Winter conditions make it difficult to see through your windshield. After you scrape the snow off the outside surface, you may still notice a thin layer of fox or condensation on the inside.


The default method of clearing the fog from a windshield is turning on your defroster. While this works about a third of the time, much of what keeps a windshield transparent is the relationship between the level of warmth and humidity in the cabin and the freezing, dry air outside.


If the humidity level is high on the inside of your car, the defroster will not work, and your glass will remain foggy.


Here are five tips for keeping your windshield clean as you brave the winter in your vehicle.

1. Clean Your Windshield Often

Ice and fog cling to dirt on both the outside and the inside of your windshield. By contrast, a smooth surface devoid of any dirt or film makes it more difficult for any substance to build-up on the glass.


We recommend that you clean your windshield at least once to twice a week. Use a cleaner that does not leave a residue — preferably a cleaner high in water and vinegar content with low to zero ammonia. Choose a microfiber towel to clean the window. Last, clean the window in the shade, and, if possible, in your garage or other protected areas.


Do not clean the windows outside in freezing temperatures.

2. Repair or Replace the Windshield

Pits, cracks, scratches, and other blemishes can aggravate a windshield and make it difficult to clean, defrost, or remove the ice. Windshield wipers are ineffective at removing melted slush or water during the winter due to windshield damage.


A windshield repair or replacement will make it easier for you to clear the fog and defrost the ice so that you can see while driving. Most repairs are inexpensive. Your insurance company may also pay for a windshield replacement.

3. Warm Up the Car

Turn your car on and allow the engine to warm up five to ten minutes before you turn on the defroster. The air duct temperature needs to reach or exceed 130 degrees before the defroster works, as it should.


Note: if you turn your car on and get back out, make sure you are nearby or monitoring the vehicle closely. If you turn your back on the car, someone may jump in it and take off.

4. Blast the Defroster With Fresh Air

Turn your defroster on the highest setting to spray air over the entire windshield. Blasting the windshield with plenty of warm air will remove ice and fog much faster so that you can get on the road.


Avoid re-circulating the air from the inside. Instead, pull fresh air in from the outside where the air is drier and less likely to humidify the interior of your vehicle. If snow or ice is piled up on top of the car, clear off the windshield and hood to allow fresh air to pass through the air vents.


You do not have to roll down the windows to equalize the humidity levels in your car. Pulling in fresh air from the vents will suffice.

Complete Auto Glass Repair & Replacement

Only 1 Auto Glass is the Twin Cities’ premier windshield repair and replacement service center. We specialize in new windshield installation and repair, as well as rock chip repair. We offer service for personal and commercial vehicles in Minneapolis, MN.


To find out more about the services and products we offer or to schedule an auto glass repair or replacement, contact us at 651-789-1111. You can also message us on our contact page.