DIY Quick Window Defroster and Other Winter Car Tips

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With winter upon us, and many places covered in snow already, I felt today would be a good time to share a tip on how to keep ice off your car windows, without freezing your hands off. Check out this DIY window defroster I found on Pinterest! This post contains affiliate links and I will receive compensation if you click through and make a purchase.  Defrost your windows in seconds with this homemade spray and other winter car care tips. Related Post: Winter Car Emergency Kit


I find myself often scraping the car windows, gloveless, because I was in a rush, forgot the gloves, couldn’t find the gloves or wasn’t expecting a frosty car.  My poor fingers on those days really don’t like me, and I don’t blame them. While browsing Pinterest, I came across a photo with a tip below it for de-icing car windows in a rush. Keep reading for more tips on dealing with icy windows.

DIY Window Defroster

  • 3 parts Vinegar
  • 1 part Water
  • Mix together. Spray on the windshield before nightfall as a pretreatment, or after ice forms. Either way should work.
I was thrilled and immediately told Mark about it. I always worry about putting anything on the car. Mark takes care of our vehicles, and he knows what is good or bad for the car. I didn’t think vinegar would be bad, especially just on the windows, but had to make sure from the boss. He says it’s ok to use.
So next I went to the source of the picture – Coffee Break with Liz and Kate.   I’m so glad I did too because they answered my next question, how/why does this work?  In their words: 

“Vinegar contains acetic acid, which raises the melting point of water – preventing water from freezing.”

Alternative Window Defrosters

I’ve been reading up on this tip lately, before winter hits again, and have found many of you tried it over on Pinterest. Some found it worked, others were not impressed. Overall it seems the vinegar can leave your car smelling, well, vinegary. Some found the spray would just refreeze on the windshield. Here are some alternatives to try.

Replace the vinegar with Isopropyl Alcohol. Mix with water in same proportions.

Replace the water with Dish Soap. Mix with vinegar in same proportions.

Replace the vinegar with Isopropyl Alcohol and the water with Dish Soap. Keep the 3:1 ratio. 

I would also suggest after spraying the mixture turn on the car wipers before anything has a chance to refreeze to the windshield.

Other Winter Car Tips

Use this spray on the door handles and key lock to open frozen doors.

Keep hand warmers in the glove compartment. 

Check your oil and air filter before the cold hits.

Keep an ice scraper in the car, however, if it breaks or you’ve left it somewhere, credit cards work wonders on the windshield!

Store a shovel in the trunk for digging out of a snowbank (hopefully you never need it)

Did this Window Defroster solution work for you?

9 thoughts on “DIY Quick Window Defroster and Other Winter Car Tips

  1. That's a really fantastic tip. We live in Santa Barbara where they don't sell de-icers and I hate having to sit in my car forever waiting for the ice to melt.

  2. Hi, Adelina! Thank you for sharing this amazing tip! It`s very useful and definitely a time savior. Well, maybe vinegar won`t work at extremely low temperatures or it has to be more of it for this mix to work. Either way, this is an amazing advice. I was wondering, did you had a problem with the smell?

    1. I don’t recall a problem with the smell (I haven’t had to use it this winter yet), but I do know others have said the smell sticks in the car.
      My best advice would be to use sparingly, and don’t keep it in your car. Try not to let it get on your hands/clothes, and the smell should stay outside of the car.

  3. Vinegar is always a go for me. I agree with the DIY ingredients you shared here, Adelina. Though it’s smelly, it’s tolerable when you add some scent like strawberry scent shampoo or lemon scent dish soap. Great to stumble upon here.

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