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Try These Tips On Your Icy Car and Steps

Hand scratching ice from car window

Photo: Ben-Schonewille / iStock / Getty Images

After our recent winter weather, knowing how to safely get rid of ice and snow is essential. If you need a refresher, experts are sharing the tips and tricks that actually work and make de-icing and shoveling a little easier, as well as the ones you shouldn’t waste your time on.

Juice it up - One of the more surprising hacks is to use pickle juice to de-ice a windshield. According to National Geographic, the brine can melt at very low temperatures, and they report that “prewetting with this substance prevents snow and ice from bonding with pavement, making the ice easier to chip off and remove.” It sounds strange, but Minnesota’s Carver County has even experimented with putting pickle juice extract on roads.

Grease your snow shovel - Adding a coat of cooking oil or spray to a shovel can help snow slide off with ease.

Use this medicine cabinet staple - Several news outlets suggest mixing hot or boiling water, dish soap and rubbing alcohol to help clear steps and sidewalks of ice. Alcohol is the magic ingredient here, since it has a lower freezing point than water, but not everyone saw success with this method. Some testers of the hack say their surfaces didn’t refreeze after treating them, but others weren’t so lucky.

Plastic bags around your socks - If you’re going to be shoveling for a while, you’ll probably end up with snow in your socks and freezing feet, but a fishermen-approved hack can help. Just wrap plastic bags around your socks before putting on shoes or boots to provide another barrier of insulation.

Try a towel - TikToker Joe Cunningham recently shared a clip showing how he used a bath towel to cover his windshield and keep it snow-free. The towel was frozen stiff, but he was able to easily peel it off, revealing clear glass underneath. You can reportedly get the same effect using carpet, cardboard or even a shower curtain.

Things NOT to try this winter - Posts online show people pouring hot or boiling water onto their cars to de-ice them quickly, but experts advise against it. The thing is, glass is really brittle, so an extreme change in temperature like that can cause it to shatter. Another tip going around is to put hot water in a Ziploc bag and rub it on an icy windshield, but again, that dramatic change in temperature can cause glass to crack and shatter. Some people also suggest using a cut potato to rub your windshield before it snows to prevent sticking, but experts say all it’s likely to do is make it harder to see.

photo: Getty Images Source: NY Post

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