How many winters have you woken up to the first frost without de-icer in your car?
Fear not. These homemade de-icer recipes are just what you need to save the morning scrape.


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You should never pour hot water onto your car to melt the ice, you could crack your windshield.

At a glance

1. Homemade de-icer using vinegar and water

2. De-icer using alcohol and water

3. Homemade de-icer using salt

Homemade de-icer using vinegar and water


  • 3 parts white vinegar
  • 1 part room temperature water

A homemade de-icer with vinegar is probably the least effective homemade de-icer recipe on our list, but it’s perfect if you’re in a rush.

Mix the vinegar and water in a spray bottle and liberally spray the ice on your car and you should see the ice slowly start to loosen.

The acetic acid in vinegar has a lower freezing point than water so when you spray the ice on your car the vinegar will dissolve into the ice, melting it in the process.

Top tip: the best use of this remedy, is to spray your windows the night before, preventing the ice from forming in the first place.

De-icer using alcohol and water


  • 2 parts rubbing alcohol
  • 1 part water

Alcohol has a much lower freezing temperature than water, making it ideal as a homemade de-icer spray. Adding the alcohol mixture to the ice makes the surrounding temperature warmer, causing the ice to melt.

Use room temperature water rather than cold water to speed up the melting process.

Homemade de-icer using salt


  • Salt
  • Water

You’ll probably have seen the roads being gritted with rock salt to prevent black ice as the weather gets colder. This is because the salt mixes with the moisture on the ground and creates a saline solution, which has a lower freezing point than pure water.

While sprinkling pure salt onto your windscreen won’t do much on its own, a warm saline solution is just the thing for de-icing in a hurry.

How to prevent ice on your windshield

All the recipes on this list will work to de-ice your car in a squeeze. However, there are also things you can do to prevent ice settling in the first place.

The next time the weather starts to dip, try this:

  • Cover your car overnight – this will prevent moisture settling on your car and turning to sheets of ice
  • Park facing east – the sun rises in the east, meaning the early morning sun will help melt the ice on your windshield before you need to head out
  • Rub onions on your windows – believe it or not, the oil from onions can prevent ice from forming on your car windows
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