If you wear eyeglasses, I’ll bet you’ve encountered a most annoying problem while wearing a mask—glasses fogging up. That makes it difficult, if not impossible, to see! Why do our eyeglasses fog up when wearing a mask? The answer is simple: condensation.
According to ophthalmologist Dr. Jesse Pelletier, recently quoted in Parade, “When the warm and moist air is trapped behind your spectacles, microscopic water droplets collect on the cool surface of a lens, forming a layer of fog that makes it difficult to see.”
Well, great. Now we know the reason, but so what if we don’t have a solution, right? Because I deal with the problem myself, I was super excited to reach into my virtual mailbag to find this message for how to stop glasses fogging up:
Solution for glasses fogging up
Good ol’ Barbasol
Dear Mary: Since wearing masks has become apart of life, fogging glasses are a problem for many people; especially for delivery drivers and others who are in and out of the cold all day long. This tip was passed on to me from a member of the military.
Barbasol shaving foam! It’s cheap and easily found at any dollar store. She warned me that while other brands of shave foam will work as well, those made specifically for ladies do not work (maybe because it has lotion in it).
Barbasol does a good job of cleaning glasses, too. Apply to both sides of the lenses, then rub it away with a soft cloth in the same way you would clean your glasses with rubbing alcohol or eyeglass cleaner.
I’m going to quit buying those cleaning wipes for eyeglasses and use Barbasol from now on. Leanne
While researching to see if I could either confirm or deny Leanne’s discovery (it’s true, especially the part about staying away from varieties of shave foam that contain aloe, Vitamin E, and other lotion-type ingredients that will make a smeary mess on lenses), I discovered more ways to keep our eyeglasses from fogging up.
Shaving cream contains glycerin, creating a protective layer. It’s commonly used to prevent bathroom mirrors from fogging and works on glasses too. Apply a bit on each lens, covering them entirely, then rinse with water. Let them air dry, and you’re good to go—back to shaving your legs if needed.
Whatever mask you choose, make sure it fits your face well. There should not be much space between the upper rim of the mask and the bridge of your nose. A mask that is the right size so that it fits snuggly should prevent the fogging-up problem.
Tape it to your nose
This is a trick used by surgeons and other health professionals who wear glasses and happen to have a roll of surgical tape handy. A light piece of paper tape across the top of the mask to hold it snuggly against your nose can prevent fog and hold it there for hours.
Wear your glasses over your mask
Simply changing the positioning of both your glasses and your mask may be another solution. This means wearing your mask a little higher up on your nose and your glasses a little farther down so the lenses overlap the mask may be a solution that works for you.
The tissue trick
I like this remedy, although it is not completely ideal. Scrunch up a clean tissue and place it inside between your mask and your face. It won’t show, but it will trap some of the moisture from hitting the lenses. If your mask has pleats, folds, or a pocket, fold the tissue to fit between the folds or inside the pocket.
Blue Dawn and water
Research shows that washing your glasses with warm soapy water leaves a thin film that could prevent fogging. Of course, I prefer Blue Dawn, but any soap may work. We know that Blue Dawn has more surfactants than others, which will decrease surface tension on the lens, which will keep the water molecules from the condensation from clumping up so they can spread out more freely.
This time-old trick of washing glasses with soao and water was made popular by a British surgeon in 2011. This guy popularized a simple trick for preventing glasses from fogging. Wash your glasses with soap and water, as it leaves a film that resists fogging. Many people find success with this method, especially using bar soap. Give it a try before exploring other solutions.
Anti-fog sprays and wipes
If other methods don’t work, consider using anti-fog sprays or wipes. However, be cautious about the ingredients in these solutions. If they aren’t explicitly designed for glasses, they might contain substances like rubbing alcohol and acid that could damage your lenses. Checking the ingredients is important for your skin and eye safety. To find reliable options, start by reading reviews from trusted sites or verified customers online.
Switch to contact lenses
Whether you think it’s a good option or not, switching to contact lenses will take care of the problem! Unless you will still be wearing sunglasses, in which case refer to the above.
What not to do
Don’t spit on the lenses
‘Fess up. We’ve all done this on occasion, and it’s not a good idea even though it is a widely-used hack for scuba divers and swimmers to keep their swim goggles from fogging up. Doctors warn against this due to the chance of harmless bacteria from your mouth ending up in your eyes, where it could spell danger. Not good. Not good at all!
Don’t clean them with toothpaste
I’ve had this tip passed on to me in the past, and I have never published it for several reasons: Toothpaste is slightly abrasive. Your teeth are good with that, but your lenses, not at all.
Toothpaste can scratch the protective coatings, and eventually, the glass or polycarbonate lenses themselves.
More than that, errant toothpaste that gets between the lens and frame edge, or in the grooves and hinges of the frame, will stick in there even through multiple rinses and end up dring hard as cement. That goes for cleaning jewelry with toothpaste, too. Don’t do it! It will take a jeweler using a tiny jackhammer to remove it!
While options are good for how to stop glasses fogging up and knowing what not to do even better, I like Leanne’s shaving foam tip the best. I can clean and defog at the same time. No tape, no tissue, and, for sure, no spit!
Even better? Barbasol is cheap!