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Best way to clean icy windscreen

Perth, Australia
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36 posts
10 reviews
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Best way to clean icy windscreen

We will be holidaying in the South Island in July and have a question about cleaning an icy windscreen.

Not having experience such condition before, I wonder how you guys do it. I am hiring a car and do not want to damage the windscreen. I heard that it's a no no to use hot water. Is pouring it with water advisable? or just scrap it with a scrapper. (hope the hire company can lend me a scrapper)

Any tips is appreciated. Thank you.

Perth
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533 posts
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1. Re: Best way to clean icy windscreen

We were given an ice scraper which looks pretty much like a credit card! I am sure you will get one at the hire car yard.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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793 posts
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2. Re: Best way to clean icy windscreen

Bring a pair of gloves to use with the scraper! Luke warm water is OK to use, then to keep the screen ice free, use the windscreen wipers.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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28,285 posts
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3. Re: Best way to clean icy windscreen

Hi JMCL

Pouring water over the windshield doesn't work as it often just freezes up more. Even using hot water. Scrapping is the best method to remove the ice. The side of a credit card or phone card works really well.

However the best move is just prevent ice forming to begin with. Get a small blanket or large towel and cover the front windshield in the evening. You can tuck it inside the windshield wipers to hold in place if needed.

Don't just rely on the demisters to clear the windows for you as you drive. Here in Wanaka the police get upset when vehicles are being driven with half obscured windows and they do issue tickets. Check all ice is off the side and rear windows as well as the front, before driving.

Perth, Australia
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36 posts
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4. Re: Best way to clean icy windscreen

Thanks again everyone for your advice.

New Zealand
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5. Re: Best way to clean icy windscreen

Newspaper is also a good option to cover the screen the night before. Use a bit of tape to hold it in place up the top and tuck under the wipers down the bottom- 1/2 dozen sheets should do it (although I've only done that in Hawkes Bay, you may need a dozen for down south!)

Christchurch
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652 posts
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6. Re: Best way to clean icy windscreen

Hi Guys

I have a much better way of cleaning the ice of windscreens. After 20 years of doing shift work and often coming out late at night or first thing in the morning to iced windscreens the best thing I have found is this recipie - warm but not hot water with a good squart of dishwashing liquid and a very good squart of 70% alcohol.

Both the dishwashing liquid and the alcohol lower the freezing point of the liquid ie. instead of freesing at zero it is around about -5 to -7 deg c

I have used this brew for many years and it has never failed me.

cheers

Kiwi

New Zealand
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7. Re: Best way to clean icy windscreen

.....and then just hope that you don't get pulled over, they are never going to believe you when you tell them "no ocipher, I squirted it on the screen, honest!" :)

Greymouth, New...
Destination Expert
for South Island
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8. Re: Best way to clean icy windscreen

The above advice is really good.

many motels will ahve garageing or car ports to park in, if they are available, then park under shelter.

Thats the easy way.Or you could spend all ypour holdays in Northland or on the West Coast where frosts barely exist.

Just as an aside,

A few years ago a man was prosecuted for helping a woman to defrost her windscreen as they departed from a pub one evening. her car was in the street, and he used his own supply of warm liquid directed at the windscreen to melt the ice. So watch out for good samaritans too.

Montreal
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107 posts
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9. Re: Best way to clean icy windscreen

Haha, this thread amuses me. Growing up in Newfoundland, Canada - cleaning icecovered cars is so common I forget some people have never had to do that! Home in Newfoundland, it's quite common to have up to a half inch of ice covering our cars after a hailstorm, sleetstorm, or even a fall frost-not to mention a few feet of snow to shovel off after storms! I went out of town for a week once when we had a blizzard which dropped over 50 cm of snow in a night-I couldn't even see my car! haha. On man I miss that. Anyway, I've only been to New Zealand in the summer, so not sure how your cars are outfitted, but in Canada we use an ice scrapper as long as your arm so you can really get some torgue going on, as well as antifreeze windshield washer fluid that squirts out of the hood of the car-for minor ice. And the windshield heaters and mini scrappers for the ice on the inside of the car. But I'm sure whatever ice you will have to deal with will pale in comparison to Canada, it's likely a bit of jack frost type frost that you can scrap off in a minute or two with a credit card or a mitten.

I wouldn't bother with the warm water-more trouble then it's worth, and it will probably just freeze over thicker. Just scrap off the ice with a car scraper, credit card, or anything PLASTIC- so you won't scratch the windshield. Once you have it mostly scrapped off, the misters will do the rest in a minute or two, just don't drive off onto the roads until the windows are clear, and don't forget the side mirrors. I'd imagine it would fun for you, never seeing that before! Have fun!

Christchurch
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652 posts
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10. Re: Best way to clean icy windscreen

Hi Guys

No I have never been pulled over by the police and had to explain re the smell. Lucky I suppose

Just a word of caution regarding the credit card as a scrapper - an expensive option if you damage it and it no longer works and you ask the bank for a new one - they will charge you.

As to the guy from NewFoundland - well you just have to humour us. I was astonihed and amused when in Canada several years ag0 - they plug there car into the parking meter to stop it freezing during winter!

cheers

Kiwi