CHICAGO (CBS) — Some call them home remedies, others call them cold weather hacks. CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross put some to the test to see if they really help when the snow flies and the ice settles in.

They are common household items or products that pop up in your home, some providing an extra pop in the kind of winter activity some dread.

Jonathan Corral cleared the sidewalk and steps of his house with a shovel and a bit of elbow grease, but CBS 2 asked him to consider using cooking spray.

Coating his shovel, rather than his meal, made clearing the walk an easier deal.

“A big difference,” Corral said. “It’s moving a lot more faster. I wish I would have started shoveling with this this morning.”

If you run out of salt to prevent ice on your sidewalk, there’s an alternative that’s probably ready and waiting in your pantry or medicine cabinet. Try filling a bowl or bucket with hot water, and adding a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol and squeezing in some dishwashing liquid.

Your solution might be the solution to stopping slippery sidewalks.

It’s unclear, however, if just the warm water was effective, or the full cocktail dissolved the ice.

“It’s something I’d absolutely consider,” Lee Jacobson said.

Jacobson also might consider covering the side view mirrors of his car with a plastic bag to prevent them from icing over as the temperatures drop.

“I never would have thought to do that either. That’s a great idea,” he said.

Jacobson said it’s “terribly annoying” to have to scrape down his mirrors when they’re covered in ice.

“I would say this is a bag breakthrough,” he said.

We want to know your winter weather hacks. Send us your best tips by emailing cbschicagotips@cbs.com