Alcohol-based hand sanitizer for unfreezing car locks.
Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol freezes at a much lower temperature than water – about minus 126 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub a dab of hand sanitizer on the frozen lock and smear some on your key. With a little wiggling, you'll be able to coax the lock open. Once it's unfrozen, spray it with oil like WD-40 to help prevent it from refreezing.
Vegetable oil cooking spray to keep your car door from freezing.
Spray the rubber gasket around your door to prevent a freeze-out. Don't substitute WD-40 for the vegetable oil spray. It has a noticeable petroleum odor.
Alcohol spritz to clear a frozen window.
Mix two-thirds of a cup of rubbing alcohol with one-third cup of water and pour it into a clean, empty spray bottle. Then just spritz it on. Like hand sanitizer for frozen locks, the alcohol mixture will melt the ice on your windshield with little or no scraping needed. If you're worried the alcohol could damage your car's finish, just wipe up any overspray when you're done.
Old socks as windshield wiper covers.
Before you leave your car for the night, slip a sock over each wiper. That will keep them from freezing to the windshield by morning.
Plastic zipper bags as side mirror covers.
This is the same idea as the socks. Put a gallon-size zipper bag (the kind you'd use to store leftovers) over each side mirror and secure it with a rubber band. In the morning, remove the bag and – voila! Crystal clear, frost-free mirrors.
Plain clay cat litter for emergency traction.
Sprinkle it under the tires for a traction boost if your wheels are spinning. If you're desperate and don't have cat litter, you can sacrifice your car's floor mats to get unstuck.
Chalkboard eraser to defog the inside of your windows.
Sure, you can blast the defroster and air conditioner. But you also can wipe the inside of your windows with a (clean) old-fashioned chalkboard eraser to clear the fog fast.
Know another great wintertime hack? Please share it below in the comments.
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