Fact Check

Does Putting a Ziplock Bag Over a Car Mirror Have a Legitimate Purpose?

Online advertisements promised what appeared to be a handy trick for drivers involving plastic Ziplock bags.

Published Feb 12, 2021

Photo via Snopes.com (Snopes.com)
Photo via Snopes.com
Putting a Ziplock bag over a car mirror has a legitimate purpose.

Since at least December 2020, online advertisements have displayed a picture of a Ziplock bag covering a car's side mirror. The ads appeared to promise a handy trick for drivers:

put a putting placing covering cover place ziplock bag over your car mirror here's why ziplock

The ad read: "Put A Ziplock Bag Over Your Car Mirror, Here's Why." Another claimed: "[Pics] Always Place A Plastic Bag On Your Car Mirror When Traveling Alone, Here's Why."

They led to websites such as Livestly, Free Hub, The Delite, and others. Readers who followed the clickbait ads were led to lengthy slideshow articles. Unfortunately, it was a waste of time, because the stories never ended up mentioning why a Ziplock bag should be put on a car mirror.

Instead, the articles listed household "life hacks." One of the articles continued for more than 90 pages. For example, one piece of advice was about pouring vinegar on bread. We previously reported on the subject. Another trick was about pouring dish soap down drains. We covered that as well.

Other advice included purported uses for pot handles holes, rear-view mirrors, and aluminum foil packaging.

While the ads were misleading, there is a legitimate reason to put Ziplock bags over a car's side mirrors. In 2016, the website for home improvement guru extraordinaire Bob Vila recommended the trick to keep ice and snow from collecting on the mirrors in cold weather:

Ice is one of winter's hazards—both on the road and on your car. It's always best to park in your garage or covered carport to prevent ice from forming on your windshield and rearview mirrors. But for those who are stuck with parking en plein air, here's a clever trick. Just open up a few Ziplock bags and slip them over your mirrors. The plastic covering will keep most of the ice and snow from sticking, making those frigid mornings way less frustrating.

This advice about Ziplock bags on car mirrors might remind some readers of another story. We previously reported about zip ties purportedly being attached to car mirrors, homes, and mailboxes. According to the hoax, the zip ties marked targets for sex traffickers.

Snopes debunks a wide range of content, and online advertisements are no exception. Misleading ads often lead to obscure websites that host lengthy slideshow articles with lots of pages. It's called advertising "arbitrage." The advertiser's goal is to make more money on ads displayed on the slideshow's pages than it cost to show the initial ad that lured them to it. Feel free to submit ads to us, and be sure to include a screenshot of the ad and the link to where the ad leads.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.

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