Best Car Dehumidifier: Reusable, 12V and Moisture Absorber Bags

Car window condensation and misting is caused by excessive moisture. This can be annoying and potentially dangerous. In this article, we've listed three of the best car dehumidifiers in the UK to dry out your car's interior.

Our #1 Pick: Pingi LV-A300-EN

Pingi LV-A300

Pingi is reusable

Our top pick is the Pingi LV-A300. It's great at removing moisture from a car without needing electricity, so it can passively reduce humidity throughout the day. The Pingi is also easy to recharge in a microwave once it becomes saturated.

drops on windscreen

Are your car windows covered with condensation each morning?

If so, you​'re probably fed up with demisting them before each journey. And, if damp gets really bad, you may even have water streaming down your windows - which doesn't make for a pleasant (or safe) driving experience!

The good news is that reducing moisture is relatively easy. ​Car dehumidifiers can quickly suck water out of the air until the humidity is similar to outside, which prevents condensation and misting. Not all products are effective though, so it's important to buy the right option.

To make choosing a car dehumidifier easy, we've reviewed and listed three of the best models below. We've included a variety of types, such as 12 Volt dehumidifiers and reusable moisture absorbers, so there's something for everyone.​ Make sure you read the reviews closely to find the right choice for your vehicle.

Which Are The Best In Car Moisture Absorbers?

1. Pingi LV-A300 for Car & Home

The Pingi is reusable which saves money in the long run

My top recommendation for a reusable vehicle dehumidifier is the Pingi. It's a relatively cheap option that does a great job of passively removing moisture - plus it's quick to recharge once saturated. 

Aside from removing moisture, the Pingi can also absorb bad smells from your car. This makes your vehicle much more pleasant to spend time in - especially if you have pets.

It also looks great. The exterior has a "carbon fibre" style pattern, so it won't look out of place on a dashboard. The cover is also designed to be leak-proof, which prevents the calcium chloride from marking.

Once saturated, reusing the Pingi is as simple as putting it in a microwave for around six minutes. You can use it again when it's cooled. This is a convenient feature that puts it ahead of our review of the Thomar (see below).

Note: Pingi also produces a model called the PD-A300P6-UK, which has similar features. Both versions can do a great job.

Pros

  • Easy to recharge
  • Looks great
  • Leak-proof cover

Cons

  • Won't remove all moisture, but still does a good job of getting rid of most

Specification

  • Type: Moisture Absorber
  • Brand: Pingi
  • Price: £ - Low

2. Thomar Air Dry Ice Fresh

The Thomar Air Dry

Another excellent moisture absorbing bag is the Thomar AirDry. It's made from natural granules and can remove up to 800ml from the air. It's also reusable - although it can't be put in a microwave.

As you would expect from a moisture absorber, the Thomar excels at removing water from an enclosed space. It's a relatively large dehumidifier, with a soft exterior and a bag filled with crystals to absorb water. This large and heavy design helps to keep the windscreen clear for longer.

Drying it isn't quite as easy as the Pingi though, as you'll need to put it on a radiator rather than in a microwave. You can also leave it outside to dry, although this will probably take too long in the winter months.

We also don't think the Thomar is quite as durable as the Pingi, which is why it's only #2 on this list.​

Pros

  • Great at removing moisture
  • Large design

Cons

  • Can only be dried on radiator

Specification

  • Type: Moisture Absorber
  • Brand: Thomar
  • Price: £ - Low

3. Gold-Tec Mini Air + 12V Adaptor (Sold Separately)

The Gold Tec Mini Air can be bought with a 12V adaptor

If you want to dry your vehicle out faster, the  Gold-Tec Mini Air is a great choice - but only if you buy the separate 12V adaptor. It doesn't come with this as standard. With the adaptor, however, it's a useful electric dehumidifier for your car.

In terms of design, the Gold-Tech is a small model (see here for more examples) that's only suitable for enclosed environments. This makes it perfect for cars, but not so good for drying out a home. 

It comes with a 500ml water tank, so it won't need to be emptied too often. It also has features such as an automatic cut off when the tank is full and air outlet for drying.

As a bonus, the Gold-Tec is much cheaper than full-size dehumidifiers - even with the additional cost of buying a 12V DC cable for a cigarette lighter.

Pros

  • Fast at removing water
  • A 12V adaptor can be bought separately so it can run in your car
  • 500ml water tank

Cons

  • Not suitable for use when the vehicle is in motion
  • Not as powerful as full-size models

Specification

  • Type: 12V (only with separately purchased adaptor)
  • Brand: Gold-Tec
  • Price: ££ - Medium
Condensation on windscreen

What Causes Condensation?

Your car might feel cold in the morning, but the lack of airflow allows it to remain slightly warmer and more humid than outside. This is the reason why misting is such a common problem.

Condensation forms when there is a temperature and moisture gradient between the car interior and outside.​ In other words, when the car has a higher humidity than even the damp British environment!

If the outside is also cooler than the vehicle interior, water hits the windows or windscreen and turns into droplets. The higher the humidity in your car, the more of these droplets form until you can't see out the windscreen.

What causes the humidity to rise inside a vehicle though?​

Moisture in your car can build up for a number of reasons. Wet clothing, such as jackets or coats, are a common cause. High humidity can also happen due to a leak somewhere in the body of the car or even just breathing.

Whatever the reason, it's important to reduce the humidity in your car. Aside from being frustrating, condensation could be a potential hazard if you can't see properly or if the windows mist up while you're driving. A moisture absorber is one of the fastest ways to fix the problem.

A dehumidifier is also important if you're keeping a classic car in a storage location such as a garage. For this, I recommend getting a more powerful desiccant dehumidifier though.​

How to Choose the Right In-Car Dehumidifier

Choosing a car dehumidifier is much easier than a regular in-house model, as there are fewer options on the market. The main considerations are:

  • Type. The two most common types are 12V and moisture absorbing bags. In most cases, we recommend buying a moisture absorber. These passively suck water out of the air and collect it in a bag. A range of materials are used, including silica gel and various others. 12V dehumidifiers, on the other hand, plug into your car's dashboard, so they can actively remove water. They are faster, but need to be emptied regularly.
  • Reusable Design. Most vehicle dehumidifiers are reusable. 12V models can simply be emptied, while moisture absorbers often need to be put in the microwave to "recharge." It's best to avoid non-reusable products as they cost more in the long run. Some dehumidifiers also come in a set or more than one.
  • Brand. As with all home appliances, it's important to buy from a reliable brand. Some of the best in this category include Thomar, Pingi and Kontrol. You may also want to consider whether the brand produces eco friendly dehumidifiers.
  • Price. Most dehumidifiers for cars are relatively cheap, so price isn't often an issue. The Pingi, for example, has an RRP of less than £10. Dashboard dehumidifiers are more expensive but are usually more effective at reducing humidity.

Are All Car Dehumidifiers Reusable?

In short: no.

There are a number of moisture absorbers that are designed with single-use crystals. Once the crystals have become saturated, the product can't remove any more water and needs to be replaced.

This often isn't a problem if you want to dehumidify a closet or other small indoor location. Cars are often continuously moist, however, so we recommend buying a reuseable model.​

What's the Difference Between a 12V Model and a Moisture Absorber?

If you're still confused about the difference between 12V dashboard dehumidifiers and moisture absorbers, don't worry. Both can do a good job in a car, but there are a few important differences.

Moisture absorbers are completely passive. They suck up water like a "magnet," but don't need any power. This makes them great for cars, as the engine doesn't need to be running.​

12V plug in products, on the other hand, plug into your car's cigarette lighter. They use a motor to remove water from the air, which means they do a faster job. This type of dehumidifier only works when the car engine is running through. They also shouldn't be used while the car is in motion, as the dehumidifier can tip over causing water to leak.​

Other Methods

A dehumidifier is probably the fastest way to reduce humidity inside a car - but it's not the only way. Here are some DIY and homemade tips for keeping your car dry and reducing condensation.

  • Clean Your Car Regularly. Dirt and dust can carry water, which can increase the amount of condensation on windows. Clean your car interior regularly to minimise dirt, dust and other particles.
  • Circulate Air Throughout the Car. Condensation is often worse in the winter, so you probably don't have your windows open much. If possible, leave your windows open for a few hours, as the extra air circulation will reduce humidity.
  • Wipe Windscreens and Windows. Use a cloth to wipe away the worst of condensation before you start your journey. Remember not to leave the wet cloth in the car. You can buy specially made moisture pads from more car shops, such as Halfords or supermarkets like Asda, Aldi, Tesco or even PoundLand. Amazon and eBay both also have a wide range of window wipers.
  • Get Rid of Wet Clothing. Everything from a wet coat to a sweaty gym top can add to the moisture in your car. Remove them before water has a chance to seep into the car interior. On a similar note, if a seat gets wet try to dry it as quickly as possible.
  • Fix Any Leaks. If your car has a leak, fixing it might be the only way to permanently solve a problem with damp. Unfortunately, this often means stripping down the car - and even then there's no guarantee of finding it. On a positive note, buying a dehumidifier and following the other tips in this section can help manage humidity even with a leak.
  • Make a DIY Dehumidifier. A useful trick is to put cat litter in a tied pair of tights. This can absorb moisture, although it's not as effective as a real dehumidifier. It's also not reusable. 

I don't recommend using anti-fogging chemicals on your windows. These can reduce fog, but often leave a reflective sheen that's difficult to get rid of.

On a final note, make sure you follow your car dehumidifier's instructions closely. Each product has different guidelines for placement, saturation and recharging.

Want to Know the Best All-Round Dehumidifier?

Does your home also suffer from condensation? If so, check out our homepage. We've listed the best dehumidifiers for home use, including models from brands such as Ebac and EcoAir. These models are more expensive, but extract more water than car dehumidifiers.

Summary

Condensation and mist in your car can be a frustrating problem - and can even be dangerous if left unsolved. A car dehumidifier is a great way to quickly reduce moisture and keep your windscreen clear.

Our top pick is the ​Pingi LV-A300. It does a great job of extracting water from the air, plus it's also easy to recharge in a microwave. A bonus is  the Pingi is considerably cheaper than many alternatives.

Do you have any questions about choosing an in-car dehumidifier? Or would you like to recommend a model we missed? Please use the comments form below.​