Random winter survival hacks

Winter bench

To get your car unstuck

Get an old carpet remnant – 6 foot long is best but 4 foot is OK too – by 18″ to 24″ wide. Roll it up and place inside a big garbage bag in your car. If your car gets stuck, forget about shoveling! Put the carpet upside down wedged under your tires. The tufts instantly freeze into the ice and stay there till the ice thaws or you rip the carpet off. Store the wet carpet piece in the garbage bag until you can take it out and dry it well. If it gets too dirty or smelly, get a new one.

You can get remnants from a carpet store or someone who’s replacing theirs. Carpet stores sometimes give away 6″ wide strips for free and typically charge a few dollars for runner-width sizes.

If you are stuck without a carpet, use your car’s floor mats instead.

Prevent spills on icy sidewalks with old socks

A pair of old socks put on over your shoes will give you a great grip on icy sidewalks and roadways. If you’re on crutches or use a walker, you can put the socks over their feet too.

Ice on stoop stairs

Put old rug face down over icy steps to walk down them instead of sliding.

De-ice locks with hand sanitizer

Spray or rub onto locks that are iced over. Alcohol is a major ingredient in sanitizer that melts the ice so you can get your key in.

Keep car windows frost-free with vinegar

Spray a mixture of 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar on your windshields to keep them frost free and easy to clean. Just be careful about getting vinegar on the metal body because it can eat right through it. If vinegar does touch the body, wash that area copiously with water.

Hat tip for contributions to Lenny Thomas and Han Broekman

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