When the first snowflake falls, many retirees point their cars south and head toward warmer climates. Known as snowbirds, these people have experienced their fair share of winter weather to understand the challenges of driving in snow and ice. We have to stay put and endure the winter months ahead for those who don’t have the luxury of heading to Florida. So, pull out your ice scraper and get ready for the frigid temperatures that are on their way with some winter hacks.
To protect your car from snow and make waking up to a frosty morning bearable, we have put together some helpful DIY winter hacks to get you through the coldest of seasons.
How to prevent snow and ice buildup on your car windshield
One of the worst parts of winter driving is having to clear snow and ice off your windshield before heading out in the morning to work or school. While it is a hassle, it is essential to remove the snow to improve visibility while driving.
Many people will leave snow on the car’s rooftop, which can fly off and cause damage to passing vehicles. Always keep a broom in your trunk to push snow off easily. Yipes North notes, “It’s increasingly becoming law that you can be fined for having snow coming off your car.” When you arrive at your destination, put an old rug on the car windshield to prevent snow and ice from building up again. This simple hack will help you avoid having to clear off your car again.
Winter hacks to ensure a stress-free morning
Parking facing east overnight allows the sun to do a lot of the work as it rises. It will start to melt the wintry accumulation from your vehicle before you are even out of bed. Mother nature will provide the head start needed to make scraping ice easier.
Also, cover your vehicle’s side mirrors with gallon-sized baggies or a plastic grocery bag before going to bed, and secure them with a rubber band. In the morning, remove the bags, and you will have ice-free mirrors with no scraping required.
To keep windows from fogging up, apply a thin layer of inexpensive shaving cream to the interior windows and wipe them clean. The active ingredients work as an instant defogger, keeping visibility at its best.
A can of cooking spray from your kitchen is also a handy tool when worried about icy conditions. Wipe it on the external rubber edges of the vehicle’s doors the night before an expected storm. The spray prevents water from seeping in, and you will wake up to doors that aren’t stuck shut from excess ice buildup.
Another useful DIY winter hack is to cover your windshield wiper blades with old socks overnight. When you wake up in the morning, remove them. According to One Good Thing By Jillee, “socks will help prevent ice from forming on the blades, which will make your de-icing process much easier in the morning.”
How to improve traction on icy roads
While cat litter will not melt ice, it does provide extra traction. Keep a 20-pound bag in your trunk to add a little weight and give the back tires help in slippery road conditions. If you find yourself stuck on ice, you can also sprinkle some of the kitty litter under your tires to provide friction and safely get you back on the road. You can also place your car’s floor mats underneath the tires for added traction when you are extremely stuck.
To prevent dangerous falls when walking on ice, put a pair of old socks over your shoes. It will provide helpful traction as you work around your car in wintry weather.
Preparing for driving in the winter months is essential to keep you and fellow commuters safe during treacherous driving conditions. Following some of these easy DIY winter hacks can make winter weather driving a little easier, even if you can’t make it down to Florida.