Never Scrape Ice Again

Sometimes parking outdoors under the threat of freezing rain, sleet or snow is unavoidable. The simple solution to the problem is this: Don’t let it happen! How? Easy…

Simply get a plastic tarp that is big enough, cover the windshield with it after parking, and shut the two front doors on the tarp to hold it in place. Make sure the tarp covers the entire windshield plus some of the adjoining top and hood, and is tightly held down by the closed car doors. Then stroll indoors merrily and without worry.

When you leave, simply open your doors, pull the tarp, vigorously shake off all the frozen accumulation (downwind from the vehicle), fold or roll it up, and cram it back into the trunk for future use. This takes far less time than scraping and is more fun. If your car needs to be warmed up, the motor can be started before dismounting, shaking and stowing the tarp.

The tarp itself won’t cost much more than an ice scraper, and is so much easier to deal with! Barring a forgetful event or two, it has been many, many years since I have had to scrape ice or snow off my windshield. Imagine the cumulative savings in time, effort and hassle! As a man of the low latitudes, I abhor the very concept of scraping ice off a car windshield. I’ve got better things to do, such as get in and drive to a warmer place.

Perhaps the most astonishing thing, however, is that so few others do this. During the recent winter weather event here in Norman, in the entire National Weather Center parking lot, I counted precisely one out of over 100 cars that was so protected. Guess which one. I don’t understand why, because I’m no smarter than most of these other folks. Mind you, this was in a parking area for a building stuffed with meteorologists and meteorology students! I was absolutely astounded that nobody else was doing this.

Unless you love scraping ice, give the tarp solution a shot. There won’t be any regrets.


2 Responses to “Never Scrape Ice Again”

  1. gegco on December 17th, 2006 5:33 pm


    What about the side and back windows? Remember, full 360 degree visibility is needed for driving, especially on icy roads!

    Another suggestion – de-icing spray, and blast your de-froster for about 5-10 minutes. Usually, the ice just falls apart. I’ve also heard (but have not yet tried) that spraying the de-icing spray *before* freezing rain accumulates helps prevent good ice adhesion to the glass.

    If one does use the tarp, remember to also cover the windshield wipers. They also need to be ice free to keep the windshield clean while driving from mud, slush, and spray.


  2. tornado on December 23rd, 2006 11:47 pm

    Those things are fine in addition to using a tarp, *if* you want to spend the time and money. You can get creative with the tarp too, for example, one big enough to cover more than the windshield, and held in place with attached magnets.

    As for the wipers: You bet, absolutely, the wipers need to be covered by the tarp. Turning the car off with the wipers in an upright position will ensure this and will help to keep them from getting stuck in any refrozen H2O that may have accumulated in the wiper hold while driving.

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