Using the right tool to clear the snow and ice off your vehicle is crucial. Without a sturdy snow brush to fully clear your windshield, you may not see properly when driving or you could risk damaging your vehicle. In this blog post, we’ll cover snow brushes and ice scrapers that can handle Ontario winters.
The Main Benefit of a Snow Brush
In Ontario, snow brushes and ice scrapers can save you up to $500.
In some jurisdictions in Canada, you’re legally required to remove snow and ice from your windshield, roof, and hood before you hit the road. In Ontario, drivers must abide by this rule under the Highway Traffic Act. If you fail to adequately clear your car, you can be fined up to $500.
Of course, your and everyone’s safety by having a cleared-off car should be the first benefit that comes to mind when thinking of snow brushes, but we’ve all seen cars on roads and highways that are more frosted white than any other colour.
What Is the Best Snow Brush for My Car?
Picking a snow brush will depend on your budget, vehicle size, and the Ontario climate you live in.
Foam Snow Brush
Foam snow brushes are made with a foam panel instead of traditional bristles. They’re super gentle on your car’s surfaces and don’t leave behind “snow streaks” that require multiple passes before you’ve completely cleared the surface. They’re great for Ontario winters and come in multiple sizes to reach across your vehicle.
If you have a large car, you’ll want an extendable reach snow brush. You can get one that reaches up to five feet. They often have bristles on one side and a squeegee on the other for multi-purpose cleaning.
If you live somewhere that rarely gets snow or ice, a compact brush may be all you need. These typically come with bristles, but you can also get one with a foam panel.
How to Use a Snow Brush
Using a snow brush is fairly simple:
- Turn your car on to get some heat flowing through the defrosters.
- Clear the snow in long, sweeping motions, starting at the top and working your way down. Avoid going over the same spot too many times.
What Is the Best Ice Scraper for My Vehicle?
Again, this will depend on what kind of vehicle you drive, and what your needs are.
You can, for example, buy a snow brush and ice scraper combination, some of which are quite compact. These are best for drivers who live in areas with little snow and ice.
Or you can go high-tech and buy a heated ice scraper: it warms up while you use it to melt the ice. Or an electric one if you’re scraping near an outlet. You hold it, it scrapes. Both are definitely useful for drivers who are greeted many mornings with ice.
Remove ice from your windshield, windows, and lights with an ice scraper:
- If your vehicle isn’t running yet, turn it on.
- Remove any large chunks of ice with your (gloved) hands.
- Gently slide the scraper across the remaining ice until it falls away. Don’t scrape all the way to the end of the windshield, because this can damage the mouldings and trim.
Don’t use an ice scraper on the body of your car: this’ll chip the paint.
DIY Snow & Ice Clearing
If it snows before you have any tools, a regular broom or your gloved hands are a safe, gentle option for removing snow. Do not use a snow shovel to clear your car or a knife to scrape at the ice.
Items made of soft plastic, such as spatulas or dustpans, can be used as temporary ice scrapers. But if the ice is too thick, your makeshift scraper may crack.
Getting Ready for Winter
Aside from a good snow brush and ice scraper, you need to equip your vehicle for the winter weather, inside and out. This means switching over to winter tires, investing in some floor mats, and putting together a winter emergency kit.
You should also start adjusting driving habits for the change of seasons so you and your vehicle can conquer winter roads with confidence.