WARNING: How To Remove Snow & Ice From Vinyl or Plastic Jeep Windows

Jim pulling in the driveway after a cold ride home with the soft-top down... in our 'old' 1990 Jeep Wrangler YJ. We are preparing for our first Winter with a Jeep Wrangler soft top. No, staying warm will not be the problem… the heater works GREAT!

What’s troubling me most at this point is how to remove snow and ice from the vinyl/plastic windows of our soft top when we drive from Tennessee to Ohio (and Indiana) for the holidays. (Our other Jeep had a hard top. This one does not.)

Our 2004 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited... preparing for its first winter.Our 1990 Jeep Wrangler YJ... it had a hard top.

I learned a couple valuable lessons today that other Jeep owners might find helpful…

Cold temperatures, ice, and snow can all wreak havok on a Jeep Wrangler soft top. You need to be especially careful with your plastic/vinyl windows in the winter months, and take the following precautions:

  • Don’t raise or lower the soft top when the temperature drops below 41 degrees. The material is a synthetic which loses some of its resiliency at low temperatures, and it can actually become damaged if it is flexed in too cold temperatures.

  • Jim removing the vinyl windows in our Jeep during the Fall. Never attempt to roll-up the vinyl windows or even open them at the zippers during the winter months. Believe it or not, they can shatter like real glass when they are cold.

  • Before you even TOUCH your vinyl window — from the inside or outside — make sure you give them enough time to warm up and become supple first. Otherwise, you are likely to crack them.

  • Never “smack” the plastic window hoping that the snow and ice will bounce off!

  • Never remove snow from your plastic windows by hand (or by any other means, for that matter). With a soft top, patience is a virtue… You should just wait for the heater to warm the vehicle from the inside, causing the snow to slowly melt off.

  • Until the snow/ice thaws and falls off the Jeep windows itself, you may have to get used to using the 2 side mirrors.

  • Our 2004 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited during the warm Autumn months in Tennessee. You could use a ceramic heater with a timer (available at most hardware stores), and run it a half hour prior getting in the Jeep. The snow & ice will melt off, allowing you to see through your windows as soon as you get in.

  • Some people point a hair dryer toward the windows (but not for too long). However, by the time you’re finished, the Jeep’s own heater would likely have had the same effect — from the inside.

  • Never pour water on your vinyl windows in an attempt to remove ice or snow. Your windows may crack.

Lynnette Walczak

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I frequently write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed several years until switching gears to pursue things I was more passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun websites).

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