6 easy hacks to help you drive safely in snow and ice – including cat litter

Driving in the winter months can be riddled with dangers and difficulties – but a collection of household items found on most of the nation’s shopping lists can make all the difference

Driving in winter can be particularly dangerous.  Make sure you know all the tricks to keep safe.
Driving in winter can be particularly dangerous. Make sure you know all the tricks to keep safe

Snow and ice on the roads can be the bane of drivers in winter.

Data gathered by Admiral Car Insurance in 2020 found a 25% increase in insurance claims in November when compared with April.

Further research, which was collected from 2,000 UK motorists, found nearly a quarter of Brits had been involved in accidents while driving in severe weather conditions during the winter months.

It also found that black ice had led to one in 10 motorists getting into an accident, while only 27% said they would feel confident they would know what to do if their car hit black ice.

These terrifying stats are a stark reminder that safety should be at the forefront of your mind when you take to the road, especially in winter conditions.

Luckily, car leasing firm Vehicle Contracts has provided six top tips for ensuring you do everything you can to stay safe – and good news, they only require items you’re likely to find around the home.

Household items to help you drive safely in winter

Use sanitiser to help unfreeze your car lock



hand sanitiser

After Covid, a bottle of hand sanitiser is never far from reach and this comes with an extra hidden benefit.

For those who use a manual key to lock and unlock their car, the cold morning battle of trying to get the key in a frozen lock hole is an all too common experience.

Luckily, the sanitiser can help solve your struggles because one of its primary ingredients is alcohol.

Get some sanitiser on your keys and they should melt the ice and go into the lock hole without a hiccup.

Shaving cream

Apply shaving cream to the inside your windshield to get rid of foggy windscreens

Nothing makes the heart sink in the morning than stepping out to your car and spotting a thoroughly fogged-up windscreen. Driving with misted windows can be dangerous, and getting rid can be time-consuming.

However, with the help of shaving cream, this regular issue can be dealt with quickly.

Clean the inside of your windshield with shaving cream – it contains a lot of the same ingredients as de-foggers and so not only clears fog but can keep it away throughout the day.


Slip socks on your windscreen wipers to stop them from sticking to the glass.

Long socks are better for this as they can keep more of the wiper out of contact with the windscreen.

Take them off in the morning and don’t forget to stick them back on when you get home.

cat litter

A nasty wheel spin as you drive on ice can be horrible.

If you find yourself in a bind, make sure you have a box of cat litter squirrelled away somewhere in the boot.

Pouring some of the pellets on the ground behind your tires will help your car get the traction it needs to get moving again.

plastic bags

Your plastic bags can be the trick to keeping frosty wing mirrors at bay


U. Baumgarten via Getty Images)

Ice and snow love to build up on your wing mirrors, and unlike your windscreen, the luxury of the car’s temperature control isn’t on hand to help you solve the problem.

Instead, the issue needs to be tackled ahead of time.

Pop a plastic bag over your mirror and secure the end of it around the stem with an elastic band. Any kind of plastic bag will work just fine.

In the morning, remove them and you should have nice clear mirrors waiting for you.


Cars are vulnerable to freezing overnight with various parts potentially getting stuck overnight.

To keep this nuisance at bay, squirt some cooking spray around the frozen area like the rubber around the doors, wipe away any excess and leave alone for the evening.

In the morning your car door should be able to open and close as easily as in mid-summer.

The roads can be dangerous in the cold weather, especially when there’s snow and ice. Here are some top tips of how to drive safely in challenging conditions.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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