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It’s no secret that winter driving can lead to dangerous situations. Whether it’s fogged-up windows, slippery roads, or a layer of ice on your windshield, there are a lot of inconveniences that come with cars, winter, and cold weather. If you don’t have a garage, it can be a nightmare. Let’s take a look at five easy hacks that are either cheap or all-out free that’ll help you get through this winter on the automotive side of things!

A sock filled with cat litter isn’t something most people have on their radar

A black sock on a white background because filling a sock with cat litter can help your windows stay defrosted and less foggy in the winter
Just A Sock | Unsplash

We’ve all done it. We’ve scraped all the snow and ice off our cars only to sit inside it and realize that the moisture in the air has fogged the windows up, and we still can’t go anywhere. Even on days you’re not scraping ice, you might sometimes find that the temperature fogged your windows up to an un-drivable level, and you’re stuck on the defroster’s time.

Believe it or not, though, a sock or leggings filled with cat litter can put a stop to this. The cat litter’s primary function is to absorb moisture, and it’ll pull it straight out of thin air. Mileage may vary on results given the variables of sock/legging size and what cat litter is used. However, we’d recommend leaving it on the dash overnight to focus its function on your windshield. You could, of course, have multiple in the car to keep all your windows clear, too!

In cold weather, park facing East if you can

Car facing the rising and/or setting sun in the wniter
Car parked facing the sunrise | Unsplash

Yipes, an automotive accessories dealer from Vermont, offers the simple solution of parking your car facing East if you have the option. Naturally, if folks anywhere have the lowdown on winter and cold weather tips, it’s definitely residents of Vermont.

If it’s not obvious, the idea here is that your car’s windshield is facing the sun as it rises. If you’re an early riser who’s up before the sun, tough luck. For the rest of us, though, the sun will get a head start on defrosting your car’s windshield and windows.

Cat litter in itself is one of the best car hacks out there

When you’re done filling your socks or leggings, go ahead and throw that bag of cat litter in your trunk. It’s one of the most valuable tools one can have on hand during winter driving conditions.

If your car gets stuck (or you see someone stuck and feel like being a good samaritan), pouring cat litter beneath a free-spinning tire can be all the traction needed to set you free and get you back on the road.

Use hand sanitizer to free up frozen locks in cold weather

If your car still requires you to insert your key into the door to unlock it, you’re at risk of facing one of the most annoying winter driving traits. That is, a lock that’s frozen and stuck. Putting a little hand sanitizer on your key before inserting it can free that lock up by way of the alcohol inside the hand sanitizer melting away the ice.

WD40 can save the day, too – That car hack isn’t news to anyone, of course

A hardware store shelf containing WD40 cans with aligned labels
WD40 | Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images

Once you’ve freed that lock up, spray some WD40 inside it. While you’re at it, adding a bit of WD40 to the catches on your car’s doors isn’t a bad idea, either. This can help prevent it from freezing again.

For those not in the know, the “WD” part of “WD40” stands for “Water Displacement.” It’s great at doing exactly what it says on the tin!

If you’ve got some more helpful winter car hacks, drop them in the comments below! Stay safe out there, and enjoy the frigid air!