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The winter mornings are here, with temperatures dropping below freezing. And unless you keep your car in a garage, chances are you find ice on the windshields in the morning. Scraping it off can be a hassle, and having your car buried in snow makes the interior colder when you get in. But all those woes can be prevented with a regular potato.

How to use a potato to prevent ice from forming on your car’s windshield

All you need is a knife and a regular ol’ spud. You’ll also want to check the weather the night before, as once the ice is on there, a potato won’t get it off. Remember, this is to prevent ice from accumulating in the first place.

If you discover that the temperatures are going to drop below freezing overnight, take your potato and slice it in half. From there, rub the inside all over your windows and windscreen. You may want to use both halves, just to ensure you cover every glass area of the car.

The sugar from the potato will create a sort of barrier between the glass and the elements, preventing any ice from forming. In the morning, clean the windows with a microfiber cloth, spray some wiper fluid on to clean the potato residue off your car’s windscreen, and you’re good to go.

If you don’t mind crying a little, you can also achieve frost-free windscreens using an onion. But the uses for these common vegetables don’t end there.

You can use the plastic bags you bought those potatoes in to protect your mirrors

Side view mirror covered in ice
Side view mirror covered in ice | Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

When you bought those potatoes or onions, chances are they came in a little produce baggie. If you didn’t already throw it away, cover your side-view mirrors with those plastic bags. While you could, in theory, use a potato to keep ice off the mirror, you’d still have to clean it. With a plastic baggie, just remove it the next morning, and reuse it if the temperatures drop below freezing again.

You can also use these plastic baggies to protect the handles and keyholes of your car doors. If water gets in the keyhole, and you don’t have a remote key, you may find yourself stuck outside the car. You can also use duct tape if those bags aren’t available, though depending on the door handle’s material, that can damage the paint, so proceed with caution.

But sometimes the cold weather sneaks up on you, and temperatures drop without you noticing. If your car gets covered in snow, below are ways to get it off quickly.

What you can do if you wake up to find your car covered in snow

Line of cars covered in snow
Line of cars covered in snow | Yang Qing/Xinhua via Getty Images

Throughout the winter, you should keep a spray bottle of one-half water, one-half rubbing alcohol (or vinegar) either in the house or in the car. Because rubbing alcohol/vinegar doesn’t freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the warmer solution will melt the snow off your car with a couple of sprays.

You should also invest in a snow scraper tool regardless of whether you rubbed a potato on your windscreen. After all, if there’s enough snow on top of the car, you’re obligated to clean it off. Snow blowing off a car’s roof can be dangerous for the drivers behind you.

Now you know these simple tricks that’ll prepare your car for the cold winter days. So head to the produce aisle of your local grocery store and buy a potato to rub on your car’s windshield.


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