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In Northern Minnesota, winters are more than just a cold-weather season. Even to Minnesota natives, weathering the bitter winter chill can be something of a stamina test between treacherous roads and the biting, cold wind. And on top of everything else, there’s the added pressure of having to deal with frosty, foggy windows each morning.

While we can’t make the cold weather disappear, our auto glass experts at Zenith Auto Glass can help you de-ice your windshield a little faster. In this post, we’re sharing everything you need to know to get the ice off of your windshield faster so you can move on with your day. When you need windshield repair or replacement services in the Duluth/Superior area, we’re happy to serve you. Give our auto glass technicians a call today.


Scraping the ice off of your vehicle completely can take a decent chunk out of your morning, and spending all of that time in the frozen air can make for a miserable commute. But the worst thing you can do is try to cut corners by only scraping off enough to eke out a minimal window of visibility. Doing so can impair your ability to drive on the already dangerous roads and prevent you from seeing everything you need to see to drive safely. Minimizing your winter morning stress is a two-step process: preventing ice buildup and removing it.


There are a couple of things you can do to keep ice from forming on your windshield, and the less ice that forms on your windshield, the less you’ll have to scrape.

Covering Your Windshield

If you can’t park in a garage or under a carport, you can at least cover the windshield when you see the forecast for icing conditions or a winter storm. Ideally, you’ll want to use an ice prevention cover or tarp, but any sheet, towel, or blanket will do in a pinch.

For an added layer of protection, you can add a saltwater solution before placing the fabric on your windshield. To make the solution, simply dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a quart of water. Next, soak the fabric in the saltwater solution. Wring it out so it’s damp but not soaked and then gently place it across your windshield. Use your wipers to secure it in place.

One of the great things about this method is that the fabric can be used more than once. Between uses, simply add a little water to keep it damp and store it in a plastic bag.

Using a De-icer for Ice Prevention

As an alternative, you can pick up a commercial de-icing spray. However, these can run a little on the pricey side. Or you can always save money by creating your own DIY windshield spray. Just remember to be careful when using any type of spray on your windshield as some solutions can damage your car’s paint or glass.

To make your own de-icer, use a solution of one part water to three parts vinegar. Be extremely cautious when using vinegar as it can create pockmarks in your windshield when used heavily.

To use a de-icer, either follow the instructions on the package or spray the glass only and then wipe away any excess spray. Use de-icer anytime you anticipate icy weather.


When you’re in a hurry to get out on the road and on your way to work, it can be tempting to chip away forcefully or even pound at your icy windshield. Resist the urge to do so as it can damage your windshield, especially when the cold causes ice to contract and makes it more vulnerable to breaking. Additionally, avoid applying hot or cold water to your windshield as these can freeze on the glass.

Defrosting Your Vehicle

Before taking a crack at ice removal, start by defrosting your vehicle to heat and warm the windshield. This will loosen the glass so it’s easier to remove and you don’t have to fight the ice.

Before starting your vehicle, check to make sure your tailpipe is clear of any ice or snow as a blocked tailpipe can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Set your heater on “defrost” and give your car at least 15 minutes to heat up so the ice starts to melt.

Using an Ice Scraper

Always keep an ice scraper in your glove box or console during the winter and consider keeping a spare on hand in case something happens to the first one. While scraping your glass, use short but purposeful scrapes. 

Adding a De-icer

One way to make things go faster is by applying a de-icer. To clear your windshield off in a hurry, use a solution of one part water, two parts 70% isopropyl alcohol, and a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap. Place the solution in a spray bottle and apply it to your windshield before scraping. Alternatively, you can purchase a commercial de-icer spray containing methanol. If you choose to purchase a commercial spray, just be careful to avoid storing them around your pets as they can be toxic for animals.


If your windshield gets chipped during the winter months, we recommend getting it repaired as soon as possible as these chips can crack and worsen in the winter cold. To get your windshield repaired, call 218-275-5555 or contact us online and connect with a member of our team.