How to demist your car windows fast

How to demist your car windows fast

0 comments 📅04 November 2016, 00:22

When it's cold, foggy and misted car windows can be a pain, and a potential safety hazard. Here's quickest way to demist them

As temperatures drop, car windows will suffer from misting. It’s an irritation at best, but if you try to drive with misted up windows, you’re putting yourself and other road users in danger, thanks to your limited visibility. So what’s the fastest and best way to clear your windscreen? 

It’s a difficult question to answer. Everyone has a theory, and there are so many settings that could affect screen clearance, we’ve given a rough outline to show you what to do. The car’s heater, the quality of the air-conditioning, air re-circulation, and even the windows themselves can all play a part in how quickly your windscreen clears.

• Winter driving tips

Here are some top tips on how to get your car windscreen clearer faster, so that you can stay safe on the road:

  • • Turn your heater on full: Your heater takes a few minutes to warm up, but when it does the difference is dramatic. Warm air absorbs much more water than cold air – so it’s able to draw moisture from your windscreen.
  • • Turn your air-conditioning ON: Air-conditioning dries out the air before it leaves the vents – so it’s then able to absorb more liquid.
  • • Turn OFF air re-circulation: The air outside is cold – so doesn’t contain as much water vapour. Bringing it into the car will help demisting.
  • • Open a window: Again, this brings in the dry air from outside – ready to be warmed up and absorb moisture. You don’t need the window all the way down, just a crack will do.
  • • Stand outside the car: Your breath is warm and wet – and doesn’t help the demisting process. Don’t just leave the car with the keys in to demist on its own, as it has been known for opportunist thieves to hop in and drive off a demisting car.

Following these steps will get you on the road as quickly as possible on those chilly mornings.

Of course, sometimes automatic systems are the most effective – many modern cars have a ‘demist’ button, or even a heated front windscreen that uses heater elements in the screen to clear the screen in moments. 

There are a few other tips you might want to try as well. Many companies sell anti-fog solutions that you apply to the inside of the windows to stop them misting up in the first place. A cheap alternative, and possibly an old wives’ tale,  is to rub your windows with shaving foam, as this is supposed to work just as well.

Another trick is to stop the car getting humid in the first place. It’s possible to buy a small dehumidifier box which can absorb the moisture before it hits the windscreen. Or, if you’re on a tight budget, try filling up an old sock with absorbent cat litter and tying off the end.

Whichever approach you choose, remember not to move off until your glass is clear. It’s dangerous and if your visibility is impeded, it’s illegal.

Winter driving tips

Less speed, more smoothness
Using ABS brakes correctly
Controlling understeer and oversteer
Driving in snow – top tips
Driving on ice – top tips
Driving in floods and heavy rain – top tips

What are your top tips for driving in winter weather? Let us know in the comments section below…

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