27 Jul, 23

Demisting Your Windscreen in Double-Quick Time

As the frosty winter mornings set in, many of us find ourselves facing the daunting task of demisting your windscreen before hitting the road. Driving with a misty windscreen is not only unsafe but can also lead to traffic violations. However, fear not, as we bring you some effective and efficient tips to demist your windscreen in double-quick time.

Demisting Your Windscreen

Demisting your windscreen is a necessity before setting off, not doing so can impede your vision while driving which means you will be driving illegally. The cause of your car windscreen misting up is actually down to water vapour in the atmosphere that occurs when your body heats the air inside the cabin – as does your breath – increasing the amount of moisture it can hold.

This means when it comes into contact with your windscreen it cools and condenses, forming a ‘mist’. Here’s how to clear your windscreen in double-quick time (with a helpful ‘life hack’ thrown in at the bottom, to help stop your windscreen misting up in the first place).

1. Start your Engine and Activate the Defroster

The first step to tackle a foggy windscreen is to start your car’s engine and switch on the defroster. The defroster directs warm air towards the windscreen, helping in raising its temperature and demisting your windscreen

2. Adjust the Airflow

To accelerate the process of demisting your windscreen, adjust the airflow settings to direct the warm air specifically towards the windscreen. Many cars have dedicated windscreen demister settings to quickly clear the fog.

3. Turn on the AC

Surprisingly, using the air conditioning system aids in the process of demisting your windscreen faster. The AC helps to remove moisture from the air, reducing condensation on the glass.

4. Crack Open Windows Slightly

Although counterintuitive during chilly weather, cracking open your windows slightly allows the moist air to escape, helping to dehumidify the interior and speed up the demisting of your windscreen process. If you don’t have a clever climate control system, having the windows down could help clear the screen faster. This helps because the dry, cold air from outside can help reduce the amount of water vapour inside the car, stopping the screen from misting up.

Read more: Driving With Snow On Your Car, Is It Illegal?

Then you can begin to warm the car up gradually to a temperature that suits you after you have cleared the windscreen.  Of course, you should never pull away with your vision impaired, but if your windows start to mist up during driving, this is also a worthwhile tactic, for those without air-con. If the misting clouds too much of your vision you should pull over where safe to do so and wait for your windows to clear. Make sure you know the law around fog lights and safe driving in foggy conditions before hitting the roads.

5. Avoid Recirculation Mode

Using the recirculation mode in your car may seem like a good idea to retain warmth, but it recycles the moist air inside, prolonging the demisting windscreen process. Opt for fresh air mode instead.

6. Clean the windscreen regularly

Regularly cleaning the interior of your windscreen helps prevent the build-up of dirt and grime, which can exacerbate fogging. Use a microfiber cloth and a glass cleaner to maintain clear visibility.

7. Anti-Fog Solutions

Consider using anti-fog products specifically designed for car windscreens. Applying these solutions creates a thin protective layer that repels moisture, reducing the chances of fogging.

8. Use a Dehumidifier Bag

Placing a dehumidifier bag or moisture-absorbing material inside your car can help reduce excess moisture and prevent fogging.

9. Avoid Leaving Wet Items Inside

Moisture from wet items such as umbrellas, clothes, or shoes can contribute to a foggy windscreen. Always ensure such items are dry or stored away from the interior.

10. Park in a Sheltered Area

Whenever possible, park your car in a sheltered or covered area to minimise exposure to extreme temperature changes, which can lead to condensation.

11. How to clean your windscreen with shaving foam

  • Take a clean towel and place a dollop of shaving foam on it.
  • Wipe the windscreen with the towel, spreading the shaving foam over the entire surface.
  • Then take another clean towel and wipe off the shaving foam completely.
  • This protective barrier should help stop your windscreen from misting up, but it will need to be regularly reapplied to continue to work.

12. Use your climate control system

If you do have a clever climate control system, use it. There’ll most likely be a setting for demisting your windscreen, which will automatically adjust the ventilation system’s parameters to achieve the best results. 

13. Windscreen life hack

Keeping your windscreen clean will go a long way towards stopping it from misting up in the first place.

A handy tip to go the extra mile is demisting your windscreen with shaving foam. This protective barrier won’t last forever and may need to be repeated regularly, but a windscreen cleaned with shaving foam will be less likely to mist up. It’s a little trick ice hockey players use to stop their face masks from steaming up when they’re on the ice.

14. Use the air conditioner if your car has one

If your car has air conditioning, make sure it is switched on.

Use the air conditioning in conjunction with the heater. Hot air will dry the glass a little through evaporation, but the air will then cool down and condense on the glass once more, so make sure the air conditioning is on to keep the atmosphere inside dry. If your windscreen is iced over, then the heat is more necessary. But in this instance, you might want to scrape the outside of your windscreen clean first. It is important to keep your windscreen clear in the winter.

15. Use the heater correctly

Start the heater off the cold, then slowly increase the temperature as the air dries out, rather than overloading the cabin with hot, ‘wet’ air. Try to find a temperature and humidity that’s comfortable but doesn’t mist up the cabin. Make sure your heater’s blast is directed at the windscreen and the windows; the warmer air (even on cold days, the air will be warmer than the ice-cold windscreen) will dry the glass a little through evaporation and begin to heat the glass to stop the water vapour condensing on it again.

Of course, if you’re not in a rush and your frozen bones need warmth, then use the hot air to warm both you and the windscreen. It may take a little longer to clear fully, but you will at least be a little more comfortable. Just don’t move off until all glass surfaces on your car are clear. It’s dangerous and illegal if visibility is impeded.

Conclusion

Demisting your windscreen in double-quick time is essential for safe driving, especially during the rainy seasons. By following these tips and tricks, you can efficiently deflect your windscreen and ensure a clear view of the road ahead. Remember to regularly maintain your car’s interior and anti-fog solutions to make your driving experience safer and more enjoyable. Stay safe and drive responsibly!

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