I went to school in Canton, Ohio, which means I know a thing or two about digging a car out of the snow in Ohio. One year my entire car iced over, and I couldn’t even open it until I karate chopped the layers of frozen rain away.
If you park your car outside at all, you’ve probably already noticed that morning frost is here to stay. In preparation for your morning commutes or for that mid-afternoon winter storm that will hit when you’re working, here are some products and some tips to keep in mind to make snow/ice/frost removal easier this year:
Products to Keep Around:
Kitty Litter: Some people put a sock full of kitty litter in tents to keep moisture away when their camping gear is stored for long periods of time. The kitty litter absorbs the moisture in the tent, and it will do the same thing for your car in the winter. Keep a sock-full of litter in your car to soak up any moisture that may fog up your windows in the morning. You can keep some extra kitty litter in the back of your car just in case you get stuck in the snow and need some traction!
Hand Sanitizer: Hand Sanitizer contains just enough alcohol to melt ice, so applying a little to the lock on your cars can help you finally get your key in the slot.
Cooking Spray: Some non-stick cooking spray on a shovel is a sure way to throw snow to the side faster when shoveling. You can also spray the rubber strips inside your car door to prevent them from freezing shut as well.
Vinegar: Mixing 3/4 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water and spraying your car windows at night can keep ice from sticking. It won’t melt the snow, but you’ll still have a faster getaway in the morning.
A Broom: A broom gets the snow off your car so much faster than a scraper. Get at the bulky parts of the snow first with a broom and if you need to get into some tighter spaces, use your scraper brush.
Rubbing Alcohol: Sometimes those windshield wipers get stuck to the windshield, and who wants to wait for your car to thaw them off? Use a soft cloth with full-strength rubbing alcohol and wipe each blade to unfreeze them and to prevent them from sticking again in the future.
A Chalkboard Eraser: If you don’t want to smudge the inside of your windshield by rubbing your hand or glove all over it, buy a new chalkboard eraser and wipe away the fog every day without the mess! Or if you’re like me, just keep a Norwex window cloth in the car 🙂 No smudges WHATSOEVER.
Tips & Tricks:
Leave your windshield wipers up overnight to avoid having to peel them off your windshield in the morning after an ice/snowstorm.
Use an area rug or carpet squares to cover your windshield. If you’re afraid of it blowing away, just tuck it under your wiper blades overnight. You can keep it in your trunk for storage.
Park Facing East. The sun can help chip away at the snow and ice before you even get to it. Obviously this only works for people who don’t need to be up until the sun has come out. Apologies, early risers.
Keep your tires properly inflated. Cold weather can cause your tires to deflate to a risky level. In fact, my car already gets the warning light to “check tire pressure”, and fall has only begun! Giant Eagle has “free air” for your tires, so pump them up now before they start deflating more. You can check how much air your tires need in your manual or right on the inside of your driver door. Do not refer to the number/psi on your tires. That’s the amount the tires can hold, not necessarily the amount of air they should hold. Most passenger cars suggest 32 to 35 psi in your tires in cold weather.
It may seem early to be thinking about all this snow removal and ice prevention stuff, but early, pre-coffee mornings with ice on the windshield are no joke. We just want you to have some handy tips and tricks for the upcoming Ohio winter!