Clearing your windscreen in winter

It can be pretty inconvenient to get into your car in the morning, only to realise that overnight your windscreen has become covered in a thick, impenetrable layer of ice. In fact, it’s actually illegal to drive with poor visibility as stated by the Highway Code.

To help you prepare for the icy weather, RAC have put together some top tips for clearing your windscreen.

1. Place a cover on your windscreen

Before you head to bed the night before, save yourself some time in the morning by placing a cover on your windscreen overnight. You can purchase specialist windscreen covers, or simply place a blanket over the windscreen.

2. Keep a bottle of de-icer in your car

You can purchase de-icer from most garages, so it’s worth keeping a bottle in your car just in case. All you need to do is spray some de-icer on the outside of the frozen windscreen, and use a scraper (not a bank card or CD case) to wipe away any excess water or ice.

3. Don't reach for the kettle

Although it might seem logical to de-ice your car using boiling water from the kettle, it’s important to use de-icer instead. Don’t pour boiling water over your frozen windscreen, as the thermal shock (going from sub-zero temperatures to nearly 100 degrees celsius in a matter of seconds) can crack your windows.

4. Use your heater

It’s likely that, whilst de-icing your windscreen, you’ve left your car heaters running to aid the melting process and make sure you have a nice warm car to get into. However, this also causes mist to build up on the inside of the windows. When using the heater, start off cold and slowly increase the temperature to prevent misting.

5. Don’t wipe your windscreen

Although wiping the inside of the windscreen with a cloth might bring short-term relief from misting, it will likely leave marks on your windscreen making it harder to see as you move off. Use the heater to slowly increase the temperature inside the car.

6. Wait until your car is fully defrosted

Don’t move off until all of your windows are free of ice, snow and condensation to ensure you have full visibility.

This post was contributed by RAC. The RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists and are committed to making motoring easier, safer, more affordable and more enjoyable for drivers and road users.

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