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Top Five Windshield Ice Removal Myths Busted

Dec. 9, 2009

Impatient drivers trying to remove ice from windshields often discover creative ways to break the glass. Glass Doctor busts the top five auto glass de-icing myths:


1. Pour hot water on the vehicle's windshield and windows to melt the ice. Make sure it melts the ice completely so the frozen glass will shatter due to the extreme temperature change.


2. Tap the ice on the car windshield with a hammer to break the ice into pieces to pick off the glass. If that doesn’t work, hammer on a screwdriver or ice pick. This usually results in an impact hole or a large crack.


3. Scrape the ice off the truck windshield with a metal ice scraper, key, spatula, utility knife or crowbar. The metal either scratches or cuts grooves in the glass.


4. Use a propane torch to melt the ice. Not only is this dangerous to the torchbearer, but this also can unintentionally melt the glass.


5. Pour a mixture of vinegar and water on the windshield so that it freezes to the glass before the rain does, thereby preventing ice buildup. Unfortunately, vinegar eats pits into the windshield glass.


“These ideas may be creative, but they can be hazardous to your health,” Dave Kozlowski of Glass Doctor of Southeast Wisconsin said. “There is a better way to safely remove ice from windshields and auto glass. Gradually heat the glass from the inside while scraping and brushing ice from the outside.”


1. Check to make sure no ice or snow is obstructing the vehicle’s tailpipe. If it is covered, the ice or snow must be removed to prevent the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning inside the vehicle.


2. If the car door is frozen shut with ice, pour cold water to gradually melt the ice and use a plastic ice scraper to carefully chip a crack in the ice around the door seal and the lock. Do not try to “unseal” the door by using a hair dryer, cigarette lighter, ice pick, screwdriver, propane torch or portable heater.


3. Start the vehicle and use the defroster setting to warm the glass. Wait at least five minutes for the car to start to warm up.


4. When the ice in contact with the windshield is melting, use a plastic ice scraper and a soft plastic bristle brush or broom to clear the ice. A squeegee also helps.


“There are de-icing products on the market that may shorten the time it takes to melt the ice, but they have mixed results,” Kozlowski said. “The most important thing is to plan some extra time to remove the ice before traveling. Glass Doctor can fix the glass if it breaks, but can’t fix people if they get hurt.”


If you have personally busted a windshield de-icing myth, along with the windshield, call Glass Doctor at (262) 821-9682 for an appointment.


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