You’ve probably been using your ice scraper wrong—here’s the right way

You may have an ice scraper on hand in your car for clearing off an iced-over windshield. But even people who have lived in cold climates for years and have plenty of experience with clearing their vehicle of ice and snow might not be using their ice scrapers in the most efficient way.

The next time your windows ice over, try this: Instead of immediately going at your snow- and ice-covered windshield with the straight edge of your scraper, flip it over. The ridges or nubs on the other side aren’t there just for visual appeal. By scraping your car glass with the ridged side, you’ll create scores that weaken the ice. When you go back over this scored ice layer with the flat side of your ice scraper, you should be able to break through the ice more quickly.

Adobe

Lifehacker writer A.A. Newton tried the technique and likened it to perforating a piece of paper along the line where you want it to tear: Scoring the surface of the ice makes it much easier.

A video from YouTubers Jaymie and Josh demonstrates a good way to use the ridged side of the scraper. Run the nubby side on your icy window to create a cross-hatch pattern. Then go back in with the solid edge and you should see the ice give way.

If you live in area where you get a lot of fluffy snow, you’ll also want an ice scraper with a brush to sweep away the top layers of snow.

And if you want to try and prevent frost and ice build-up on your windshield from the start, you can put cardboard on your glass before the nighttime freeze — or use a nontraditional ice prevention method, such as a good onion rub down.

Other ways to get your ice layer gone faster include turning on your car’s heat and windshield defroster and spraying the glass with a deicer like a vinegar and water solution.

Did you know about using the other side of your ice scraper?