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How to Fix Foggy Windows in 7 Steps (with Pictures)

Foggy Window

Are you looking to improve visibility on your road or path? Are you tired of cleaning the inside and outside of your car windows? If yes, we are here to help you sort it out!

Due to the weather, your car windows can become foggy. The moisture from the air condenses and makes it challenging for you to see out. Sometimes they even cause you to roll down the window accidentally while driving.

Luckily, fixing foggy car windows is easy. We will walk you through seven steps to fix those foggy windows in this guide. Keep reading to learn more!

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What Makes Car Windows Foggy?

The primary factors that lead to car window fogging are the windshield and window temperature and the humidity in the car.

Other Causes of Foggy Windows in Cars Include:

Respiration From Drivers and Passengers

The most common cause of foggy windows is respiration from drivers and passengers. The moist air we breathe out into our cars is cooled by the glass. It forms condensation on the inside of the car windows.

Car window
Image By: Cole Keister, Unsplash

Wet Stuff Left In the Car

If you leave wet items in your car, that can also cause moisture buildup on your car windows. This moisture makes the car windows foggy.

Open Beverage Bottles In the Car

Open beverages left in the car or loose cups and bottles rolling around inside the car are a surefire way to fog up your windows. Water is vaporized into the air when it becomes warm. That’s why you often see steam rising from hot tea and coffee. The same thing can happen in your car when you leave an open beverage in there for too long.

Wet Car Upholstery

Car Rear Window
Image Credit: glaeskePi, Shutterstock

If you have a convertible, it’s easy for rainwater to seep into your vehicle through the roof. Water lingers on car upholstery if you don’t dry it out fast. Also, it’ll create excess moisture in the cabin.

Excess moisture can also be caused by keeping wet shoes or clothes inside your car. Even the damp carpeting and mats can create a moist environment if they’re not dried out regularly.

Issues with the Cabin Filter

One of the most common reasons car windows steam up is faulty cabin filters. The cabin filter keeps the air inside your car clean.

When it gets dirty or clogged, it can cause issues with your car’s climate control system. There’s an easy way to tell whether or not the cabin filter is causing problems.

Check to see if the air conditioning in the car is blowing cool air when you set it to cool. If it isn’t, this can indicate that the filter is clogged and needs to be replaced.

Unclean Car Windows

The most common reason for foggy interior car windows is an unclean surface. Dirt, dust, fingerprints, makeup, and body oils from your skin can build up on the inside of the car window over time.

This built-up residue will not only keep the car windows from being transparent, but it will also attract water vapor. Then, it will condense to form fog on the car divider

Fixing Foggy Car Windows

People are always looking for tips on how to keep the inside of their car windows less foggy. We’ve got you covered with a step-by-step guide on how to stop your windows from getting foggy.

What Tools Do You Need?

Cleaning spray
Image Credit: polina_tankilevitch, Pexels

The tools needed depend on the type of window tinting you have. But, the most common tools include:

  • Ammonia-based window cleaner
  • Shaving cream
  • Microfiber cloth

The 7 Steps for Fixing Foggy Windows

1. Clean Windows Using an Ammonia-Based Window Cleaner

Sometimes foggy windows are just dirty windows. There may be a layer of grime making them look foggy. Use a window cleaning agent made with ammonia to see if they clear up after they dry. If your car’s interior windows are clearer afterward, you can conclude that the fog was a result of dirt.

cleaning car window glass
Image Credit: Atstock Productions, shutterstock

2. Apply Shaving Cream to the Interior of Your Car Window

If your car windows remain foggy after carrying out the step above, move on to this step. Use your microfiber cloth to apply shaving cream to the window in a circular motion. Make sure you cover the entire surface of the window.

Let the shaving cream sit on the window for ten minutes or so. Then, use your microfiber cloth to wipe it off. Make sure you wipe off all of it, otherwise you risk clouding up your windows even more. The microfiber cloth should be damp from water but not wet at all.

The reason this step works is that it defogs and polishes your windows, preventing them from fogging up again anytime soon.

3. When Your Car Interior Is Warm, Activate the Defroster

After you have cleaned the inside of your windows, it is time to defog them. When your car interior is warm, activate your defroster and let it run for at least ten minutes. In addition, open your windows so that fresh air can get into the cabin.

If you do not have a defroster or the one you have is not working well, you can use a hairdryer to remove the fog. Switch on the hairdryer and point it at the foggy window until it clears.

Once your windows are clear, spray some water-repellent on them to prevent fogging in the future. Before applying the water-repellent, make sure that you clean both sides of your windows thoroughly.

4. Switch to Fresh Air Mode

The next step is to switch to fresh air mode instead of recirculated air. The fresh air will flow into the car and reduce the humidity inside, thus clearing up the foggy windows.

But if you are driving in extreme heat, it might be better to use recirculated air because outside air can blow in hot air, making it harder for you to cool off.

5. Keep the Car Window Open

Driving with closed windows can trap moisture inside your car and cause condensation. Consider keeping your windows cracked open when you park. This way, hot air can escape, decreasing condensation inside the car. Additionally, it will prevent humidity from building up inside your car.

slightly open car window glass
Image Credit: supergenijalac, Shutterstock

6. Before Driving, Ensure Your Shoes Are Clean

Driving with wet shoes or boots is one of the most common causes of foggy windows. It can also cause a buildup of mold and mildew on the inside of the window.

Dry your shoes off before driving to reduce the amount of moisture that enters the car.

7. Check Your Car’s HVAC System

Most cars are designed to have their heated or air-conditioned air travel through the heater core. Then, it travels through an evaporator core. The fan blows the air over these cores. Then, it blows into the cabin of the vehicle.

Both cores are located right behind the glove box. The problem is that the car may leak in this system leading to moisture build up in the vehicle.

It’s often the reason some cars have foggy windows even when they’re not running. Let a mechanic check for any leaks in the car’s HVAC system and repair it.

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How Do You Clear Foggy Windows When It’s Chilly Outside?

Switch Off Your Heater

If you have a heater, switch it off immediately. Let it sit idle while not blowing out any hot or cold air. You should also lower all the windows by about one inch. This will rid your car of some hot air and bring in some cooler air from outside.

When you turn your heater on, the moisture in the air evaporates fast. It causes thick layers of fog to form on your windows as heat increases the rate of evaporation. Large amounts of fog will accumulate on the car window because of the cold outside.

Car Drive
Image Credit: why kei, Unsplash

Switch Off the Car’s Recirculating Air Feature

The recirculating air feature in your car transfers the same air within the cabin instead of drawing in new air from outside. It’s an excellent feature during summer. It stops hot air from getting inside your vehicle.

But during winter, this may cause fogging on the car window because of the already warm and moist air inside the car.

Switch On Your Rear-Window Defroster and Front Defrost Vent

The best option is to switch on your rear-window defroster and front defrost vent. Together, they will clear any fog that has formed on your car window without taking away warmth from inside the divider

How Do You Clear Foggy Windows When It’s Hot Outside?

Switch On Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers will clear foggy windows right up if they’re still too foggy to drive.

The windshield wipers are made of a soft rubber that absorbs moisture and pushes it off the windshield. They work even better if you spray them with some water first.

Additionally, you can use a special treatment that helps get rid of moisture while cleaning your windshield at the same time.

car window on rainy day
Image Credit: Alexandra Mirgheș, Unsplash

Turn Off or Lower Your AC

Have you ever had the vents blowing at your face and then turned the AC off completely? If yes, you may have noticed that first wave of warm air that comes into the car. That’s because there’s a big temperature difference between the outside air and the air inside your car.

Turn off your AC or at least turn it down to its lowest setting to combat that. It will allow outside air to come into the car. That should help reduce foggy windows caused by condensation on the glass.

Ensure Your Recirculating Air Feature Is Off

If you’ve ever noticed that once you turn on the recirculating air feature, all your windows fog over within seconds.

When you switch on the recirculating air button, it draws warm, humid air from inside your car. Then, it recirculates it back into the car’s cabin, causing condensation buildup and foggy divider


There are few things more frustrating than a set of foggy windows in your car. It’s challenging to see past them. Also, it makes the drive home from work more dangerous. The good news is that there are some things you can do to fix this problem. So, foggy windows won’t ruin your ride anymore.

Fixing foggy windows is a simple process that anyone can do without spending an exorbitant amount of money. Whether your windshield or car windows are foggy is not only a question of comfort but also safety. After all, you need to see where you’re going when driving. By following the simple step-by-step procedures above, you should get rid of that pesky fog.

Featured Image Credit: Gil Dekel, Unsplash


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