How to quickly and effectively demist your car windscreen

Stuck on how to easily demist your car windscreen? We have a few tips…

It’s that time of year again where we leave for work when it’s dark, head to our cars and realise all of the windows have misted up as a result of the cold nights.

It’s not quite as bad as the windows all freezing over in the winter, but there’s no doubt it’s an annoying part of life. Fortunately, demisting a modern car is a very simple and easy task — but one that’s also quite easy to take longer than necessary if you’re unfamiliar with it.

Want to know how to clear your windows that little bit quicker? We have a few tips…

Stick the heater on cold to start demisting

It may be tempting to jump into your car and whack the heater up on full considering the freezing weather, but doing this will likely fog your windows up even more and delay your morning further.

The first thing you should do when demisting your car is putting the heater on a low temperature, and press the windscreen demisting button should your car have one (most do these days). It doesn’t have to be its lowest setting, but below 20 is usually a good starting point.

Cold air helps demist your car windows | The Car Expert
Air vent demisting a car window | The Car Expert

Direct at windows, and gradually turn the temperature up

Your windscreen should have a set of vents directly below it, so you can let that do its thing. For the rest though, aim them towards the side windows if these are also fogged up.

Gradually start increasing the temperature to aid in demisting the glass. A degree every ten seconds is a solid starting point — increasing it too soon will slow the process down.

Use the air-con to boost demisting

Got working air-con? Stick it on to keep the atmosphere in the car moisture-free. This will help in preventing condensation reforming on your windows before setting off and hopefully set you on your journey in a timely fashion.

Use air-conditioning to demist your car windscreen | The Car Expert

No climate control? Roll the windows down

If you’re running an older car with no air conditioning, or are unfortunate enough to have the feature broken, there’s an alternative to clearing the windows effectively than just sitting and waiting.

Simply rolling the windows down will allow dry and cold air from outside into the car quickly, which should go some way to combating condensation.

Ryan Hirons
Ryan Hirons
Articles by Ryan Hirons are provided for The Car Expert by PA Media (formerly the Press Association). They include test drives of the latest new cars and features on various aspects of automotive life.

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  1. If you’re running an older car with no air conditioning, or are unfortunate enough to have the feature broken, there’s an alternative to clearing the windows effectively than just sitting and waiting.


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