We don’t know about you, but certainly for us, cold winter mornings and cars can be a recipe for a long-lasting bad mood. Vehicles might be our motorised children here at Autoprep, but the veil between love and hate gets pretty blurred on frosty mornings.

If you’re no fan of arctic conditions either, then we suggest following these handy defrosting hacks to get your day off to a better start.


Prevention is better than cure, as the old adage goes. If you want to a zero-hassle commute, then give this routine a go the night before.

  • Spray a solution of two-parts alcohol or vinegar and one-part water on your windscreen and mirrors. This should stop frost forming on the glass.
  • Equally, rub your blades with alcohol. This will stop them freezing to your windscreen and getting damaged.
  • Cover your windscreen with cardboardrubber bath mats or a folded sheet. Avoid using a newspaper – it’s too thin and you’ll find yourself unpicking headlines from your car for days.
  • Wrap plastic bags around your mirrors to stop them getting frosty.

Alternatively, you could let mother nature do the job for you. If you have the option to park your car facing east, then do so. This way, the ice will melt as the sun rises.

Defrosting on the day

If you got too cosy in front of Netflix and skipped the prevention step, then you’ll want to layer up as there’s no avoiding the morning defrost session:

  • Set your alarm ten minutes earlier – yes, we said ‘defrosting quickly’ in the title, but unfortunately, we’re not miracle workers and you’ll still need to set some time aside
  • Start up your engine and switch on the rear and front windscreen heaters
  • Pass a warmed-up rice packet back and forth in front of the windscreen – this will help warm the glass and melt the ice. Do not hold the rice in one spot on the glass for too long as the temperature difference could cause undue stress.
  • Spray some de-icer on all car windows, including the front and back windscreen
  • Get scraping – if you don’t have a scraper to hand, then the long-edge of a credit card is your next best bet. If you’re worried about breaking the card, then double up. Two cards are stronger than one.
  • If your locks are frozen, then use a lighter to heat up your key – just be careful not to burn yourself or heat it up so much that it’s unhandleable.
  • Use hand sanitizer for frozen doors – simply rub over the affected area and let the alcohol melt the ice.

Defogging your car using science

You’ve had the heating on for defrosting, and this might have helped with the ice, but you’ll notice that it’s done diddly-squat for the fog misting up the windscreen.

So how do we tackle this final hurdle?

The fog is there in the first-place because hot air can hold more moisture than cold air. This means, that as the temperature drops overnight, the air’s ability to hold moisture also reduces. This moisture has to go somewhere so it settles itself on your windscreen as very visible mist. There are a number of steps that can be followed to speedily rectify this:

  • Keep your heating on – if hot air hold more moisture, then ramping up the heat is the way to go
  • Put your air conditioning on – air conditioning has a drying effect. Dry air can also hold more moisture and will absorb the excess mist in your car.
  • Crank down your windows – this way, you can let moist air out of the car.
  • Keep your air recirculation off – again, you don’t want to recirculate moist air. You want to replace it with drier air outside the car.
  • Cat litter – you read that correctly. Filling a sock with (unused!) cat litter and leaving it on your dashboard overnight will help absorb much of the moisture that otherwise would collect on your windscreen. This should speed up the process dramatically the next morning.

Autoprep is a car body repair specialised based in Exminster, Devon.  including, dents, alloy wheel repairs, scratches and scuffs. Autoprep offers showroom quality repairs at trade prices for everyone. For more information, head to https://www.autopreprepair.co.uk/services/ 

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