Experts offer best advice to get ice off of your vehicle, protect your plants

Published: Jan. 16, 2020 at 7:11 PM CST
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With a winter storm expected to reach south central Kansas overnight, many could wake up to ice on their vehicles, driveways, yards and sidewalks.

When it comes to removing the ice from your car, Expert Auto Center Anthony Sullivan addresses some common myths some believe when trying to limit the hassle of having to scrape.

Among the methods to avoid is pouring hot water on your windshield or trying to hide your windshield from the ice with cardboard or tarp. You should also never use a metal object to try to break up the ice.

"There's a lot of things you can Google and it says, 'this will work, this will work,' and I'm sure a lot of people do it," Sullivan says. "I wouldn't. I would do the safe route of putting de-icer on it first and trying to get it prepared."

Wichita driver Hatim Zeineddine says he keeps an ice scraper in the driver's seat of his car and if he sees a chance for icy weather in the forecast, takes the scraper with him.

Wichita driver Nancy Gehrer says she has a protective shield on her car.

"It's a black shield I can put over the front of the car and it kinda helps protect from the ice or snow so I don't have to scrap the front of the car," she explains.

Sullivan says you can buy de-icers at any auto parts store, including his. He say's the de-icer makes for much easier work to clear your vehicle.

When it comes to trying to prevent slips and falls on sidewalks, experts advise being careful when applying ice melt near your plants.

Matthew McKernan, horticulture agent for K-State Research Extension in Sedgwick County says they type of ice melt you use determines it's potential danger to plants.

"One of the best types of ice melt you can find is a product called CMA or calcium magnesium acetate," he says. "Basically, it's a limestone and almost vinegar-type product. Really, it's going to be one of our safest options when it comes to applying it and not having any negative side effects to plants, or driveways, concrete, metals, things like that."

McKernan says you should avoid ice-melt products that contain sodium chloride or potassium chloride. These are often rock salt products. He says they're often going to be the most inexpensive types of ice melt, but also will do the most damage.

Because of chemicals, McKernan also advises being careful when you come into contact with ice melt.

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