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How to Stop the Inside of Car Window Screen From Freezing

Updated April 17, 2017

When overnight temperatures drop below freezing, it becomes the norm to spend ten or 15 minutes each morning to scrape snow and ice from the outside of your car. But when the ice is on the inside of the windshield it's a different story. Ice scrapers and deicer both work just as effectively on the inside of the car as they do on the outside, but melt the interior ice and you're often left with a miniature swimming pool on the dashboard. The key is to deal with the moisture before it condenses on the windows and freezes.

Locate the source of the water in the vehicle. There may be leaks, perhaps wet or damp items are being transported in the vehicle, maybe some of the upholstery has become damp, or perhaps a change in the weather means passengers are carrying more moisture than usual.

Remove damp items from the vehicle and fix any leaks you have identified. This prevents more water from being introduced into the vehicle in future.

Open the car windows and turn on the air conditioning to a high power level, at a warm setting. Switch on the window heaters, if available. Do this for at least 10 or 15 minutes to dry the car out. If you have discovered an excessively damp area, for example if a seat or carpet has become very wet, apply heat and ventilation to it directly with a hairdryer or other heater.

Place a large bag of silica gel or other desiccant under a seat or in the boot of the car, if the problem persists. This soaks up moisture from the air and will help prevent condensation. Cat litter has a similar effect.

Cover affected windows with a blanket or cardboard overnight. This is a relatively extreme step and usually isn't necessary if the interior moisture problem has been dealt with.

Tip

Purpose-made spray-on products do exist for interior window ice prevention. These products are designed to be sprayed onto the window the night before, and are effective, but only treat the symptoms and not the cause.

Warning

If drying or airing your vehicle in the garage by running the car with its air conditioner on, make sure the garage doors are open and do not stay in the garage while the car is running. Ideally, do not run the car in the garage at all, as it poses a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning to humans and animals when a car idles in a confined space.

Things You'll Need

  • Silica gel or other desiccant
  • Blanket or cardboard
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About the Author

Joseph Kellem has worked across a range of publications, websites and events since 2005. His writing and editing experience spans a wide range of industries, including industrial materials, computing, medical technology, marketing and communications. Kellem holds a Master of Science in physics from the University of Birmingham, UK.