Many motorist have done it, walked out to the car early in the morning, running late to find the car is fogged up and you can't see a thing. Here's where you should stop, although more than a few have started a journey while peeping through the bottom of the windscreen that's cleared the fastest.
What you may not know is this is illegal - and obviously a danger to the car occupants, as well as those around you. It's necessary to do this daily throughout the winter, so you may as well use our tips to get this done as efficiently as possible.
Use this guide to get your windows demisted in double quick time, which unfortunately won't stop you from running late, but will reduce the amount of added time on the clock while allowing you to see where you're going.
Demist Tip 1: Use your heater correctly
Start your heater off cold, you might think "my car always starts off blowing out cold air before it gets hot, and I am freezing" but keep it cold! Then slowly increase the temperature as the air dries out so you aren't just pumping in more hot, wet air.
Try and find a temperature and humidity that is comfortable for you to sit in but also doesn't mist up the windows further.
Make sure your heater blast is pointed at the windscreen, this might seem obvious, but on a chilly morning pointing the warmth at yourself is just going to slow the process down! The warmer air - even with your heater on cold the air will be warmer than the freezing windscreen - will dry the glass through evaporation and begin to heat up the glass so water stops condensing on it.
You can use hot air obviously if it is really that cold and your bones can't handle it. It might just take a little longer to clear and you should make sure that you can see before setting off as it is illegal to drive with impaired vision.
Demist Tip 2: Use the air-con (if you have it)
As much as this also might seem counter intuitive to cool your car down, make sure your air-con is switched on. If you use the air con at the same time as the heating, it will dry out the air whilst the heating is directed on the windscreen.
If your car is iced over then the heat is obviously going to be the most practical option, but once the windscreen is clear of ice, using the air conditioning will dry out the air ready for your journey, mist free.
Demist Tip 3: Use your windows if you don't have air-con or climate control
If you don't have a climate control system, or any air conditioning, having the windows down could actually help clear your screen faster. The dry, cold air from outside can help reduce the amount of water vapour inside your car stopping it from steaming up.
You can then gradually warm up your car to a temperature that suits you after you have cleared your windscreen.
Demist Tip 4: If you have a climate control system, use it
If you have a climate control system, there is likely to be a setting for demisting the windscreen, which will automatically adjust the heating system in your car to achieve the best results.
Demist Tip 5: We promised you a life hack
Keeping your windscreen clean in the first place will go a long way to stopping it from misting up in the first place. A handy tip is to go the extra mile and apply shaving foam to your windscreen after cleaning your car, yes you heard us right shaving foam. This creates a protective barrier on the windscreen, it will need topping up and won't last forever, but it is likely to help it from misting up as much in future. Do so using these steps:
- Take a clean towel and put some shaving foam on it.
- Wipe the windscreen with the towel, spreading the shaving foam across the whole surface.
- Take another clean towel and wipe off the shaving foam completely.
This should then protect your windscreen from misting up - ice hockey players use this tip to prevent their face mask misting up on the ice!