Winter driving means that sometimes windows will fog up, making it extremely difficult to see the road. Here’s how to stop car windows from fogging up in winter. These ten methods range from free techniques to some low cost products. By the end of the post, you’ll have stopped your window from fogging up.
One of the best things in the winter is having a good heater in your car. Especially while driving, having heat makes everything more enjoyable. But one of the greatest downfalls is when the heat inside the car causes the windows to fog up, making it extremely difficult to see the road.
Here’s how to stop windows from fogging up in winter. These tips will work for cars, trucks and even winter camping in RV’s.
1. Clean Your Windows
One of the first things to do is to ensure that your windows are properly cleaned and have no residue left on them.
Often while driving, dirt from the road and the outside gets on the windows. Dirt traps both moisture and heat, making a breeding ground for foggy windows.
During the winter, keeping clean windows is more important than ever.
Not only will the dirt make it easier for the fog to build upon your window, but it will also make the fog a dirty color, making it harder to look through the window with the fog build-up.
When cleaning your windows in the winter, make sure that you completely dry off your windows before leaving the car.
If there is any water residue left on the window it could freeze, creating a very difficult removal process in the morning before leaving for work.
2. Apply Anti-Fog Spray
The anti-fogging spray was created to prevent the common occurrence of fogged-up window shields. For glasses-wearers, this spray may have already been used in their life.
It is meant to be an easy fix by simply spraying the window and allowing the spray to prevent fog from appearing and being created.
Anti-fogging spray can be purchased at your local supermarket, your local mechanical shop, or online.
You might consider Rain-X Interior Glass Anti-Fog Spray. We’ve used this brand to prevent water drops on our GoPro cameras and it works great.
3. Don’t Use Recirculate
If your windows are fogging up more than usual, check your recirculate button on your fan system.
If you are recirculating the air, the moisture will build up and begin to condense on your interior glass.
Instead, you’ll want to set your fan to bring in fresh air. Especially in the winter, this fresh air will be cold and, as a result, especially dry. This will help keep your windows clear.
4. Use Hot Air with Air Conditioning
While it may be tempting to get in your car and blast the hot air, this causes immediate heating of the inside of the vehicle, causing the humidity levels to rise and fog to be created.
Instead, switch on the hot air to warm the vehicle and the air conditioner at the same time.
The air conditioner will dehumidify the air. This will give you the best of both worlds. A warm car, with a dry, clear window to see through.
If possible, warming up your car beforehand can help reduce the fogging of windows by allowing more time to get the inside warm.
And you don’t need to worry about being cold because of the air conditioner. You heat will over power your air conditioner – so you’ll have clear windows and a warm car.
For a full explanation of this method, I’ll leave you with Scotty Kilmer. He is high energy and passionate about vehicle maintenance.
5. Clean Your Shoes and Coat
The reason your windows are fogging up is due to the humidity. The fogging up of your window is the natural process that happens with humidity and condensation.
Just like with a cold glass of lemonade on a hot day, the condensation will build upon the glass. One way to help stop the fogging-up process is by removing some of the humidity in your vehicle.
One tip found on this forum talking about tips to get rid of condensation is to make sure you shake snow and slush off your shoes before entering your vehicle.
Also, try to dry your coat or any outer clothing layer a bit. This will eliminate the extra water and humidity that will affect your car.
6. Purchase a Silica Dehumidifier
Silica dehumidifiers work the same way that silica packets do in clothing. When you purchase new clothing, there will often be silica packets in shoes and in clothing boxes to remove any humidity and water from the clothing.
For clothing retailers, this is the prevent any molding that may happen from humidity trapped in a clothing box. Silica dehumidifiers can do the same thing for your car.
This can be purchased in a jar, or in little bags that can be placed in your vehicle to soak up any humidity in the car.
Money Saving Tip: One tip for those of you who are frugal and like to find ways to save, save the little silica packets from clothing and shoes and make your own. You can either place those packets on your dashboard or put them in a little cup in your cupholder to help remove humidity.
But if you want to save yourself the trouble, they aren’t expensive. They are reusable and aren’t expensive. This 2-pack by Zarpax is a great option.
Caution: Silica is very effective at removing moisture but you should keep it out of reach of children. If ingested, immediately call 911. If your children are always in the vehicle while you drive, consider purchasing or sewing fabric enclosed bags to place the silica in.
7. Remove Any Liquid From Your Vehicle
Similar to tip number 5, removing any liquid from inside your vehicle will help to reduce the amount of humidity found inside the vehicle and create a foggy window.
Do not leave any drinks in your car, as the liquid will cause humidity.
While it may be hard to do this, try not to drink hot chocolate, tea, or coffee in your car during the cold weather, as this is the perfect recipe for foggy windows.
Hot air holds more humidity, so bringing in a hot drink has all the ingredients needed to create an impossible-to-see-through, foggy window.
8. Shaving Cream
As an alternative to a Rain-X product, you might also consider rubbing shaving cream on the glass.
Here is a test and example of this method.
9. Use Kitty Litter
Similar to the silica, kitty litter soaks up moisture and keeps it trapped. A DIY (do it yourself) trick to reduce window fogging during winter is by purchasing some clean and dry kitty litter.
Using an old sock, fill it with kitty litter to the ankle area. Then tie off the sock. If you are using an ankle or short sock, you will have to use a rubber band or string to completely tie it off.
For knee-length socks, either tie the sock around itself or tie it off the same way you would an ankle sock. Place these kitty litter-filled socks on your dashboard while parked to prevent window fog.
I’m not a huge fan of this option – it will probably leave dust on the dash. But in a pinch, it might do the trick.
10. Call a Mechanic
If you are dealing with excess fogginess in your window, there may be a crack or a leak somewhere in your car that’s allowing more humidity in.
It might also indicate a problem with your air conditioner’s compressor.
A mechanic should be able to help you find the issue and can resolve this for you.
Keep in mind, foggy windows are normal, but if you are following these tips and still deal with a lot of fogginess, it is time to see a mechanic.
More reading: How to Get Ice Off Windshield (8 Fast and Safe Methods)
These tips will help you winterize your RV to live in.
Looking for some summertime tips? Here’s how to defog your windshield in the summer.
Which method worked for you? I would love to hear your experience – and if you have another tip to share.
- About the Author
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Dena Haines is a co-founder and blogger on GudGear – and is working to make it the best resource for outdoor gear and guides.
She also blogs about travel at Storyteller.Travel and photography at GudPixel. Dena is a partner at Storyteller Media, a publishing company she started with her husband, Bryan.