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

Gloved hand uses ice scraper on frozen windshield

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.

MORE: 11 items you should have in your car during the winter

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.


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?

Science & Nature, Tips & Advice
, , ,

Related posts

Ice melt test on ice-covered welcome mat
Make DIY ice melt with just 3 common household ingredients
small dog in snow looking up
When is it too cold to walk your dog? Consult this handy chart
cute small children in car seats in the car
Why you should never leave your child's coat on in a car seat
Snow covers car in winter weather
Why you shouldn't heat up your car for long in cold winter weather

About the Author
Anna Weaver
Anna Weaver is a writer and multimedia journalist from Hawaii. Her two young kids keep her on her toes and hooked on online shopping. Anna’s also a fan of movies, reading, photography, and sharing far too many IG stories about cute dogs and capybaras.

From our partners