One of the more annoying parts of colder weather is all the extra work it means for those who drive. Between putting snow tires on, scraping snow and ice off, and waiting for your vehicle to warm up, everything takes a little bit longer. And even though not as many people are making their daily commute to work, that doesn’t mean everyone will escape the dreaded feeling of going to start the car and realizing their windshield is all fogged up. But if you find yourself in this position, it’s not as bad as it seems: a former NASA engineer has shared his science-based defogging technique, designed to get the job done faster. Here’s what to know.
How to quickly defog your windshield
This tip comes to us from Mark Rober, a former NASA engineer and self-described “friend of science.” In a five-minute YouTube video, he walks us through his four-step method for defogging your windshield in half the time. (Note that the title on the still below says he’ll be talking about defrosting windows, but in the actual video, he only addresses defogging.)
In the video, Rober uses the scientific method to test out a variety of techniques, before landing on the one that he found works the best for defogging your windshield and car windows. Here are the steps involved:
- Turn your car’s heater on full-blast. Hot air can hold more moisture.
- Turn your car’s air conditioning on. According to Rober, this pulls moisture out of the air as the air passes over the AC’s cold coils.
- Make sure inside air circulation is off. “Winter air is cold, and we know it doesn’t hold much moisture,” Rober explains. “So if you bring it into your car and heat it up, it has a lot of absorption capacity.”
- Crack as many windows as possible—even for a few seconds—to allow for the exchange of the humid car air with the dry cold air outside.
Of course, there are plenty of variables, like the temperature, precipitation and kinds of settings that come with your car, but if you deal with fog a lot, these are worth a shot.