Misty Eyed: How to Keep Glasses from Fogging

BY Shinola Team

If you regularly wear glasses, then you probably know the struggle: You come inside from the cold, only to be greeted by a blast of hazy condensation blocking your view. It’s like your lenses are sweating, and it can be extremely frustrating. Foggy glasses can make it difficult to work, lead to scratched lenses as you reach for a less-than-ideal cloth to wipe away the condensation, or may even cause potentially dangerous situations while driving. And if you’re also wearing a mask, scarf, or other face covering, lens fogging can become a near-constant annoyance — clouding your vision with literally every breath you take.

What’s a bespectacled person to do? Well, maybe we can help. Here, we discuss a few different solutions to how to stop glasses from fogging over. But first, let’s take a closer look at why lens fogging occurs in the first place. 

Why Do Glasses Fog Up?

There’s more than just oxygen in the air we breathe. Our atmosphere is made up of a veritable potpourri of different gasses, including nitrogen, argon, carbon dioxide, neon, helium, krypton, hydrogen, and xenon. And, depending on the temperature and humidity, air will also contain different amounts of water vapor.

Water that exists as a gas in the atmosphere is in a high-energy state. But when that water touches something that is much colder, such as the lenses of your glasses, that energy is almost immediately redistributed. The water vapor reaches its ‘dew point’ and condenses back into a liquid, forming into fog on your lenses. This same process occurs when your warm breath hits your lenses directly, condensing the water vapor and clouding everything up.

So now that you know the science, what steps can you take to prevent your glasses from going misty?

How to Stop Glasses from Fogging: 5 Tips

Sick of wiping away condensation? Here are a few things you can try to help keep your glasses nice and transparent. 

1. Try anti-fog spray or wipes

Sprays and wipes are available that you can use to coat your glasses in an anti-fog agent. This works by minimizing the surface tension of the glass, preventing condensation from forming into the tiny droplets that cloud your lenses. Just clean the lenses, apply the spray or wipes, wait for about one minute, and wipe the lenses with a dry microfiber cloth. For some added clarity, gently polish the lenses with a second dry microfiber cloth.

2. Use a little dish soap

If the anti-fog solution isn’t available, you can produce a similar effect with common household items. The glycerin in dish soap (or even shampoo), when mixed with some warm water, produces an effective anti-fog solution. Simply use the soap and warm water to wash the lenses, and then allow them to air dry completely. The soap will create a clear film on the glass that disrupts the formation of condensation. Make sure that the water you use is warm, not hot, because hot water may damage your lenses.

3. Polish your lenses with shaving cream

Shaving cream is another answer to the question of how to stop glasses from fogging. Like soap, shaving cream contains glycerin and is great for creating a smooth, clear protective layer. In this case, just add a small dollop of shaving cream to either side of your lenses, use a dry microfiber cloth to rub it across the lenses’ surfaces, and then wipe it away.

4. Wear your glasses further down your nose

Not every solution involves an actual chemical solution. Sometimes, something as simple as changing how you wear your glasses can make a huge difference. Eyeglasses are great at trapping the moisture and warmth from your skin and holding it in a place where fog has an easier time condensing. So, just move the glasses further down your nose, and watch your troubles evaporate. Of course, this solution won’t work for everyone — if you find yourself having to crane your neck just to see through your now-distant lenses, you’re probably better off keeping things as they were.

5. Be aware of how your glasses interact with face coverings

We live in the era of masks, and for glasses wearers, that means new levels of fog-related annoyance. This is because face coverings trap your breath against your face, often forcing it up and out around the bridge of your nose, and directly into your lenses. What’s the solution? A tighter fit around the nose area! If you want to know how to keep glasses from fogging with a mask, consider using clear tape to secure the mask down around your nose. People with sensitive skin may prefer less sticky methods: pipe cleaners, paper clips, coffee-bag closures, or other DIY solutions to help pinch off that opening and keep your breath from smacking into your glasses. And, if all else fails, you can always reposition your glasses themselves so that they press down and hold your mask firmly in place.

What Not to Do

Foggy lenses can be a nuisance, but scratched or otherwise-damaged lenses are a tragedy. This is why you should always be careful about anything that you put on your glasses. When wiping your lenses, avoid paper towels, tissues, clothing fabric, or any other kind of cloth not specifically designed for use on lenses. Non-lens cloths are too coarse and can create small scratches across the entire surface of your lenses. 

Likewise, avoid toothpaste, vinegar, or any solutions containing acetone. Toothpaste is designed to scrub, and often includes grainy substances that can create micro-scratches on the glass. Vinegar and acetone are both overly harsh and may strip protective film from your glasses, making them harder to see through. After all, there’s not much point in beating the fog if you end up destroying your lenses in the process. 

Shinola Eyewear for Vision and Visibility

Want to know how to prevent glasses from fogging? Applying a solution to prevent condensation from forming is one approach. Preventing your breath from hitting your lenses is another. But through it all, the most important thing is that you keep your glasses in good condition

Easier said than done? Not when you’re wearing top-quality eyewear from Shinola. Every pair of Shinola glasses is built around durable, scratch-resistant CR39 lenses, and comes with a Shinola signature polishing cloth. Shinola premium sunglass lenses feature UV400 protection and include an anti-reflective coating for optimal eye protection. And as if that weren’t enough, Shinola glasses are also the pinnacle of style, as sure to turn heads as protect eyes

The tips we’ve shared today have demonstrated how to keep glasses from fogging up, but that’s only part of the battle. Shop Shinola, and give yourself the vision (and the visibility) that comes from truly superior eyewear.

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