Skip to main content

For many of us in the country, the beast of winter has reared its ugly head. Even Hawaii, which recently received snowfall at higher elevations, has not been spared. It’s only December, so many of us face many more months of freezing temperatures, heavy snow, and face-burning wind chill. Another thing that winter adversely affects is cars. However, this winter, you have a secret weapon at your disposal: cooking spray.

Why do car doors get frozen stuck in the winter?

Pam cooking spray and a car covered in snow, showing how cooking spray can open frozen car doors in the winter
Cooking spray and a car covered in snow | Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images; Lian Zhen/Xinhua via Getty Images

Car drivers endure several challenges during the winter. This includes having to scrape ice off of the windshield, a car not starting in sub-zero temperatures, and slippery driving conditions on snowy and icy roads.

However, one of the most frustrating challenges for car drivers in winter is frozen doors — and the struggle to open them. This is especially the case if you don’t park your car inside of a garage. During the daytime, when the temperature is higher, snow and ice melts, but then overnight, as the temperature drops, the frozen snow and ice form a tight seal in the doorway. At times, it can be extremely difficult to open the frozen car doors.

Use cooking spray to open frozen car doors in the winter

In my home state of Wisconsin, we have brutal winters. While I have a garage, a couple of cars are parked outside of the garage. In past winters, I had many fierce battles as I struggled to get the doors open of these cars. I would pull the door handle but to no avail. I was afraid that if I pulled too hard, I would rip the handle off the door. Sometimes, pounding on the door would be enough to shake it loose, but often that wasn’t enough.

To my pleasant surprise, though, I discovered a strange but effective method for opening frozen car doors during the winter: cooking spray. If you anticipate that you may have a problem with car doors that are frozen stuck, then head to your kitchen or pantry and grab that can of cooking spray. 

Just like cooking spray is good for keeping food from sticking to a frying pan, it’s also effective at keeping the car door from sticking to the car frame. To do this, apply a small amount of cooking spray to the car frame and rubber around the door. If there’s any excess cooking spray, you can remove it with an old rag or paper towel. When you use this method, you’ll be able to open your car doors with ease this winter. 

Remove bugs on your car grille in the summer with cooking spray

Cooking spray can also be a secret weapon for your car in the summer — or if you live in a year-round warm climate. Unless you have an electric car without a traditional grille, your car likely has a heavy build-up of bugs on the grille during the warmer months of the year. If you apply cooking spray on the grille, it will be much easier to wipe off the bugs.

Sometimes, there are simple solutions to difficult problems. The next time you struggle with getting your car doors open in the winter (or have bugs on the grille in the summer), grab that can of cooking spray.


1 Weird Trick to Make Your Car Key Fob Work From Far Away