There’s plenty of useful gadgets that can be kept in a car, ready for when they’re needed – ice scrapers may be a boon on particularly cold days, for instance. But while a sock packed with kitty litter may not seem like an obvious thing to have at hand on the road, a YouTuber called DaveHax has used that particular unusual invention to solve an age-old problem.
And, handily, the kitty litter sock is remarkably simple to construct. In fact, there’s only a few materials needed to replicate DaveHax’s effort, all of which may be found around the home: namely two socks, a large roll of tape and, of course, a bag of cat litter.
In his YouTube demonstration, though, DaveHax plumps for a silica crystal brand of kitty litter. Why? Well, in part because of its powers of absorbency – a property well suited to the task at hand. The silica crystals are also efficient at absorbing any nasty odors, he continues – something that many cat owners may already know through experience.
The first step to making the creation, then, is to take one of the socks and secure the cuff over the roll of tape. This forms a steady opening, making it easier to do what comes next. Subsequently, DaveHax pours the kitty litter into the hole, which he continues to do until the sock is full up to the ankle.
Then, when the bulk of the sock is packed with kitty litter, DaveHax removes the roll of tape and ties a knot in the top. He goes on to place the second sock over the one filled with the silica crystals; this should then help ensure that none of the contents spill out into the car.
And DaveHax continues by suggesting that the sock be set on a vehicle’s dashboard or underneath one of the seats. In this way, he says, the creation should carry out what it’s intended to do. But what purpose does this mysterious object serve in the first place?
Well, it all stems from a problem that drivers experience in the colder winter months. All too often during that part of the year, they’re forced to spend time defogging their car windows before beginning their journeys to work in the morning. And they’ll find that condensation has built up, thanks to the difference in temperature between the air within the vehicle and that outside.
The kitty litter sock is an absorbent object, however, because the contents suck up moisture. Consequently, condensation cannot form as easily, hopefully making foggy car windows a thing of the past as a result. The ingenious invention may therefore be a boon for those looking to shave a few minutes off their commuting time.
There are of course other products on the market to combat car condensation: defogger spray, for instance. However, the key difference between using the kitty litter sock and such an anti-fog device is that the latter is often just useful when condensation is already present. The sock, by contrast, serves to alleviate the problem entirely.
That being said, there is a hack that turns an unlikely household product into cheap defogger spray. A neat trick is to use shaving cream to beat condensation: simply spread the foam on the inside of a window then remove it by buffing. This method, it’s said, should work as well as anything purchased from a store expressly for the same purpose.
And there are several other useful ways to prevent condensation building up in the first place. One of these involves making sure that a car is clean both inside and out. That’s because any fragments of dirt present may draw moisture to them – making condensation more likely as a consequence.
Another key thing to remember is that objects left in a car may make a difference to whether the vehicle’s windows fog up. This is especially true of items that may be wet, such as coats or towels. And if it’s been a rainy day, don’t be tempted to keep a damp umbrella in the car, either, since the extra moisture will likely add to condensation levels.
Depending on where you park your car at the end of the day, you can also try keeping the windows open for an hour or two. This should encourage any moisture present to dry – meaning there’s likely to be less fog on the glass the following day.
Unfortunately, though, not all cars are on an equal footing when it comes to condensation. The problem could be exacerbated if a vehicle’s pollen filter is obstructed, for instance. Perhaps the trickiest causes of fogging to tackle, however, are leaks.
Indeed, it may be very difficult to find any sources of water seeping into a car, and so a mechanic’s experience with dealing with the issue may be necessary. Speaking to Confused.com, erstwhile Classic Car Weekly editor Dave Richards explained, “Sorting out leaky cars is incredibly difficult. It often involves stripping the car down completely.”
Richards added, “And even when you’ve found the leak it often can’t be fixed easily… Unfortunately, some cars start suffering from condensation at six or seven years of age. The older a car is, the more likely it is to develop this problem.”
However, if you are determined to track down the source of a leak yourself, there are some guidelines to follow. For instance, if you notice any seepage, make a note of the conditions immediately preceding it. If the leak only occurs after parking your vehicle on an incline, for instance, it may be a clue as to where exactly the water is coming from.
Additionally, checking the vehicle’s door and window seals is another good place to start. Take a look at the membrane concealed by the door panel. This feature is intended to keep any damp out of the car; however, it may become damaged over time. The drainage holes at the base of the door may also be blocked, too.
For anybody instead choosing to use their car’s air system to clear condensation in the morning, though, there’s also some recommendations. Set the unit to a cold temperature to begin with, then direct the air against the windscreen. Start up any air conditioning feature, too, since this will help keep conditions within the car suitably arid.
Then slowly turn up the heat and get comfortable – at which point any fog should be disappearing. On the other hand, though, if you’ve got some old socks and kitty litter to hand, you can simply create your own anti-condensation device. And if you’re tired of demisting your windows, it can’t hurt to give it a try.