Cars

8 car window de-icers tested – AUTO BILD

If you don’t have a garage, you know the problem: In winter, the alarm clock goes off a few minutes earlier to give you time to scrape the window. Because when there is ice on the window, the ice scraper is still the most common solution. It is also much easier to use chemical de-icers. The defrosters are simply sprayed onto the pane and thaw the ice within seconds. They all work on the same principle: alcohols of different grades ensure that the disc is defrosted quickly. The antifreeze it contains ensures that the pane does not immediately freeze over again. AUTO BILD tested eight windscreen de-icers from the spray bottle.

Test winner in the AUTO BILD windscreen de-icer test: Aral professional care windscreen defroster

Aral professional care window defroster

Professional care window defroster

Aral

Professional care window defroster

  • very good defrosting effect
  • slow re-glaciation

Price €5.99


The product from the Aral petrol station chain is impressive in terms of its thawing effect and re-icing. Only in terms of paint compatibility does the test winner slip up a little compared to the competition, which is also highly recommended. In the test, the Aral professional care disc defroster achieved 181 out of 200 points and was rated “highly recommended”.

Price-performance winner Aldi Süd Auto XS windscreen de-icer

Aldi Süd Auto XS windscreen de-icer

Auto XS windscreen de-icer

Aldi south

Auto XS windscreen de-icer

  • convincing in all important test points
  • Bitrex additive against swallowing
  • cheap price
  • Pump failures with strong minus lines
  • weaker thawing effect with heavy icing

Price €1.99


The Aldi de-icer is the cheapest product in the test. He convinces in all important test points. The thawing effect could only be better in the case of heavy icing. Bitrex additive to prevent choking. Not so good: pumping failures when temperatures are severely below zero. In the test, the Aldi Süd Auto XS windscreen de-icer achieved 170 out of 200 points and was rated “highly recommended”.

How AUTO BILD and GTÜ tested

In cooperation with the GTÜ, all products were tested in a cold chamber at minus 20 degrees. The experts tested the thawing effect on two mirrors for light and heavy icing. To do this, they sprayed 25 and 50 grams of water per square meter onto standardized mirror surfaces and let it freeze. Re-icing protection, usability and material compatibility were also tested under reproducible conditions.

Most important criterion: A good de-icer should be properly mixed. The ingredients should not evaporate too quickly so that water does not immediately refreeze as ice on the pane. To prevent rapid re-icing, anti-freeze agents such as glycol or glycerin are added to the products. These, in turn, can leave streaks on the pane if the concentration is too high.

The test results at a glance

The test winner from Germany’s largest gas station chain, Aral, shows the best performance here: The de-icing spray is clearly ahead in the test points of defrosting effect and re-icing. The test winner only slipped up a little when it came to paint compatibility. The defroster from Sonax is also convincing. However, it costs a whopping 7.99 euros. With small deductions in the defrosting effect, he ends up in second place. The spray head in particular is convincing in the practical test at -20 degrees. When it comes to preventing re-icing, the product doesn’t cut the best figure, but it still does a good job.

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Windshield Deicer: Test Results


The de-icer Auto XS from Aldi Süd proves that good quality does not have to be expensive. It only costs 1.99 euros, offers even more content and draws level with Sonax. The discounter product achieves an above-average performance in all test points. The added bitter substance Britex is also intended to prevent accidental swallowing, for example by children; There are no extra points for this. Overall, almost the entire test field is convincing. Five products received the rating highly recommended.

Brestol brings up the rear differently: Shortly after application, the test surface ices up again and ice flowers form. The Brestol pump spray also does not cut a good figure when it comes to product safety. “The spray head drips when the bottle is upright if it is not tightly closed,” complains GTÜ expert Wolfgang Hoffmann. He also reports security concerns with the test candidates from Shell, Netto and Aldi Süd. They each show an exploding lung on the label. Although this warning was not part of the test scheme, “it could be an indication that the good test performance was bought with rather toxic substances,” says Hoffmann.

Conclusion on the windscreen de-icer test

The good news: effective products do not have to be expensive! In the test, the discounter bottles made a positive impression. The bad: Three sprays deliver poor performance in terms of material compatibility and handling.

Are deicer sprays harmful?

In principle, windscreen de-icers, which are specially designed for car windows, are not harmful to the car. But the test showed that some products nevertheless attack paintwork or plastic parts (Brestol, Nigrin). Therefore, one should look at the best inform beforehand which products are good. Incidentally, de-icer sprays are very harmful to humans – at least if some of the substance is swallowed. The antifreeze it contains can cause severe poisoning. Therefore, the products should be kept away from children.

How do deicer sprays work?

The main ingredient in windscreen de-icers is alcohol. Since this has a significantly lower freezing point than water, it manages to thaw the icy pane within seconds. The problem: During the thawing process, heat is drawn from the environment and the pane gets even colder. So that it does not immediately freeze again, the sprays also contain antifreeze. In contrast to alcohol, which evaporates very quickly, these substances stay on the pane a little longer and prevent it from freezing again straight away.

Which windows need to be de-iced?

Drivers must before driving the windshield and the front side windows free of ice – completely. Otherwise there is a risk of a fine of ten euros. If you also have an accident with windows that are not de-iced at all or only incompletely, this results in 35 euros. For safety reasons, the windows mentioned should always be completely de-iced, otherwise the driver’s field of vision is severely limited.

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