Winter is the most affecting season for cars: the streets and roads of Latvia are mostly covered with mud caused by a mixture of salt, water and sand; all of that inevitably ends up on the car's running part and body, where frost takes care of the durability of this 'coating'. The windows of the car cannot escape from that either. In the dark time of the year, when good visibility is particularly important, many car owners are trying to clean their windows and harming their car due to lack of knowledge or recklessness. How to properly ensure the cleanliness of your car windows in the winter.
The biggest threat to a frozen window – the ice scraper
The first thing we see most often when leaving home early in the winter is a snow-covered car with frozen windows – just when you need to hurry most. If most car owners handle snow successfully, by using a snow brush, it is not that easy with frozen windows.
“As you can usually see, while the car is warming up with the engine on, its owner tries very hard to scrape the ice out of the windows, by using the other end of the snow brush equipped with a scraper. This is the biggest mistake most car owners make. Along with the ice, grains of sand from the dirty water get frozen on the surface of the glass, as the dirt gets on the car's body while driving. And then it turns out, that the hard surface of the ice scraper, together with the sand, forms a neat 'sandpaper', that leaves scratchy marks on car windows, mostly on the windshield,” explains Normunds Tarkšs, technical director of SIA “Domenikss”.
Over-zealous cleaning of the windows can be dangerous
Tiny scratches on the glass severely restrict visibility while driving. You may not notice it during daylight hours in good weather, but as soon as dusk or dark begins, and it rains or snows, the scratched windshield glows in all the colours of the rainbow and reduces visibility by 50-60 %. In this case, serious concerns should be raised not only about the aesthetic aspect, but also about driving safety, says the technical director of SIA “Domenikss”. He points to another dangerous mistake: "Never try to defrost frozen glass with hot water, as drastic change in temperature can lead to even more serious damage of the glass – it can simply crack!"
How to take care of windows without damaging them
What can be done to avoid the consequences of brutal window cleaning? “You can, of course, sit in the car, heat the cabin and wait for the ice on the glass to melt, thanks to the heat flowing from the cabin. However, it will be more efficient to use special window defrosting and de-icing agents available at almost all petrol station stores, as well as car accessories stands in department stores,” advises Normunds Tarkšs.
Window defrosters are aerosols that are sprayed onto the frozen window. After a few minutes, the glass can be easily wiped off with a soft snow brush without damaging mirror surface of the glass. In addition, it will save you time in the morning rush as it will be much faster and more efficient than scraping the frozen ice with a scraper.
The most loyal one-brand supporters also have the possibility to choose car manufacturer's offered window fluid concentrates, which protect the fluid from freezing on the windshield, or window defrosting agents. Such products tend to be particularly gentle and odourless, while providing long-lasting protection against fogging of the glass and melting ice in a single spray even at -15 °C.