Believe it or not, “de-icer” is a technically-correct term, and it is actually quite a nifty tool for those of you who live in areas that experience winter weather. In the literal sense, de-icing is the process of removing ice or snow from a surface. Now, for the purposes of this guide, we are only focusing on de-icers that are designed for windshields. There are other types out there, but you will see wiper fluids and aerosol sprays on this list. This product can end up being one of the best ones you ever invest in, however, as how many times have you woken up to your car covered in ice? Snow is not too hard to remove but when ice forms, you may need the assistance of one of these bad boys to get to work on time.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 11 hrs of research
Designed with a trigger sprayer
The general consensus is that this really works
In total, you receive 96 fluid ounces
Top Ten De-Icers
Designed with a trigger sprayer
The general consensus is that this really works
In total, you receive 96 fluid ounces
Some buyers have expressed their issues with the performance
This is actually really unique in the fact that it is the only option on this list to sport a trigger spray. And, because it comes in a pack of three, you get a pretty good bang for your buck.Read more
There have been more consumers who have raved about the performance of this than reviewers who have been disappointed with it. There have been a few that fall into the latter feeling.
As was mentioned, this is an easy to use solution that can be applied with a trigger. Much like Windex on windows, this applies much in the same fashion.
This is actually a pack of three which each individual bottle having 32 fluid ounces of liquid. All in all, you are receiving 96 fluid ounces.
If you only received one bottle then the value would not be good at all. For the price, however, adding in two more bottles significantly increases the value.
Even if the windows on your vehicle need defrosting, this can be applied to them as well. It could even be used to thaw frozen doors that will not budge.
Due to the circumstances of this list, you could call this the best non-washer fluid model on this entire list. Though some buyers have felt otherwise, the general consumer base has been satisfied.
2. PRESTONE 3-IN-1
Designed with streak-free technologies
It is 3-in-1 washer fluid
You can purchase a pack of six
Smells very chemically
Side note; be prepared to see Prestone on this list a few times. Anyway, as for this product, it is actually a 3-in-1 deal and is a washer fluid that is one of the more versatile options on the market.Read more
Thanks to all the technologies that have been integrated into this formula, it is able to deliver streak-free performance while melting any ice on the windshield.
Not only is this a washer fluid but it is also pre-mixed and ready to roll.
If you do not think you will need very much of this you can opt for one gallon. Of course, the option is also there to purchase a package of six (which equates to six gallons).
Though the value is certainly not bad, some other options outside of one and six would have been nice. Still, for the price, the value is not too shabby.
This is arguably the most versatile option on this list and it is because it is a 3-in-1 formula. In addition to its de-icing capabilities, it can also remove tough residue and remove bugs from your windshield.
It is no real surprise that Prestone landed on the top of this list and this washer fluid is a great example of why they are so trusted.
The #3283 model comes with a built-in scraper
Many buyers were thrilled with the performance
You get 12 cans for the price
It should be clearer which models come with the scraper and the straw
This is a different kind of product and is not a washer fluid. Instead, it is a simple can that is filled with the substance that you need to physically spray on your windshield.Read more
Once again, feedback seems to be skewed one way or the other. But, most users out there do feel that this melts ice and does so quickly.
This is a standard can that is supposed to come with a straw (which some buyers never received). Also, another model (#3283) actually comes with a built-in scraper.
Each can is 10 ounces and while that is not a lot on its own, this is a pack of 10 (bringing the total ounces to 120).
You really can’t beat the value here. For the price of admission, this may be the best value on the market (in regard to the online market that is).
Not only can this remove ice from your windshield but it can also be used to do so on locks, doors, other windows or even your mirrors.
In the future, Johnsen’s should make it clearer which models come with a scraper and if a straw is included. Despite the confusion, the value and performance make this worth it.
4. MCKEE’S 37
You do get 128 ounces of fluid
It can be placed in a spray bottle
Can easily be poured into your washer fluid reservoir
The value is not the best
McKee’s 37 presents another washer fluid to this list and while the value is not the best, it could be perfect for users who do not need to use it every day.Read more
For what this is designed to do, it appears that, based on consumer feedback, it does a sufficient job most of the time.
Yep, this is a washer fluid and it can go directly into your corresponding reservoir in your vehicle. In fact, you can even add this as a concentrate to your existing windshield washer fluid.
There are two size options to choose from here. You can either go with the 32-ounce option or if you require more, the 128-ounce option.
The value is decent but there are better “deals” out there. Still, it is nice that you can opt for 128 ounces for a slightly cheaper price (as opposed to buying the equivalent in 32-ounce bottles).
Here is what is really cool; you can pour this into a standard spray bottle and use the formula to spray your side windows and your rear windows when they need de-icing.
Without question, this deserves a spot in the top three and for pretty much everyone, this is going to be a suitable option when the ice comes.
5. PRESTONE 11 oz
It is harmless to car finishes
It does come with a built-in scraper
Multiple seller options are available
Comes out straight shot and not wide
While this is another model from Prestone, they switch it up here. Instead of being a washer fluid, this right here is an aerosol can that also sports a built-in ice scraper.Read more
In regard to the overall performance, this works quite well. The main issue is that the stream is a straight shot and should have been wider to make it easier to deliver an easier coating.
It is nice that a built-in scraper is included but the scraper itself is not that great. Also, this is an aerosol can and is not liquid.
Each can has 11 ounces of substance inside but if you wanted to buy more, there are also options for packs of two, three, and 12.
Per one can, generally speaking, you can expect to get around three uses. That is certainly not the best value but things are made better if you go with the packs.
Due to the fact that this is harmless to car finishes, it can be used to de-ice your side windows as well as other aspects of your vehicle.
This is the worst offering from Preston on this list and it is still superior to other models. That goes to show the quality of Preston ladies and gentlemen.
6. PRESTONE AS250
Speeds up the defrosting process
Can also be used as a spray if you have a spray bottle
You can invest in a pack of six, one-gallon bottles
It freezes over too frequently in colder temperature
Prestone is back on their list and their AS250 is a washer fluid that is specially designed to handle ice. And, while it does seem a bit overpriced, the effectiveness is worth it.Read more
Yes, this fluid seems to work very well. However, it does struggle a bit at lower temperatures (several degrees below freezing) as your wiper blades will struggle to remove all the liquid.
As with other wiper fluids, you will simply need to pour an appropriate amount of this into your washer fluid reservoir under the hood.
While there are no options in-between, you can either opt for a single one-gallon bottle or buy this in a pack of six (which would equate to six gallons).
Admittedly, when you take shipping into consideration, this seems a bit overpriced. In all honesty, it may be in your best interest to go with the pack of six (to get the most out of this).
If you wanted to, you could use a spray bottle to apply this directly onto your windshield (you would just need a spare empty spray bottle).
This is Prestone, so you know, at the very least, your money will be well spent. While this can struggle in extremely cold climates, it does the job well most of the time.
You can get a case of 12
It also helps to free frozen locks
Most users agree that it works well
Could be more spray for the value
For the most part, the general consensus amongst users is that this works wonders. But, it does tend to make the windshield colder when you spray it (which almost seems contradictory).Read more
The general consensus here is that this product works how it is perceived by the seller. As one user noted, it can make your windshield colder (perhaps due to the alcohol-based formula).
This is not a washer fluid and is simply a spray. It is not designed with a trigger but rather a regulation nozzle.
The 12-ounce can that you receive is standard but you can buy this in a pack of 12, which is nice.
Once again, and without question, the best value you can get here is with the pack of 12. You can do the math but you end up saving a lot of money this way.
In addition to the fact that this can be used for windshields, clearly, it can also be useful when you need to remove ice from other windows or to thaw frozen car doors.
If you go ahead and buy the pack of 12, then you get an excellent value that is worth the price of admission. Plus, these cans are highly versatile.
Will spray in extremely cold temperatures
Can also be used to thaw frozen locks
It does perform as advertised
May take 2 coats for thicker ice
In many ways, this is very similar to the previous model that was just documented. It is a terrific option but you may want to go with the case of 12 as one can is not going to last you very long.Read more
As one educated reviewer pointed out, this works as advertised. But, in regard to light frosts as with thicker ice, it is going to take two to three applications.
Although this is supposed to come with a spray tip, there have been buyers who have reported they never received any sort of nozzle.
One can hold 12.3 ounces, which is about what you would expect, but this can be bought in a pack of 12 if you require more (which you will, most likely).
You get a much better deal when you buy this in a pack of 12 so it is definitely advised to do so. The single can option is simply not that great of a value, unfortunately.
Even in the summertime, this can be effective when it comes to removing bugs from glass areas. Also, this can be used to thaw frozen locks.
Granted you actually receive the nozzles and granted you invest in the pack of 12, you can set yourself up pretty for the current and following ice seasons.
It is harmless to car finishes
Works great for thin ice
Can be applied to frozen locks
Could be more spray
While this is nothing over-the-top, this is about what you would expect at this point from this type of technology.Read more
When it comes to thicker ice, this can struggle a little. For thinner ice, however, this will do wonders at loosening it on your windshield.
This is a classic can design that comes with a spray nozzle. Yet, this nozzle is not the best when it comes to coating the entire windshield due to its size.
At 12 ounces, this is what you expect from a can such as this. But, as with other sellers, there are options for packs (two, three and 12).
Pretty much everything besides the pack of two has a decent to good value.
Due to the fact that this is harmless to car finishes, it can be used on locks, windows, headlights, and really any other part of an automobile.
If you live in a northern area and are constantly dealing with snow and ice, this is not the best option. Due to its effectiveness, it is better suited for casual use.
Keeps your windshield streak-free
It can also be used to remove bugs
It is washer fluid
Now, Rain-X is actually a very popular brand and you may be surprised that it is not higher. The actual washer fluid is great but in regard to the value, the price is astronomical online, for whatever reason.Read more
Here is the deal; the performance of this model is pretty good. The problem comes with users who own vehicles with electronic washer fluid sensors as this has been known to kill the sensors.
As just mentioned, if you have electronic washer fluid sensors in your vehicle you may want to stay away from this. But, it is simple washer fluid, for the record.
It does not appear as if there are any other size options available. This lone option comes with one gallon of fluid.
Several users have let it be known that this can be purchased in stores for a much cheaper price. Just something to keep in mind as the online price is ludicrous.
On top of being great when it comes to de-icing, this can also be ideal for removing bugs off of your windshield.
Do not get it twisted; this is a great option. However, it may be wise to find it in stores and should only be used for certain vehicles.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
If nothing else, the model you pick should be able to at least remove the ice from your windshield.
It has already been brought to your attention what the concept of de-icing implies and the fact that this guide is solely based on those products that are used for your car windshields. So, with this in mind, the first and most important area you must assess with any specific brand is how well it does at actually removing ice from your windshield. Snow is not really going to be an issue as you can just wipe it off. But, as everyone knows, ice is not that easy and tends to be a major hassle to get off. With the help of a de-icer, though, the process is made easier.
However, each brand is not going to perform with the same efficiency (or lack thereof for some brands). Analyzing which ones do effectively remove ice is critically important. When it comes to determining this, the best thing you can do is research. It is tough to look at a specific brand on the surface and either claims it is good or poor. Instead, go through consumer feedback to see what other users have experienced. If the general consensus points to an effective product, you should be good to go.
Before you make a final decision, you need to first decide what type of style you prefer.
Here is where some diversity can come into play. If you actually took the time to view the products above, you noticed that there are different types of styles that you can look out for. While one style is not necessarily superior to the other, you may have a preference but let’s break down what those styles are. Firstly, you have your traditional washer fluid models. Now, these will be washer fluids but they will be specially designed to combat ice. As with traditional washer fluid, you simply need to pour an appropriate amount into the washer fluid reservoir that is located under your vehicle’s hood. Then, you apply it to your windshield in the same fashion as you would your regulation wiper fluid.
There are also brands sold in spray bottles or even aerosol cans. With these types, you physically apply the solution to your windshield manually. But, you want to pay close attention to the design of the nozzle. Some will come equipped with a trigger nozzle (much like you would see on a Windex bottle) and others with a normal straw (which can have a narrower field of spraying).
Depending on how frequently you need to use your de-icer, you may require more than the commonman.
As a consumer, it is always going to be of your best interest to buy what you need. Some of you will prefer to buy in bulk and there certainly is nothing wrong with that. But, at the very least, you need to get what you desire (as obvious as that sounds). In order to do this, in this case, you need to keep a few factors in mind. Firstly, how often do you think you will need to use your de-icer? In order to answer this, you need to take your climate into consideration. If you live in northern areas that experience colder weather for several months, you will probably end up needing more than a little. So, a can that gives you two to three uses is not going to be very efficient.
To combat this, either look for larger brands or packs. Most of the time, when shopping for aerosol-can versions, they will only come in capacities of around 12 ounces or so. Thankfully, most sellers will give you the option of buying in bulk (typically in packs of 12 at the most). As for wiper fluid, the same logic applies and it is typically sold by the gallon.
This plays right off of the capacity and as a consumer, you want the best value that you can get.
In a lot of ways, this plays right off of the last section. You see, the value is going to be determined by the capacity. It will also be determined by other factors such as a brand’s effectiveness and price. It is simple logic, really. If a brand is not very effective then you will need to use more of it to get the job done. Consequently, you will need enough of the solution to consistently remove ice during the winter. And, if the price is astronomical then your purchase will not really be warranted.
Typically, the price should not be a top priority for you (keeping in mind your own personal budget, of course). Yet, when you assess the value of a de-icer, the price needs to be added to the overall equation. A lot of times, the better value is in the packs and if you have a long winter ahead, it is best to buy in bulk.
Most of the brands out there will be able to perform more tasks than just removing ice from your windshield.
Here is what is really cool about most de-icers; they will be able to be used in a diverse amount of ways. Clearly, each model will be designed to clear ice from your windshield. But, granted you are not using wiper fluid and pouring it inside of your reservoir, most of them can be used to thaw ice on other areas. For example, if your door is frozen shut then you can spray your de-icer inside the crease to help to melt the ice. Also, this stuff can be used on your other windows and even your mirrors.
Of course, if you have an empty spray bottle lying around you can still make de-icer wiper fluid versatile. Simply pour some of the solution inside the bottle and then spray it on areas that are succumbed to ice.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
This one is really simple here, folks. When you are in the market for a product that is designed to melt ice from your windshield, it better be effective at doing just that. Now, it goes without saying that some brands will outperform others and finding the suitable formula should be priority number one for you. If you live in heavy ice climates then you should probably settle for nothing less than the best of the best.
As you will notice, there are a few different styles that you can buy. What you will also notice is the different styles are not exactly inferior to one another. Instead, this comes down to your preference and how you desire the compound to be applied to your windshield. For the most part, you can either get wiper fluid that goes into your vehicle’s corresponding reservoir or simply an aerosol can or spray bottle that allows you to apply it directly on your windshield.
It sounds simple but it is something that you can’t afford, literally, to overlook. You need to invest in a suitable amount of fluid for the upcoming or current winter season. It may be in your best interest to buy in bulk in this situation; especially if you live in northern areas that experience colder winters. But, it all comes down to you and if you think you will only need a little then buy accordingly.
Other Factors to Consider
When looking for a de-icer for this winter season the bottom line is that you need something reliable, effective, and easy to use. When you need to go to a destination you do not have time to wait until your car heater heats up enough to melt the ice on your windshield, that is why every winter driver should have a de-icer in their vehicle to ensure that if there is ice on your windshield you can melt it quickly and get to where you need to without hassle.
There are many de-icers on the market and they all will effectively melt the ice on your windshield, the difference between them is some might do it quicker and more efficiently than others. Now you may be asking yourself, "how do I know which de-icer will work the best for me?' And the answer is to check the customer reviews. By checking the customer reviews you will get a first-hand account of how effective the de-icer you are interested in works and will give you the confidence that if ice makes its way to your vehicle this winter season, you will be able to melt it away and get to your destination without delay.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How exactly do you use them?
Now that you are little more aware of the actual buying process, perhaps you would like to know how to use these. Well, the washer fluid is pretty simple if you want to pour it into your vehicle’s corresponding reservoir. It is always there and to apply it to your windshield, you would simply perform the same action as you would with normal wiper fluid.
In regard to bottles and cans, go ahead and start your car up and crank the defrosters. Then, brush away any loose snow and ice and then apply the solution directly on the windshield. For thicker ice, you may need to apply a few coats.
q: Will the wiper fluid damage silicone wiper blades?
This right here is not something that you will need to worry about. What you need to remember is de-icer wiper fluid is going to be designed to be safe to use. And yes, you should be fine even if you have silicone wiper blades. Unless several reviewers have commented and claimed that the current product you are looking into has damaged their silicone blades, do not worry about this.
q: Can you use special de-icer wiper fluid all-year-round?
One of the biggest advantages of choosing de-icing wiper fluid is the fact that, most of the time, it can be used year-round. While it will come down to the specific formula of the wiper fluid, there have been users who have gone on record of saying that they have left their de-icing wiper fluid in their vehicle in the summer. The reason most of them will still be sufficient when it comes to removing bugs and residue from your windshield. Plus, if there does happen to be a randomly cold day in the non-winter season you know you will have the best option.
q: Can you use the wiper fluid with other wiper fluid?
So, what happens if the current washer fluid that you are using is still present in your vehicle’s reservoir and you do not want to take it out? Could you just mix your new formula in with the formula that is already present inside? Well, you could but it may not be advisable to do so. Unless the product description claims to the contrary, you should avoid mixing de-icer fluid with regular washer fluid.
The main reason why is it will dilute the new fluid and it may not be as effective as it would on its own. So, it is almost like handicapping yourself for no reason.
q: What exactly is the temperature rating?
Okay, so let’s address something that has actually not been discussed yet. It is fairly important so it is something you want to keep in mind. Basically, most sellers will claim what temperatures their product can withstand, so to speak. While most sellers will not give a specific range, they will oftentimes provide a minimum temperature that their product can still be effective at. For example, this could be negative 20 degrees. The lower the temperature it can withstand, the better as the last thing you want is for the de-icer itself to freeze.
q: Can you store them in your vehicle?
For this, it really depends on what style you are analyzing. If you are talking about canned or bottled versions, you can leave them in your car. With that said, it is not wise to do so in the warmer months as the liquid may be flammable. During colder months, though, they should be fine resting in your trunk. As for washer fluids, it is not really necessary to do so. If your reservoir is filled with the liquid, it will last quite a while (depending on use) and you can probably get away with leaving the actual jug in your garage or home.