If you wear glasses, you may have noticed a common problem – face masks make your glasses fog up. Your own breath can be your glasses’ worst enemy when you’re wearing a face mask, creating a situation that makes it really difficult to see and frustrating to deal with.
So, what can you do to alleviate this problem and still wear your face mask to slow the spread of coronavirus? Here are some DIY solutions that will help you wear your mask comfortably and enjoy clear, fog-free frames.
Adjust your face mask
You may have your mask sitting on your nose in a way that makes your breath flow up to the top or sides, which means you have foggy lenses. A mask that fits well will circumvent this problem.
If you’re ordering a mask, see if it comes in different sizes. A mask meant for a large man may not fit a petite woman, and a mask for adults won’t fit kids. Buying a mask meant to fit your face is the best solution to make sure you don’t fog up.
The best way to get a mask that fits well is to either add a bit of wire or pipe cleaner to your mask when you make it, or if you’re ordering one, make sure to purchase a mask with an adjustable nosepiece.
If this is not an option, simply create your own DIY molded nosepiece with a twist tie or a small piece of folded aluminum foil to create the fit you need so your mask won’t slide out of place and fog up your glasses.
Once you bend the nosepiece into place and it sits properly on your nose, you’ll find that you can comfortably breathe through your mask instead of having the air escape through the top, which is much safer, anyway.
Try shaving cream
This may sound shady, but by many accounts online, it actually works. Wipe your glasses with a thin layer of shaving cream, let it sit for about five minutes, then wipe it off. The shaving cream leaves behind a residue that resists fogging. This one has mixed reviews, so if it doesn’t work for you, don’t worry. There are other DIY home remedies to try.
Use soapy water
Wash your glasses with soapy water. Like the shaving cream, the soapy water should leave behind a residue that creates a film. This film works as a barrier that makes it difficult for your glasses to fog up.
The only issue with these types of DIY barriers is that they aren’t long-term, and you may have to redo them each time you want to wear your mask, which could become tiring. For healthcare workers who are out a lot, some of the upcoming solutions may be a better fit. If you don’t go out much, however, the ones we’ve discussed so far won’t be a big deal!
Anti-fog spray and wipes
You can purchase spray or wipes made specifically for this purpose. These may last longer than using shaving cream or soap, since they’re meant for that use. To find anti-fog spray or wipes, look wherever you shop for eyeglasses supplies. There should be a spray bottle somewhere in that section. The wipes may be available, as well, and will make it easy for you to de-fog on the go.
There are also gels and creams for this purpose. Not all of these are created alike, so it may be a bit of trial and error as you find the right brand and type of product that works for you.
Pro tip: Do NOT use anti-fog products that aren’t meant for eyeglasses. It may be tempting to try ones meant for car windows or similar, but the worst-case scenario could be that these products damage your glasses, and the best case would be that they don’t work at all.
If you aren’t sure, give your eye doctor’s office a call and ask them where to purchase these products and what they might recommend, especially if you’ll need them for everyday use.
In a pinch, you can use athletic tape or medical tape to tape your mask for a better fit. Apply tape over your skin and mask across your nose and cheeks for a secure fit. This will alleviate fog on your glasses.
However, don’t use tape that isn’t made for skin, such as craft tape. This could cause an injury to sensitive skin when you remove it later! Double-sided tape can work between your skin and mask, as well, and will most likely stay in place better than traditional one-sided tape designs.
One quick method to use is to fold up a sheet of facial tissue or a paper towel and insert it between your mouth and your face mask.
This way, the tissue or paper towel will absorb your breath before it even makes it out of the mask, so your glasses are safe! This hack is best for short trips, as the moisture will eventually make its way through tissue and it may slip and slide over time.
Adjust your glasses
If you’re out and about and you don’t have time to rinse with soapy water or grab the shaving cream, simply tweak your glasses while you’re wearing them for an in-the-moment quick fix. Essentially, you’ll need to ensure your glasses are pushed forward just a bit on your nose.
If you wear glasses with nose pads on them, you can remove your nose pads and place them where you’d like them to go so they will stay in place comfortably, then move them back when you are ready to remove your mask.
What you’re doing is creating an open flow of air from your nose past your glasses, so the breath doesn’t get caught and fog up your specs.
No matter what: do NOT slip your mask under your nose for any reason! This defeats the purpose of wearing one altogether.
Easier said than done, right? This may not be the most intuitive way to de-fog your glasses, but if you’re in a pinch and don’t have any products available, it may work fast. Try and aim your breath going downward, in essence, sending your breath down and away from your glasses instead of towards them.
Imagine you are breathing with your upper lip held over your lower lip. Pretend you are playing an instrument that requires you to purse your lips in this manner. This may not be a permanent solution (or a comfortable one) but in the moment, it works!
Buy new glasses
If you have to wear PPE frequently or you perform a job that may require you to wear a mask long-term (especially since nobody knows for sure how long we will be dealing with COVID-19) you may want to invest in a more longer-lasting solution.
This would be purchasing glasses with anti-fog lenses. These types of lenses don’t fog up, and they typically cost a bit more than regular lenses.
If you’re not ready to go that far, you may also be able to treat your glasses with anti-fog protection. Call your ophthalmologist and get advice on this situation. You may find that wearing glasses with fog-free lenses provides the best solution for wearing a mask every day or very often.
Some last-minute tips
Don’t rub your glasses harshly after you apply soap or shaving cream. Do this gently, and if you rinse the product from your glasses, experts recommend that you air-dry them so they won’t be streaky, and so the residue from the shaving cream or soap will be effectively left behind.
Avoid taking off your glasses in situations where you need them to see!
Be gentle and careful with your glasses when you are handling them. Only use approved microfiber cloths when you’re rubbing your glasses.
If you are going to adjust your mask with a pipe cleaner or twist tie, do so before you leave the house. Leave with your mask on so you can make any necessary adjustments and avoid dealing with it once you’re out of the house.
Once you leave the house with your mask on, touching your face and your mask isn’t recommended. This could spread germs. Any adjustments should be made before you leave your home.
Avoid putting anything on your glasses that isn’t recommended. It could damage your glasses permanently. If you are concerned that your shaving cream may impact the quality of your glasses, try a different method.
Ensure you can breathe freely no matter what adjustments you make to your mask! It defeats the purpose if you can’t breathe while you are wearing it.
Make sure your mask fits properly. It should be as tight as possible, without making you uncomfortable or restricting your breathing. If you have an elastic mask, you can tie a knot in each ear loop to make the ear loops tighter.
If your ear loops are ribbons, simply adjust them so you can pull them a bit tighter. The mask should fit closely on your face and allow you to breathe comfortably. This may be the fix you need to ensure your glasses don’t fog up – you may want to try this first!
Avoid using any glues or permanent bonding products near or on your eyeglasses. This will cause lasting damage.
Consider wearing your contact lenses with your mask, if you have them. Although contacts may not be your usual preference, they could offer temporary relief from the fogging issue.