A delivery driver has suggested an unusual hack to stop car windscreens from icing up in the current cold snap - swapping de-icer for vodka.
Jack Mentiply, 26, says spraying vodka on his car windscreen and putting "a few shots" in the screenwash refill stops the car windscreen from icing over, saving him precious time during his rounds.
A video of the delivey driver's hack posted on TikTok has gone viral, racking up over 1.8 million views already. In the video, Mentiply is seen pouring vodka on his windscreen and then filling his screen wash with the remainder of the £7.99 bottle of booze, explaining that alcohol "will not freeze" and so stops anything on the car from icing up.
The 26-year-old, from Arbroath in Scotland, says any "cheap" bottle of vodka will work. He said: "I thought it was a more well-known trick to be honest. It is something that I have known for quite a long time, and I have been doing it since I have been driving.
"I was outside doing it the day before I put the original video up, and my neighbour asked me what I was doing. Vodka is what I have always used. It is very strong so I would have thought it will be the best type of alcohol to use."
Expert reveals the 10 household items you can use to de-ice your car quickly (Bournemouth Echo UK)
Mentiply followed up the tip with a bonus hack - showing how to create a vodka screen spray so you don't have to pour it directly, saying: "If you get a spray bottle, and put the top part on the vodka bottle, it will last longer."
He said he had previously used shop-bought screen de-icer, but found it much less effective. But he added that timing is key and will affect how well the method works - recommending drivers do it before bed. "If you go outside at night and put it on your windscreen, it is far more effective," he said.
The delivery driver's hack isn't the only shortcut to de-icing your car that provides an alternative to shop-bought de-icer or having to scrape the ice off. Other methods include using lemons, whose citric acid help melt the ice, as well as salt, onions or white vinegar solution.
Some drivers also use sandwich bags filled with warm water then rubbed over the windscreen to melt the ice, while others recommend heatproof oven gloves warmed up then rubbed on the windscreen.
But the AA warns against some online hacks, saying: "There are a lot of videos out there claiming to have genius ways to defrost your car. But most of the methods don't work or could even cause you extra problems."
It advises motorists to first check your windscreen wipers aren't on, then to start your engine and put your warm blowers on to the windscreen as well as clearing any snow from the outside and scraping any ice while you wait for the car to warm up. It also reminds you to stay with your car at all times.
The RAC also warned against using vodka in such a way. RAC Breakdown spokesperson Alice Simpson told Yahoo News UK: “Although ethanol is a common ingredient in most de-icers, we’d strongly suggest leaving vodka on the rocks when it comes to defrosting your windscreen.
"Alcohol and ethanol-based solutions are corrosive and can damage glass, rubber, paint, and composite plastics, all of which are used on modern cars. Don’t be tempted to use boiling water either – while this seems like the quickest option, the thermal shock can crack windows and lead to an expensive repair bill."
What happens if you don't de-ice your windscreen before you set off?
As tempting as it is, if you set off before your windscreen is completely clear, you could find yourself hit with a fine and points on your licence.
Just this week, police in Northern Ireland reminded motorists that frozen windscreens should be cleared fully, and also clear of condensation.
It shared an image of one driver's windscreen that was still iced over, saying they had been given three points and a £65 fine, writing: "Please make sure your windows are cleared of any condensation, ice, snow or anything else that impairs your ability to view the road ahead BEFORE you start your journey."