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How To Stop Car Windows From Fogging Up In Winter

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You can stop your car windows from fogging up in the winter by reducing the amount of moisture and condensation in the vehicle.  You want to get as much fresh air into the car’s system as possible, so roll down windows and turn off air recirculation before using the defrosters.  Use products like anti-fog, kitty litter, or shaving cream to repel moisture. 

This post explains exactly how to stop car windows from fogging up in winter. It’s winter, it’s wet and cold and you just want to get in the car and warm up!  But trust us, blasting the heating and zooming off isn’t safe and it isn’t good for your car.

Take the time to try one, or a few, of our defogging tricks to get those windows clear and winter road-worthy. 

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Let your engine warm up first

In colder climates, it is ALWAYS a good idea to let your car warm up for a few minutes before driving off.  Once the engine is up to temp you can put on the heater to warm up a bit. Then it’s time to blast the AC so the windshield becomes a similar temperature to the outside. Finally, it’s time to turn on the defrosters.  It’s a process, but it’s important to the safety of your vehicle and the effectiveness of the defrosters.

Avoid recirculating warm air

Make sure recirculation is turned off in your car before turning on the heater, AC, or defroster.  Turning on these features with circulation will only push the stale, moist air around your car and actually make the foggy windows worse.        

Roll down the windows.

Yes, it’s cold and all you want to do is run from your warm house to the shelter of your car and blast the heating.  Unfortunately, you won’t get much further if you can’t see out of your windshield.  Take the time to roll your windows down and get some fresh air circulating in your car.

Clean the inside of the windshield

It’s an arduous task, but cleaning the inside of your windshield will help reduce the fog on the glass.  With no bits of dust or dirt to soak into, the moisture has nowhere to hide and will dissipate quickly.

Use an anti-fog product

Anti-Fog sprays and wipes prevent moisture from collecting on your windshield and thus reduce or eliminate the fog on the windshield.  There are a lot of anti-fog products on the market, so have a shop around and find one that suits you. 

We recommend the Rain-X Glass Treatment and Anti-Fog Combo as it works to repel moisture both inside and outside of the windshield.

Keep moisture out of the car

Condensation is part of what makes a car windshield appear foggy, so do your best to keep all preventable moisture outside of the car.  Don’t let wet clothes, towels, or blankets stay in the car overnight. 

Kitty Litter

I know it sounds crazy but stay with me!  Kitty litter is a natural moisture absorbent (ew) and it’s cheap and easy to come by.  Fill a sock with some litter, tie it off, and place it on your dashboard.  If you have a larger vehicle, place a few in several key locations around the vehicle.  The litter will soak up the moisture and reduce condensation (and thus reduce fog) in the vehicle.    

Shaving Cream

Kitty litter, now shaving cream?  Who are we?  Seriously, shaving cream has similar properties to anti-fog products and is a great moisture-repellent.  Spread in a thin layer across the inside or outside of the windshield and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Then wipe clean and you are good to go! 

how to defog windows in the winter

If you didn’t know you needed kitty litter for your winter road trip, don’t worry! We’ve got a Winter Road Trip Packing List to help you get prepared.

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Lisa Hurd Profile Image

Lisa Hurd


Lisa Hurd is a born and raised Californian currently living with her husband, daughter, and labrador in the UK. She enjoys road trips with her family and has fond memories of cross-country adventures with her 3 sisters while growing up. She loves to write about a variety of camping-related and road trip topics. In her spare time, she’s an avid reader of books. She misses the sun… send vitamin D and quality Mexican food ASAP!