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How to Get Rid of Condensation on the Inside of Car Windows?

steamy car window

When you’re driving down the road, you need to be able to see around you, but when the weather is at one extreme or another, condensation can start to form and block your view. It’s only a matter of time before you must deal with it, so knowing what to do before the problem strikes is critical.

Here, we highlighted a few different ways to clear up your windows, along with a few potential causes if you’re finding more condensation on the inside of your windows than you should.

car and road divider

How to Get Rid of Condensation Inside Car Windows (3 Methods)

If you’re finding condensation on the inside of your car window or windshield, you have a few different options to clear it up.

1. The Fastest Way

car heater button
Image Credit: ZOLDATOFF, Shutterstock

When you need your windows cleared fast and it’s cold outside, it’s time to start playing with the heater dial. Start by cranking the heat up to its highest setting. Hot air holds more moisture, so it will help grab all the moisture off the windows.

Next, turn on the A/C. This will pull the air from the car and push it through the cooling coils in the air conditioner. Turn off the recirculation button so you get outside air, and crack the windows open for a few minutes.

You might get a little cold, but it will clear up that moisture problem in no time!


2. When You Want to Stay Warm

hand holding car AC button
Image Credit: Andri wahyudi, Shutterstock

Nobody wants to crank on the air conditioner when it’s freezing outside. While it might be the fastest way to get rid of condensation inside your car, it’s not the most comfortable. Try this method instead. Turn off the recirculation function on the heater, and turn the defroster to full blast. This will grab the air off the windshield and pull it outside while dragging fresh, drier air in.


3. Soaking It Up

cleaning car window glass
Image Credit: Atstock Productions, shutterstock

The easiest way is to grab a towel and soak it all up. Just be sure to remove the towel from your vehicle afterward.

If not, the moisture will stay inside the car, and the next time that conditions are right, you’ll find moisture back on your windshield. You can leave a fresh towel in your car, though; just swap it out after you use it!

car and road divider

Causes of Condensation on the Inside of Car Windows

There can be many potential causes of condensation on the inside of car windows. While simply breathing can create a bit of condensation during colder weather, if you’re finding that it’s a frequent problem in your car, something else might be going on.

Here are a few of the most common causes of condensation on the inside of car windows.

Wet Floorboards, Open Windows, or Broken Seals

The most common cause of condensation comes from temperature changes. Liquid in the air heats up inside your car, and when it reaches the windows, it cools back down to dewpoint. This liquid can come from anywhere, but wet floorboards, broken window seals, and even windows left open are among the most common causes.

Dry everything out to the best of your ability, and close the windows to help keep condensation out of your car. If your vehicle has a damaged window seal, you might need to take it in for repairs to remedy the situation.

slightly open car window glass
Image Credit: supergenijalac, Shutterstock

Drinks Left Out

This is one of the most common causes of condensation inside your vehicle, but it’s often completely overlooked. Leftover coffee, tea, and water bottles will all evaporate with temperature changes, and that extra condensation can lead to moisture on the inside of your windows.

Take old drinks out of your car. When you get excessive moisture out of the air, the problem should go away.

A Faulty Heater Core

This is by far the worst-case scenario, but the good news is that it’s also the most unlikely. Holes in the heater core will lead to glycol and moisture entering your vehicle. You should be able to feel an oily-like film on the windshield if this is the case, and glycol has a sweet scent that you should be able to smell.

However, glycol is extremely toxic, so if this is the problem, you need to take your vehicle to a certified automotive HVAC technician as soon as possible to repair your vehicle.

a mechanic checking a worn out car
Image Credit: Qilin’s prance Filmmaker, Shutterstock

car and road divider

Final Thoughts

You can’t drive with condensation forming on the inside of your windshield, so knowing how to clear it up is a critical skill if you want to stay safe on the road.

Now that you know what to do if condensation is forming on the inside of your windshield, it’s up to you to decide if it’s happening more than it should and if there’s an underlying condition you need to address.


Featured Image Credit: dies-irae, Shutterstock

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