How to Clean Snow Salt Off Your Car and Its Windows

February 21, 2022
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Winter is here!  And so is all that comes with it, like icy roads, snowplows, and snow salt covering the streets and sidewalks. As snow and ice accumulate on the streets, the driving conditions become more treacherous. One way to combat these driving conditions is by using salt. Although this is crucial to the driver’s safety, the long-term effects on your car can be serious. 

How Does Salting the Roads Work?

When a winter storm is coming, the Department of Transportation and other city departments send out the salt trucks. They often pretreat the ground in an attempt to keep ice from forming. Salt lowers the freezing point of water. So, when rain and snow hit a salted road, it shouldn’t turn into ice even if the ground is 32 degrees or colder. But, that salt loses its effectiveness once the temperatures dip below 15-degrees Fahrenheit. Trucks often still use salt to try to mitigate the damage, but they’ll also pour out sand to help cars get traction on top of the ice, once everything freezes over.

How to Protect your Car from Harmful Snow Salt

Salt build-up on your car can be very harmful to the paint and windows as well as many other features on your vehicle. Doors, fenders, hoods, and tailgates are also vulnerable to rust damage which could inhibit the performance of the car. As the roads get icier, remember these tips to ensure your car’s integrity stays intact.

Wax Your Car

Wax provides a layer of protection for your paint and metallic finishes on your car. It’s essential you have a sealant on your car that limits damage to the car. While making sure the visible parts of your car are protected is important, it’s also important to cover your undercarriage as it can rust very easily.  

Avoid Puddles

Driving through puddles isn’t safe in general, but it can also spray salt on your car. They can hold lots of dissolved snow salt that can solidify on your car.  

Avoid Driving Before or After a Storm

They generally salt before, during, and after a storm hits, so try to avoid driving if at all possible. It’s not safe to drive before or after a snowstorm anyways and should only be done if absolutely necessary.  

How to Wash Your Car Properly

Washing your car is crucial to getting the salt and grime off after a winter storm. Start from the top of your car and work your way down, preferably using the two-bucket wash method. Don’t forget to get into places like your wheel wells, and make sure your undercarriage is hosed off.

Use car-safe soap and a microfiber towel to keep from scratching your car, and find a tire cleaner that will help you remove the salt and grime from those tires.

Don’t use a car wash that uses “repurposed” water because that water can have salt and other minerals that can be harmful to your car.  

What To Do If I Have Salt Stains On My Car

Salt can leave grimy stains on the exterior of your car. There are a couple of DIY remedies that you can try to eliminate the stain on the surface of your car –  

  • Mix an equal amount of water and white vinegar together and apply to the stain. This can be applied with a sponge or a soft brush.
  • You can use a clay bar lubricant to rub on the salt staging, and it should lift them right off.  

Car and Window Repair

If your windows are scratched or stained beyond repair, it might be time to call the professionals. Here at Kryger Glass, we have been handling problems just like these for people all around the Midwest with locations in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa. We offer all types of glass and mirror repair on cars, from windshields to windows and even rearview and side mirrors. Don’t hesitate when making this decision. Your safety could be put at risk if the integrity of your glass is weakened! Contact us today to get a quote on any of your glass or mirror needs!

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