How to Solve Common Winter Problems

Common winter problems such as frozen locks can be repaired by rubbing hand sanitizer on the lock to melt the ice, photo by pasja1000 by Pixabay
Rub hand sanitizer on your car's frozen lock to melt the ice, photo by pasja1000 by Pixabay

I enjoy living in a province where we experience the four seasons…yes, even winter! Without the contrast of winter, I don’t think I would appreciate the balmy days of summer. And there are many reasons to love winter such as being able to skate by the lake, going cross country skiing through a wooded trail, cozying up by the fire with an intriguing book and fragrant cup of tea. But although winter paints a scenic picture, there are many seasonal problems that most people experience. Keep these hacks to solve common winter problems in mind to avoid getting stressed out during the colder months.

Common winter problems such as frozen locks can be repaired by rubbing hand sanitizer on the lock to melt the ice, photo by pasja1000 by Pixabay
Rub hand sanitizer on your car’s frozen lock to melt the ice, photo by pasja1000 by Pixabay

Icy Windshield

There is nothing worse than standing outside in -15C weather chipping away at the ice on your car’s windshield. An easy DIY remedy to quickly remove ice from your windshield is to get:

2 parts Isopropyl alcohol (buy at the drugstore)
1 part lukewarm water
1 Tablespoon dish soap
Put these ingredients in a spray bottle, shake and spray on your icy windshield. The ice on your windshield should melt within 2-3 minutes. You might still have to use your ice scraper, but the ice comes off much easier and faster.

Frozen Water Coming Out of the Tap

If the water running out of your faucet during winter is too cold, it’s likely that the water heater is wonky. No problem asks when is a convenient time to strike, but it’s especially annoying when you’re about to take a shower on a cold winter morning.

If you feel that the water is inordinately cold, check the taps in the rest of your home to see if the same problem is occurring elsewhere. If you require plumbing services or drain cleaning in Toronto to fix the problem the same day, there are professionals in the city who can get your plumbing system quickly back in order.

Sometimes a plumbing repair is simple, but if something needs to be replaced, it’s best to get it done right away. A professional plumber can make the diagnosis in person, so call one if you have any doubts.

Frozen Car Locks

There are three easy ways to thaw frozen locks on your car:

  1. Heat your key with a lighter, then insert the key into the lock. The heated key should melt the ice;
  2. Rub some hand sanitizer over the frozen lock. Hand sanitizer contains alcohol that will melt the ice;
  3. Get a plastic straw and place it over the lock. Blow air into the lock. Your warm breath should melt the ice.

Icy Windshield Wipers

It’s very difficult to clear your windshield if your windshield wipers are covered in ice. You can prevent this with this simple hack: In the evening before a snowfall, place old socks on each windshield wiper. This will keep them from icing up overnight.

Car Stuck in the Snow

We’ve all been there: you get into your car, start the engine, put the gears in reverse and your tires just spin. If your car is stuck on ice or in heavy snow, place a large piece of cardboard underneath the tire and then try and reverse. If you don’t have cardboard, a few scoops of kitty litter will also do the trick. Your tires should now be able to gain traction when you put your car in reverse.

Park Facing East

Whenever possible in the winter, park your car facing east so that the sun’s heat helps melt snow and frost on your car.

Icy Walkway or Sidewalk

While snow can be shoveled, ice can’t be pushed aside, and if people slip on your walkway or the stretch of sidewalk in front of your home, you could be liable for the damages. Legal issues aside, it’s important and neighbourly to ensure that people can walk safely along your section of the sidewalk and walkway.

People often resort to using rock salt to melt ice, and although it’s an effective way to melt ice, it is not environmentally friendly. Further, your pets do not enjoy walking on salted ice since the salt gets stuck in their paws. Green alternatives to use instead of salt that work very effectively include kitty litter, sand, alfalfa meal, sugar beet juice, and coffee grinds.

I hope these hacks for common winter problems help you survive the colder months.

You might be interested in reading, “Tips to Help You Prevent Back Pain When Shoveling Snow“.


  1. It does not snow where I live, but it does get chilly. The only issues we have is having to “warm up” the car first before we can go anywhere in the morning. I will share this post with my friend who lives in Montana. They do get brutal winters there.

  2. I live in Upstate NY, so I can relate to all of these! I miss my old car that had a spot on the windshield that warmed up the wipers. If there are issues with frozen pipes, it is so important to get that checked out because it could cause major problems!!

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