If you’re like most people, your mornings are probably hectic. Between getting ready for work, taking care of pets, and making sure the kids are dressed and fed – it can be busy ensuring everyone is ready to get to where they need to go.
You don’t have time for any roadblocks getting in your way. But when you pile into the car on a cold fall or winter morning, you might be greeted by foggy windows, which can temporarily grind your morning to a halt. In this article, we’ll explain how to stop car windows from fogging up so you can get those precious few minutes back in your day.
How to Stop Car Windows from Fogging Up
While a foggy window isn’t the worst thing that can happen – it’s only a little bit of water, after all – it can be a drag when you’re already running late for work. With that in mind, here are 12 easy tips to follow for how to keep car windows from fogging up.
1. Clean & Wipe the windscreen with the right cleaners
Keeping the inside of your car’s windshield clean is one of the easiest ways to prevent your windows from fogging up. Dust and dirt that accumulates on the windscreen over time provide more surface area for condensation to accumulate on. This can cause your car windows to become even foggier.
To prevent dirt and dust accumulation on your car windows, simply grab a bottle of glass cleaner and some paper towels. Before you start the cleaning process, wipe away any condensation. Then spray the windshield and windows with the car glass cleaner and carefully clean all of your windows. When you’re finished, ensure that the windows are completely dry.
2. Check if there are any leaks in your car
Make sure there aren’t any leaks in your car for moisture to get in. If the doors aren’t sealed properly or the windows are slightly cracked, it can cause moisture to accumulate on the floor mats or the seats, which can lead to excessive condensation on the windows. Also, avoid tracking in snow or rain on your clothing or shoes. Snow, for example, will melt over time and cause your windows to fog up.
3. Remove any wet items from your car
Leaving wet items lying around your car is an easy way to increase the amount of condensation in your vehicle. Make sure to remove any wet clothing such as gloves or jackets, as well as wet umbrellas and open beverages.
4. Use anti-fogging spray
Applying an anti-fogging spray to your car’s windshield or windows is one of the easiest and most effective ways for how to prevent car windows from fogging up. You can buy a bottle of anti-fog spray at most hardware, grocery, and auto parts stores. Simply spray all of the windows with the spray before you exit the car for the day. You’ll have to reapply the spray every few days, or according to the instructions listed on the product.
5. Check if there is any snow in your shoes
Try and get as much of the snow off your shoes and boots as possible before entering the vehicle. If you live in a cold-weather climate where it snows a lot, you understand just how snowy boots can get. All of that snow that gets tracked into the car will eventually melt and soak into your floor mats. That moisture will eventually find its way to your car’s windshield and windows, making them foggy.
6. Replace a cracked windscreen
When your windshield is cracked, it’s compromised and needs to be repaired or replaced. A cracked windshield can make it more difficult to see while driving, especially when it’s foggy or rainy outside. A cracked windshield can cause dirt, debris, and moisture to seep through, allowing more surface area for condensation to collect.
7. Open your windows If It’s not raining to let the moisture escape
Cracking your car’s windows slightly for a few minutes is another easy tip to reduce your car’s windows from fogging up. The humidity inside of your car will combine with the dry, cold air outside to remove some of the fog from your windshield.
8. Run the air conditioning
While it may seem like a good idea to blast your car’s heater on a cold day, this will actually increase the humidity levels at first and cause more window fog to be created. Instead, use the car’s defrost mode to direct cool air at the windshield to remove the fog.
9. Use the heater correctly
If you’re not in a huge rush, consider starting the car and letting the engine run for a few minutes. You can use hot air to heat up your car during this time. After several minutes, most of the condensation on the windows should be removed. If not, turn on the defroster and direct cool air at the windows.
10. Use Kitty Litter
Kitty Litter is used in cats’ litter boxes because it soaks up and traps moisture. The same logic can be used to keep your car’s windows from fogging up. This trick involves using an old sock and filling it up with Kitty Litter, about to the ankle area. Then, tie off the sock and place it near your windshield. The Kitty Litter-filled sock will help soak up moisture and prevent the windscreen from fogging up. This is an effective method for preventing car window fogging, but it can be a bit messy if the litter gets out of the sock and onto your car.
11. Check the thermostat of your car
If your car windows are starting to fog up while you’re driving, check the thermostat. If the temperature inside your car is too low, it can cause your windows to fog up. Turn your thermostat up just a bit to see if that helps solve the problem.
12. Use a de-icer
While we discussed using an anti-fogging spray on the inside of your windows, you can also apply a de-icer on the outside of your windshield and car windows. De-icers stop ice from forming on the windows, preventing the windows from fogging up. Most hardware and automotive stores sell de-icers.
Why is My Windshield Fogging Up (Causes and Effects)?
When it’s chilly and cold outside, the air inside your vehicle is naturally warmer than the air outside. When the warmer interior air reaches a car’s cold windshield and windows, it causes condensation to form, leading to fogged-up windows.
Some other reasons your car’s window might be fogging up include:
- Moisture in the air. If you have a car full of people on a cold day, it’s much easier for your car windows to fog up because of the excess heat. Moisture from the outside air when it’s raining or snowing can also cause car windows to fog up.
- Leaking windows. If moisture has a path to get inside your car through a leaking window or door, it will cause excess moisture to enter your vehicle and cause window fogging.
- Temperature changes. If the temperature of the outside air changes rapidly, your car windows may fog up. If the temperature outside suddenly drops, the exterior windows will be colder, while the interior windows will be warmer, leading to condensation.
How to Clear Foggy Car Windows?
During the winter
The best way to clear foggy windows during the winter is through some simple preventative measures. First, consider using an anti-fogging spray or a de-icer. It’s important to keep the inside of your windows clean, too. Without the presence of dirt and debris on the windows, less condensation will form. It’s also important to prevent water from entering your car through leaks in windows or by tracking in snow or rain.
When it’s hot and humid outside during the summer, it can cause your car windows to fog up when you’re blasting the air conditioner inside of the car. Instead of warming your car up with the heater to eliminate the condensation, consider rolling down the windows for a few seconds to let in a blast of warm air. This should help clear up your windows. You can also use your heated defrost to help balance out the temperature. Turning your AC down a couple of notches can also eliminate foggy spots on the windshield.
If the condensation is on the outside of your car, your windshield wipers should do the trick for removing the condensation that is causing your windshield to fog up.
It’s common for car windows to fog up on rainy, humid days. You can use your car’s windshield wipers to remove condensation from the outside of your windshield. Also, consider turning the air conditioner down or off to increase the temperature inside your car.
What Home Remedy Keeps Windows from Fogging Up?
Shaving cream is good for more than just shaving or making slime – it can also be used to prevent the inside of car windows from fogging up by acting as a protective film. Using a clean, dry towel, wipe shaving cream across the interior of the windshield. Use another clean towel to completely remove the shaving cream. If you have cats, you can also try the Kitty Litter method. Just be careful not to spill any of the litter in your car!
How to stop car windows from fogging up – FAQ
Does vinegar stop car windows from fogging?
One home remedy that has proven to be effective at keeping your windows from fogging up is using vinegar. Use a clean rag dipped in vinegar to thoroughly clean both the inside and outside of your car windows. Vinegar is a natural anti-fog agent that can prevent car windows from fogging up.
How do you stop condensation on windows overnight in winter?
To prevent condensation from forming on your car’s windows overnight during the winter, consider using an anti-fogging spray or a de-icer. Both are incredibly effective at limiting the amount of condensation that builds up on your car’s windows. If you have a garage, keep your car parked in it during the winter. You’ll rarely have to worry about foggy windows by keeping your car in the garage.
Can you make your own anti-fog spray?
You can make your own anti-fog spray by using vinegar and warm water. Using a medium-sized bowl, pour two ounces of white vinegar and add a quarter of hot water. Dip a clean cloth into the mixture to clean out your windows.
How do you keep your windows from fogging up without AC?
Consider the following steps for how to prevent car windows from fogging up without using your air conditioner:
- Roll down the car windows slightly if it’s not raining too hard outside to more closely align the interior air with the outside air.
- Turn your defroster to a lower setting.
- Turn off the recirculate setting on your vehicle’s ventilation system to let fresh air into the car.
Do you use hot or cold air to defog windows?
Warm air from the car’s defroster can temporarily evaporate the moisture on the windshield. However, it’s best to use cooler air to lower the temperature on the inside of the windshield to stop windows fog.
Driving around with a foggy windshield isn’t only annoying, but it can lead to a dangerous situation if your visibility suddenly decreases. Consider pulling over into a parking lot if the visibility is too low until you can eliminate the excess condensation on either the inside or outside of your car’s windows. The best way to prevent car windows fogging up is by using a de-icer or anti-fogging spray and regularly cleaning your windows. Follow some of the tips we explained in this article for how to stop car windows from fogging up.