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How to defog the windows in your car

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Cold, humid weather increases the likelihood of your windshield fogging up, and using your sleeve to wipe it away is not the best option. Every car is equipped with a defogger which, as its name implies, was designed to clear fog in a matter of minutes — and, sometimes, in a matter of seconds. Here’s the best way to defog your windows.

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Turn on the climate control system

Whether it’s in the dead of winter when it’s cold outside or in the middle of the summer when it’s scorching hot, your car’s climate control system does more than just regulate the cabin temperature. It doubles as a dehumidifier. On most newer cars, the easiest way to clear fog is to simply press the button with the defogger icon (shown below).

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The defogger normally sets the blower fan to its highest setting. As long as your car’s climate control system is functioning properly, your windows should be clear of fog in no time. Turn it off as soon as you can see.

What if your car’s climate control system is malfunctioning?

We totally understand; climate control-related repairs get costly really quickly. If air no longer comes out of the vents, or if it’s not warm enough to clear the fog, we recommend keeping a roll of paper towels, napkins, or a set of clean rags inside your car within easy reach. That way you’ll avoid using your hands or sleeves to clear condensation, and you won’t leave marks on the windshield. It’s much wiser to do this when you’re parked.

Alternatively, the tried-and-true solution of cracking a window works, though you’ll freeze until you can see.

And the best way to keep your windows from fogging up?

A simple window cleaner product such as Windex should keep your windows clean and clear. Keep in mind it will leave behind an unpleasant residue if not wiped off properly. This leads to a multitude of problems such as smears and streaks when the windows fog up, making them even more challenging to clean and see-through.

One way you can defog your car windows is by purchasing a car window cleaner developed for this particular purpose. Rain-X and Invisible Glass window cleaner are excellent products that are specifically designed to eliminate streaks. The good news is that these products are easy to find and are available in a variety of places (and in excess). You can get your hands on one of these cleaners online or in stores. It’s also important to note that these quality products are cheap and easy to use, making this package offer a hard one to pass. 

If you’re looking for a tried and true technique to clear up your windows, we suggest opting for the Rain-X glass cleaner and water repellent treatment. This method will clean your windows in no time by preventing condensation from forming and covering your windows with a beautiful translucent sheen. 

Believe it or not, but when you dismiss foggy windows, you’re actually risking your life. Sometimes understanding how to prevent fog can be a matter of life and death. We advise that you learn the dangers of mixing cold outdoor weather and your car’s warm interior. We hope you’ll consider our tips and follow them to remain safe in your vehicle and enjoy a clear view.

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Chris Chin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Since picking up his first MicroMachine, Chris Chin knew his passion for automobiles was embedded into his soul. Based in…
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