10 Tips to Stop and Prevent a Foggy Windshield

A foggy windshield is not only an annoyance, it can be a real safety hazard since it impairs how well you can see while behind the wheel. To help prevent the possibility of risk to other drivers and yourself, always let your windshield fully de-fog before driving away. Is your foggy windshield a constant nuisance no matter the weather? At Budget Glass, we’re experts in everything auto glass so we’ve created this post with 10 useful tips for keeping your field of vision clear while driving.

What Causes a Foggy Windshield?

To know how to prevent a foggy windshield, you first need to know what causes it. Just like the foggy air over the water, the fog you see gathering on your windshield is caused by warm and cold temperatures mixing, plus high levels of humidity. Have you ever noticed that when the backseat is packed, your car quickly fogs up? This is because the air we breathe out is actually around 100% humidity. No wonder you find yourself scrambling for the defroster! Sometimes, all it takes is a rainy day where the air outside is cooler than the air inside. On Vancouver Island, we’re no strangers to damp weather – a common cause of tiny water droplets (fog) collecting on the glass.

1. Hands off Your Windshield

A dirty, dusty windshield can be a magnet for moisture particles, making the problem of fog much worse. Resist the urge to wipe it between cleanings, since oils from your skin will leave a smudgy film behind. If you want to spot clean, try keeping window cleaning wipes on hand for quick touchups. For best results, use your vehicle’s climate control and allow your vehicle to defog on its own.


2. Keep Your Windshield Clean

Use an ammonia-based window cleaner to really get at the build-up on the glass. This will leave you with a streak-free shine. It will help prevent fog as well as clear up those smudges that can really impact your vision while driving on a bright day. Clean your windshield and windows regularly to keep them sparkling.


3. Use Shaving Cream

It sounds odd but shaving cream creates a protective film that helps stop fogging. Use a clean and dry microfibre cloth to wipe a thin layer of shaving cream across the windshield (you can do this inside and out) then use a second cloth or towel to wipe it up.


4. Turn off Recirculate

If there’s already a lot of humidity inside your vehicle’s cabin, recirculating that air won’t help to de-fog your windshield. Instead, it can make the problem worse. You’ll want your vehicle to be pulling in air from outside, to even out the temperature.


5. Use your Air Conditioning or Heater

When there’s a difference between inside and outside temperatures, you’ll want to use your vehicle’s climate control. When it’s warm and humid outside, the air conditioner pulls the excess moisture out of the cabin. When it’s cold outside, the heater will warm up the glass.


6. Keep Wet Items Out

On the West Coast, we love outdoor fun. All this fun equals mud, sand and soggy stuff. Because any excess moisture can cause glass to fog, you’ll want to stow wet towels and equipment away from the main cabin. If you don’t have separate storage space, use a bag or bin for muddy shoes, wet bathing suits, towels, etc… Also be sure to dry off your pets too, since a damp dog can really add moisture to the air. Try keeping a towel on hand for those quick pre-trip wipe-downs.


7. Open Your Windows

Open the windows just a crack to let air circulate. This will regulate the temperature inside and outside of your car by combining the humid and dry air. If you can safely leave your windows open a crack while your vehicle is parked and turned off, this will help the inside and outside air balance, preventing foggy windows.


8. Check your Cabin’s Air Filter

Any vehicle manufactured after the year 2000 will have a cabin air filter, which is a frequently overlooked item for many drivers. This air filter collects pollen, dust and debris to help with the air quality inside the vehicle. If your vehicle’s defroster isn’t working efficiently, it could mean that there’s excessive debris inside the cabin air filter, leaving your windshield susceptible to condensation and fogging.


9. Talk to Your Mechanic

If you’ve tried the steps above, the air filter is clean, but fog is still persistent, it could be a problem with your vehicle’s HVAC system. If your vehicle is fogging up when you use the defroster, your car’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system could be the culprit.

10. Have Your Windshield Looked at by a Pro

Come and see us at Budget Glass. Chipped or cracked glass can let excess moisture inside your vehicle, so you may need to have the windshield repaired. Any issues with the seals around the windshield can cause this as well. If you’re experiencing frequent, heavy fog inside your vehicle, come and see us.

Our Nanaimo and area customers have trusted us for their auto, home and commercial glass needs for over 35 years! We love glass, and we’re committed to providing the best quality products and service for you and your vehicle. Make an appointment with our helpful service staff today.