The car got stuck on ice – or rather, I got the car stuck on ice. I was driving to a meeting in my hometown, screwed up the one way system and ducked into a cul-de-sac to check my road map. (I have lived here for three years and still have to do this; I’m not sure if it says more about me or the town planners.)
I wasn’t thinking though: this was a downhill cul-de-sac. I drove in – but damn it, I couldn’t drive out again. Much of the snow has cleared here in Yorkshire, but the roads are icy something rotten. In the end I parked up and walked (well, slid) the rest of the way.
It’s not the first time this has happened. Last week I parked up at work and, when it was time to go home, found that the car wouldn’t budge. Nonchalant wheelspins: yes. Motion: no. I had to tear up the car window cleaning cloth with a kitten heel and shove it under the front tyres before I could move off. It was not a dignified exit.
Gentle reader, it is my fervent desire that such irksome situations do not befall you as they have me. So here is the budget-friendly solution, comprehensively researched and validated by yours truly…
From what I can gather this isn’t news to anyone who lives in more traditionally snowy climes – Minnesota, say – but is something of a well kept secret over here. The other day, someone on Twitter mentioned that their crackpot neighbour was scattering kitty litter over her snow-covered garden path and everyone LOLed. Clearly though, she was onto something.
Kitty litter is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than salt. It doesn’t melt the ice, but it sits on top of it and helps the tyres to gain traction. I’ve tried it and it seems to work. You can keep a tub of it in your boot – it doesn’t take up much space.
The cheapest litter is supposed to be the most effective (something about it containing more clay – apparently this is good), which is just fine by me. If you don’t have a cat you can pick up a bag of the budget stuff for less than £1.50. (This 10 litre bag from Asda is £1.45.) Sand works too.
As for my car in the icy cul-de-sac: my husband came and rescued it for me – and even parked it outside my meeting venue, so that it was waiting for me when I came out. Although I was hugely grateful, it was also very mortifying and made me feel like a fifties housewife – bleugh. Don’t let this happen to you! Get some kitty litter.
Image credit: Izik.