What’s the best way to de-ice your car windscreen?

Winter is definitely here, and while kids across the country are building snowmen and having snowball fights, it’s not quite such a cheery story for drivers.

Cold weather conditions mean most motorists start their day scraping snow and ice off their car before they set off, but what’s the best way to deal with a frosty windscreen?

Boiling water is not the answer

Some pour boiling water on their windscreens but this could actually damage your car, with the dramatic change in temperature causing the windscreen to shatter.

Instead, mix a teaspoon of salt into normal, tepid water and pour it over your windscreen, washing away the ice without causing any long-term damage to your motor.

Clear your windscreen in seconds

Another trick to clear your windscreen in seconds is to mix three parts vinegar with one part water and pour it over your screen before setting off.

You should never clean your windscreen with anything other than a car-specific scraper — credit cards, spatulas and anything else could scratch or shatter your screen.

You should also never leave your car attended with the motor running — not only will it attract thieves you could be charged with not being “in control” of your vehicle.

If you want to prevent your windscreen frosting over in the first place, experts recommend soaking an old towel in salted water and placing it over your windscreen before bedtime.

Uncleared cars can result in fines

Rule 229 of the Highway Code says motorists should make sure all ice and snow are cleared from their vehicle — including the roof — before setting off.

Failure to do so is not only dangerous, but it could also see you slapped with a £60 fine if a police officer thinks you’re driving a car they think is in a ‘dangerous condition’.

And it’s not just ice and snow, either — too much mist or condensation on the inside of the glass could also see you stopped if you can’t see out safely.

Your car, your problem

Richard Gladman, Head of Driving and Riding Standards at IAM RoadSmart, says drivers need to take responsibility for ensuring their vehicle is roadworthy in the winter.

He said: “Don’t rely on the performance of your car systems to get you out of trouble – allow time, make sure you have good visibility all round and carry the right equipment.”

Want to find out more about how to stay safe on the roads this winter? Check out our Complete Guide to Winter Driving.

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