Now that winter is arriving at our doorsteps, and the weather is getting chillier day by day, we may have to start preparing for the oncoming snowy days and nights. There is no frustration quite like running to your car in the morning, late for work, and finding your vehicle buried under a pile of snow. An additional worry we all face is the fear of driving on icy roads, low visibility caused by frost on the windshield, or even frostbite in case you just don’t have it in this month's budget to buy a new pair of insulated mittens, say because you spent so much money paying off the electricity bill because someone left the heater on all night. Well, we’ve found some amazing winter hacks to get you through these cold and bitter months with less anxiety and less spending!
1. Always ensure to park your car facing east during the winter, as the sun rises in the east, and that can help defrost the front of your car during the morning hours.
2. On particularly cold mornings, windshield wipers can get frozen or even stuck to the windshield. A good way to avoid this from happening is to put the wipers straight up and cover them with old socks.
3. Windshields also have a tendency to become covered in frost, which can greatly affect visibility while driving. In case you don’t have an ice scraper, anything with a plastic edge, such as a spatula or a credit card will work just as effectively.
4. When the temperatures outside drop, crack open the cabinet doors in the bathroom and kitchen, as this can increase the warm air flowing around the pipes, which, in turn, can help prevent them from freezing over.
5. Instead of a de-icer, you can fill a spray bottle with 2 parts alcohol and 1 part warm water and go to town on anything gathering ice. It works just as effectively.
6. There’s nothing scarier than skidding on ice while cycling, so attaching zip ties between your wheels can help your bike get some traction and snow proof your bike tires.
7. Wet and ice-laden roads and sidewalks can often lead to wet socks. This can be avoided by putting plastic sandwich bags over your socks before wearing your shoes. It may not protect your shoes, but at least your feet will remain dry.
8. Despite your best efforts, your pipes may still freeze. No need to panic, just place a cookie sheet over the frozen spot and use a hairdryer to slowly warm the frozen portion of the pipe.
9. Your car’s side-view mirrors are often forgotten during the cold winter days, but they, too, can suffer from frost and mistiness, which can affect your visibility. This can also be avoided by covering your mirrors with sandwich bags or ziplock bags.
10. In the winter, it’s best to take short showers and avoid taking longer ones, as long showers can result in drying out your skin, and hot water has a tendency to strip away the natural oils from the skin.
11. You can use cooking spray on shovels and ice scrapers to more easily clear your car and surrounding areas of snow and ice, and to help avoid the snow and ice sticking to your tools.
12. Make use of recycled, old and shrunken sweaters by turning them into mittens. All you need are scissors, mitten templates (which are easy to make by tracing your hand) and finally some thread and needles.
13. If you’re struggling to make a strong fire, consider throwing in some orange peels. They are chock full of numerous natural oils, which make them extremely flammable and also add a nice citrus smell to the flames.
14. In case you have a cat at home, you’ll find that fresh kitty litter makes an excellent alternative to salt when trying to ensure traction for vehicles. Though it cannot help melt the ice, it can help to prevent sliding of vehicles on icy roads.
15. This is a tip for all pet owners. Since most roads are coated with salt, this along with the excessive cold can result in dryness and painful cracking of your pets’ paws. To avoid this, simply apply vaseline to their paws before taking them outside.