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How to Stop Car Windows from Fogging up in the Winter

With the cold weather that winter brings, it is not uncommon to be late in the final months of the year due to your car fogging up. Not only is a misty windscreen inconvenient, it is illegal to drive with obscured vision, so not sorting your windscreen out properly in the morning could lead to points on your licence as well as making you a danger to other road users. We know how inconvenient and time consuming demisting can be but if you follow our tips it can be done in no time or you might not even have to do it at all!

Why do cars steam up inside?

Condensation forms when warm, moist air hits a cold surface. The water particles in the air are cooled down to become a liquid which is what you see sitting on the inside of your car windows. In the winter, your car windows become very cold and the warmth from your body heat and the car interior creates hot, wet air which condensates on the window, creating car fogging.

How to clear condensation from car windows

When you're running late, your car fogging up only serves to slow you down. Nowadays, a lot of people have climate control built into their cars to get rid of condensation on the windscreen, however, there are still cars without it. If your car lacks climate control features to specifically demist the windows, these tips should help you demist your windscreen quickly and efficiently.

  • Use the heater correctly - when we first get into a freezing, misty car, instinct tells us to turn the heater up as high as possible to heat the windows but this is not the most efficient way to reduce windscreen fog. Start using your heater on a cooler setting and then turn it up bit by bit. This should not only help to clear the windscreen but also reduce the moisture in the air, stopping it from fogging up again when you turn the heating off.
  • Use the air-con - using a cooling agent to warm up your windscreen might seem counter-productive but even the air con will be warmer than your windscreen. The way air con works is to remove moisture from the air so this work perfectly when reducing the already settled condensation.
  • Wind the windows down - if you don't have air-con in your car, then winding down the windows works just as well in removing moisture from the air. This is a particularly good solution if your windows start to fog up while you are driving.
  • Wipe it off - yes sometimes it is as simple as that! The condensation can be wiped away from the inside, it just needs to be done using the right material. If you're choosing to wipe off your windscreen you need to use a microfibre cloth otherwise, you will smudge the windscreen. Microfibre clothes can be bought in any supermarket from the cleaning aisle.

How to prevent car glass from fogging

We have demonstrated that there are some really quick ways of reducing the condensation already on your windscreen. However, it's all very good waiting for your car to demist but there are some fantastic and highly effective ways to stop the mist even forming in the first place.

  • Park in the garage - although this is not an option for everyone it is definitely the most effective. The best way to stop condensation forming is to not let the car reach those below freezing temperatures. By parking your car in a garage, it will remain warm, so there will be no disparity between the temperature outside the car and inside the car. This means condensation won't be able to form and your car will be ready to drive as soon as you hop in.
  • Remove any wet items - as condensation is formed by water particles in the air, it makes sense to remove any unnecessary liquid from the car. Try not to leave umbrellas, wet coats or drinks in the car as these will only increase the moisture in the air and consequently, condensation.
  • Clean your car - it is proven that the dirt pockets on your windscreen increase condensation so giving your screen a good clean should reduce it. Grab your microfibre cloth and some window cleaner and give them the once over to get rid of any muck and reduce your car fogging up.
  • Car dehumidifier - there are plenty of affordable car dehumidifier options out there. A dehumidifier helps absorb the moisture in the air before it hits your windscreen which reduces the likelihood of the car fogging up.
  • Shaving cream - this is the first of our slightly weird hacks but cleansing your screen with shaving cream has been known to reduce condensation. The shaving cream adds a semi-permanent barrier to stop water droplets forming and is used by ice hockey players to stop their masks fogging up. Simply apply the cream using a microfibre cloth then wipe it off using a clean cloth to stop any smudges.
  • Cat litter filled tights - cat litter is made to absorb as much liquid as possible which means an old pair of tights filled with cat litter will absorb the airs moisture brilliantly. With less water in the air, condensation will not be able to form and thus you can drive off as soon as you get in the car.

Demisting your windscreen quickly can save you crucial time, especially on those dark, early winter mornings. For more motoring advice, contact one of our friendly team members today or come and visit us at your local Setyres Garage today!

Posted on: 18/12/2020

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