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Winter is coming … which means cold weather, snow, and rain. This year, be smart about staying warm and dry. Use these life-changing cold weather hacks to help you survive the winter chill.

Let’s face it, winter (in the areas of the country that get snow) is a fickle beast that can wreak havoc on your car, shoes, clothes, hair, and home. Our goal is to help you minimize stress, not spend a lot, and make it through the winter season.

Most of our tips include everyday household items like dryer sheets, nonstick cooking spray, and socks (yes, socks), so you don’t have to worry about paying a lot while solving some winter-related problems.

Check out our jacket deals to add another layer of warmth. You can always get the latest home or winter deals by downloading The Krazy Coupon Lady app.

 

Cold Weather Hacks for Your Car

 

1. Plastic bags secured with clothespins will stop ice from forming on your car’s side mirrors.

A person covering a side mirror with a plastic bag and a clothes pin

The night before a storm, cover your side mirrors with plastic bags so that snow and ice won’t form. If you don’t have clothespins, use rubber bands. You can also try a gallon-size Ziploc bag.

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2. Knee-high socks — slipped over windshield wipers before a storm — will save you from deicing.

a person putting a knee high sock on a wind shield wiper.

Knee-high socks aren’t only for keeping your feet warm. They will also keep your windshield wipers from freezing to the windshield. Just cover the wipers before a storm to make your morning commute easier.

 

3. A few drops of hand sanitizer on your key can open a frozen door lock.

A person putting a key in a car door, covered in frost.

If you find yourself without a traditional deicer, use hand sanitizer to fix a frozen lock. The alcohol in hand sanitizer melts the ice. Most sanitizers have a high alcohol content that won’t freeze unless it’s far below freezing (like -50 degrees F).

 

4. You can also spray WD-40 on car windows to prevent snow buildup.

A person spraying WD-40 on a car window.

Think of WD-40 as a protective layer between the glass and the elements. Spray liberally and it will prevent snow buildup. It also helps the ice and snow buildup on license plates.

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5. Stop ice from forming on your windshield overnight with a blanket.

A person putting a blanket over a car window.

This is an oldie-but-goodie cold weather hack when you’re in a pinch … and if you have to park outside. If you combine this idea with the knee-high socks tip, you’re bound to have less of a headache when it’s time to drive.

Another tip is to use a combination of water and isopropyl alcohol (aka rubbing alcohol). Fill a spray bottle with two-thirds alcohol and one-third water.

 

 

6. Keep a pair of wool socks in your glove box in case your car gets stuck in the snow.

A person putting wool socks over their shoes.

Socks over shoes? Yes, it works. If your car gets stuck, slip the wool socks over your shoes to create better traction in the snow. We know this isn’t a traditional cold weather tip, but think of the wool socks as cleats that increase the grip as you navigate the snow and ice.

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7. Fog-proof your windshield with shaving cream.

A person putting shave cream on a windshield

Apply shaving cream to the inside of your car’s windows and wipe it off. The ingredients in shaving cream stop water from creating condensation on the glass. Apply a bit on your windshield and wipe it off. The cream leaves a protective layer that will prevent fogging and that condensation. Shaving cream and anti-fog solution have similar ingredients, but shaving cream is way cheaper.

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8. Or pour cat litter in an old sock and place it near your windshield to prevent windows from fogging up.

A person pouring cat litter into a sock and putting it on the car dashboard.

You always hear about keeping kitty litter in your trunk to increase traction if you get stuck in the snow, but cat litter will also absorb any moisture in your car. Fill a sock with litter and place it near your windshield to stop fog.

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Related: 11 Amazing Hacks to Keep Your Car Clean and Organized

 

Cold Weather Hacks for Your Home

 

9. Put a heated rice pack in bed with you at night.

A person fulling a sock with rice and putting it under their sheets.

Add rice to a rice bag, homemade from a sock or purchased. Warm it in the microwave for 15 – 20 seconds. Put it in your bed five minutes before you get into it to avoid icy cold sheets. Rice bags are also great for sore muscles.

 

10. Cooking spray will keep snow from sticking on a shovel.

A person spraying Pam on a snow shovel

It works for your food, so why not use it for your most common winter supplies? Spray a healthy coat of nonstick cooking spray to stop snow and ice from sticking to your shovel. The oil acts like a lubricant and keeps the snow and ice from staying on.

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11. Dryer lint stuffed into an empty toilet paper roll will make starting a fire easier.

A person filling a roll of toilet paper with lint and lighting it with a lighter in a fire place.

Sure, you can buy fire starters, but there’s no need to pay the money when you can use what you have around the house. Stuff dryer lint (which is highly flammable) into an empty toilet paper roll and nestle it in your wood logs. Light the roll and watch the fire begin.

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12. Changing the direction of your ceiling fan will keep your home warm for less.

A person turning on a ceiling fan.

Find the switch on the motor house of your ceiling fan (make sure you turn the fan off before doing this), and flip the switch. Or use your fan’s remote to change directions. All the warm air hanging out near your ceiling will be circulated back down.

 

13. Blow-dry your sheets before getting in bed if you don’t have an electric blanket.

A person blow drying their sheets.

Cold sheets during the winter pretty much suck. Instead of an electric blanket, break out the blow-dryer to warm them up. Turn the dryer’s setting on high and distribute the heat to the fitted and flat sheet and the pillowcase. Jump in and stay warm.

 

14. Line the bottom of your fireplace with foil for easy cleanup.

A person putting foil in the bottom of a fireplace.

Cleaning up soot isn’t a fun job. Lay a few sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil at the bottom of your fireplace. After your fire, fold in the edges of the foil with the ashes inside and toss.

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15. Thaw a frozen lock by heating a metal key with a lighter.

A person using a lighter to heat a key next to a door

Use a lighter or match to warm the key. Then insert the hot key to thaw the lock. Be sure to use bare hands so as not to light your gloves on fire.

 

16. Prevent frozen pipes by opening cabinet doors under your bathroom and kitchen sinks.

A person opening a cupboard in a bathroom

By opening your cabinets, you’ll let warm air circulate around the pipes. You can also trickle water to prevent pipes from freezing. Of course, if the temperature is extreme enough, any water flowing will freeze.

 

Cold Weather Hacks for Your Clothes and Shoes

 

17. Newspaper stuffed into wet boots will help absorb moisture quickly.

A person stuffing a kids winter boot with newspaper.

After a day of sledding or shoveling, the last thing you want is to deal with wet boots, especially if you need to use them again the next day. To speed up the drying process, stuff newspaper into wet boots to absorb moisture quickly. Crumble the paper into balls as much as you can all the way to the top.

Another option is to fill a sock with uncooked grains (i.e. rice, quinoa), close it with a rubber band, and insert it into your wet shoe. Depending on how wet your boot or shoe is, it may take overnight to dry. Shoot for at least four hours.

 

18. A pool noodle cut in half will keep tall boots from losing their shape when not in use.

pool noodles in knee high boots

Pool noodles will help your boots stand up and keep their shape. As a general rule, get your pool noodles while they’re in season. However, some stores do keep them in stock year-round.

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19. Or use a pants hanger to maintain your boots’ shape.

Boots hanging on a hanger.

If you can’t get your hands on pool noodles, use pants hangers with clips to help your tall boots keep their shape. Clip both boots and hang them up after each use. It’s as simple as that.

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20. Wool felt or fabric (an old sweater works, too) can help keep feet warm.

A person cutting wool in the shape of a shoe insole

Place homemade wool felt or fabric inserts in shoes to keep your feet warm. Just use one of the insoles from a favorite winter shoe to make the pattern on wool felt or wool fabric.

You can find wool fabric at craft stores like Joann Fabrics or even online at Amazon.

 

 

21. A disposable razor can remove the fuzz and pilling from a sweater.

A person using a razor to remove pills from a sweater.

Does your beloved winter sweater need some holiday love? Shave away sweater fuzz and pilling with a razor. A fabric shaver or stainless steel lint remover is also a good investment.

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22. Waterproof shoes with WD-40.

Someone spraying WD-40 onto a child's snow boot

Not only does WD-40 create a waterproof barrier on shoes, it also helps remove any salt stains on boots during the winter months. Just spray onto the stains and wipe with a clean rag.

 

23. Wear pantyhose under your skinny jeans to stay warm.

A person putting tights on under their pants

Pantyhose aren’t as bulky as long underwear or leggings but will still keep you warm. Now you can stay stylish and toasty. Plus, you can find super cheap pantyhose at Walmart for about $3.

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24. Stop a run in your stockings or tights with clear nail polish.

A person fixing the run in tights with clear nail polish

I’ve seen this beauty hack for many years, and it actually works. Keep a bottle in your car or purse for emergency pantyhose runs or tears. Clear nail polish is best so no one can see the rip. Paint it over the top and bottom of the rip until you can throw them away at home.

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25. And keep hosiery and tights from snagging by storing them individually in zip bags.

A person putting tights in plastic bags to organize them.

If you’re a frequent stocking or pantyhose wearer, keep them organized by storing them in labeled zip-top bags in your dresser. Mark the bags with their color or design so there’s no more guessing. Plus, putting them in bags will prevent snagging on other intimates.

 

26. Sand the bottoms of shoes that have slippery soles.

A person sanding the bottom of their shoes with a block of sand paper.

You don’t have to be a kid to fall during winter conditions. Ready your flat shoes by sanding. Try a sanding block or sandpaper to prevent falling in the rain or snow.

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27. Remove road salt from shoes with diluted white vinegar.

A person cleaning shoes with vinegar

Road salt can ruin boots and shoes by staining them and drying out leather. Treat your fabric and leather footwear with diluted vinegar. Soak a cloth or cotton ball in one cup of water and one tablespoon of distilled white vinegar. Then blot the areas with the salt. Allow the spots to dry thoroughly.

 

Related: Brilliant Christmas Hacks You’ll Need for the Holidays

 

28. Slip shower caps over shoes to protect them from moisture and mud.

A person putting shower caps over their running shoes to protect them from mud.

Even on those days when it’s not snowing or icy, shower caps can come to the rescue to protect your sneakers or nice shoes. Wrap them around by tucking the extra plastic or secure with a rubber band or hair tie.

 

 

29. You can also keep a bike seat dry with a shower cap.

a person putting a shower cap over a bike seat

Despite the cold weather, you still have to travel. For bicyclists, keep your seat dry with a shower cap. Wrap it around your seat when bad weather strikes.

 

30. Hang sweaters like this so they don’t fall off or stretch out.

A person holding a hanger with a sweater folded over it

First, take your sweater and fold it in half lengthwise. Place the hook of the hanger near the armpit of your sweater.

A person folding a sweater over a hanger
A person folding a sweater over a hanger

Then fold the sleeves and the bottom half over the hanger.

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31. Hang scarves with shower rings.

Scarves hung on a hanger with shower curtain rings

Plastic shower rings can work double duty as a cold weather hack for organizing your scarves. Attach a scarf to the ring, then clip onto a sturdy wooden hanger. Hang in your coat closet so you don’t lose your scarf again.

 

Cold Weather Beauty Hacks

 

32. Dryer sheets can remove winter static and frizz from hair.

A woman using a dryer sheet to prevent static in her hair.

It isn’t always easy to have a good hair day in the winter with the rain, snow, and wind. Look no further than your laundry room to solve this problem. Remove winter hair static and frizz with dryer sheets. The softening agents in the dryer sheets remove static, which keeps those strands from sticking up. Keep one in your purse!

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33. Moisturize dry, cracked, and cut fingers with lip balm.

A person applying Chapstick to their dry cracked fingers

Out of lotion and want to heal dry fingers? Glide a lip balm like ChapStick or Blistex over your cracked fingers and cuticles to soften and moisturize them.

 

34. A clean mascara wand can exfoliate chapped lips.

A woman using a mascara wand to exfoliate her dried lips

Use a clean mascara wand and slowly brush your chapped lips. Put a little lip balm on first for extra smoothness. Another DIY option for chapped lips is making a paste from sugar and petroleum jelly. You’re on your way to smooth lips again.

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35. Or apply honey on chapped lips and skin for a natural moisturizer.

person applying honey to chapped lips

Honey is a natural moisturizer and beauty hack for everything from a sore throat to a DIY lip scrub. Try this edible solution to soothe dry, cracked lips. If you’re vegan, use coconut oil.

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35 Life-Changing Cold Weather Hacks