Those of us who part our car outside during winter, are well familiar with the tedious work of scraping ice and snow from our windshields. However, not many know that scraping ice with an improper scraper can actually damage the windshield, even though they are not designed to damage it.

Our priority at Auto Glass Express is not only to provide excellent service in auto glass repairs / replacements but also to make sure that you take good care of your windshield and auto glass. Here are some additional tips that will minimize the ice scraper damage on your windshield.

Use plastic tools to remove ice and snow

Many vehicle owners think that it’s a smart choice to use a metal tool to remove thick layers of snow and ice. Not true! Even though metal is sturdier than plastic and it might get the job done faster, it can also damage your windshield.

Whenever you need to remove ice or snow from your windshield, make sure that you ONLY use plastic tools. Plastic ice scrapers are designed specifically for this purpose (to remove ice and snow) and they are not going to damage your windshield.

Metal tools or any type of hard object is just not build for this purpose and when you use it, you are risking causing deep etches in the auto glass. These etches can sometime be deep enough that you will need an auto glass repair specialist to fix them.

You can’t scrape off every bit of ice as soon as you start the car. Plastic ice scrapers aren’t so strong, so you will need to allow the car 10-15 minutes to defrost. Then you will be able to remove the ice without too much trouble.

Pressure while scraping

The windshield on every car has really small rock chips and hairline crack, that are not visible to the naked eye. Under pressure, these cracks / chips can grow bigger quite easily, and this is why it’s important that you don’t apply too much pressure when scraping your windshield.

During ice scraping, make sure that you only use moderate force. In case you can’t remove all the ice, run your vehicle’s defrost for a few minutes. That will thaw some of the “stubborn” ice and you’ll be able to remove it more easily.

Don’t tap the surface

People that are in a hurry to remove a thick layer of ice from their windshield, tend to use shortcuts to loosen the ice and break it off. But this is, generally speaking, NOT a good idea.

One of the ways people try to break off ice from a windshield is that they pound the ice with the scrapper, trying to break it. Striking thick layers of ice is never a good idea. Even if you want to use a plastic tool.

We covered this many times, but auto glass contracts and expands depending on the outside temperature. During cold winter days, the windshield will contract and become more vulnerable. Pounding it repeatedly and forcefully with an ice scraper and seriously damage the windshield.

Try removing the ice gently, give a few minute for your car to defrost and it will be much easier. Being a bit late somewhere is a better option than damaging your windshield and needing a repair or a replacement.