To stop ice from covering your windshield overnight, protect your windshield with a secure windshield cover. This will keep snow off your windshield and stop ice from forming on the glass. If you don’t want to use a windshield cover, you can use towels, sheets of cardboard, or a tarp to cover your windshield from the elements. These homemade solutions must be secured to stop them from blowing off at night. Finally, if you don’t need your car early in the morning, park with your car facing east. This way, the rising sun will help to melt off any ice on your windshield.
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5 Ways to Stop Ice From Forming on Your Windshield Overnight
Instead of scraping ice off your windshield every morning, use these techniques to prevent ice from forming in the first place. Here are the truly effective methods we learned from years of harsh winters.
Invest in a Windshield Cover
This windshield cover is the simplest, most effective, and easiest solution for an iced-over windshield. A windshield cover provides a physical barrier that stops snow from landing on your windshield and prevents ice formation. Since the windshield is not directly exposed to the cold air, ice won’t cover the windshield at all.
- Windshield covers provide a shield that prevents ice from crystallizing on your windshield.
- Removing snow and ice is as easy as removing the windshield cover in the morning.
- Good windshield covers secure to your car so they won’t be blown away by the wind.
- Weatherproof windshield covers resist water, so they won’t stick to your windshield.
One of the top reasons to use a windshield cover is because it secures to your car. High-quality windshield covers are designed with straps and flaps that connect to side view mirrors and doors. This way, no amount of wind will blow your windshield cover off. As a bonus, windshield covers are weatherproof, so they won’t get soaked and freeze to your car.
If you know the right tricks, you can use a towel to stop ice from forming on your windshield overnight. Spread your towels flat over the windshield. Then, tuck the towels under your windshield wiper blades, so that the bottom of the towels will remain in place. On windy nights, prevent the towels from blowing off by using a strap across the top half of your windshield, over the towels.
- Lay dry beach towels over your windshield to shield it from ice.
- Ice will form on the towels, not your windshield.
- Secure the towels in place using your windshield wipers and additional straps or rope.
- Do not use wet towels—they will freeze to your windshield.
- Avoid using towels in wet conditions where snow may melt and refreeze.
On dry, cold nights towels work excellently to keep your windshield snow and ice-free. However, wet conditions and freezing rain can freeze the towels to the windshield glass. Plus, securing your towels in place requires a few more steps than using a windshield cover.
Use Cardboard in a Pinch
Cardboard sheets make great windshield covers during the winter months. You can prevent a frozen windshield with an old cardboard box. To do this, just follow these steps:
- Break down a large cardboard box—or 2 smaller boxes—until you have enough cardboard to cover the windshield.
- Stand your windshield wipers straight up.
- Cover the windshield with the cardboard sheet(s).
- Fold the windshield wipers down over the cardboard, to help keep it in place.
- Close one end of a rope in your passenger-side door, leaving enough free rope so it can stretch across the windshield.
- Pull the rope over your windshield, on top of the cardboard, so that the cardboard is held in place.
- Close the free end of the rope in the driver-side door to keep it tight across the cardboard.
This system will keep the cardboard securely in place, so it does not blow away at night. Cardboard is an excellent snow and ice shield that can survive almost any winter storm when secured tightly. If it blows away, it won’t protect your windshield from frost or ice.
Test a Waterproof Tarp
If you’ve had issues with towels or cardboard becoming waterlogged and freezing to your windshield in the morning, use a tarp instead. Choose a tarp made of plastic or other waterproof material. Then, cover the windshield with the tarp and secure it with the wiper blades and bungees.
- This waterproof tarp is excellent for protecting your windshield from ice.
- Waterproof tarps are a great choice because they protect your windshield from freezing rain and slushy snow that refreezes.
- Choose a tarp with metal grommets so you can easily secure it against winter storm winds.
In addition to being waterproof, tarps excel as windshield covers because they can easily be secured tightly. A tarp with metal grommets at the corners is best. You can hook bungee cords to these grommets and secure them to your side view mirrors to keep the tarp from being blown off. Or, you can simply close your car doors on the edges of the tarp so it can’t be removed.
Park Facing the Morning Sun
If you don’t need to use your car before the sun rises, you can prevent windshield ice by how you park. If possible, park facing east, where no trees or buildings block the light from the rising sun. As the sun comes up, it will warm your windshield to loosen up snow and ice. So, you’ll have an ice-free windshield even if you don’t use a windshield cover.
- At night, park so that your car is facing east.
- Choose a parking spot that is not shaded, so the morning sun will hit the windshield.
- Even in very cold weather, the morning sun will help to melt ice on your windshield.
- This trick works best if you do not need to drive early in the morning.
This trick works great if you don’t have an early work schedule. However, it takes some time for the sun to melt ice on your windshield. These factors—plus the fact that the sun rises later during the cold months—means it won’t work for everybody. If you want to use your car before 8 AM, protect your windshield with one of the previous tips on this list.
What Can You Spray on Your Windshield to Keep Ice Off?
Alcohol and vinegar sprays won’t work to keep ice off your windshield overnight. Vinegar freezes at temperatures only a few degrees colder than water, so it will usually make the ice problems worse. Alcohol-based mixtures evaporate quickly. So, if you spray your windshield in the evening, the ice-prevention power will be gone quickly. If you use a spray solution, you’ll wake up to find your windshield covered in ice.
- Windshield sprays made from alcohol, vinegar, and other solutions won’t stop ice from forming on your windshield overnight.
- These sprays will run off or evaporate quickly after they are sprayed. Then, ice will cover the glass.
- Alcohol-and-water solutions can melt ice off a windshield, but they won’t stop ice from forming at night.
- Use a windshield cover, towels, or tarp to shield your glass and stop ice formation.
Alcohol spray is only useful when you use it on a windshield that is already covered in ice. The alcohol will help melt the ice for easier removal. However, the only real way to stop ice from covering your windshield at night is to use a physical barrier, such as a windshield cover or tarp.
Can You Put a Blanket on Your Windshield to Keep Ice Off?
You can use a blanket to cover your windshield effectively. This will keep ice off your windshield. Instead, the ice and snow will collect on your blanket. Just make sure to secure the blanket in place so it does not blow off. Secure the blanket at the bottom of the windshield using the wiper blades. Then, close the upper corners of the blanket in your car doors, so the blanket stretches across the whole windshield.
- You can use a blanket as an effective windshield ice shield.
- Use a dry blanket that is secured at the top and bottom of the windshield.
- Never use a blanket in wet conditions—it may freeze to your windshield.
Do not use a blanket as a windshield cover if it will be exposed to water that refreezes. If the windshield gets soaked by freezing rain—or by snowmelt that refreezes at night—the blanket will freeze to your windshield. This will make the blanket very difficult to remove. In wet winter conditions, use a waterproof windshield cover that will be easy to remove in the morning.
How Do You Stop Ice from Covering Your Windshield at Night?
Instead of fighting with an ice scraper every morning, use these solutions to stop ice from forming on your windshield at night:
- Put a windshield cover on your car at night.
- Cover the windshield with dry towels.
- Use sheets of cardboard to create an ice-proof barrier over your windshield.
- Secure a waterproof tarp over your windshield to keep ice out.
- Park facing east so the rising sun melts ice off your windshield.
Physical barriers on your windshield cause the ice to form on the cover, towels, or cardboard. So, you can just remove this covering in the morning to reveal a totally clear windshield.