How To: Make Windshield De-icer Spray

Don’t let ice or snow keep you from driving where you need to go. Get a clear windshield and stop refreezing with this simple, price-wise formula.

By Steffani Cameron | Updated Mar 16, 2021 8:48 AM

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Homemade Deicer


A dirty, grimy windshield is bad enough, but nothing will slow you down more than one covered in ice and snow.

Using a scraper will clear the windshield, but the effort and awkward reaching required can be troublesome and time-consuming, especially if working on a high SUV or van. Add in blustery wind or still-falling snow, you might be inclined to just stay home! Not an option? Then mix up some of this inexpensive, hard-working windshield cleaner and de-icer spray. The simple two-ingredient spray will make short work of your windshield woes and get you on the road in no time.

The de-icer spray’s active ingredient is good old rubbing alcohol, found at drugstores for around $2.50 a pint. Also known as isopropyl and isopropanol, it has a freezing point of -128 degrees Fahrenheit, so it won’t refreeze once the windshield has been cleaned.

Step 1

Fill a spray bottle with two parts rubbing alcohol to one part of water. Add ½ teaspoon of liquid dish detergent for every 2 cups. Shake well. Label it as de-icer spray with your marker.

Homemade Deicer For Windshield


Step 2

Generously spray the mixture onto an iced-over windshield. Spritz a bit on your door locks too, to free them of ice. Wait just a minute or so as it softens the ice, or melts it altogether.

Step 3

For extra-heavy ice on windows, you may need to do a little scraping. If so, grab your scraper to clear away the thicker patches

Step 4

Turn your windshield wipers on and with a couple good swishes, your windshield should be de-iced, clean, clear, and ready for some driving!

Further Considerations:
This de-icer can also do good to manage other another hang-up before a snowy commute: If you wake up to frozen car door locks one morning, simply spray it on the locks, wait 10 to 20 seconds to melt the ice, and insert your keys, and your lock should move fine. (If you do this frequently in the winter, don’t forget to occasionally spray a little WD-40 or other lube into your lock—or on your key before inserting it into the lock—to keep the lock’s inner-mechanisms functioning smoothly.)

To keep your windshield wiper lines clean and clear of ice, mix isopropyl rubbing alcohol in your windshield wiper fluid at a 50:50 ratio. It’ll keep you ice-free when you need to clean your windshield of sandy, salty snow-splatter spat up from vehicles ahead of you on roadways, and help keep streaks to a minimum.