Wisconsin winters can break even the most devout fans of this state, but for someone moving to the Frozen Tundra from a coastal state it can be even worse. This past winter was exceptionally harsh, and though I made it through without losing any faith in my beloved state, Michelle Li, a Wisconsin transplant and one of our news anchors, might not be able to say the same thing.
After the first snow, Michelle sent me a pin with a supposedly fast and easy way to deice your vehicle. I think she was hoping for a quick-fix on those cold, icy nights. The post said to fill a spray bottle two-thirds full with vinegar and one-third full with water. Then when your vehicle freezes over you just spray the windows and it melts away. Now I’m not sure where the person who originally posted this on Pinterest lives, but after trying this combo I can only assume the harshness of their winter pales in comparison to Wisconsin winters.
I already had some vinegar, but I had to spring for a $1 spray bottle at the Dollar Store to test this suggestion out. The measuring wasn’t an exact science, but I think I got about as close to two-third and one-third of the container that I needed. I put the spray bottle in my car and waited for the perfect opportunity.
A week went by and freezing rain popped up in the forecast. This freezing rain was so bad that as I was walking outside some co-workers and I were basically shuffling across sheer ice to get to our cars. I figured this would be the best possible opportunity to test out the mixture because my car had about a half inch of pure ice all over it (I wish I had a picture to show you, but the couple I tried to take with my smartphone kept coming out really dark).
The first couple of sprays seemed promising, because the thick ice started to crack, but that was the end of the effect the spray had on the ice. I kept spraying and spraying until I had used about a third of the bottle; and the thick heavy ice was still intact. I had started my car to warm up the inside, and I’m really glad I did because that’s what helped me get the ice off. The defrosters started breaking the ice down, but as the ice melted the vinegar water I sprayed on it also started to melt and vinegar doesn’t smell the greatest. So not only did the spray not work, it made my drive home a little stinky!
I tried the spray a couple more times and every time the vinegar water would freeze on top of the already-existing ice without contributing to the deicing process. Then it would all thaw out once my defrosters started working, so I would get to smell vinegar during my drive home.
Pinterest do or don’t? Don’t use this stinky mixture unless your version of winter involves an inch of snow and 20-degree temperatures. If you live in Wisconsin, Minnesota or other states with extremely cold and harsh winters (and we wouldn’t change a thing would we?!?!), this water and vinegar mixture won’t do anything to help you through what should theoretically be no more than five months of cold and snow! My deicing suggestion is to bundle up to go out and start your car up before you leave, or pony up and install a remote start, because the only thing that helps deice your vehicle is warming it up.