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FEB 1, 2011 - Ice in Middletown (Photo courtesy of Toby Gabbard)
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Do windshield de-icer sprays work?

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The last thing you need when you're trying to get out the door on a cold morning is a windshield that won't defrost, as snow refreezes on your car. So we tested three de-icer sprays to see if they really work.

We bought the newest de-icers made by Rain-x, Prestone, and Blue Coral.

Ideally, these are for ice, not snow, but we decided to spray them on our news van that had both ice and snow on its windshield.

Blue Coral

I sprayed a third of the windshield with Blue Coral. It sprayed nicely, but the trigger was a bit stiff to use. Anyone with arthritic fingers might want to choose the second or third option.

Prestone

The Prestone had the easiest to use trigger, taking little effort. Other than that, it went on similarly.

Rain-x

Finally, I sprayed the Rain-x. I then waited 10 minutes.

All of them melted through the snow and ice, to reveal glass.

But after looking closely, the Blue Coral appeared to do a slightly better job, continuing to melt the new snow that continued to fall. The others started to allow new snow to accumulate on the windshield.

But Prestone and Rain-x were almost as effective, and since snow melting is not really what they are designed for, we had to declare a tie in the end.

A cheaper solution?

So the bottom line: All three worked, which means you may want to choose yours based on which one is on sale.

These de icers are not exactly cheap, so frugal living websites suggest you make your own, with a solution of one third vinegar, one third rubbing alcohol, and one third water.

Though it may not be as strong as the professional sprays, that one dollar home solution may be all you need, and you don't waste your money.

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