When most people think of winter, they picture snowy hills, a fireplace, and warm sweaters. But for some reason, they seem to forget that winter is actually a frozen hell most of the time. Sidewalks are a hazard, your nose is constantly dripping, but, worst of all, your car windows seem to incessantly fog up. But by all means, bring on the snow!
If you’re anything like me, you’ll do anything to make life a little more bearable during the winter. And while I can’t give you advice on how to keep your nose from running in the cold, I can, however, tell you how to stop car windows from fogging up in winter. You’re welcome in advance.
Before I explain, however, let’s get into the science of why your car windows fog up. Well, not so much science as an explanation. Then we will talk about how to stop your car windows from fogging up.
“Why Do My Car Windows Fog Up?”
There’s a simple explanation and it has to do with the fact that the air in your car is warmer than the air outside. When the warm air in the car reaches the cold glass, it causes condensation, which ends up causing the fog on your car. Science, am I right?
1. Keep a Clean Windshield
Listen, I get it. Keeping a clean windshield is easier said than done. But when it’s a matter of keeping your windows from fogging up, you’ll want to take my word for it. Dirt on the inside of your window causes moisture to stick to it, thus creating that annoying fog on your window.
Luckily for you, it doesn’t take much to clean your windshield. All you need is a glass cleaner and some paper towels or a cloth to wipe it down. You’ll be shocked at the difference it makes.
However, cleaning the inside of your windows is not always the easiest thing to do. But we live in incredible times and the good people at Invisible Glass have created a fantastic cleaner and tool to make cleaning your windows a sinch.
2. Warm-up Your Engine
Unless you’re a lunatic, you probably already do this. But this is for those who don’t. Make sure that you let your engine run for a bit once you get in the car so you can let some of the fog dissipate. You want to do this before you push the defroster button.
Even if you did try that first, it wouldn’t work since the air duct in the car has to be at 130 degrees before the defroster can even work. I suggest waiting a few minutes before taking off your gloves and hat. Once you’ve turned the heat on to its maximum setting, turn the AC back on. The AC will get rid of the moisture in your car. After you have successfully regulated the temperature in your car, your defroster should be able to do the rest.
3. Apply Rain-X AntiFog
I had this at the bottom of my list and had to move it up to Number 3. Applying Rain-X anti-fog to the inside of my windshield is my personal go-to.
I love this stuff, it may be a little difficult to apply, covering all the area of the windshield, but man it is worth the effort. After scrapping the ice and snow away you won’t have to worry about the windows fogging up too.
I would use a damp paper towel or an old T-Shirt, I don’t like the micro-fiber clothes for this application, and apply the Rain-X in a circular motion. Then once a month re-apply. I am telling you visibility is bad enough in the winter. Why fight another battle?
4. Avoid Recirculating Warm Air
While on the subject of your car’s AC, you should also keep in mind that when you turn on your heater, you are initially recirculating the air that’s been inside your car. This will cause humidity and thus fog up your windows like two teenagers on a hot date. If you don’t want to wait for your car to warm up and don’t mind a little bit of cold, you can always just crack your windows a bit to get some dry air in your car.
5. Use a Chalkboard Eraser
You might not have one of these handy already, but they’re cheap as dirt and sold almost everywhere. It turns out that chalkboard erasers are pretty good at de-fogging your window. And I would know, since this is actually a trick I’ve tried out myself. The good thing about chalkboard erasers is that they are easy to keep in your glove compartment so you can always keep them handy.
6. Keep Moisture Out of Your Car
Another aspect of winter is that you’re always wet. As if being cold wasn’t enough, mother nature went ahead and decided to drop snow from the sky, which eventually melts into our socks and underwear. Thanks a lot, MN!
With this being said, if this ever happens to you like it does to me (literally ALL THE TIME), make sure that you take off any wet clothing before you get into the car, whether it’s your mittens, socks, or scarf (maybe keep your underwear on, though). The reason for this is because the more humidity you bring in to your car, the harder it will be to get rid of the fog. Capiche?
7. Shaving Cream: Who Would’ve Thought?
Since winter usually brings out the hairy beast in all of us, you probably have a whole lot of unused shaving cream laying around. Instead of letting it sit in your shower until next summer, use it to spread on to your windshield.
I know, it sounds bizarre, but just trust me on this one. Shaving cream actually has some of the same ingredients in it that most defoggers do so spreading a thin layer of it onto your windshield will help keep the fog at bay. Granted, you don’t want to load your windshield up since you still want to be able to see when you drive. But a small amount should do the trick.
The last thing you need if you are driving in a snowstorm is your windshield fogging up. While it will be no picnic driving, at least you won’t have to worry about your windshield fogging up.
8. Borrow Your Cat’s Kitty Litter
Mittens won’t notice if you happen to short him on his cat litter to use for your car. Take a scoop of the litter and put it into an old sock, then leave it in your car overnight. The litter will absorb all the moisture in your car and reduce the amount of fog on your windshield.
How To Stop Your Car Windows from Fogging Up in Winter
I came across this video that shows Rain-X Antifog vs. shaving cream and other household products. Since I don’t live in cold climate winters anymore it’s hard to replicate. So here are some products being tested:
Alright y’all, we’ve covered a lot. So, let’s recap, shall we? Fog occurs on your windshield because of the condensation caused when cold and hot air meet. Therefore, you want to make sure that you’re keeping as much moisture as possible out of your car.
While being patient and letting your car’s temperature regulate is the best option in this case, you can also try the tricks we mentioned above. Make sure that your windows are completely clear before attempting to get on the road, for safety reasons.
Now that my job here is done, it’s time to go defrost my windows.