Are you all ready for the cold temperatures that come with winter?
Are you ready for the ice and snow which often lead to frustrating mornings when you have to scrape your windshields, sidewalks, and steps?
Well, ready or not, here it comes! Which is why I wanted to share with you a few homemade ideas for how you can make your wintery mornings a little easier.
So if you are interested in saving yourself some time and money, then browse through the list and see what might work for you.
Here are some homemade ideas on melting the ice around your home:
Some of these tips will need to be used with caution. They can harm paint, plants, water supply, carpets if tracked in, etc. So use discretion when taking these tips and realize you are doing so at your own risk. We are not responsible for the outcomes you experience.
Homemade Ice Melters
1. DIY Deicer
If you wake up one morning with icy steps, and you think to yourself, “How am I going to get down those without breaking my neck?”
Then you’ll want to tune your ear to this recipe because you probably have most of the ingredients on hand. You’ll place a ½ gallon of water into a spray container.
Next, you’ll add a few drops of dish liquid, such as Dawn into the mix. Finish the process with adding a capful or two of rubbing alcohol into the mixture. Stir the mixture up.
Then you’ll want to spray the mixture onto the icy area and watch the ice melt. Hopefully, this will make getting outside on icy days a little easier.
2. Lukewarm Water
If you are someone that likes to reduce, reuse, and recycle, then you’ll love this idea. If you take a shower in the mornings, chances are the water is around lukewarm in temperature.
If so, then put a bucket in the shower with you. That way you can catch some of the water that would otherwise go down the drain.
Then you can take the water outside and throw it on your frozen windshield. This should, hopefully, cause the ice to melt and make your scraping minimal.
3. Kool-Aid and Soft Drinks
Did you know that sugar is actually a great way to cause ice to melt? What do you do if you wake up one icy morning and have no sugar?
Well, you don’t panic. You simply ask yourself what else you have in the house that has a high sugar content and use it.
Now, I’ll tell you upfront, this is one of the deicing methods that should be used with caution. Kool-aid and soft drinks have high sugar content.
So theoretically they should do a great job with getting the ice to melt.
However, they also have artificial food dyes in them which could cause an issue with the paint on your car.
But if you were going to use this on a sidewalk, then you could just be sure not to track it in on your shoes and to clean the driveway with soap and water once the freezing temperatures had subsided.
4. Sugar Beet Juice
This is another one that works pretty well because of the sugar content. This works because it lowers the freezing temperature of the water.
Also, you can use sugar beet juice by itself or also inside a homemade brine. It is all about your preference.
However, be advised that sugar beet juice will leave its mark on deiced surfaces. So you’ll need to clean your driveway with soap and water once the ice is gone along with the freezing temperatures.
So it came as no surprise when I learned that vinegar could also be used to help deice a windshield. It is so easy to do too!
All you need to do is put a little water and a little vinegar in a spray bottle. Then you spray your windshield until you see the ice begin to melt. It is super easy and very inexpensive too.
6. Pickle Brine
Pickle brine doesn’t last very long around my house because my kids actually like to drink it. But for the folks, like myself, that thinks that the enjoyment of the pickle stops after eating it, then you’ll be glad to find a new use for that brine that you pour down the sink.
Well, because of the brines salt and vinegar content it works really well as a deicer. It stops the ice from sticking to surfaces, which should make scraping much easier.
7. Cheese Brine
Are you a cheesemaker? If so, then don’t toss that cheese brine. Instead, save it as a DIY deicer for your home this winter.
Because cheese brine has an amazing freezing point of -210° Fahrenheit, it is a great choice as a deicer. Just keep in mind, though it may smell really bad, it is also really effective.
8. Baking Soda
Baking soda is one of those items that you can use for virtually everything. Deicing is no different, really.
But I’ll tell you upfront, if you live in a deeply frozen area, this will probably not be the solution for you. Though baking soda works well with thin layers of ice in mildly cold temperatures, it doesn’t have a high enough salt content to work on the really thick stuff.
So if you are in a pinch when you wake up in an area that doesn’t normally get ice, but you find a small amount on your windshield, then you might want to sprinkle a little baking soda on it to see if it makes the ice melt a little faster.
9. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is another example of a deicer that might work well in an area that doesn’t normally get ice, but when you do, it is thin and the temperature is still mild.
Now, if you wake up in these conditions, then you’ll be glad to know that soy sauce can actually help the ice melt from your windshield a little faster because it does have a higher salt content.
This option makes me laugh. I’m going to be truthful, vodka isn’t all that cheap. So if I’m going to find a way to deice my windshield, it probably isn’t going to be by tossing vodka on it.
But if you are in a real pinch and vodka is all you have, then you’ll be glad to know that it will most likely work.
So vodka is about 80% alcohol. This means that its freezing level is well below zero. This means it should effectively melt ice.
However, keep in mind, that you shouldn’t drink the vodka while deicing. If you do, then you might find yourself falling all over the place and it won’t be because of the ice if you catch my drift.
11. Windshield Washer Fluid
If you’ve ever gotten in your car with a small layer of ice, then you probably know that you can spritz some windshield washer fluid onto the windshield, and the ice begins to melt.
Well, this is because windshield washer fluid has methanol in it and won’t freeze until it reaches -20° Fahrenheit.
However, if you are going to use windshield washer fluid on a surface, like your driveway, then you need to know that it is toxic. You will not want to use it in large quantities, especially around flowers, plants, water supplies, etc.
If you live in a highly populated area that has storm drains, then this will not be an ideal option for you. The reason is, though fertilizer is effective in melting ice, you don’t want it to be in an area where it will be washed down a storm drain and impact a water supply.
However, if you live out in the country where you don’t have to worry about the fertilizer being washed into storm drains anywhere and impacting your water supply, then you might want to try this.
But be advised that for fertilizer to be effective it has to contain ammonium sulfate, potassium chloride, or urea.
So if you wake up to ice one morning, and you remember you have some fertilizer left over from last year, then this might be a great way to get rid of the ice.
13. Warm Object
I’ll be honest, this method is not the most ideal because it seems to be pretty slow going. The idea is you take a dense object that is above freezing temperature to cause the melting process to take place on a frozen surface, like a windshield.
However, if you are in a real pinch, then this might be an option for you.
So you’ll want to use an item such as a book, a shoe that has been warmed up by your foot, or even your hand to help encourage the ice to melt.
Again, putting my hand on ice in hopes that it’ll melt from my windshield doesn’t sound fun, but you do what you have to do sometimes so you can see out of your car windshield to go where you need to be.
14. Cover Your Windshield
If you are a planner and happened to check the forecast the night before and saw that icy weather was headed your way, then yes, covering your windshield is a great idea.
So if you have a garage or a barn to place your whole car in, then that would be ideal. If not, then you might want to place a car cover, a windshield cover, or a sheet over your windshield to keep it from freezing.
15. Rubbing Alcohol
You probably already guessed that rubbing alcohol would work as a deicer since we’ve suggested using items that were high in alcohol prior to this point.
But either way, rubbing alcohol is not an expensive item to keep around. Just be sure that it is at least 70% alcohol.
Also, rubbing alcohol is a common ingredient in most store-bought deicer products. The reason being is that it won’t freeze until it reaches -20° Fahrenheit.
So this makes it a great way to inexpensively melt the ice from your steps or windshield.
Our final homemade deicer product is one of the most common suggestions…salt. Anytime a snow storm is coming, all stores run low on salt. The reason is that you can make a brine or toss it out on your driveways and sidewalks prior to the ice and snow coming.
However, be advised that salt needs liquid water to help it to activate. Which means, when you put salt down to prevent snow and ice from sticking, you should spritz it a little with the water hose to make sure it activates and does its job.
Also, salt is pretty inexpensive as well. That is definitely an added bonus!
So you now have 16 different DIY options for deicer. Some you have to create your own mixture out of them and some you can toss them into the situation as is.
But now I’d like to hear from you. What do you use to de-ice your sidewalk or windshield when you need to get going but the weather isn’t cooperating?
We love hearing your thoughts. Feel free to share them with us in the space provided below.