Side Mirrors Fogging Up: Reasons and Solutions Explained

Rate this post
Side Mirrors Fogging Up on car
side mirrors fogging up

When you drive through roads, a clear mirror and view are essential. It becomes even more important during winter days. However, during winter and rainy seasons, you will see the side mirrors fogging up, dropping your visibility considerably. Hence, a fogging side mirror will block your eyesight and make it potentially dangerous to ride on roads.

Side mirrors accumulate fog due to high humidity, temperature fluctuations, and water droplets. Also, a dirty side mirror filled with dust is prone to fogging up more. As fogs sit in the mirror, you will have difficulty seeing the traffic on the road.

You need to regularly clean the mirror to stop it from fogging up. Also, you may use shaving cream or an alcohol wipe to reduce the fogging-up rate on the side mirror. You may even consider replacing old side mirrors to combat fogging.

Why Is Side Mirrors Fogging Up?

Fogging on side mirrors accumulate due to the temperature difference, dirty mirror, and rainwater. Also, ice during winter can cause fog to collect over the mirror.

Temperature difference:

During winter, the temperature inside the car is often warmer than the outside temperature. It happens especially during colder weather. So, the warm air from the car inside will come into contact with the cold surface of the side mirror.

As it happens, condensation occurs, and the water droplets will accumulate on the mirror’s surface. It will gradually develop into fog and make the mirror unclear.


You will often experience high humidity during rainy and summer seasons. If the humidity level is too high, it can contribute to foggy side mirrors.

It happens because the moisture in the air condenses on the mirror’s surface. As the moisture from the environment accumulates on the colder surface of the mirror, it will lead to fog formation. It happens when the humidity level is too high, often over 60% to 80%.

Rain or water droplets:

Rainwater is another cause of side mirror fogging up. Also, it is so apparent that you can hardly stop it until the rain stops. When it rains, water droplets will pour on the side mirrors. As these droplets evaporate, they can create a foggy layer on the mirror’s surface.

When the evaporation increases, the fog accumulation rate increases too. So, the side mirror will have fog, making driving difficult for you on the roads.

Side Mirrors Fogging Up on car
side mirrors fogging up

How to Fix Fogging Up Side Mirror?

Fogs on side mirrors are more dangerous than you can imagine. It will reduce your visibility, so you will hardly see the vehicles coming from the opposite end. It increases the chance of collisions and also compromises riding comfort and smoothness. Thus, you must fix the fog on the side mirror.

Clean the Mirrors:

You need to focus on regular maintenance and cleanliness of the side mirror. It will play a vital role in reducing the likelihood of side mirror fogging. Dust, dirt, and debris can sit over the surface. These particles will attract moisture, leading to condensation. As you clean the mirror, it will be free from the dust and debris, which makes the fog accumulate over the mirror.

Materials Needed:

  • Mild detergent
  • Water
  • Soft cloth or microfiber towel.

The steps include:

  • Mix some mild detergent with pure water to create a bland cleaning solution.
  • Dip the cloth or towel into the solution and wring excess moisture to prevent dripping.
  • Gently wipe the mirror’s surface, removing dirt and grime.
  • Rinse the cloth and wipe the mirror again to remove any detergent residue.
  • Dry the mirror with a clean, dry cloth to prevent streaks.

Apply Alcohol Wipe:

Rubbing alcohol is an effective defogger. It can evaporate quickly and eliminate moisture. So, when you rub the alcohol wipe on the fog over the mirror surface, both the alcohol and fog will evaporate faster.

  • First, moisten the cloth or towel with a small amount of rubbing alcohol. You must make sure it’s damp but not dripping.
  • Gently wipe down the mirror’s surface with the alcohol-soaked cloth.
  • Allow the mirror to air dry, or use a clean cloth to remove excess alcohol.

Rubbing alcohol removes existing moisture. Plus, it will leave behind a temporary protective layer. It will slow down the future condensation. However, you must reapply the rubbing alcohol periodically for continued effectiveness.

Try Shaving Cream:

Non-gel shaving cream has some anti-fogging features. So, it works as an anti-fogging agent for side mirrors. Once you apply the shaving cream, it leaves behind a thin layer. So, the protective layer will prevent moisture from condensing on the mirror’s surface:

  • Apply a small amount of non-gel shaving cream to the mirror’s surface. A pea-sized amount will be more than enough.
  • Use a clean, soft cloth to spread and buff the shaving cream gently. You need to spread it across the mirror’s surface.
  • Then, you should buff until the shaving cream is clear and thin. You should stop when it leaves an even layer.

The residual layer acts as a barrier. It will minimize the temperature difference between the mirror surface and the car interior. So it will reduce the fogging rate on the mirror.

Replace Old Mirrors:

In some cases, fogging might persist due to deteriorated mirror coatings or other damage. The side mirror has a thin coating for external element protection.

The protective coating will wear out when the side mirrors are old or compromised. So, you must replace the mirrors with new ones. Also, you can install side mirrors with advanced anti-fog coatings for a long-term solution.

Final Thoughts

Side mirror fogging up is one of the primary reasons for accidents during winter time. So, you find ways to stop the mirrors from collecting fog. You can spray anti-fog spray on the side mirrors. Also, you may use shaving cream and rubbing alcohol as an affordable solution to stop fogging up the mirror. It would be best to clean the mirror so that dust can’t collect, attracting more water droplets.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is fog on the side mirror dangerous?

Yes, fog on the side mirror is dangerous because it limits visibility. So, you won’t be able to see the traffic efficiently, which increases the chance of collisions and accidents.

  • What is the anti-fog coating?

An anti-fog coating for industrial applications is made with a hydrophilic layer. It may include hydrogels and polymers that maximize the energy on the surface. It will reduce the fogging rate.

  • What chemical is in anti-fog spray?

Anti-fog spray contains per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS). Spraying it over the mirror will protect the surface from fog for several hours. However, it is an expensive solution than our recommended ones.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button