Fed up of getting into your car only to find the windows are misted/steamed up and you can't go anywhere until they clear? Read on for our top tips on how to prevent this annoying issue from happening in the first place.
1) Check for leaks
Excessive moisture must be coming from somewhere! Check everywhere for leaks and damp patches. Common leaky points are around door seals (especially the bottom), sunroofs, windscreen and boot lids, but also rear lights and rear wheel arches. Also check around the front foot wells and dash in case you have a leaky heater matrix. Don't forget to lift floor mats and carpets.
Feel around these areas with your hands and you should instantly be able to tell if they are damp, especially if it's been raining.
2) Remove moisture with a dehumidifier
A cheap solution is to put a few of those silica gel packets you get inside the packaging of shoes and other products in your door pockets. However, there are specially designed car dehumidifier products such as the Pingi LV-A300 which are available for a few pounds and will do a better job and can be reused as many times as you need!
3) Reduce moisture brought into the car
Even just walking to the car when it's raining can introduce a significant amount of moisture into the inside of your car, by keeping the windows closed (as we generally do when it's raining) this moisture has nowhere to go and will condense on the windows when they drop below the dew point. If you can shake umbrellas and coats off before putting them in the car this will help a bit, also remember to remove them when you get out.
4) Clean the inside of your windows
Dust, oil and grease which naturally builds up on the inside of your car windows (especially the windscreen) effectively increases the surface area which water droplets can cling to. This will not eliminate misting but it will reduce the severity of it, increasing visibility and safety.
Wipe thoroughly with a good quality glass cleaner and clean microfibre cloth.
5) Apply an anti fog coating to the windscreen
There are several products on the market such as Rain-X Anti Fog which are specially designed to prevent condensation forming in the first place. I've not tried this product personally but here is what some customers on Amazon have said:
6) Check your pollen filter
A blocked pollen filter will significantly reduce the amount of air which can circulate in the cabin, meaning damp air cannot escape. If it is really blocked up then all this dirt and gunk will hold moisture from the air as it is drawn through and will not dry out, meaning when you turn on the cabin vents damp air will be drawn into the cabin. Pollen filters are usually very easy to access so check your owners manual for how to do this.
7) Remove damp cloths/demister pads
If you do get any condensation and use a cloth or demister pad to wipe it clean, remove this from the car when you get out and dry it at home or work. If you leave it in the car the moisture will evaporate and end up back on your windows a few hours later. Kind of like a miniature and more annoying water cycle.
Whilst you're working on preventing the issue, try these tips to help clear the moisture quicker:
1) Turn your air conditioning on
Air conditioning removes significant amounts of moisture from the air as part of the cooling process, so if you have working air con, crank it up. This will be the fastest way to clear the condensation.
2) Turn off re-circulate
Most cars have a setting to re-circulate the air in the cabin rather than use fresh air from outside for the heaters. This is great if you're driving past a stinky farm or want to heat up quickly, not so good for clearing away moisture.
3) Open the window
This tends to work best when it's dry outside. Remember you want the warm moisture filled air inside the car to escape, if it's raining and high humidity outside then opening a window will not be very effective. Still, letting the warm air escape should help.
4) Park your car in a garage
This will not only help keep your car out of the rain if the cause is water ingress, but it will also keep the temperature of your windscreen from getting too cold which should prevent condensation forming.
Hope this helps! If you've tried out any of our tips or have something else to add we'd love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below.