Today: Find out why Tom put Filippo Berio Olive Oil on his windshield.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Feb 01, 2010

Dear Tom and Ray:

We had a big snowstorm this week. Not wanting to scrape the ice off my windshield, the night before the storm I looked around for something to put under my wipers to keep the ice off. Unable to come up with anything, I contemplated alternatives. Then it came to me: Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil! I smeared some Filippo Berio on the windshield and waited for the snow. The next morning, the snow slid off the windshield like a greasy zeppole. Great, I thought. When the snow stopped, I noticed a haze on the windshield. I figured it would wash off. Well, I was wrong -- the stuff has adhered to the glass as if it were baked on. I'm still scraping off the hardened oil. Help!

-- Tom

RAY: Tom, it's people like you who make great discoveries. You're the kind of person who is unafraid to experiment. And once in a while, you'll hit upon something that will benefit all mankind. This was not one of those times.

TOM: No. Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil has many excellent uses -- my brother uses it as a hair tonic -- but windshield cleaner is not one of them.

RAY: You've probably cooked with olive oil. When you're done, you put the frying pan in the sink. And if you then let it sit and cool off for a while, you'll find a hardened, whitish layer of congealed grease stuck to it. That's what's on your windshield.

TOM: If you had done this during one of those midsummer snowstorms, Tom, it might have worked. But the cold temperature is what congealed the oil and did you in.

RAY: So, how do you get it off? Well, with a frying pan, you can use steel wool -- not a good option for your windshield. You also can use hot water and soap, and try to "un-congeal" it. This would be best done in a heated garage.

TOM: If he had a heated garage, he wouldn't be in this mess in the first place!

RAY: Good point. How 'bout we suggest he just drive in reverse until late June?

TOM: Here's what I'd do, Tom: Run the defroster with the heat on high for a good 20 minutes before attempting to remove the grease. The warmer you can get the congealed oil, the easier it will be to remove.

RAY: If soap and water are not up to the task, try a 50-50 mixture of water and methanol. It's a mild solvent that's safe for glass, and it's pretty good at cutting grease.

TOM: And if all else fails, there's always the glass-cleaning tool of last resort: the hammer. Good luck, Tom.

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