Tips for Clearing Foggy Windshields in Winter

You’re running late. Thermos in one hand, fingers digging frantically for keys with the other. Maybe, everything will be okay, you tell yourself. Maybe all the lights will be green this time.  You look up at your vehicle and your heart immediately sinks.

Not again.

how to prevent a foggy windshield

We’ve all experienced the pain of a foggy windshield in the fall and winter months. Dropping temperatures combined with damp weather make for the perfect storm to sabotage your commute.  Fortunately, there are ways to win out against these early morning surprises. Read on for our tips!

What Causes A Foggy Windshield?

Windshield fog forms when water vapor condenses on the inner surface of a window.  Because air trapped inside a vehicle tends to be warmer than the exterior temperature in fall and winter, it’s more likely to hold on to moisture. Add in the inevitable humidity that creeps in via wet boots and exhaling passengers and you have the perfect recipe for steamy windows!

How to Get Rid Of a Foggy Windshield…Fast

Because warm air loves humidity, the fastest way to get rid of steamy windows is with a blast of cold air. Flipping on your air conditioner or cracking your windows will quickly drop the temperature inside your vehicle, clearing away moisture in the air.  For an extra speedy way to de-fog, give your interior windows a quick wipe with a squeegee before turning on the AC.

use ac for foggy windshield

Can’t stand the chill? Using the heater is a slightly slower, but much more comfortable option for those extra cold days. Set your defroster to blow warm air across your windshield, and be sure to turn off your ventilation system’s recirculate feature. (Otherwise you’re blowing around the same damp air already inside the vehicle!)

How to Prevent Your Car from Fogging Up

It’s important to keep your windows clean.  Dirt particles are like water droplet magnets!  Use a soft, clean cloth and auto-friendly window cleaner to regularly remove residue from the inside of the glass.  Make sure to skip any household ammonia-based cleaners. Not only will these formulations streak, they can also harm your leather upholstery and damage film on tinted windows.  To protect your vehicle’s finishings, we recommend keeping things simple with a microfiber cloth and water.

How to Clean Your Windshield

Anti-fog coatings are another great way to keep the fog at bay. Just keep in mind these solutions must be applied to clean, un-waxed glass – otherwise you may wind up with a bit of a mess on your hands.

Got a damp floor mat in your car? Moisture tracked inside a vehicle by wet feet is one of the major catalysts for a steamed up windshield.  Air out your vehicle on sunny days to allow any wetness that’s built up a chance to escape.  Be sure to remove any blankets or towels left behind, as they will hold onto any humidity in the air.

Don’t Forget to Check your Seals

The weather stripping on your doors and windows are designed to keep moisture out. Over time, however, these rubber seals can become cracked or damaged, allowing to moisture to sneak in.   If you’re finding damp spots on your upholstery after a rainfall, or hear whooshing sounds while driving with the windows closed, it may be a sign that your weather stripping needs to be replaced.

To determine whether your stripping still forms a proper seal, give the rubber a quick squeeze.  If it doesn’t spring back in place immediately, it’s no longer capable of keeping the elements out.  Fortunately, repairing damaged stripping is simple maintenance you don’t need a mechanic for.  Use an adhesive cleaner to remove the portion of rubber that needs replacing, then thoroughly clean the area in preparation for the new stripping.

Once the surface is dry, use an adhesive to apply the new stripping, then hold it in place with masking tape until it sets.

We hope these tips have helped clear things up! Check out the rest of our blog for more car tips, and don’t forget to see our Fall & Winter Seasonal Service Special!

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1 comment

Olivia Smith said:

June 29, 2018 at 1:08 am

Even I have experienced the pain of a foggy car windshield in the fall and winter months. During the tough times of winters, a lot of time gets wasted to clear the car windshield which is entirely covered with fog and snow. I totally agree that it is very important to keep the car windshields clean and tidy.
Nice tips 🙂

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