In the Midwest, coming out to a car covered in snow and ice is a common occurrence. For me, it's one that never gets any easier.
At West Bend, we're fortunate to have parking structures that can keep our cars out of the elements. If you don’t get to work early enough, however, you're left parking outside in the snow, sleet, rain or whatever else Mother Nature throws our way.
If you're used to having your car buried in snow or covered with ice, here are some tips that can help you and your car survive the winter months.
1. Stand up your wipers. Lately, I've noticed more people doing this. If a winter storm is scheduled to start after you get to work, raise your windshield wipers off the glass. This will prevent them from being frozen to the windshield. Snow removal is much easier too. To take it a step further, you could cover your wipers with an old pair of socks or plastic grocery bags. Keeping snow and ice off your windshield wipers is important for a safe drive home.
2. I love hand sanitizer. After years of traveling for club volleyball, it's common for my family to have hand sanitizer everywhere we go. If you have an older car or a broken key fob, your door lock could freeze. If you have hand sanitizer with you, it's your lucky day! Rub a small amount of hand sanitizer on the lock to melt the ice.
3. Frozen doors no more. Have you ever struggled to get a frozen car door open? If so, this could be a thing of the past. Cooking spray, which is a staple in most homes, can solve this problem. Gently apply cooking spray on the rubber around the door and the car frame to prevent freezing. Gently wipe off excess spray on the rubber with a paper towel or rag.
4. Scraping side mirrors is a pain. If you don’t have heated side mirrors, scraping them can be difficult. As soon as you start scraping, the mirror moves. To prevent frosty side mirrors, cover them with a plastic bag. Make sure the bags are securely fastened with rubber bands.
5. Foggy windows are my pet peeve. Foggy, dirty windows drive me crazy in the winter. To help alleviate fog buildup on your windows, there are a number of tricks that can help.
- Apply shaving cream and immediately wipe it off.
- Buy Rain-X® Interior Glass Anti-Fog.
- Fill an old sock with kitty litter and store it in your car. This trick will remove moisture from the air.
6. Apply Rain-X 2-in-1 glass cleaner with rain repellent. This cleaner works great! Not only does it clean your dirty salty windshield, it applies water beading technology. If your wipers make that awful noise in light rain or melting snow, Rain-X can help reduce the number of wipes and increase visibility.
7. Impenetrable windows. I’m sure you've experienced the impenetrable sheet of ice on your car. No matter how hard you try to scrape your windows, success is limited. To defeat the ice that prevents you from going where you need to go, simply mix a solution of 2/3 vinegar and 1/3 water. Put it in a spray bottle and spray it on the ice. It works like charm in melting the ice.
8. Stuck no more. 20 or 40 pounds of kitty litter stored in your trunk can serve several purposes. First, if placed over rear wheels, it can enhance traction. Second, if you deviated from the roadway and are now stuck, pour some of it out under your tires to help get traction. Cardboard or floor mats can also help get you back on the roadway. Simply place them under your tires.
Do you have any tips or information you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them; please share them in the box below.