How to choose the best car dehumidifier 2018
Tired of battling condensation inside your car? Take a look at our guide to buying the ideal car dehumidifier
We all know those frustrating mornings when we leave the house and get into our cars, only to find the insides of our windscreens dribbling with condensation. At best, a wet car interior is a hassle to deal with; at worst, it’s an outright driving hazard.
If you’re looking to avoid these recurring battles with unwanted moisture, a car dehumidifier makes a wise investment. But before you pick one at random - tempting, as with anything that’s relatively inexpensive - you should read our buying guide to car humidifiers in order to find one that’s right for you. We’ve also put together a list of some of the best car dehumidifiers available on the market.
How much do car dehumidifiers cost?
Put simply, not much at all: you’ll struggle to spend more than £10 to £15 on a car dehumidifier. The most expensive one we’ve included in our round-up below is £18.99, and the cheapest is just £7.34. Interesting, there’s actually very little price difference between electric and non-electric car dehumidifiers (more on the differences between them in just a bit).
Can I use the dehumidifier more than once?
Not necessarily, there are some disposable dehumidifiers on the market. But given how affordable reusable ones are (unless you’ve rented a car, or have one for a short period of time) it probably makes sense for you to opt for one of those, since not only will you do your bit for the environment, but they make more economic sense in the long run. The dehumidifiers that we’ve listed in this article are, with one exception, reusable.
Should I get an electric or non-electric dehumidifier?
Dehumidifiers fall into two broad categories: bags filled with desiccant materials like silica gel that absorb moisture naturally, and 12V machines that use similar materials but also draw in the vapour with a motorised fan. These work faster than the bag dehumidifiers - but you’ll also need to charge them at intervals, which might prove inconvenient.
After a period of use, both types will become saturated with water, and both will need to have their moisture removed. With the bags, you can make the contained liquid evaporate by either giving them a spell in the microwave or some time in the sunshine. By contrast, 12V dehumidifiers will need to be plugged into a power source and recharged for a few hours. Don’t be alarmed if you see steam pouring from them during this time - that’s just the moisture evaporating.
Where do I put the dehumidifier in the car?
Bag dehumidifiers are generally designed to look like flat, pillow-like things that rest snugly and simply on your car dashboard, beneath the windscreen which is where car moisture generally creates the most problems. Electric dehumidifiers are generally little plastic boxes that can go in the same place, or else somewhere discreet near the windscreen.
Read our list below for some of the best car dehumidifiers available right now…
The Pingi is the cheapest dehumidifier on our list. It’s a stitched sack that contains absorbent crystal that will draw in the excess moisture in your car. Its striped monochrome design has the distinct look of car upholstery, so it certainly won’t look out of place on the top of your dashboard. It also has a circular ‘dot’ area that will turn pink when the crystals are fully saturated with moisture, so you’ll know when it needs recharging. All this requires is a six-minute spell in the microwave - after that, the Pingi is good to go again. Should you need more than one dehumidifier, you can pick up a twin pack for £12.98.
Dry & Purify
The people behind the Dry & Purify dehumidifier claim it will remove the moisture from your vehicle over 5 to 7 days, and will also tackle bad odours (something dog owners may well be grateful for).
While the Dry & Purify is certainly reusable, it still has an overall lifespan of just a year. It’s the priciest bag dehumidifier on our list, which is probably due to its non-toxic, eco-friendly ingredients - it uses bamboo charcoal as its absorbent material. The makers advise that you recharge it twice a month in the sunshine or microwave - or up to once a week if your car has particularly high levels of moisture. The hessian sack gives it a kind of homespun charm.
Lakeland Dashboard Dehumidifier
This car dehumidifier from homeware store Lakeland has a rather fetching, minimal design: a grey stitched case with an off-centre, see-through panel, inside of which you can watch its silica crystals turn from orange to clear as they become full saturated. It also has a fabric hook that lets you hang it from the headrest of a front seat if you’d prefer to keep it off the top of your dashboard.
The Lakeland dehumidifier’s crystals can absorb up to 125ml of moisture from the surrounding air, and can be recharged for use after five minutes in the microwave.
The Thomar airDry is an unusual car dehumidifier that resembles a yogurt pot. The idea is that you pop it in the drinks holder of your car - once inside, you remove the plastic lid, peel back the foil, and let the absorbent crystals inside work their magic. The airDry is the one car dehumidifier on our list which isn’t reusable, so a good one if you have a rental car with moisture issues or you’re in a similar situation where you’ll only need it once. The manufacturers have created three different versions, one grey and yellow, one green and leafy, and one bright and flowery.
Streetwize Rechargeable Dehumidifier
Price: £18.99 for a twin pack
The Streetwize is an electrical dehumidifier that doesn’t use any cables or batteries to work, meaning it’s perfect for your car. As with the bag dehumidifiers, it uses crystals to absorb moisture, with an in-built indicator that will let you know when they are fully wet. This means that unlike larger, domestic dehumidifiers, it doesn’t use cold coils, and doesn’t have a tray that will need emptying of liquid - instead, once the crystals are saturated, the dehumidifier will need charging for 6 to 9 hours. This is actually only available in a twin pack, so if you have a partner or friend who needs one for his or her vehicle, then this might make a wise purchase.
Pro Breeze Mini Dehumidifier
The Pro Breeze is another electrical dehumidifier that doesn’t need cables or batteries, and can be tucked anywhere inside your car. It also has a wet/dry indicator that will let you know if it the crystals inside are dry and ready to use (orange) or fully saturated and in need of being charged (green). It can absorb up to 150ml of moisture, and will generally last between 2 and 4 hours before it needs recharging for 8 to 10 hours.
Read more Auto Express products and accessories coverage here...