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If you live anywhere that experiences harsh winter weather, you don’t need us to remind you of the inconvenience wintry conditions present when it’s time to go driving. It can make your work commutes unpredictable, adding minutes to your travel time or even doubling it. If you didn’t set your alarm early to compensate, well, you’re going to be late for work. And don’t forget that, before you can even get behind the wheel, you have to clear that snowy, icy mess off your vehicle so you can safely see where you’re going.
Thankfully, there is a variety of products available to make that part of the process a bit easier. Key among those are heated ice scrapers, a tool that we think would be a valuable addition to your winter driving arsenal. Like a traditional scraper, electric versions have a sharp, wedge-shaped surface designed to break up and clear away ice buildup. But these innovative products come with a nice bonus: a heating element that makes it easier for you to remove frost, ice, and snow.
In this article, you’ll find our recommendations for the best heated ice scrapers, along with a couple of other useful products you can use with a heated scraper to mount a double-barreled attack on winter’s worst.
For more information on the best heated ice scrapers, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
- 1. Editor’s Pick: Perfect Life Ideas Electric Ice Scraper
- 2. Best on a Budget: Zone Tech Heated Ice Scraper
- 3. Most Versatile: Zone Tech Heated Extendable Ice Scraper
- 4. Prestone Windshield De-Icer Spray
- 5. MATCC Ice Scraper Mitt
- What features should you look for in a heated ice scraper?
- How hot does a heated ice scraper get?
- How should you store your heated scraper?
1. Editor’s Pick: Perfect Life Ideas Electric Ice Scraper
Our Editor’s Pick goes to this 12-volt heated ice scraper from Perfect Life Ideas. Plug this scraper into your car’s cigarette lighter socket to activate a heating element under the leading edge that will help you melt through ice and snow on your car’s windows.
The 15-foot power cord is long enough to reach all the windows on a compact or mid-sized vehicle; the only situation in which it may not stretch where you need it to is the rear window of a full-sized SUV. However, you could also plug this scraper into the accessory power outlet found in the rear of many modern sport utilities.
For early winter mornings when you’re up and out the door before the sun rises, this scraper has a built-in LED flashlight so you can see what kind of snow and ice buildup you’re dealing with. Then flip the scraper over and you can use the rubber squeegee to clear excess water off your vehicle’s window glass. Perfect Life Ideas says its heated ice scraper has a textured handle for an easy grip even when you’re wearing bulky gloves or mittens.
2. Best on a Budget: Zone Tech Heated Ice Scraper
If you’re on an especially tight budget but still could benefit from the convenience of a heated ice scraper, try this product from Zone Tech. With its 14-foot cord, this scraper also plugs into your vehicle’s 12-volt cigarette lighter and accessory power outlets to generate heat to help you remove ice and snow from the windows before you hit the road.
Like the Perfect Life Ideas scraper we chose as our Editor’s Pick, Zone Tech’s design incorporates an LED flashlight for easier nighttime and early morning use. It also adds a power-on indicator so you will always know when the heater is working. Turn this Zone Tech ice scraper over to use its built-in rubber strip to help remove loose snow and ice and water from the glass.
Zone Tech says its scraper is frost-proof and made of durable materials designed to stand up to the worst of winter weather, when cold temperatures tend to turn plastic brittle.
3. Most Versatile: Zone Tech Heated Extendable Ice Scraper
Zone Tech makes our list of the best heated ice scrapers again with a product that has a couple of neat tricks up its sleeve. This scraper sports a sleeker design than the other heated window cleaning tools in this list. However, its practical advantage is a telescoping handle that extends by five inches to make it easier for you to clear snow and ice off the upper portions of the windows on your large SUV or truck.
Whether the handle is extended or in its shortest position, it locks into place to give you better control while you clear snow away to eliminate blind spots. You can also stow the power plug inside the handle to protect it from damage. The other plus this scraper brings to the party is its 15.8-foot power cord, which is the longest of any of the scrapers we researched for this list. If you drive a large vehicle, this is the heated scraper we would recommend.
Like the other heated ice scrapers we’ve profiled here, this one has an LED flashlight, and a rubber squeegee strip helps you maximize driving visibility.
4. Prestone Windshield De-Icer Spray
If you’re bent on showing winter who’s boss, here’s a product you can use to boost the effectiveness of a heated ice scraper. This is a twin pack of Prestone’s windshield de-icer spray in cans fitted with a built-in scraper. Prestone formulates its de-icer with a high concentration of methanol, a potent form of alcohol that has been proven effective in combatting ice: If you fuel your car at a gas station that sells “winter” gas, it likely contains methanol as gas line antifreeze.
Clearly, you can count on this Prestone de-icer spray to do the trick, whether your car’s windows are coated with a thin layer of frost or heavy ice buildup. The can has a wide-angle spray pattern for better coverage of frosted glass, and a more concentrated stream setting you can use on thicker ice.
Plus, Prestone says the built-in polycarbonate scraper blade is stronger than the plastics found in most ice scrapers and promises to stand up to any glass-clearing job you can throw at it.
5. MATCC Ice Scraper Mitt
The final item in our list is another well-made product you can use alone or in concert with your heated ice scraper. MATCC’s ice scraper mitt is an innovative design that has a hole in the end to fit over the handle of the scraper that comes with it. However, that piece is separate from the mitt, which means you could wear this mitt over the handle of your heated scraper, too.
Pull this mitt over your hand and an elastic band cinches around your wrist to protect you from snow and frosty air. The other end also has an elastic band for a snug fit around your scraper’s handle. The mitt’s attractive diamond-stitched outer layer is made of 420D nylon for wind and water resistance, while a soft fleece lining promises comfortable warmth and dryness for your hand while you clear your vehicle’s windows. And if you wear leather driving gloves, this mitt will protect them from damage caused by moisture and road salt.
Being able to remove the scraper from the mitt makes it easy to clean the mitt in your washing machine.
What features should you look for in a heated ice scraper?
All of the heated scrapers we found have built-in LED flashlights, which we think is a useful feature considering that if you drive to work, you will likely be clearing snow in the dark before both your morning and evening commutes.
We also recommend that you choose a scraper with a lighted power indicator to provide clear evidence that the heating element is active. This will help you avoid burning yourself on hot surfaces.
You should also consider the length of the power cord, especially if you’re one of the many drivers who uses an SUV for daily transportation. Not only will this help you reach all of your vehicle’s windows, but it will also give you the flexibility to use the heated scraper to clean ice off of headlight and taillight lenses. That task is just as important as ensuring you have a clear view out and will help you avoid getting a traffic ticket for driving with obscured lights.
How hot does a heated ice scraper get?
These scrapers do get hot enough to burn you if you don’t handle them carefully. However, on a cold day, that heat will not be sufficient to instantly melt the ice that has accumulated on your car.
Instead, an electric heated scraper is meant to help soften ice to make it easier to remove. Depending on the outdoor temperature, wind, and the thickness of the ice, you may need to hold the hot scraper in one place for a few moments so it can do its job.
You will get the best performance from your heated scraper if the car is running while you use it. The car’s electrical system will ensure the heating element gets more voltage from the vehicle’s power outlet than it will from the car’s battery alone.
How should you store your heated scraper?
One thing we noticed while looking for heated ice scrapers to recommend is that none of the product listings indicate how you should store your scraper when you’re done using it.
The primary concern here is that the heating element will remain hot for a while after you’ve turned it off. Stowing it while it’s still warm could damage your car’s interior and other items and, in the worst-case scenario, cause a fire.
You should also keep the scraper’s power cord away from the heater element so that you don’t accidentally melt the wiring’s rubber insulation, which could create a short circuit and cause an electric shock.
Our simple recommendation is to keep an old towel in the car and use it to wrap up your heated ice scraper to keep its hot surfaces from damaging other items or your vehicle.
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