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Winters are harsh, especially in Canada, where snow, ice and freezing temperatures usually set in for long periods of time. One of the biggest challenges that almost every vehicle owner has to deal with in the wintertime is removing ice off the windshield.

There is so much misleading information on the Internet about ice removal techniques for your windshield, and we feel like it's time to debunk some myths and tell you more about the right ways to remove ice and snow from your windshield. The goal is to keep that windshield from being replaced for as long as you can!

At Easy Auto Glass, we know how difficult winters can be for any vehicle owner. Our auto glass company is located in Calgary, so we are familiar with the unpleasant conditions that Canadian winters bring and the quick temperature changes due to our Chinooks. As a leader in our industry, many clients have come to us for windshield crack repairs (or scratches) after trying to remove the ice with questionable tools and techniques. Whether an ice removal has gone wrong or some other occasion raised the need for you to fix your vehicle's windshield, learn more about our windshield repair and replacement services, and contact us to schedule an appointment!

What Preventative Measures Can You Take?

Are Windshield Snow Covers Worth It?

Windshield covers are among the most commonly used products to prevent ice and snow from building up on the vehicle. Although windshield covers generally work and keep snow off your car, they are not always a suitable solution. If your vehicle's windshield already has a crack or chip, the decreasing temperatures could cause the glass to contract or expand, causing further stress on the windshield. A windshield snow cover can't stop or prevent a windshield chip or crack from further movement, it only tries to keep the snow and ice off.

We've read soaking the cover in salt water or vinegar solution could help, but that is a major "NO" in every aspect in trying to save your windshield from the elements. You're trapping moisture behind the cover directly on the windshield itself, and when it starts to get warm, the moisture can seep into the rock chips or cracks and, with temperature changes, can cause the unrepaired damage to spread. 

Unfortunately, the cover may be more of a challenge than what it's worth, not taking into consideration the upfront cost of the snow cover itself.  

What Is the Right Way to De-ice Your Windshield?

There are many ways to de-ice your windshield without damaging your car. Here we will talk about the ones that really do work and are commonly used in Canada:

Warming Up Your Vehicle Is Key to Removing Ice From Your Windshield

This may seem like an obvious one, but warming up your car can help you de-ice your windshield more quickly and efficiently. Turning on your heat dial to the "defrost" setting and letting the vehicle warm-up is still the old-fashioned way to get us Albertans up and running. 

  • Keep in mind that the settings should NOT be set on "recirculating "air.

  • The inside of the vehicle probably has moisture under the floor mats, and this can cause "frost "on the INSIDE of the windshield. In newer vehicles, they are so air-tight they can't breathe. Try cracking the window open a bit and see how quickly a windshield can defrost. Less scraping and more swiping.

  • Also, a great winter temperature rated windshield washer fluid can help immensely to help melt the snow and ice off the windshield. Make sure you change to the winter washer fluid in the fall, so you're more prepared for the winter season!

During the cold winter months, it is essential to pay attention to your windshield and make sure that there are no cracks or chips that may cause it to break entirely. When unsure what is the right thing to do, give us a call or drop by and have one of our team of experts lend a hand. It may come down to replacing the windshield, and we will assist with the best quality windshield repair or replacement services in Calgary!

Remember, with every windshield replacement we do in our shop at Easy, the new windshield comes with the FREE Rock Chip Program for the life of the windshield as long as you own the vehicle!

Use a Homemade Defrosting Spray?

A homemade de-icing spray can help you remove ice from your windshield more easily, providing there is NO rock chip damage or cracks visible. 

Again, this is an option to try, but a good old-fashioned "warm up the vehicle "is still the safest bet. 

There are two types of mixtures that you can make at home in no time:

  • Mix a few teaspoons of table salt with cold water.

  • Mix two parts of 70% isopropyl alcohol with one part of water.

You can put either mixture in a spray bottle and use it as a defrosting spray. As spraying the mixture on your vehicle, you will notice the ice melting and breaking apart, so you can easily remove the rest with your ice scraper.

Choose Your Ice Scraper Carefully

Even though this is one of the most used products, not all ice scrapers are equally effective when it comes to removing ice from your windshield. It's best to choose a plastic ice scraper with a brush on one side instead of a metal one because there is a smaller chance of damaging the glass. The best ice scraper should not be too heavy, and it should also have a good grip. It shouldn't slip from your fingers as you work but feel easy to use.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Defrosting Your Windshield

Defrosting your windshield is not a complicated task, but it is one that requires paying attention to details. There is a lot of misleading information on the Internet regarding de-icing a vehicle's windshield. Here are some examples of bad practices that you should never choose when defrosting your vehicle:

  • DO NOT put hot water on the windshield. This may seem like a logical solution, but in fact, pouring hot water on your windshield WILL cause it to crack due to the big difference in the temperatures.

  • DO NOT scrape your windshield with anything other than an ice-scraper. Using keys, spatulas, credit cards, or other sharp objects can only scratch your windshield.

  • DO NOT use a hairdryer or portable heater to melt the ice on your windshield. ( we saw this one on the Internet)

At Easy Auto Glass, we are experts when it comes to windshield repair and replacement. We are a proudly Canadian auto glass company and offer our wide range of auto glass services in Calgary, Alberta. When in need, you can rely on us to help you find the best auto glass solution for your vehicle. Contact us today, and let's discuss how we can help!