this can cause lasting damage to a vehicle.

“Making sure the windscreen is covered with tarp or some sort of sheet can help to ease the ice build up. And there are a number of homemade solutions that can be made that act as a great alternative to de-icer.”

How to clean your car's frosted windscreen and windows

Let your car warm up

If your car has a 'defrost' setting on its temperature gauge, you should make use of it.

It approximately takes around 15 minutes for the glass to get warm on the inside and consequently melt the ice on your windscreen.

You should also not leave your car to defrost while the engine is idling since this can result in a £20 fine or even up to £80 if you are in London.

Hereford Times: Let your car warm up if it has a defrost setting. ( Getty Images)Let your car warm up if it has a defrost setting. ( Getty Images) (Image: Getty Images)

Have a bottle of de-icer

Before we talk you through the homemade options, a bottle of de-icer is a simple and convenient product to have to hand. 

You can pick up a bottle at most petrol stations in preparation for the bad weather to save you on future stress during the morning rush.

Hereford Times: Cheap and simple tips to de-ice your windscreen amid the Met Office's snow forecasts ( PA)Cheap and simple tips to de-ice your windscreen amid the Met Office's snow forecasts ( PA) (Image: PA)

Salt water solution

Rather than melting the ice with heat, you can dissolve it with a chemical reaction instead.

The ions in salt are actually lower than the freezing point of water which makes it difficult for it to refreeze.

However, you shouldn't apply a lot of the solution since this could damage the glass so do use it sparingly.


If you have some vodka going spare, the spirit can also act as an effective de-icer due to its alcohol alternatives - although there are definitely cheaper options out there!

READ MORE: AA issues tips to avoid breakdowns as Met Office predicts snow

READ MORE: Experts reveal 'magic' trick for getting rid of snow and ice from cars in minutes 

How to stop a windscreen from freezing

Vinegar solution

Alternatively, you can use a vinegar solution and spray a mixture of water and vinegar on your windscreen instead.

It's important to note that the vinegar solution will not melt the ice but rather stops it from forming in the first place.

So think ahead by spraying your screen the night before.

Rub an onion

Similar to vinegar, the humble onion also acts as an effective preventative to stop ice from forming on your vehicle's windscreen. 

All you need to do is to keep an eye on the weather forecast and rub it generously in the windows and windshield the night before a big cold snap.

Keep it covered when you can

Drivers are recommended to keep their cars in a garage overnight to prevent ice from forming. 

If you don't have access to a garage or stage unit, you can make use of various materials like tarp, old bedsheets or newspapers to help stop any ice buildup.

Why you should not boil water to de-ice your car windscreen

The experts have also urged motorists to avoid boiling water to clear their windscreen - even if it appears as the quickest way of doing so.

However, the thermal shock caused by the sudden temperature change can cause the glass to crack.

Hereford Times: Drivers are urged to avoid boiling water to de ice their windshields. ( Getty Images)Drivers are urged to avoid boiling water to de ice their windshields. ( Getty Images) (Image: Getty Images)

How to stop your car windscreen from freezing inside

Your windscreen freezes from the inside due to the temperature inside your vehicle dropping low enough for any moisture in the air to condense and then freeze on surfaces.

To stop this from happening, drivers are encouraged to look for the obvious sources of moisture first like fixing wet clothes or door seals.

However, when the issue is less obvious than that there are other steps that motorists can take.

For instance, special dehumidifier pads can be utilised to suck moisture from the air or you could place a tub with salt, rice and cat little in your car for a similar effect.

It is important to add to replace this box regularly.

Those who park in garages have the option of cracking open a window to allow for damp air to escape the car.

An alternative is treating the windscreen by cleaning the glass and applying a thin film of shaving foam to it with a microfibre cloth before buffing the foam off.

This foam method works since the detergent forms a barrier so that the moisture cannot stick to the windscreen of the glass.