When you live in Ottawa, it’s inevitable that you’re going to get snowed on by Mother Nature.
From January to March, we spend a lot of time clearing the snow off of our cars. So here are the best ways to remove it without scratching your paint.
1. Work from Top to Bottom
When you do confront your snow-encrusted car, start from the roof and work your way down the sides. This will eliminate brushing areas multiple times.
Remember: You have to clear all the snow and ice off your car before you drive. It’s dangerous for other drivers, especially if the roof wasn’t properly cleared.
2. Pull the Snow, Don’t Push It
It can be tempting to move the snow away from you, but this is an ineffective way to clear off your car.
By pulling the snow towards you, you are able to better control how much is removed and where it goes. Just make sure you don’t fill your boots!
You should also make sure to pull in steady, straight lines. This will minimize the visibility of scratches, if any occur.
Can I Turn on the Defrost While I Work?
While letting your car run and putting on the defrost is the default for many of us, idling is not great for your engine. Here’s why >
In general, we’d recommended avoiding any idling, unless you really need it to defrost your windshield.
3. Use a Foam Brush to Avoid Scratches
We’ve all had a thick, bristly snow brush at one point or another. But it’s been widely acknowledged that when used on painted sections of your car, they can leave light scratches that you’ll see in the sun.
If you’re one of those people who uses a shovel to clear snow off your car… don’t. That leads to scratches that can only be fixed in a body shop.
Since we love our cars, we need to use the right tools. That’s why our detailers recommend foam brushes. They’re great for snow AND gentle on your vehicle.
Make sure you get all the snow and ice off your car roof by looking into getting a telescoping brush. This helps with tall vehicles or shorter drivers.
Tip: If you don’t have a foam brush, you can make do by wrapping it in a microfibre cloth.
4. Wear Good Gloves and Use Your Hands
If you don’t have a foam brush, you could always use a more old-school tool: your hands.
Slap on a good pair of gloves, make sure your coat sleeves are pulled up, and get in there! You’ll be surprised how quickly you can remove snow with just a little bit of elbow grease. Just remember to watch out for any clips or zippers on your gloves that could causes scratches.
5. Don’t Fall for the Hot Water Hack
If you’ve searched for ice removal hacks online, you’ve probably seen people pouring hot water on their windshields to remove snow and ice.
In theory it sounds good – in practice, it could actually cause your windshield to crack. This is because you’re adding high heat to something literally ice-cold.
6. Face the Sunrise
The more direct sunlight hits your car, the more snow and ice will melt. If you know that snow is on the way, try to face the front of your car to the east, where the sun rises.
We know that’s not always possible, but if you’ve got the option, give it a try.
Tips to Reduce Your Clean-Up Time
One of the best ways to remove snow from cars is to reduce the amount of snow and ice that actually lands on it.
1. Use Covers
There are a few different types of covers you can use.
- Window covers
- Parking tents – you can get these at hardware stores.
These can make clearing snow a lot easier – they can also reduce ice build up.
2. Place Socks or Bags Over Wipers and Mirrors
Windshield wipers are extremely important in the winter – they’re also easy to damage thanks to the harsh winter conditions. How many times have you hung your head in despair because your wipers were frozen to your windshield?
One of the things you can do is pop them up from the windshield when you park, and cover them with socks. This will keep them from icing up, being buried in snow, or sustaining any damage from wind.
You can also do the same with your mirrors and bags. These little things will make a big difference when you’re up trying to get to work.
Make Sure Your Car is Ready for Winter
Cleaning snow off your car is only one of the things you have to do in the winter. Make sure your car is prepped for cold temperatures and challenging road conditions by visiting us. We can help with everything from winter tires to winter tune ups.