Parking outdoors in the Twin Cities during winter means you’ll inevitably need to remove ice from your vehicle’s windshield and side windows. While there are a number of effective ice removal methods you can use, not all of them are safe for your auto glass.


Certain de-icing procedures can leave your windshield with noticeable scratches, chips, or even cracks that necessitate prompt auto glass repair. To help you avoid windshield damage this winter, the experts at Centennial Glass share helpful auto glass de-icing tips below.


Use Your Vehicle’s Defrost Setting to Melt Ice

The safest way to de-ice your auto glass is to use your vehicle’s defrost setting. But don’t crank the setting all the way to high as soon as turn the defroster on! Immediately turning the defrost to the highest heat setting can stress your vehicle’s windshield because it creates a drastic temperature shift against the glass.


Much like dropping an ice cube into a cup of warm water will cause the ice to crack, drastic temperature changes can have a similar effect on your auto glass. If your windshield already features minor chips or cracks, they can quickly grow worse with exposure to a sudden temperature change.


To avoid the need for auto glass repair or, in a worst-case scenario, windshield replacement, make sure you give the defroster plenty of time to do its work. Ideally, you should allow the defroster to run on a low to medium setting for at least 20 minutes, so it can gradually melt the ice on your windows.


Remove Ice With a Plastic Scraper

If you’re in a hurry, using an ice scraper is the most efficient way to de-ice your windshield. But make sure you never scrape ice off your auto glass with any material other than plastic!


Using any item that is harder or sharper than plastic to scrape ice from your windshield can cause significant scratches, cracks, or chips in the glass. And in freezing temperatures, glass damage can spread quickly. To avoid a windshield replacement or auto glass repair on any of your other vehicle windows, be sure to keep a plastic scraper in your vehicle throughout winter.


Pour Tepid Water on the Glass

If you don’t have an ice scraper nor the time to wait for your windshield to defrost, you can use water to quickly de-ice your windshield and vehicle windows. But if you plan to take this route, make absolutely sure you use room-temperature water. Never pour hot water on your windshield!


As mentioned, subjecting your windshield and windows to immediate, drastic temperature fluctuations can cause the glass to crack, necessitating prompt auto glass repair. To safely de-ice your windows using water, slowly and steadily pour tepid water on the ice to gradually raise the temperature of the glass.


As the frost or ice melts, you can wipe it away with a cloth or use your windshield wipers to clear it from the glass. Since salt is also effective for melting ice, including some table salt in the water may help the process go faster.


Curious what else you can do to avoid the need for auto glass repair this winter? Check out our winter windshield maintenance tips.


Centennial Glass: Comprehensive Auto Glass Repair in the Twin Cities

If you need a windshield replacement or any other type of auto glass repair this winter, bring your vehicle to our experienced team at Centennial Glass. We’re approved by all major insurance companies and offer mobile repairs for your convenience. With over 25 years of experience, we’re the number one team to call when you have broken auto glass! To learn more or schedule an appointment, call our Blaine, MN office today at 651-653-1777 or contact us online.