How to remove ice from the windshield without an ice scraper

Snow and ice storms can present challenges for car owners. One of the biggest problems facing drivers is to remove ice from the windshield both from their driver and the rear windscreen of the vehicle. The easy answer is to use an ice scraper, but sometimes a driver is trapped in a storm that has created ice on the windshield and does not have an ice scraper in his car. In this situation, a bit of improvisation is required to remove the ice.


  • Start the engine and turn the thermostat in the car as high as possible. Adjust the fan for air circulation inside the car to the highest position.
  • Set the heater to the defrost setting on your vehicle. Usually this is represented by a small picture of a windshield.
  • Check your wallet for a piece of hard plastic. This piece of plastic can be a frequent buyer card from a local grocery store, a wallet-size notecard calendar, an expired credit card, or an insurance card.
  • Choose a card that does not care if it gets damaged a bit. The grocery store frequent buyer card is usually a good option, considering grocery stores will allow you to enter your phone number into the registry instead of scanning your card.
  • Hold the card at a 45 degree angle on the windshield with an edge toughing the windshield.
  • Apply push the card in a direction opposite to you pressure. Typically starting at the end of the windshield and pushing towards the center works best. This will begin to remove ice from your windshield.
  • Remove all light ice scrapes from the windshield with the brush by hand. If possible, use a glove while doing this to prevent your hands from becoming too cold.
  • Use short strokes of three to six inches with the card while scraping your windshield. Allow the combination of friction of the card with the heat of the frost eliminators inside the vehicle to remove the ice.
  • Repeat steps five through seven for each of the car windows.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the ice sheet is very thick, do not try to remove the entire layer at a time. Remove part at a time from the top of the layer, while the frost on your car are weakening the bottom of the layer that is closest to the window. After removing the top layer, the layers closer to the windshield and touching the windshield will be easier to remove.
  • Do not use a plastic card with a toothed edge on it, as this edge may scratch the windshield. A smooth edge will limit the chances of scratching the windshield, but it will not eliminate the risk altogether.