Drivers urged to use onions and potatoes to defrost cars – full list of little-known tips

Scraping the windscreen in the freezing cold is an unwanted and time-consuming job – especially for those rushing out the door ready for work or the school run. Having endured the harshest of temperatures throughout winter for many years, the driving experts at Lotus Car Rental have shared nine “top hacks” for not only getting rid of the ice on the car, but preventing it too.

Rub onion on top of the windscreen

Onions have a similar effect to vinegar, and if you don’t have an onion in the cupboard, then drivers should try potatoes instead. The sugar molecules from these vegetables can work to break down frost as soon as it forms on the window.

Drivers should cut an onion or a potato in half and then rub it generously all over the windows and windscreen the night before and this should drive the frost away.

Park the car facing East

Something as simple as parking the car in the right place can give drivers one less job to worry about on a cold morning. Because the sun rises in the east, it can melt away the ice on the windscreen – giving drivers a few extra minutes in bed. However, it will depend on how much sunlight motorists get and how early they leave the house.

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Heat up the car

If drivers have forgotten to do any of the steps above to prevent ice from setting, then heating up the car is the first step. Whatever motorists do, they should not be tempted to use their wipers on the icy windscreen as that won’t de-ice the car in any way and is more likely to damage it.

Instead, motorists should turn their front and rear demister on max and the ice will start to melt from the heat. Drivers can then wipe away any excess water with your wipers, and return the fan to normal.

Also, drivers should not be tempted to go inside the house to stay warm as it’s not unusual for thieves to steal defrosting vehicles from driveways.

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Fill a bag with warm water

If drivers don’t own a car ice scraper or have de-icer fluid to hand, then this is another option to try for a quick result. It may sound obvious but it’s always worth mentioning that motorists should never pour boiling hot water onto their windscreen.

While one in five of drivers admitted to doing this, even pouring lukewarm water can cause car windows to crack, especially if they are already chipped. Instead, pour some warm water into a ziplock bag and then rub the bag over the windscreen. This hack went viral on TikTok last winter because it takes the ice off in seconds.

Last but not least – there’s always alcohol

Drivers might not like the sound of wasting a bottle of vodka on their car but depending on how desperate they are at that moment, it will do the job. The alcohol content in vodka makes it a great de-icer in minus temperatures – even if it drains the alcohol supply.

It’s important to remember driving with limited vision during icy weather conditions is not only dangerous but can also land you with a £100 fine and three points on your licence. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with these top tips and begin implementing them into your daily routine.

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