We’re over halfway through the fall season, with winter right around the corner. As the weather continues to get colder, you can expect to start dealing with foggy and frosted windshields on a daily basis, especially if you commute to work by car. Defogging and defrosting windshields can help keep everyone safer on the road.
An obscured windshield is more than just a major inconvenience for you on cold mornings; it can pose a huge danger to everyone on the roads. When you’re in a hurry it can be easy to overlook a foggy windshield and wait for it to clear once on the road. However, this lack of visibility can lead to impaired driving that could put you and others at risk.That’s why it’s important to know how to properly defog and defrost you windshield on chilly mornings.
Why do Windows Fog?
Usually, windows fog up during the colder months of the year due to a mixture of condensation and humidity. During the night, moisture can collect and condense on the glass inside and outside of the car. When you get in the car in the morning, the sudden difference in temperature between the inside and outside glass can cause windows to fog up.
There are a few ways that you can quickly defog your windshield.
Blast A/C or heating
Using either your car’s heating or air conditioning system can both help get rid of fog on the inside of your windshield. Steady streams of air directed at the condensation can quickly help evaporate it, leading to clear glass. Also make sure to turn off air recirculation while defogging windshields, as this only reintroduces moist air back into the cabin.
Roll down the windows
We mentioned earlier that foggy windshields are partially caused by the disparity of the temperature and humidity inside and outside the car. Rolling down the windows can help to restore equilibrium and balance out moisture levels inside and outside the car.
You can help prevent foggy windshield from happening by investing in anti-fog products and applying them beforehand. Need an at-home alternative? Shaving cream (yeah, we know!) is an easy and quick fix for foggy windows. Simply apply a layer to the inside or outside of your windshield. Wipe off after 10 minutes. Your windshield will be left with a thin layer that can keep your windows from fogging up as easily. This video shows the before and after difference.
Why do windshields freeze?
Frosted windows are typically the result of dew. rain, or snow that falls on windshields and turns to ice once the temperature dips below freezing.
There are several methods for defrosting windshields. Your first line of defense, of course, can be to blast your defroster. But if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to wait for your cart heat up, these other techniques can help save you time and keep you from cracking your windshield.
Often times when we’re anticipating snow we’ll salt sidewalks and driveways. But why is that?
It turns out that salt salt can help melt ice by lowering the freezing point of water. This is called freezing point depression.
And it turns out, you can also use salt for defrosting windshields.
Mix a saltwater solution and spray on your windshield. But don’t overdo it! Too much salt exposure could cause damage to your glass. If it’s below freezing during the day too, it might a good idea to opt for road salt versus table salt, since it can be more effective in freezing temperatures.
Another simple, at-home option for defrosting windshields works well is isopropyl alcohol. Like salt, isopropyl alcohol can lower the freezing temperature of water that it comes in contact with. Fortunately, this solution can be applied liberally without damage to your windshield.
Mix 2:1 alcohol and water solution and put into a spray bottle for ease of use when defrosting windshields.
If you don’t have a car ice scraper, it may be time to invest in one. Ice scrapers are a great way to quickly get the ice off your car without causing damage. Some types also have a brush attached, which is great for brushing snow and debris off your car!
If none of these other options are readily available, you can try defrosting windshields with lukewarm water. Do not use hot water for defrosting windshields. This is a quick and successful way to put a crack in your windshield.
When defrosting windshields with water, pour warmed water on slowly and controlled. Don’t overdo it on water, as too much water can also lead to cracks.
You can take either of these at-home anti-ice solutions (or commercial products) and apply a layer at night to help keep windshield from freezing during the night. This may help eliminate the need for defrosting windshields completely!
Stay safe out there on the roads. For any car trouble, come to Beetlesmith’s Valley Automotive Service!