Minnesota winters lend to the ever frustrating dilemma of foggy windows. It’s always a  fight to find the proper interior temperature that also takes into account the chill of the outdoor air, and doesn’t inhibit your ability to drive. It is terribly inconvenient to be on your way to work, driving in negative 30 degree weather with the windows down because you can’t get the fog to subside! It’s only exacerbated by the fact that when you try to wipe away the condensation you are left with gross smudged windows, perhaps making it even harder to see where you are headed. So, what ways can you mitigate the foggy frustration this winter?

To best understand how to avoid fogged windows, you must first understand how they happen. Windows fog because of two things; the moisture in the air, and the temperature outside. Air with moisture in it will turn into condensation as it encounters temperatures below the dew point. The number one best piece of advice we can give you is to never bring anything wet into your vehicle. A damp towel, wet hair, umbrella, you name it! If the item is wet, and it’s chilly out, you will have foggy windows. Try placing these items in your trunk, or allowing them to dry out prior to transporting them.

Your best defense against foggy windows is going to be your car’s AC and heating system. These will fight back the fog and restore you to safe operations, but it’s also important to consider whether or not your vehicle is recirculating air inside the vehicle. If your vehicle is set to recirculate air, the button with two arrows pointing in a cyclical motion) then turn it off! You are essentially allowing your vehicle to continually pass the same stale moist air throughout the vehicle when you need to allow outside air to come in and swap out the moisture from inside.

It seems to be that once you’ve had one big fog, there’s always a second, worse fog waiting to plague your windshield the following morning, doesn’t it? You aren’t making this up – the first condensation lays the groundwork for the second, and so on. Condensation doesn’t evaporate fully, and will leave a residue on your windows. So, another important way of preventing distractingly dangerous fog is to regularly clean the windows inside your vehicle! There are cleaning products available to clean windshields, but the use of a lint-free towel is likely your best bet. 

For anybody dealing with an exceptionally damp vehicle, where they can’t seem to get rid of the fog, there are various products on the market you can use to keep the condensation at bay. These products make it difficult for condensation to cling to a window because they coat them making it harder for grease, oil or water to accumulate. Some people have even reported using a potato to keep their windshields clear of fog, so give it a shot and report back with your findings, we would love to know!

Foggy windows are a safety hazard. They seem like such a simple problem to have, but they can cause an accident if someone is uncareful. What are some ways you mitigate the fog in the mornings? Did we cover all the basics? The last resort to a bad foggy windshield is to get the windshield replaced! It is possible that the seal has broken, and water is somehow getting inside the vehicle. If you’re concerned, contact your favorite local body shop, Oakdale Collision, for the next steps on how to resolve this problem!