I recently woke up to frost on my windshield (as you may have before reading this). Frost is one of those pretty harmless but annoying occurrences much prefer to prevent if possible to avoid scraping my windshield or waiting on the defroster.
If you’re tired of frosted windshield, don’t worry! You can prevent frost using a few different methods.
Today I’ll share 3 easy and effective ways to remove first from your windshield. Some methods may or may not be applicable, but all work pretty well.
1. Spray a frost-preventing product on your windshield
- Vehicles without a nearby structure or covering
- Convenience, not dealing with windshield covers
A common recommendation, you can use mix a homemade solution of three parts vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle to prevent frost buildup on your windshield. Simply apply a light coating the night before.
The idea is to apply a thin layer of liquid that won’t freeze when the temperature at your windshield reaches the freezing mark. Vinegar freezes at four degrees lower than water which is why it can help prevent frost.
Use a dedicated frost prevention spray-on product
You can also find dedicated de-icer products on Amazon like this one by Prestone if you don’t want to go DIY. This one has pretty good reviews, but there are several products to choose from.
The spray bottle method is not my favorite but they do work; in my opinion, sprays are a bit inconvenient and can leave a residue on your windshield depending on the product used.
My favorite method to prevent frost build-up is to park strategically as I’ll cover next.
2. Park with your windshield facing a wall or structure
- Maximum convenience
- Homeowners that park in the driveway
- If you don’t want to apply a spray-on product
Since frost is often formed when the wind is able to freeze morning dew if you park with your windshield facing a structure like a garage or a wall you are more likely to prevent frost from forming in the first place.
I’ve noticed when I back my truck into my driveway (on some occasions), the windshield frosts up pretty easily as opposed to pulling in directly in front of my garage door.
A process called black body radiation I actually found out about on Reddit here, causes objects warmer than the air (like your car) to basically transfer heat to other objects (and vice versa).
Take a look on a winter day at how many vehicle windshields are exposed to the wind and air (away from a garage or structure) vs. those alongside a wall or garage. Chances are, people with vehicles in the open air are more likely to deal with frosted-up windshields as opposed to other vehicles in proximity to a structure.
In extreme temperatures, frost will likely form no matter where you position your vehicle, but for relatively mild climates it’s worth a shot!
Park under a structure
To maximize the effects of thermal radiation, it’s best to park under a covered structure like a carport or canopy.
Some apartment buildings offer parking spots with covered carports—consider this added expense if you live in an apartment complex and want to prevent frost buildup in the morning.
3. Use a windshield cover
- If you are expecting ice and/or frost
- If you don’t want to apply products to your vehicle
In situations where you may have a bit of ice, an insulating windshield cover is a great way to prevent frost or ice buildup. Many of these windshield covers contain several layers like an aluminum-coated exterior and cotton lining like this one.
Magnets keep the cover attached and most of these have straps as well.
A windshield cover may not be worth the hassle late at night if you typically experience minimal frost but are handy to have for winter weather events. Tip: many of these covers also can keep your vehicle cooler in the summer.
Car covers (and windshield covers) can damage paint as I recently wrote about in this post, so be sure you’re careful.
One last note
Winter car care is as much about protecting your vehicle as anything else. You obviously want a clean car, but you want a protected car as well.
Cold temperatures make it inconvenient to wash your vehicle as frequently, so be sure to apply a high-quality wax or synthetic coating—or have a detailer apply it for you.
Check out my post, 9 Winter Tips for Washing Your Car in the Winter for more tips like this one!