Deicer and solvent

Effect of deicer is due to solvent

The temperature is low in winter, and a glass of a car may be frozen especially at dawn.

Those who usually use a car may have a experience of a windshield frozen.


In such a case, deicers sold in home improvement stores are useful.

They are products that melt ice. If you spray them, an ice film in that part can easily melt.


A deicer contains solvents, and those solvents actually have the effect of deicing.


Deicer ingredients

Let’s look at notations on the back of products that are actually sold.


The products of each company contain “alcohols”.

“Alcohols” are solvents, and ethanol and isopropanol mentioned above are also alcohols.

These alcohols bring about a deicing effect.

Related article

About ethanol

About IPA



Mechanism of deicer

Water basically freezes at 0 ° C.

When an outside air temperature drops below 0 ° C and a surface temperature of car window glass drops below 0 ° C, water in the air freezes on the glass surface, creating frost. (Freezing the glass surface)


Shouldn’t it be dissolved in water or hot water?

When frost forms, some people try to melt it with water or hot water, but this is not recommended.

Of course, you can melt ice with water or hot water. But if you do this when an outside temperature in winter is negative, the water may freeze again at 0 ° C, and the water that flows may freeze again.

On the other hand, the alcohols used in a deicer will not freeze again.

For example, if ethanol has a purity of 99%, the freezing point is -114 ° C, so it will not freeze until it reaches -114 ° C.

Even if 50% of water is mixed, the freezing point is said to be about -38 ° C.


Therefore, removing frost with alcohol will not freeze the liquid later.


If you go on this principle, for example, alcohol disinfection spray for kitchen contains about 50% alcohol, so you can use it as a deicer instead.

Alternatively, you can use commercially available absolute ethanol to make your own deicer.

In addition, some commercially available washer fluids also contain an alcohol called “methanol,” so some of them can exert a deicing effect.

(However, methanol is particularly harmful among alcohols, so be careful when handling it.)


Related article

About methanol



We actually compared the deicing effects of a deicer with that of an alcohol disinfection spray for kitchen.


On a freezing morning, the surface of the car is frozen.

(I do not usually melt ice on a car body, but it was difficult to see how ice attaches and melts, so this time I will compare on the body.)







First, spray a deicer.

The part that has been sprayed will return to the original color of the car body.








If it is zoomed in, you can see the difference.








Next, spray an alcohol spray.









The ice can be easily melted with this, too.







In the image above, the left side is melted with an alcohol spray, and the right side is melted with a deicer.

I put it for about 10 minutes after it was melted, but the liquid is not frozen.

Even after that, it did not freeze.


If you use a car for commuting, you may have had a experience of a windshield frozen on a busy morning and of taking time to melt the ice.

Even if there is no deicer, it is possible to melt ice with an unexpectedly familiar item.





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