I’m from Chicago. Naturally, I hate the winters and due greatly in part to having to start a cold, frozen car.
Some time ago, I bought a yellow can of a substance that you spray on your windshield and windows and it thaws the ice. The first frozen night, i used it and it worked… amazingly.
I don’t recall that the can was too cheap, either. However, I assumed that there must be simple ingredients in this solution.
I looked on the can and couldn’t find what was in the stuff. So, first off, what is generally in those solutions?
Next, let’s say I make my own, what chemicals won’t freeze? (This will eventually be a topic in IMHO… but until I get some interest, Ill throw it here.)
The MSDS for one brand can be found here: http://airosol.com/Mechanics/Mechanics%20MSDS/50270mb.htm
The basic ingredients are:
Ethylene Glycol is the chief ingredient in standard antifreeze, methanol also has a very low freezing point and is miscible with water.
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I scrape more windows than the average Joe. But that stuff seems like a real environmental waste/hit.
Meh, it’s not that bad. MSDS’s always make the chemicals involved sound really, really bad. They’re designed to give you all the possible ways that the thing could hurt you. Useful, that, but if you have ever worked with Material Safety Data Shhets you don’t panic about “Liquid and mists can severely irritate or damage the eyes and cause corneal burns.” So can table salt.
You have to look at the concentrations involved and also realize the that these are very common chemicals. I’ve done environmental work and motor oil, paint, solvents (household cleaners) are worse than this shit. The de-icer is mostly wood grain alcohol with a bit of standard antifreeze worked in.
As an illustration to my point look at the MSDS for Dihydrogen Monoxide*. This chemical has caused more deaths by inhalation than any other and will form explosive gases when combined with Calcium Carbide.
*i.e. water. There are a bunch of joke MSDS’s on the internet regarding water. And they are all factually true - which is what makes 'em funny.