9 Ways To De-Ice Your Windshield Without a Scraper

Updated: Apr. 08, 2024

No ice scraper? No problem. Here are some clever ways you can rid your windshield of stubborn ice when your ice scraper has vanished.

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Ziplock Bag
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Use a Bag of Warm Water

Fill a plastic bag with warm but not boiling water; boiling water may crack the cold windshield. Move the bag over the icy windshield to remove the glaze. This works well with ice that’s not too thick. Wipe off the water quickly to prevent re-freezing, or use the windshield wipers and your car’s defroster.

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Woman preparing a tea
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Pour Warm Water

This is for thicker windshield ice. Again, use warm but not boiling water. Pour the water on the windshield, then quickly brush off ice chunks and wipe off the water before it freezes. You can also clear the water with the windshield wipers and the defroster.

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hand holding sun visor interior inside car
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Run Defroster With Visors Down

Flip the visors in your car down at night and set your defroster on high before turning off the car.

In the morning, hit your car’s auto start and the defroster will blow air that will gradually warm up the inside of your windshield. The turned-down visors will redirect the air back toward the windshield instead of into the cabin, increasing airflow and decreasing de-icing time.

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Extension cord plugged into vehicle in winter
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Use an Engine Block Heater

An engine block heater warms your engine throughout the night. Then when you turn on your defroster in the morning, you’re blowing warm air immediately, decreasing the time needed to de-ice the windshield.

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box of hand warmers on a bench
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Use Hand Warmers

Activate simple hand warmers and run them over the inside of your windshield, thawing ice on the outside. Don’t hold the hand warmer at any one spot for more than 10 seconds to avoid cracking the glass. When the ice has melted or broken up, turn on your wipers and clear the windshield.

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Close-Up Of Rice On Sack
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Use Microwaved Rice Packets

Fill two socks or mittens with uncooked rice, then microwave for 30 seconds. Grab one packet in each hand and gently glide them over the interior surface of the windshield glass. As with the hand warmers, don’t holding the heated packet in any spot for more than 10 seconds to prevent cracking the glass. The heat from the rice transfers to the glass and melts the windshield ice.

You can also use a hot water bottle filled with warm water. As with the rice packet, slowly move the bottle across the inside of your windows while you’re sitting in the car.

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Close-up of a defrost spray used on a car window
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Spray Rubbing Alcohol and Water

Mix one part room temperature water with two parts isopropyl (aka rubbing) alcohol in a spray bottle. Liberally spray this mixture on the windshield and wait a minute or so to let it work. Then brush off the ice and/or turn on the wipers. The isopropyl alcohol prevents the mixture from freezing, so you can keep the spray bottle in your car.

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Senior de icing his car window with a bottle of antifreeze spray .
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Spray a Commercial De-Icer

Spray a product like CRC Ice-Off on your windshield. Wait a minute to let the de-icer work, and then wipe away the ice. One 12-ounce spray can may not be enough, so buy two. Prestone Windshield De-Icer comes with a lid that doubles as an ice scraper.

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Frosty morning and Ice covered window car. removing the snow from the window of the car
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Use Plastic Household Items

Use the side of a ruler from your child’s school supplies and scrap off the ice, or let your child do it and offer a reward. A credit card also works but takes a lot of time. And make sure not to damage the magnetic strip on your card. Another option: Flip over a hard plastic food container and scrape the ice with the edges.