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How to Demist Your Windscreen Quickly

Author of the article

By Saoirse McClure Fisher

calendar 24-01-2022 tag MAINTENANCE clock 8 min read

There's no worse feeling than rushing to the car to get to work and then having to sit for what feels like an eternity for that thin layer of mist to vanish from your windscreen. It's such a pain. If you are pulled over without a clear windscreen, you could also face a fine and penalty points! Luckily, we can offer a few tips to demist your windscreen quickly and effectively. Here's what you need to know.

Why Does my Windscreen Mist Up?

Windscreen mist is caused by two factors. The relative humidity of the air inside your car and the temperature of the surfaces inside your car. The interaction of these two factors causes your windscreen to mist up.

Here comes the science bit, concentrate.

The ability of the air around you to hold water vapour depends on temperature. Without getting into too much detail, you need to know this. 

Warm air can hold a lot of moisture. Sources of moisture could include: -

  • You, breathing in and out when sitting in the car
  • Evaporation from clothing, shoes and other things (like umbrellas) if it has been raining
  • The inherent moisture in the ambient air outside the vehicle. 

The moisture from all of the above is suspended in the air, but you can't see it because it is relatively warm inside the car.

Everything inside cools down when the car is left for an extended period. Being thin and a poor insulator, glass (aka your windscreen) cools pretty quickly. When the saturated air makes contact with these cold surfaces, the water within condenses. This creates misting on the windscreen.

How to Get Rid of Windscreen Mist Quickly

Ok, now you know the general principle as to why windscreens fog up, you are in a great place to do something about it. Here are some great ways to demist your windscreen in the shortest amount of time possible: -

Get the Heater On

Remember what we said above? 

It is cold surfaces that cause condensation, so it stands to reason that by warming them up, you'll remove the mist.

You'll read guides telling you that you must start from cold before slowly increasing the temperature. However, this isn't necessary. The heating system will take a little while to warm up anyway, so we say go for maximum temperature as soon as you can!

Full Blast Setting on the Windows

You wouldn't dry your hair by pointing the hairdryer at your feet, would you? (If you've got hairy feet, we can only apologise).

The same principle applies to your windscreen. Ensure the airflow is directed onto the glass. Some vehicles have a dedicated button. It looks a little like a curved box with three wavy arrows pointing upward. (the button with the square box normally demists the rear window)… Make sure you pick the right one!

Open the Windows

As we said above, condensation happens because moisture is trapped within the car. So, you've got to let it out. Doing this will also prevent a reoccurrence of misting when you turn the heater off.

Don't Use a Cloth (or Your Hand)

We know it is tempting to give it a quick wipe.

Here's our advice.


You'll create streaks and smears that might not be visible when the windscreen is warm but will plague you for days to come as soon as the car cools down a little. This is often obvious when driving at night with streetlights overhead or facing oncoming traffic. Yikes!

Air Conditioning

Conditioned air is dryer than that which normally comes through your heater. It is normally taken from outside. As a result, it will reduce the overall moisture content of the air within your vehicle. If you've got it, use it (even if it is winter)

Avoid Smoking or Vaping in Your Car

Here's another great reason to quit if you are a nicotine user. 

Both smoke and vapour from electronic cigarettes form what is known as condensation nuclei. Essentially the smoke or vapour particles form microscopic 'landing pads' for moisture droplets and make windscreen fogging more likely. 

If you've ever wondered why it is always foggy after bonfire night, this is the reason. A similar principle applies to your vehicle. So, try and avoid smoking in your car.

Clean Your Windscreen Properly

If you've got a spotless windscreen, it makes mist formation far less likely. Want a top tip for cleaning your windscreen?

Instead of using a cloth, use a scrunched-up newspaper (preferably the Daily Mail) with a good quality window cleaning solution. The acid in the newspaper ink eats away at grease, leaving your windshield squeaky clean.

Pro Tip: Shaving Foam

Now, this isn't something you'll want to do every day, but it is what professional skiers and scuba divers use to stop mist building up on their masks and goggles. And, if it is good enough for "Eddie the Eagle", it's good enough for us.

While cleaning your windscreen, put a pea-sized blob of foam onto a clean cloth and spread it all over the surface of the interior of your windscreen, then buff and polish until it is no longer visible. This will act as a barrier that should prevent mist from building up!


Sorting out a misted-up windscreen is an easy fix and will ensure that your drive is safe. Another way to make your journey safer, especially in winter, is to ensure that you've got top-notch tyres fitted. Motokiki has a wide range of tyres to suit all vehicles. Why not pop your registration into our quick checker to see some of our great deals on tyres.

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