Ken Weathers, a weatherman from Knoxville, Tennessee, has invented a trick that can defrost a windshield in seconds. In a short video that has gone viral, Weathers demonstrates how a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol can be used to melt frost on contact. This trick relies on the physical properties of isopropyl alcohol. It melts the ice and prevents it from refreezing on your windshield.
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In the video clip, Weathers gives a blow by blow demonstration on how you can defrost your windshield in the shortest possible time. Going by this short clip, a single spray of a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol will rid the windshield of frost and you will be ready to hit the road in seconds.
A departure from outdated windshield defrosting methods
You have probably been relying on two common methods to defrost your windshield: warming your car or scraping the ice from the glass. While both of these methods are effective, they also come with inescapable challenges. Warming your car in the cold may feel nice – and the colder it is, the nicer a warm car will feel. But, it will also increase both the money you have to spend on gas, and the pollution you put into the atmosphere – and the colder it is outside, the more gas money you waste and the more unnecessary pollution your car gives off.
If you decide to scrape the glass, it will at the very least earn you some cold fingers; not the best experience for anyone preparing to drive. You also run the risk of damaging your windshield wipers by running into them with the scraper. It’s even possible to end up with a broken windshield – if the glass is compromised with a chip or crack, then putting your weight against it while you scrape can make that problem worse.
Weathers’ invention, therefore, will come as a relief to many drivers. And the speed that it works at is guaranteed to amaze.
Two ingredient recipe
Weathers’ invention seems so ingenious and incredible that skeptical viewers will wonder if it’s a hoax. And the simplicity of the formula may also raise some doubts –all you need is tap water and isopropyl alcohol.
But while skepticism is healthy – you can’t trust everything you see online! – we can assure you that this wonder mix works. It will melt the ice on your windshield in seconds.
How does it work?
To understand how this works, you only have to look at the physical properties of isopropyl alcohol. It freezes at 150° (Fahrenheit) below that of water. So while the dew that settles on your car turns to ice, isopropyl alcohol is still flowing like… well… water. When you spray the mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water on the ice on your windshield, the ice melts.
How to create the magic solution
This solution is incredibly simple to make. All you need is a mixing jug, a spray bottle, some isopropyl alcohol, and tap water.
Before you get started, you may want to take some safety precautions. Isopropyl alcohol is highly flammable, so remember to keep away from any source of heat. If you love your skin, be sure to prevent contact with the chemical. If it should come into contact with your skin, be sure to rinse it off well. And don’t inhale, as it may cause irritation (this is especially true for people with asthma). Keep it out of reach of the little ones, as it may harm them if they consume it.
When you’re comfortable that everything is safe, mix two parts of the isopropyl alcohol and one part of water in a jug. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle, shake well, and you are good to go. After spraying it on your windshield, you can keep the bottle in your car so you can use it anytime, anywhere.
Do not use hot/warm water
In spite of the biting cold during winter, you have to resist the temptation of using warm or hot water. The sudden temperature change experienced by the cold glass coming into contact with warm water will cause the glass to expand. If it expands unevenly, if the glass has any chips, pits or cracks, or if it simply expands too quickly against its own frame, then you could end up with a broken windshield.
Weathers’ solution will not damage your car, as long as it isn’t much warmer than the glass. One way to guarantee this is to keep the bottle in your car. That way, you know the two are roughly the same temperature. You definitely don’t want to solve one problem by creating another.
This video is both informative and awe-inspiring. It gives you a handy lesson in the physical properties of isopropyl alcohol and how they can be harnessed to defrost your windshield. You may not find a simpler way to clear your windshield during the cold season.