We have put together a list of the best car hacks for winter weather that will save you time and mental energy so you can spend less time outdoors where it’s cold and more time inside your warm and cozy house where you belong.

cars, tires, windshields covered in snow to illustrate car hacks
Tube Socks As Wiper Covers from Real Simple

As if driving in winter weren’t bad enough, sometimes you can’t even get into your vehicle without a struggle. Fortunately, we’ve rounded up 15 helpful car tips to get you through the winter months. Learn how to unfreeze locked doors, keep your wipers clean and many more car tips and tricks!

Smart Car Hacks for Winter Weather

1. Car Hack For Your Windshield Wipers

Raise your windshield wipers to an upright position before the snow comes. When your wipers are standing up, they collect less ice and snow, making it easier to clean them off so they are in good working condition when you need to leave the house. And having them out of the way also makes it easier to clear the accumulated snow and ice off your windshield.

Plus, there’s nothing worse than trying to unstick wipers from your windshield or digging them out from under a blanket of snow and ice. The less time you have to spend out in the cold, the better! Right?

2. Outfit Your Windshield Wipers In Socks

You know all those single socks you have in your laundry room? The ones whose mates seem to have run away from home? Well, we have a good use for those lone socks.

When the weather people are calling for a snow or ice storm this coming winter, pop outside and put tube socks over your wiper blades. The socks keep ice and snow from accumulating on your wipers. It will save you a little work the next morning.

3. Car Hack For Traction Control

If you get stuck in a slippery situation this winter, you only need some kitty litter to take back control.

Cat litter can help your tires gain traction in snowy and icy conditions. Sprinkle some underneath your car tires. It absorbs the snow and ice just enough for your tires to grab hold of the road. Keep a container in the trunk of your car.

4. Keep Your Mirrors From Icing Up

If scraping your windows and mirrors every morning is something you enjoy, you can skip this winterizing tip. But for the rest of us…

Put gallon-size Ziploc bags over your side mirrors to prevent ice from covering them during the night. How smart is that! And you don’t have to use Ziploc bags. Plastic grocery bags work, too.

With grocery bags, you can use the handles to tie it in place. And with the Ziploc bags, simply slide a rubber band over the mirror to hold the bag in place.

When you’re ready to leave the house, slip the bags off your mirrors and save them to reuse the next time snow or ice comes your way.

5. Another Sock and Cat Litter Car Hack

A sock full of cat litter pulls moisture out of the air in your car, making foggy windows a thing of the past.

All you need to do is fill an old sock—preferably one without holes—with cat litter. Tie the end shut. Then lay the sock down on top of your dashboard.

The cat litter absorbs the moisture in the air that causes foggy windows. I had no idea! How genius is this tip?!

6. Weigh Down Your Car For Traction

If you drive a rear-wheel vehicle, add sandbags, large containers of kitty litter, (or anything heavy) to the truck bed or the trunk of the car to help with traction. Position the added weight centered over the rear axle of your vehicle. In a car, this will be as close to the rear wheels as you can get.

When the weather changes and the roads clear up, remove the sandbags so you get the best gas mileage possible from your vehicle.

winter driving kit, socks, shave cream

7. DIY De-Icer Car Hack

Make your own de-icer using rubbing alcohol, dish soap, and water. It probably won’t work on a thick layer of ice, but it should work when the windows are merely frosty.

Mix the following together in a 24 oz. spray bottle:

  • 2 oz. rubbing alcohol
  • 5 drops dish soap
  • warm water (not too warm or it could crack your windshield)

Make sure the top is on tight and shake to mix the ingredients. Spray liberally on your windshield and watch the ice begin to melt. No scraping necessary.

8. A Must-Have Safety Car Hack

Keep a winter emergency kit in your car with a blanket, warm weather accessories, hand warmers, snacks, and more. You never know when your car will break down or when you’ll get stuck on bad roads!

I love this list as a reference for the kinds of things to add to your emergency kit.

  • Fleece Blanket
  • Mylar Emergency Blanket
  • Flashlight or Glow Sticks
  • Whistle
  • Hot Hands & Hot Hands Foot Warmers
  • Red Bandana—tie to the outside of the car so rescuers can see it as the snow gets deeper
  • Knife
  • Hard Candy & Power Bars
  • Water

You can store everything in a plastic container or a weekender-style travel bag.

9. Ice Scraper In a Pinch Car Hacks

What do you do if you have a windshield that needs scraping, but you don’t have a scraper? A credit card works in a pinch.

College or high school student without a credit card? Student ID cards, gift cards, library cards, any plastic card will do the trick.

10. Car Hacks, Not a Cooking Trick

This car hack uses a popular kitchen item, but we’re not doing any cooking.

To prevent your car door from freezing shut, apply cooking spray to the rubber seals on your car. Spray directly on the seals, then rub the spray in with a paper towel. The cooking spray keeps the seals from sticking when falling snow melts into them. That’s how your doors get frozen shut.

11. Car Tricks That Beat The Fog

Fog-proof your windshield with this easy budget-friendly trick.

Rub shaving cream on the inside of your windshield and then wipe it away. The shaving cream leaves a coating on the window that prevents it from fogging up. Be sure to buy the cheap shaving cream; no need to spend much on it.

12. Sanitizer Car Hack

Standing outside on a cold winter morning attempting to unlock a car with frozen locks is no fun. But we’ve got a way to beat them!

Put a dab of hand sanitizer on your key before you insert it into the lock. The alcohol in the hand sanitizer melts the ice in the lock.

Bonus: It also helps prevent freezing in the future.

13. Must-Know Car Hack

The cold weather can drain your car battery, leaving you high and dry come morning if you don’t know what to do.

Learning how to jump a car might sound a little intimidating, but it’s really not hard at all once you know the steps. It’s so important, especially in cold weather! You need a set of jumper cables and another car with a good battery.

There are 9 easy steps:

  1. Turn both cars off
  2. Red clamp on dead car +
  3. Red clamp on friend’s car +
  4. Black clamp on your friend’s car –
  5. Black clamp on the bare metal of the dead car.
  6. Start your friend’s car
  7. Start your car.
  8. Remove clamps in the opposite order from which you put them on. Step 5, then 4, then 3, then 2.
  9. Drive your car for at least 15 minutes so it can charge.

See? Not as hard as you might think! This is a skill you will never regret learning!

14. Car Hacks for Parking

Park your car so the windshield faces east. As the sun rises the next day, it will melt the snow and ice of your car for you, saving you the time and effort needed to scrape it clean before you can drive. You could also park your car so the rear window is facing east. Either way, that’s one less window to scrape!

15. Keep Your Headlights Clear

For a better visibility, keep your headlights clear of snow and ice buildup by rubbing them with car wax. The wax prevents the snow and water from sticking to the headlights. Such a simple trick with a big payoff!

Car Hacks To Get Your Car Ready For Winter Weather

Wintertime is a wonderful time to curl up inside with hot soups and good books, but when you do need to leave the house, knowing these winter tips for your car will make it easier to get out and do what you need to do so you can get home again.

Did you know all these car hacks? Which ones do you need to implement this winter?

Did You Like These Car Hacks and Tips? Check Out More Winter-Ready Tricks From One Crazy House

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