How to Get Ice Off Windshield Without Scraper? – 5 Methods

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

how to get ice off windshield without scraper

Ice buildup on a windshield can obstruct one’s vision while driving. So it’s important to have a trusty ice scraper for scraping the ice off your windshield.

If you do not want to use a scraper, don’t fret as this article will share several methods on how to get ice off windshield without scraper. There are defroster, homemade, and commercial de-icer spray methods for you to handle this issue.

Ways to Get Ice Off Windshield Without Scraper

Before choosing the right method, note that heat can cause cracking due to the drastic temperature change, while a metal scraper would likely leave scratches. Therefore, when windshield de-icing, avoid introducing heat by pouring boiling water or using a blow dryer and metal scraper.

Here’re several safe methods to choose from:

#1 Defroster Method


What You Need

  • Defroster
  • Remote start (optional)
  • Windshield wipers

Steps to follow

The easiest way to remove ice from windshield without a scraper is by using your car’s defroster.

This method can work quite well if you want to get snow off windshield fast. Using the defroster usually takes 15-20 minutes and up to 30 minutes if there’s too much ice.

  • Note: Do not set it too high, as the sudden temperature rise can harm your car’s auto glass.
  1. Flip the visors down to allow quicker de-icing, as they would direct the warm air toward the windshield.
  2. Start the engine and turn on the defroster. Only use a low to medium defrost setting to defrost the ice buildup safely. You can also install a remote car starter for this.
  3. Wait around 15-20 minutes for the ice buildup to defrost. If the ice is thick, leave it there for 30 minutes.
  4. Then, wipe away any remaining ice with the wipers.

#2 Homemade De-Icer Spray Method


If you want a safer means of scraper-less ice removal from your windshield without heat, there’s the homemade de-icer spray method to try. You can use one that’s rubbing alcohol-based or salt-based, but you have to do some mixing with water, also.

Alcohol and salt can get ice off windshield quickly because of their low freezing point: 5°F or -15°C for alcohol and 1.8°F or -28.9°C for salt. Their effect helps warm up and clear ice from windshield effectively and fast.

  • Note: You should be aware of their disadvantages when using them to get rid of ice on the windshield.
  • If you’re experiencing a much lower temperature than 5°F, it would be best to do without alcohol and use the salt-based de-icer instead.
  • While for salt, it can adversely affect the body of your car if it runs down the inside of the car body, so avoid using too much of it.

What You Need for the Rubbing Alcohol and Water De-icer

  • Rubbing alcohol – two parts
  • Room temperature water – one part
  • Spray bottle
  • Windshield wipers

What You Need for the Salt and Water De-icer

  • Salt – one to two tablespoons
  • Room temperature water – two cups
  • Spray bottle
  • Windshield wipers

Steps to follow

  1. If snow is a thick buildup on your windshield, scoop them out before spraying the de-icer.
  2. Combine the ingredients for your preferred homemade de-icer in the spray bottle. Shake the mixture thoroughly.
  3. Spray the de-icer on the icy windshield, then wait 10 – 15 minutes for the ice to melt.
  4. Some ice may be left over, so clear them with the wipers.

#3 Plastic Spatula Method


Another household item you can use for scraper-less ice removal is a plastic spatula. This will be a good option if you want to do the job without spray.

A plastic spatula would work well as a homemade ice scraper with its plastic blade that can safely scrape ice and its handle made for easy maneuvering.

  • Note: Avoid using a metal, steel, or wooden spatula to take ice off your windshield, as it can cause damage.
  1. As you hold the handle, gently chip away the ice buildup with the plastic blade.
  2. Go over the windshield with the plastic blade until all the ice has been removed.

#4 Plastic Card Method


Using any plastic card or laminated card in your wallet or pocket, such as your driver’s license, ID card, library card, hotel key card, etc., is another way to scrape ice off windshield without scraper. Indeed, this would only work well if there’s only a thin layer of ice on your windshield.

But avoid using your credit or debit card, as its magnetic strip may get damaged.

#5 Commercial De-Icer Spray Method


If you’d rather not create a homemade de-icer spray or do any scraping, a commercial de-icer spray would be a great option. It’s the best way to melt ice on a windshield quickly, but wear a mask to avoid inhaling its harmful chemicals.

  1. Spray the commercial de-icer on the ice buildup on your windshield.
  2. Wait for 3 – 5 to let the de-icer melt the ice.
  3. Then, use the wipers to wipe off the melted ice.

How to Prevent Ice on a Windshield?

Method 1: Vinegar and Water Spray


A very effective preventive measure is spraying water and vinegar on windshield to prevent ice the night before. It’s because vinegar has a high acidity that can inhibit ice formation.

However, if your windshield has some chips or cracks that haven’t been repaired yet, avoid doing this, as the vinegar can worsen the damage.

  1. Combine 3 parts of vinegar and 1 part of water for the preventive mixture in the spray bottle. Shake it thoroughly.
  2. Ensure your windshield is clean and clear of any snow before spraying.
  3. Apply the preventive spray on your windshield.

Related: Step by Step to Clean Car Windshields Outside

Method 2: Windshield Ice and Snow Cover


Using a protective cover is a highly effective way to prevent ice on windshield overnight. With it, you won’t even be bothered to remove ice or get snow off car without scraper anymore, as it works excellently in preventing ice and snow buildup.

Moreover, it’s much easier to manage than creating a preventive mixture and a good investment for your car in the long run.

  1. Put the cover on top of the windshield.
  2. Open the driver’s side door, place the security flap inside the car, and close the door to secure the flap.
  3. Insert the elastic strap into the side mirror to hold the cover in place and ensure that the entire windshield is concealed, including the wiper blades.
  4. In the front passenger seat, repeat the steps.
  5. Adjust the cover as needed to ensure that it has no open gaps.

Method 3: Cardboard Use


Although using an ice and snow cover is a surefire way to prevent ice buildup, buying it may not be an option for some. Thankfully, you can still cover your windshield without spending money by recycling any cardboard you have at home that’s big enough for full coverage.

  1. You can cut the cardboard into a shape and size that can cover your entire windshield.
  2. Then, secure the cardboard with the wipers.


There are many safe methods of how to get ice off windshield without scraper. You can choose from them according to your situation and available tools.

However, it would also be good to practice a preventive measure, so you won’t have to deal with de-icing every time before you drive.

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