Ice hacks – How to beat the weather and what to avoid
The National Weather Service issued an Ice Storm Warning for much of the Midwest on February 5. Storm Track 8 Meteorologist Eric Sorensen predicts up to 0.4 inches of ice in the Quad City area.
Residents that will be affected by the icy weather may dread the inevitable car scraping, especially if there is no way to park under a shelter.
Here are tips, including some pros and cons, for de-icing your vehicles and property.
Preventing ice on your windshield – AAA
- Cover your windshield with a durable material. Use a tarp, large towel or old sheet to cover your windshield, holding it in place with your wipers or another method. Some stores sell covers that attach easily. Don’t use when it’s expected to snow a lot.
- Commercial sprays are available in stores. Some cons include high prices and use of ethylene glycol, which is poisonous to pets.
- Pre-treat your windshield with a spray 3:1 white vinegar to water. Apply and then wipe off before icing. But watch out: leaving it on the windshield is ineffective, and long exposure to vinegar can cause micro pitting in the glass.
- Put winter fluid or a de-icer solution in your windshield washer reservoir. Make sure all the normal wiper fluid is flushed out.
Removing ice on your windshield – AAA
- Melt the ice with your car by following these steps: start your engine, set heater to DEFROST, set your air to RECIRCULATE and move the temperature to HOT.
- Commercial sprays are available in stores. Similar to prevention sprays, these can be very costly if used often and may contain ethylene glycol.
- Make a de-icing solution out of 1:2 rubbing alcohol to water. Higher percent rubbing alcohol means a lower freezing point, making it more effective. Adding dish soap can help coat the ice evenly. Apply with a spray bottle.
- Never use metal scrapers, which can damage your vehicle. Never use hot water or any kind of torch, which could crack the glass. Never attempt to break the ice with a tool.
Vinegar, alcohol and dish-washing soap are not directly harmful to the paint of your vehicle. However, these ingredients can take off the wax on a car over time, leaving it vulnerable to other chemicals and elements. Wash as often as possible.
Treating ice on your sidewalk and driveway – American Veterinary Medical Association
- De-icers that are calcium-based are more toxic to animals, but they treat more effectively.
- De-icers that contain urea are less toxic to animals, but they are often less effective.
- De-icers labled as “pet-friendly” are not legally required to meet any standard. Contact your veterinarian if you have questions.
- Scoop up and deposit the slush if you use any de-icers.
- If you have pets, make sure you supervise them to prevent them from ingesting chemicals
- Products like sand are less harmful to the environment and can provide traction, but they do not melt snow or ice