We’ve all had the experience of jumping into your car just in time to make it to work, only to discover that the windshield, side mirrors and windows are all fogged up, making it nearly impossible to see. The windows on a car tend to fog up when the temperature on the inside and outside of a car is drastically different – the moisture in the warm air meets the cool air and creates condensation. If the air inside the car is warm and the outside air is cold, the windshield will fog up on the inside. If the opposite is true, the windshield will fog up on the outside. So, what can you do to defog your windows in a hurry?
It’s important to make sure your windows are clear before you start driving. You want to have as much visibility as possible to lower your chances of getting into an accident. This would also be a good opportunity to make sure your insurance is up to date – click here to learn more about the type of insurance you should consider for your car.
The easiest way to quickly defog your windscreen is to use the defogger button – it should have a little symbol on it that looks like arrows pointing towards a windshield. If you don’t have this button or a climate control system in your car, the next best thing to do is to follow this simple 2-step method:
- Turn the heater on full blast – hot air holds more moisture, so this will help to absorb the excess moisture in the air.
- Turn on the AC – this will then dry the air and clear the condensation, hopefully leaving your windows fog free. Make sure you also turn the recirculation mode off, so that fresh air is being brought from the outside in and not just moving around inside the vehicle. This will help to balance the temperatures between the inside and outside.
You can also just crack open the windows, but sometimes this doesn’t work fast enough. It’s also not ideal if the air outside is very cold and you’re trying to stay warm.
Clean & Clear
Some other simple tricks to defog your windows might include keeping a stack of paper towels or napkins handy so you can wipe it down without having to use your sleeve, or purchasing some car window cleaner to have on hand.
If the fog has built up on the outside of the windscreen, you can try using your windscreen wipers to clear it. Sometimes this isn’t particularly effective because the fog reappears very quickly, so you might have to get out of your car and wipe it down.
If you’re the sort of person who believes that prevention is better than a cure, there are a couple of surprising items that you can use to try and remove the need to defog your windows at all.
Firstly, you can try placing some dehumidifier bags along the dashboard at the bottom of the windscreen. If you don’t have dehumidifier bags, you can try putting a few silica balls (or some kitty litter) into a sock and using that instead. The silica balls will work to reduce the humidity in the air and absorb excess moisture.
There are also a couple of things that you can do to form a protective layer on your windscreen (or your side windows or mirrors) with typical household items. You can try applying shaving foam to your windscreen with a clean cloth, waiting 2 minutes for it to dry and then wiping it off with a dry cloth. This should create a thin film on the window that prevents condensation from clinging to it. You can also use toothpaste and apply the same method. The toothpaste might be better for a smaller surface area, since you probably don’t want to use it all up on your windscreen.
Another item that you might want to use to protect your windows from fog is a potato (yes! A potato). Grab a raw potato, cut it in half and rub the cut side all over your windows. Then simply leave it to dry – no need to wipe off.