Demystifying windscreen demisting!

Not the start to the day you need – you run out of the house in the usual rush only to discover your windscreen is all fogged up. If you’re lucky enough to have a heated windscreen you’re in business, if not, you’ve a bit of a chore in store.

Scour the internet and you’ll find lots of sometimes wacky solutions to this age-old problem. But what works best?

A simple piece of advice from the off is to make sure your windows are clean inside and out. Moisture tends to cling to particles of dirt, so a grubby window is a haven for condensation.

Damp and wet items inside the car don’t help. A wet towel or a soggy umbrella creates moisture in the air as it dries out, giving you more mist. A blocked pollen filter, which cleans air entering the car, can also cause condensation, as can rubber seals around your doors if they are full of gunge.

The RAC ( has a novel tip which ice hockey players use to stop their face masks steaming up. Clean your windscreen regularly with shaving foam to stop it misting up: wipe the windscreen with a towel, spreading the shaving foam over the entire surface and then wiping it off with another towel.

Another trick to stop the car getting humid in the first place is to buy a small dehumidifier box which can absorb the moisture before it hits the windscreen. Or try filling up an old sock with absorbent cat litter and tying off the end – sounds weird, but this is quite a popular suggestion.

Other recommendations include placing a bag of dried rice with small holes or a bowl of salt on the dashboard.

According to Mr Windscreen’s Gerry Fitzgibbon, it pays to take the time to let the car heat up and ensure all windows are properly cleared. Direct the heater’s blast directly at the windscreen, starting it off cold and slowly increasing the temperature. Use the air-con or climate control at the same time. Turn OFF air recirculation. Open a window a fraction and stand outside the car (your warm breath won’t help inside).

And make sure you stay near the car – every year there are sorry tales of cars being stolen while owners leave the engine running on cold mornings. Now that’s definitely not the start to the day you need.