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Foggy Windows in Winter: What to Do to Prevent Condensation

In winter, it’s normal to have foggy windows and frost on the glass, which can affect visibility and put driver safety at risk.

Although your instincts may tell you to wipe the glass with a cloth immediately, this is not the best solution. In fact, you’ll only make it worse and provide for less visibility.

Read on to find out why windows get foggy and how to demist them.


Why Do Car Windows Get Foggy in Winter?

Having foggy windows in your car is very common due to the thermal shock between the inside and outside of the vehicle, which creates condensation.

In addition, people in the car breathing contribute to intensifying the condensation, as well as anything damp inside the car.


How Important is it to Demist Your Car Windows?

Foggy windows reduce visibility, making driving more difficult. As a result, you increase the chance of car accidents, especially in bad weather or heavy traffic.


Top Tips for Keeping Windows Clean and Clear in the Winter?

Now that you know why car windows fog up, it’s time to prevent it from happening.

Keep reading for some tricks to help avoid this phenomenon.


Clean your Windows Regularly

The accumulation of residues such as dust and oils from daily car use contributes to the build-up of humidity. As a result, your windows fog up.

To prevent the windows from fogging up on the outside at any time of the year, regularly have your car professionally cleaned.

To enhance the results, use a detergent to prevent the windows from fogging up, the primary function of which is to repel water and create a non-stick layer resistant to humidity.



Apply Car Wax

Car wax, specifically for windows, is a product that prevents fogging because it creates a layer that repels humidity.

To benefit from this protection, apply a thin, even layer to the inside and outside of your car windows. Then wipe off the excess with a cloth until no traces of car wax are left.

You should do this every two weeks.


Rubbing Raw Potato on the Windows

Although it sounds like a joke, the truth is that this method is widely used in car racing.

According to science, potato starch creates a layer that repels humidity. As a result, it avoids condensation and foggy windows.

Cut a raw potato in half and rub one of the halves on the inside of the window. Then wipe with a damp cloth.

For better visibility, repeat the process on the outside of the window.



How do you Demist Car Windows from the Inside?

Removing condensation from the window using fibre fabrics will cause the water vapour to turn into droplets. As a consequence, the window will become dirty, compromising visibility.

As an alternative, when the window fogs up, do the following:

  1. Turn the car’s heating up to maximum;
  2. Turn on the air conditioning if your car has it;
  3. Turn off air circulation inside the vehicle;
  4. Open the vehicle’s windows a little.



Using Cold Air or Hot Air to Demist your Windows?

If you find that your car window has fogged up, the best thing to do is follow the steps in the previous point. But now a new question arises: is it better to use hot or cold air to demist your windows?

Find out what each one does and which is the best option.


Hot Air

When using hot air, the droplets that cause the window to fog up inside evaporate. However, it doesn’t remove the humidity from inside the vehicle.

As a result, your car windows will fog up again within a few minutes.


Cold Air

Although effective, demisting windows with cold air takes longer.

The area near the window cools down due to the cold outside air, preventing thermal shock with the cold windscreen. However, the humidity will remain in the vehicle, just as it does with hot air.

Even so, if your car doesn’t have air conditioning, cold air is better to desmist the windows.


Air Conditioning

From all the options available, the best for demisting foggy windows is using your air con.

Just like a compressor, air conditioning “pulls” the air from the car into the radiator, causing the vapour to turn into water and be eliminated before the air is circulated back into the car.


Do Homemade Methods Work for Foggy Windows?

In addition to the raw potato trick, other homemade methods promise to solve the humidity problem.

Once again, it is important to remember that the best course of action is to prevent your windows from fogging up in the first place, as this is the only way to avoid the problem.

If your windows are already fogged up, you can follow the steps described in the previous points or try other ways to demist your car windows, such as:

  • Using silica sand (cat litter): fill a pair of socks with this sand and tie it up. Place it on the dashboard overnight to absorb the humidity inside the car;
  • Apply shaving foam: just do the same as with the potato and wipe it off with kitchen paper towels. Experts say that it provides the same outcome.

By doing so, you can avoid the humidity from building up in your car, which is one of the main reasons windows fog up.

Now that you know how to prevent condensation on car windows on cold days and how to demist them, it’s time to put everything you’ve learned into practice.

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