One of the last things you want to do one a cold morning is to scrape the thick ice and snow off your car. While some de-icing hacks have good merit, using warm water to clear the ice is not one of them.

The Downfalls of Warm Water De-Icing

Warm water de-icing can cause damage to your car in a variety of ways. The top three damages caused by warm water de-icing are:

  • Cracked Windshield. The most common damage caused by warm water de-icing is a cracked windshield. The introduction of hot water on an ice-cold piece of glass is the perfect recipe for trouble. Even lukewarm water temps can cause issues.
  • Wiper Blade and Wiper Motor Damage. With the warm water treatment, you also run the risk of water pooing around the wiper blades and the mechanism controlling the wiper blades. Rapid freezing will cause issues to both.
  • Paint Discoloration. If the boiling water is applied to painted parts of your car, it could leave a mark. When exposed to boiling water, the protective layer of wax on your paint job will melt and the water will leave a white watermark which can be very difficult, if not impossible, to remove.

Tried and True De-Icing Methods

When getting your car ready in the morning, stick to the tried-and-true ways of cleaning off your car. Invest in a sturdy ice scraper with a brush on the end, or a broom if you need to reach high places. If your car door is frozen shut, don’t use a hair dryer or chip away at the ice. Instead, pour cold water around the edge of your door and then try to scrape the ice off, repeating the process until you can safely open your door. Since cold water won’t make the car door expand and contract or melt wax like warm water will, it is safe to use on vehicles. Once you get in your car, turn on your defrosters.

It may take a few extra minutes to defrost your car the right way, but you’ll be happier with the results in the long run.