At the first sign of a snowfall, we ooh and ahh over the pretty flakes falling from the sky. The streets and houses look like a pretty postcard. Lights twinkle in the reflection of the snow. It's so pretty to look out your window and see your own winter wonderland. Then comes the dreaded snow and ice removal. Cleaning the snow off of cars, sidewalks, driveways and stairs can be back breaking. You may want to sprinkle some salt on your steps and walkways, but the salt is very damaging to concrete, lawns, flowers and cars. What do you do? You can't choose beauty over safety. Actually you can. You can also use some easy tips and tricks to make snow and ice removal easier and less of a pain to deal with in general.
Before you go out to shovel the snow, apply a coat of car wax or furniture polish to your snow shovel. The snow will slide ride off of the shovel, no more heavy wet snow sticking to the shovel. Reapply the car wax or furniture polish as necessary.
Use a metal garden rake to push the heavy wet snow out of the way. Turn the rake over so the teeth are facing up, push the flat edge along to clear snow. This method is much easier on your back.
Use a broom to sweep the snow off of stairs and walkways. This is especially effective with a powdery snowfall. This method also puts much less strain on your back and heart.
To de-ice steps and walkways, sprinkle baking soda instead of salt or ice melt. Baking soda is much less expensive and much more gentle on the concrete and your lawn than salt. Keep a big box or bag of baking soda in your house for the next snow storm.
To de-ice car windows and windshield, mix approximately 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol with approximately 3 cups of room temperature water. Do not use hot water because applying hot water to cold windows can crack the glass. Dip a thick towel into the mixture. Squeeze onto car windows and wipe off with a rag.
To keep your car windows and windshield from forming an ice build-up, wipe the outside of the glass with white vinegar. Of course this has to be done before the snow begins to fall.
To keep your car doors from freezing shut, rub the weather strip all along your door and trunk with vegetable oil. You will never be frozen out of your car again!
Dress properly, always layer your clothing, don't get over heated and take frequent breaks while shoveling snow.
Keep a snowbrush, small shovel and a bag of kitty litter in your car. If you are away from home when the snow falls, you will be able to clean your car off and free a stuck car. Sprinkle kitty litter in front of the tires for traction.