Don’t freeze up when it comes to snow removal this winter.
In just a few days, the New York area has been blanketed with more snow and ice than it has seen in the past few years.
Naturally, many a local’s frigid-weather management skills may have gone cold in the interim.
Fortunately, experts have recently sounded off on the tips and tricks that will make deicing and shoveling a little less burdensome when the temperatures dip below freezing.
Here’s which hacks to try and which to avoid this winter when frozen precipitation piles up.
Juice it up
Believe it or not, one way to quickly de-ice objects like a windshield is the application of pickle juice.
Like rock salt, brine can melt at very low temperatures, according to National Geographic, which additionally reported that “prewetting with this substance prevents snow and ice from bonding with pavement, making the ice easier to chip off and remove.”
While using brine might seem a tad unorthodox, Carver County in snow-laden Minnesota has even experimented with putting pickle juice extract on roadways for its efficiency.
In Missouri, a similar test had been done by adding salt water to beet juice to melt away road ice.
The state Department of Transportation even boasted online that “when mixed with salt brine, beet juice helps the salt brine work at lower temperatures to treat icy or snow-packed surfaces.”
Of course, the home remedy version of this one certainly comes with lots of red stains.
Not a pickle fan? Try rubbing alcohol
Numerous news outlets suggest mixing hot or boiling water, dish soap and rubbing alcohol to clear icy steps and sidewalks, with the alcohol being the magic portion of the elixir since it has a lower freezing point than water.
Plastic bags around your socks
If you’ll be shoveling en masse this weekend or any time soon, chilly snow is bound to seep into your socks, leaving your feet feezing in cold water. Aside from the unpleasantness, there are, of course, health and safety risks that come with cold feet in freezing weather, including the possibility of experiencing hypothermia, frostbite or trench foot.
A quick hack, vouched for by fishermen, is to wrap plastic bags around your socks before putting on boots or shoes as an added degree of insolation.
Getting salt stains off of your car
It doesn’t take long for your sweet ride to look like it drove through Tony Montana’s cocaine-strewn office in the 1983 film “Scarface” with noticeable white salt stains scattered about its door and hood.
But Matt Badgley, who is a senior research and development scientist at Rust-Oleum, revealed a quick and easy way to get your car’s shine back.
“One of the things you can do, you can take a waterless car wash. You don’t need soap and water. You can spray this on a rag and clean off all the crusted-on salt and road grime pretty quick and easy to restore visibility,” he told Fox32 in Chicago.
Badgley also offered tips to prevent a recurrence of nasty, white stains.
“And then to do some future prevention of build-up and help the water to roll off, you can take a ceramic sealant or spray wax and apply this to your headlights, and what this is going to do is help prevent anything from building up,” he added.
“Your headlights stay cleaner for longer through the winter.”
What gets wetter as it dries?
One TikToker was recently lauded for a breakthrough discovery on how to keep his windshield snow-free as inches of it fell to the ground.
User Joe Cunningham laughed in victory after using a bath towel to cover his windshield during a storm. While the towel was frozen hard as a rock, he easily peeled it off with a crackle to reveal that the glass was free and clear of frozen bits.
Barum Tires of the United Kingdom corroborates the tactic and adds that carpet, cardboard or even a shower curtain can suffice as well.
Things to not try this winter
Many online posts show people pouring some form of hot or boiling water onto their cars as a quick deicing method, but experts advise they should cool it on this trend.
“Glass is very rigid and brittle,” Laura Garcia, program head of the Alexandria Automotive Department at Northern Virginia Community College, told Washington, DC station WUSA9.
“So any extreme change in temperature is just going to make it shatter because it can’t expand and contract like metal can.”
Likewise, another popular trick being advised against is putting hot water in a Ziploc bag and rubbing it on an icy windshield.
Dorry Potter, an expert with National Scrap Car in the UK, doubled down on that theory.
“Motorists are advised to be cautious when applying anything heated to their windscreen as the dramatic change in temperature can cause small cracks to appear in the glass which can cause the screen to shatter when another bout of frost arrives,” she told The Express.
Another debunked myth involves using a cut potato to rub your windshield ahead of snow to prevent sticking.
Experts say the spud is a dud and might just decrease visibility.