Vinegar and Water Melting Ice Trick – Does it work?

Have you heard about the vinegar and water melting ice trick? Does it really work?

For many of us here in the U.S. there is a lot of snow. That means that, more often than not, when you go outside in the morning, your car will be covered in snow and ice.  

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was something easy that would make melting ice on your windscreen and car windows?We've all seen this tip floating around Pinterest for a vinegar and water recipe that makes melting ice on a car windscreen really easy. Does it really work? Find out at

There is a meme currently running the rounds on Pinterest that says that vinegar and water mixed 2/3 to 1/3 if effective in melting ice so you don’t have to scrape. But does the vinegar and water ice melting trick really work?

Vinegar and water ice melterDoes this Melting Ice Trick really work?

Well…not quite in the way that the photo might indicate. Sadly, there is no cure all for ice scraping with a single spray of the mixture.

However, the process is based in some fact.  To get it to work properly, when you are expecting ice in the morning, spray your windows with the mixture the night before.  Then, the following morning, the windows should be clear of the icy mess. 

How does it work? Vinegarcontains acetic acid, which lowers the melting point of water – preventing water from freezing.

If you come out in the morning to a frozen car window and then spray the mixture on it, it might help to loosen the ice slightly but by then you could have scraped it all clean anyway.  

Room temperature water or cold water would loosen the ice a bit so that is easier to scrape (be sure the temperature is well above freezing or it will just refreeze and warm or hot water could actually crack the window so should not be used.)winter-791086_1920

Other ways to melt ice on a Windshield

While the trick above doesn’t have great success, there are some ways that do work.

Scraping the windshield

The fastest, safest, and most reliable way, to get rid of the ice is the old fashioned way.  Start the car, turn on the heat and blast it at the windows, then WAIT and scrape.

There really is no substitute for the tried and true ways that we have been practicing for generations.. The heat works for melting ice and the gold old elbow grease gets rid of it all.Heating your car and scraping the ice is still the best way to get the ice off.

Start Your car and let it idle

When you start your car a bit before you want to use it, the car will heat up and the fan will also heat the windshield, melting the ice.

Use alcohol and water

Keep a bottle filled with 2 parts of rubbing alcohol and one part tap water.  Store it in a room that is at room temperature. The temperature of the mixture causes some of the ice to thaw.

As the heat transfers from this melted area, the unbroken ice nearby will also start to me.

Commercial de-icers

There are many commercial products that are made to melt the ice on windshields.

Saltwater solutions

We all know about using salt on frozen sidewalks.  The same principle holds for saltwater solutions and windshield ice. Road salt works best. although table salt will work in a pinch.

Cover the windshield

This takes some forward planning but is very effective if you are expecting a light snowfall.  

Cover the windshield with something light such as a sheet, or towel and weigh it down so that ice won’t build up. Soak the cover with a salt water solution and place it over night.

NOTE:  if you are expecting a lot of snow, don’t use this method.  The covering will be very heavy and hard to remove the next day.

It’s a good idea to keep an ice scraper in your car all the time if you live in an area with many freezing temperatures. You never know when you will need it!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Share on Social Media

  4 comments for “Vinegar and Water Melting Ice Trick – Does it work?

  1. amii
    November 15, 2013 at 5:28 am

    WARM or HOT water applied to a window in the cold will CRACK the window in most cases! lukewarm or cold water will loosen up ice, without the damage. (even cold water is many degrees warmer than ice, but without the extreme change in temperature, you avoid the risk of damaging your windows)

    • admin
      November 15, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      Thanks for the comment. I did have the wording that temps needed to be above freezing but have added a bit more to make it more clear.


  2. Colorsmith
    November 16, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    I say three is no substitute for starting the engine and blasting the heat. But like you said, scraping is faster.

    • Colorsmith
      November 16, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      *there* is no substitute

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *