The Weird Reason Why You Should Always Keep a Nail File in Your Car

person filing nailskizzzbeth via Flickr

Ahhh, driving in the dead of winter. There’s nothing like putting the rubber on an icy road and praying for dear life that you get to the grocery store in one piece! Getting behind the wheel in wintry conditions is a reality for most of us, but luckily, there are safety precautions you can take to ensure that your morning drive includes less “white-knuckling”.

Take your windshield wipers, for instance. Anyone who has spent a decent amount of time driving in the winter months knows that these trusty blades get quite a workout during times of cold spells and inclement weather.

And, while maintaining them—i.e. replacing them regularly—is an essential part of good car ownership, there are times when even new blades just don’t do the job that they should.

You see, when windshield wiper blades are forced to work overtime, they end up soaking up whatever they are kicking off of your windshield. Like washing dishes with a dirty sponge, wiping with dirty blades simply spreads the crud around in big swoops, something that sure doesn’t do a whole lot for improving your visibility.

Luckily, this problem can be easily fixed with a cheap beauty tool and less than a minute of your time.

How dollar store tools can make your morning commute safer

As you’ve likely surmised by this post’s headline, the beauty tool that pairs well with grimy windshield wiper blades is none other than a metal nail file—the very kind that is sitting in your medicine cabinet right now!

Patrice Banks, a mechanic, and owner of Philadelphia-based Girls Auto Clinic, recently shared the helpful tidbit on her company’s site. She writes:

You can restore your wiper blades by wiping down the surface of the blade that comes in contact with the windshield a few times with a nail file. It will give the wiper a second life, and can help you see better in the rain and snow!

Makes sense, right? Of course, there are also times when it’s so frigid outside that your wipers simply don’t have a prayer. In that case, reach for some ordinary rubbing alcohol and water BEFORE you start scraping. This simple solution works to melt that ice in no time. (For a full tutorial on this frost-busting spray, click here!)

Now that you know how to keep your driving visibility strong all winter long, it’s time for you to learn more about this smart windshield wiper restoring hack for yourself.

Just watch the video below to learn more about wiper blade maintenance, and to get bonus tips on what every winter driver should pack in their glovebox. Who knew that a manicure staple could improve your winter driving experience?!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this smart winter driving hack! Have you ever used a nail file to clean your windshield wiper blades? If so, were you happy with the results? Do you know of any similar winter driving hacks that you would like to share?