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Making homemade deicer fluid

 
 
jespah
 
Reply Sun 6 Feb, 2005 08:53 am
I would love to learn how to make my own deicer fluid. It doesn't have to be down to extremely low temperatures -- just 20 above 0 (F.) is fine. And if it can't come in contact with windshield wipers (e. g. if it would eat away at the rubber), that's fine, I can use it on the other windows of the car.

Essentially, what I am looking for is a way to avoid having to buy so much commercial deicer. I imagine it isn't so great for the environment, plus it's not cheap, plus I've found that inevitably the spray cans stop working long before they are empty. Whether this is due to losing propellant, or a clog or whatever, I have no idea.

Now, I don't have access to stuff like glycol. What I am looking for is something that I can mix up at home, in batches. My first thought is heavily salted water, since salty water freezes at a lower temperature than pure water. And another thought is to (when circumstances permit) heat up the concoction before applying it to the car.

But after that I'm kinda stuck. So, how would you mix up your own deicer fluid?

Note: amusing suggestions are always welcome but I really do want to know how to do this! Thanks in advance. :-D
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Type: Discussion • Score: 7 • Views: 23,918 • Replies: 25

 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Feb, 2005 09:19 am
I don't know the answer to the real question. The commercial product be failing to work though, because the propellent in the can doesn't perform well in cold weather. Sounds like a catch-22, cuz it is always cold when you use the stuff, but they eliminated the freon years ago, and have yet to come up with anything as effective.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  2  
Reply Sun 6 Feb, 2005 01:18 pm
Salt water might work. You could also buy some of the concentrated (mot pre-mixed!) windshield washer fluid from any auto parts store (and most department stores) and mix it up yourself and use it in a spray bottle.

Do not heat up anything before you put it on your windows though. When you pour hot liquids on ice cold glass the glass expands rapidly and has a nasty habit of cracking.
0 Replies
 
bobsmythhawk
 
  2  
Reply Sun 6 Feb, 2005 02:05 pm
In anti-icing, solid chemicals can blow away or be tracked inside while you're waiting for the snow or sleet to show up. Liquids move around less-and are also just plain more effective than the same chemicals in solid form. On the Federal Highways website (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/winter/briefs/briefs.html) many states report cutting their salt use dramatically by spraying a liquid saltwater brine on roads before a snow event occurs. Washington and Oregon report similar success using much less corrosive Magnesium chloride´┐Ż-and Boulder's report even gives the percentages they use to create their de-icing mix: 30% magnesium chloride and 70% water.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Feb, 2005 02:11 pm
Hmm so the saltwater idea isn't so farfetched. Perhaps I should head to the beach ...?
0 Replies
 
sublime1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Feb, 2005 02:13 pm
Two parts orange juice one part gasoline, oh wait that's napalm. It still might work.
0 Replies
 
Swimpy
 
  2  
Reply Sun 6 Feb, 2005 02:35 pm
Here are two recipes I found. the first one should have some de-icing capability with the alcohol. the second one not so much.

1.
3 cups rubbing alcohol
10 cups water
1 Tablespoon of liquid detergent
Makes one gallon.

Optional: You can add some blue food coloring if you like!

Be sure to label the container as this will be toxic for the little ones.

2.

Combine 3 c. household window cleaner with 1 gallon water in a pail.

2. Mix well.

3. Open the hood of your car.

4. Pour the fluid in the windshield wiper fluid reservoir. (Use a funnel to avoid spilling fluid.)

5. Close the hood.


Tips:
Make sure to dilute the window cleaner or it will leave streaks.


Warnings:
Compare prices to make sure you spend less on window cleaner than you would on formulated windshield wiper fluid.

If you live in a cold climate, make sure the homemade fluid won't freeze in the tank, as this can damage cars. Make a small batch of fluid and place it in the freezer overnight. If the fluid freezes, don't use it.
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Feb, 2005 11:18 am
Excellent! Thanks!

I tried the hot salty water trick. One thing I found is that my container buckled a bit with 212 degree water, but it was all right if it was maybe 200 degrees. I didn't check precisely; this was just boiling water mixed with cold water, about a 9:1 ratio.

And yes, it works. Now I need to bathe my lawn in it. :wink:
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Feb, 2005 11:38 am
I can remember thinking my mother was a little impatient when she shoveled the snow from the lawn on the north side of the house into the street.

These days, if I had two good legs.....

Genetics will out.
peckerwood
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Nov, 2010 11:54 am
@Noddy24,
Read the label on 'rain x' and youll see it's made of methl alcahol and ethhyene glycol (anti freeze). Just mix the two and test in freezer. Also, I've been using hot water for years on my winshield and they have never cracked. Just be sure it's no hotter than the hottest TAP WATER. Never heat it on a range. Peckerwood
0 Replies
 
squinney
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Nov, 2010 12:33 pm
Thanks to Pecker, I am now seeing this old thread.

I read through the suggestions and other than warm water, I don't think I'd use any of them.

You don't want salt water or alcohol on your car paint, do you? That doesn't sound good.
squinney
 
  4  
Reply Sat 6 Nov, 2010 12:34 pm
@squinney,
Hmm... "Thanks to Pecker."

I'm pretty sure that's the first time in my 47 years that I have ever said that.
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2010 05:14 am
@squinney,
Oh squinney you're a trip.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2010 05:18 am
On a sunny day, if you have a little time, just get some black water color paint, put little black dots on the inside of the windows, and wait. Any window getting direct sunlight will warm up from the black paint absorbing the sunlight, and in about ten minutes, that window will be clear. David Suzuki did this for his television program once, and it was amazing how fast the windows cleared themselves of the frost and ice. Then you can just clean the black dots off with a wet paper towel.
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2010 05:20 am
@Setanta,
Huh, I wonder if putting a black cloth on the inside would work, too?

PS Happy birthday one day late.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2010 05:21 am
@jespah,
Yeah, that should work. It has to be a sunny day, of course, and it won't work on any shaded window.

Thanks for your kind regard.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2010 05:22 am
I should add that if you use black cloth, it has to fit flush on the window glass.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2010 05:30 am
@Swimpy,
Swimpy wrote:
Combine 3 c. household window cleaner with 1 gallon water in a pail.

2. Mix well.

3. Open the hood of your car.

4. Pour the fluid in the windshield wiper fluid reservoir. (Use a funnel to avoid spilling fluid.)

5. Close the hood.


Tips:
Make sure to dilute the window cleaner or it will leave streaks.


Warnings:
Compare prices to make sure you spend less on window cleaner than you would on formulated windshield wiper fluid.


this is good advice for just using window cleaner for cleaning your windows and glass around the house, it cuts the ammonia, slows down the drying process and leaves less streaks, plus it makes the glass cleaner last longer, when i worked in picture framing, we cut our glass cleaner about 2/3 cleaner with 1/3 water, i know other places who did half & half dilution
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2010 06:36 am
@jespah,
1. Use a bottle of 70% isopropyl alcohol with a few drops of dish soap. Apply liberally to the glass with a spray bottle; or

2. Start your car, and with the defrost on high let it idle for 10 minutes; or

3. Move to Arizona. I haven't scraped a windshield since I've moved here.
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2011 07:26 pm
@jespah,
Hi Jes. I started a thread about this too, and have come across with this formula. I haven't tried it yet. I'm looking for an opinion as to how well it may work, and if it's safe for paint or rubber. :

Ice Free Windshields with Homemade Deicer

To prevent your car's windows/mirrors from icing up in the window, treat the windows before you go to bed each night. The window treatment can be made up of 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water and placed in a spray bottle. This mixture will prevent ice from forming. It is important to spray all of the car's windows and not just the windshield. You can also use the same mixture using rubbing alcohol.

0 Replies
 
 

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