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If you live in a snowy climate, you probably have an ice scraper or two in your vehicle somewhere. If you don’t have at least one, you should! Ice scrapers are one of the car accessories you’ll need most when the snow starts falling. You may already have a scraper, but are you using it correctly? For instance, do you ever use the side with the ridges? You should, because it can make the chore of removing the ice on your windshield a whole lot easier! 

How most ice scrapers are used

Examining ice scrapers and winter driving methods on the 'Today' show
Examining ice scrapers on the ‘Today’ show | Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

If you’ve lived with snowy winter weather for a while, you’re probably already familiar with the front edge of an ice scraper. After all, it’s an essential component of your car’s winter emergency kit. You definitely won’t want to leave home without this handy winter car accessory!

It’s used to scrape ice off car windows and sometimes the side mirrors. It works pretty well when used that way. However, it’s much more effective when using the often ignored back side. To learn how to get the best use out of both sides of your ice scraper, check out a few of the numerous YouTube videos on the subject. You’ll find plenty of other winter car hacks there, too.

How to use the ridges on the back of your ice scraper

The ridges on the back of the ice scraper are designed to break up sheets of ice or those seemingly immovable hard, icy chunks. If you’re just using the front of the scraper on those, you’re missing out on the power of those ridges. They’ll score the ice, weakening it and making it easier to scrape off with the blade.

One thing you don’t ever want to do with either side of your ice scraper is give your windshield a good whack. The Sun reports that this is a really bad idea, no matter how tempting it might be when you’re in a hurry. You’re more likely to crack your windshield than that stubborn chunk of ice!

Also, make sure you clear snow and ice from your whole car. Otherwise, you’re putting the lives of other drivers and their passengers at risk when that snow or ice inevitably goes flying off your vehicle.

Other types of ice scrapers you can buy

Are you using the best ice scraper option available? Ice scrapers have come a long way since the first one hit the market.

If you live in a climate that gets fluffy snow along with ice or freezing rain, you’ll want an ice scraper/brush combo. The long brush makes it easy to sweep away the snow to get to the ice below. Do you drive a truck or large SUV? An extendable ice scraper will let you easily reach those high and wide windows. 

A heated ice scraper is great for those extra cold days. Just plug it into your vehicle’s 12-volt outlet and extend the handle until it’s long enough to reach the windshield with the heated blade. Car and Driver recommends a heated scraper that has a 15-foot cord and includes a flashlight for scraping in the dark.

Cone scrapers are also called magical ice scrapers because of their ability to rid your ride’s windshield of ice. Just rotate instead of scraping. At the very least, they’ll give a different set of muscles a workout! An electric ice scraper is another way to give sore muscles a rest. 

A dual-purpose squeegee ice scraper will scrape the ice and whisk away the water after you’ve washed your vehicle to get rid of corrosive road salt. Without it, you’re just inviting more ice to form on your newly-cleaned car.

Finally, if you’re tired of all the scraping, you can always try a windshield cover. Snow and ice can’t stick to your windshield if they can’t reach it!


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