Winter is very much here in the UK now, and with that comes the problems of car windscreens icing up on frosty mornings.

The car leasing experts at have provided their top tips for effectively clearing windows and windscreens on a freezing cold morning, as motorists could get a fine and possible penalty points on their licence for not clearing it properly.

A spokesperson for said: “Trying to scrape the windscreen of a vehicle on a cold and frosty morning can be a huge inconvenience especially before setting off to work or school.

“Every year it is almost guaranteed that drivers will use their credit card or an old CD to clear the snow from their cars, but this can cause lasting damage to a vehicle.

“Making sure the windscreen is covered with tarp or some sort of sheet can help to ease the ice build up. And there are a number of homemade solutions that can be made that act as a great alternative to de-icer.”

Herald Series: It is important to not use a DIY de-icer on your windscreen (PA)It is important to not use a DIY de-icer on your windscreen (PA)

Top 10 tips for clearing frozen car windscreens

1. Watch out for DIY scrapers

When rushing to get to work in the morning, it’s easy to reach for the nearest flat object – like a bank card or CD – to scrape the ice off, but using anything other than a car ice scraper could lead to a severely scratched windscreen.  Keep a made-for-purpose ice scraper on hand and use short, powerful strokes to chip the ice away.

2. Salt water solution 

This will dissolve the ice with a chemical reaction rather than melting it with heat. The ions in salt also lower the freezing point of water, making it difficult for it to refreeze. Apply the solution sparingly, as heavy application could damage the glass. 

3. Vinegar solution 

If you spray an iced windshield with a mixture of water and vinegar, while the mixture will not melt ice, it can help ice from forming in the first place if you spray your windshield with it the night before.

4. Rub an onion

Onions have a similar effect on windscreens as vinegar does. If there is nothing but this root vegetable left in the house, then rub generously on the windows and windshield the night before and this should keep Jack Frost at bay. 

5. Vodka

Arguably the most expensive way of clearing a frosty windscreen, but the alcohol content in vodka means that it makes for a great de-icer in freezing temperatures. 

Herald Series: Vodka can help with de-icing frozen windscreens (Canva)Vodka can help with de-icing frozen windscreens (Canva)

6. Let the car warm up

If your car has a ‘defrost’ setting on the temperature gauge, switch it on. It could take around fifteen minutes for the glass to get warm on the inside and melt the ice on your windscreen. It’s important to avoid leaving a vehicle to defrost whilst the engine is idling. This can incur a £20 fine - up to £80 in London. 

7. Clear properly

Not only does a small peephole through the ice make it difficult to drive but it can also get motorists into a lot of trouble. Make sure to clear the whole windscreen as well as the car’s mirrors before setting off on a journey. If not drivers could risk getting a £60 fine or a possible three penalty points. 

8. Keep a bottle of de-icer 

Although there are many great homemade alternatives, nothing quite beats the convenience of the real deal. They’re available from most petrol stations and can really reduce the stress on a cold morning.  

9. Don’t forget the exhaust

A lot of attention can be given to clearing the windscreen which can leave other important parts of the car neglected in the cold. Whilst the car is heating up, make sure the exhaust isn’t black with snow or ice otherwise this could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. 

10. Avoid boiling water

Although this may seem like the quickest method to clear a windscreen in a rush it can cause the glass to crack due to thermal shock because of the sudden temperature change. Leave 10-15 minutes before setting out to allow some time for the car to defrost instead of damaging the vehicle in a mad panic.