Can You Pour Hot Water on a Frozen Windshield?

A car covered in snow with a frosted windshield

Answer: No. While it may be tempting to quickly thaw out your windshield with hot water, it’s a very bad idea. Rapid temperature changes in glass can cause it to crack, and automotive glass is no exception.

However, there are easier ways to thaw out your windshield. Allow the experts at Glass Doctor to help you safely and effectively defrost your windshield for safe winter driving.

How to Defrost a Windshield

Keep the Blades Clean

When you park your car on a snowy day, residual heat left on your windshield will melt the snow. This water will pool and freeze on your wiper blades. When this happens, you’ll have to break and chip the ice away to free them. The wipers won’t perform very well until all the ice melts on the blades, which takes a while. And if you  chip away the ice on the blades, it shortens the lifespan of the rubber.

To prevent all these problems, flip your wipers up every time you park. That way, after you scrape the snow off the window, your wiper blades are free of ice and ready to do their job.

Scrape and Wipe

Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy way to defrost a windshield. If you live in a snowy climate, invest in a high-quality scraper that has a brush and an ice scraper attachment. Look for one that has an extendable arm so you can also brush snow off the roof and hood. Don’t skimp on quality; make sure the handle is rigid and won’t break when you’re scraping away ice.

Defrosting Hacks

Buy yourself some time (and warmth) and install a remote start on your vehicle. That way you can start the car before you head out the door. This will give your car time to warm up so the defroster starts working before you start scraping snow. No remote start? Throw on some boots and start the car 10 minutes before you leave.

Running out of time? Try this tip. Fill a spray bottle with 2/3 rubbing alcohol and 1/3 water. Spray this solution on the glass to quickly remove any ice buildup.

Whatever you do, don’t look for a shortcut. Never pour vinegar or any other chemicals on your windshield glass. Defrosting your windshield is something you just have to deal with if you live in a snowy climate. A good pair of gloves, a quality snow brush and some elbow grease should be the only things you rely on to defrost your windshield.

Professional Windshield Replacement

Did you read this blog too late and crack your windshield? Driving with a damaged windshield is dangerous. Our windshield replacement service technicians will come right to you and replace your windshield while you wait. Give us a call at (833) 365-2927, or schedule an appointment online.

Your car windshield isn’t the only thing that accumulates ice. Melting ice in other places around the house can pose some interesting hazards. Learn more from our sister company The Grounds Guys about how to keep your family and your home safe in the winter. The Grounds Guys are part of Neighborly’s trusted network of home service providers.