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).
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?
We recommend always keeping your windows extra clean. You can use a generic window cleaner, like Windex, but keep in mind it will leave behind nasty residue if it’s not wiped off properly. This leads to smears and streaks when the windows fog up, which makes them even more difficult to clean and see through.
One option is to use a dedicated car window cleaner, such as Rain-X or Invisible Glass window cleaner. These products are formulated to prevent streaks and leave minimal residue. They’re widely available online, in grocery stores, or in auto parts stores, and they’re usually reasonably affordable.
If you want to take an extra step, you can also treat your windows with a product like Rain-X glass cleaner and water repellent. This leaves behind a clear, thin film on your glass, preventing condensation from forming.
You’ll deal with fogged-up windows every year, so keep our tips in mind to stay safe during your commute.
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