A lot of new cars these days feature self-defrosting windscreens to avoid the pesky (and dangerous) lack of visibility on cold days. If you’re like the rest of us without this luxury, we’ll need to deal with the fog ourselves so check out our windscreen hacks.
So, why does my windscreen fog up in winter?
As a quick science lesson, cold air can’t hold as much water vapour as warm air. Since our breath is full of water vapour, it ends up as condensation on the cold windows. So we need to either hold our breath or learn some tricks to clear the windscreen quickly and easily!
Use cool air first
It can be easy to think going straight for the heater will solve the problem quick smart – it’s cold, so we’ll make it hot, right? This method actually adds more warm, moist air so will slow down the process.
The best thing to do is use the de-mist function, starting on cold, then gradually winding the temperature up. This will work by drying the air out before warming it up, and your patience will pay off.
If it’s icy
More than just fog, another windscreen disaster in winter is ice. You could simply start the car, crank up the heat and return inside to finish your porridge. But that wastes fuel, and might be an inviting offer for any dodgy walker-bys.
For ice, pouring luke-warm water over the windscreen will do the trick for a light frost. Don’t be tempted to use hot or boiling water – this could crack the windscreen (which is never ideal on a cold morning). A heavier frost might require some muscle and a plastic scraper (never use metal on glass). Once cleared, turn on your windscreen wipers to clear any leftover water that might refreeze.
Other quick windscreen hacks…
Use fresh air rather than re-circulated
Have the re-circulated air button off (if you have one) to use fresh air, instead of trapping humidity inside the car. The fresh air will be toasty warm since it passes through your car heater first, and will be much drier.
Keep a squeegee on hand
While you’re waiting for the windscreen to heat up, you can use these on the side windows.
Use the visors
Useful for more than just blocking the sun, you can put the visors down when using the warm de-mist function to push the air back down the screen for a quicker job.