It needs no further elaboration to state that people who live in temperate and polar regions of the world are often bathed with snow and ice especially during the winter periods. This season usually brings the problem of the presence of ice on windows and windscreen of vehicles. Defrosting ice on windows can come with challenges and inconveniences and may even cause scratches on your car windows and wind screen. The usually method adopted by most car or vehicle owners is to manually remove the frost, warm the engine(which comes with additional gas costs), or just allow it to melt gradually under the warmth of sun. We shall now turn to how we can defrost ice on window.
However, there is a novel method of addressing this challenge. Isopropyl, an alcohol does the magic. To achieve the easy removal of ice from a window, a solution of isopropyl is mixed with water in the ratio of 2:1 and this solution is sprayed on the frost on the window or windscreen. The result is instant. It can be observed that the ice defrosts immediately this isopropyl solution comes in contact with it.
The solution used to defrost ice on window works this fast because Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol freezes at a lower point compared to water, specifically, at -89°C (-128°F), so the mixture does not freeze over, and also helps to lower the freezing point of water, therefore melting away the ice instantly.
Some Important Notes on Isopropyl
Isopropyl alcohol (IUPAC name propan-2-ol and its also called isopropanol or 2-propanol) is a colorless and flammable chemical compound (chemical formula is CH3CHOHCH3) with a very strong odor. As an isopropyl group that is linked to a hydroxyl group, it is seen as the simplest example of a secondary alcohol, where the alcohol carbon atom is firmly attached to two other carbon atoms. It is a referred to as a structural isomer of 1-propanol and ethyl methyl ether. As explained earlier, isopropyl can be used to defrost ice on a window.
Isopropyl is used in the manufacture of several industrial and household chemicals and it is a very common ingredient in several chemicals such as disinfectants, insecticides, antiseptics and detergents.