Homemade ice remedies prevent frosty nuisances


The song lies. No one dreams of white Christmases when they’re filled with early-morning classes and less-than-average ice scrapers. I usually dream of 70-degree, outdoor Christmases — I guess that’s not as catchy.

But the fact is, I am probably not going to get that type of winter. The winter that South Dakota has in store for me looks a little whiter and a lot less green. It’s filled with frozen windshields and doors. Oh, I can almost hear my ice scraper laughing from the trunk of my car.

I’ve discovered a few ways to tone down the ice this winter. It turns out vinegar is not only used for cooking and hand sanitizer isn’t just for sanitizing those germs on your hands. Don’t believe me? Well, give these few tricks a try the next time the weatherman tells you there’s a frost coming overnight.

Fill a spray bottle with three parts vinegar and one part water and spray it on your car’s windshield and side windows at night. For those of you who are mathematically challenged, that’s one-fourth cup water and three-fourths cup of vinegar. In the morning your windows should be clear or not as much of an icy disaster. If you do see some ice, though, take the mixture again and spray it on the ice. It should start melting right then and there.

Weird, huh? Vinegar contains acetic acid, which raises the melting point of water, and thus prevents water from freezing.

Maybe it’s your car doors freezing shut that give you the most trouble. Well, there’s a way around that, too. Take cooking spray and spray it on the rubber seal of the door and rub it around with a paper towel. Water melting during the day is the culprit in this situation because it freezes again overnight. Rubbing oil on the door will reduce this greatly and keep it from freezing shut. However, this will also get rid of the email to your professor telling him you won’t make it to class because, well, you can’t get into your car. Yes, I used this excuse once, because it actually happened — all four doors, frozen.

It’s not just your car that’ll throw you for a loop during winter. Last year I experienced many nights getting home late — I was probably at the library. Yes, definitely the library — and I’d go to unlock the door only to get denied. Ice formed after it melted during the day and froze back again at night. Needless to say, I had to bang on the door until one of my roommates woke up to let me in.

Well, let’s try to problem solve here. What sort of liquid doesn’t freeze? If you guessed alcohol, you’re right. So, grab the nearest bottle of hand sanitizer, or anything you might have in the fridge, and squirt about a tablespoon into the doorknob lock. This should keep the lock from freezing and decrease the instance of late-night lockouts. Just to clarify, be smart and don’t use beer. The alcohol content is not high enough, and it will freeze just like water.

I can’t make your winter any less white, but these should keep it a little less icy. Who’s laughing now, mister ice scraper?