Anti-fog solutions are an effective way to reduce and prevent fog from forming on a variety of surfaces. Typical applications for anti-fog lens treatments include prescription glasses, sunglasses, safety glasses and goggles, and safety shields. In addition to theses common uses, anti-fog solutions can also be effective for refrigerator and freezer doors, bathroom mirrors, windows, cameras, and binoculars.

Anti-fog sprays and gels work by reducing surface tension resulting in water droplets being unable to form. While these treatments provide only a temporary fog-resistant layer, they can be the perfect solution for individuals who do not have glasses with built-in anti-fog coatings. In some cases, anti-fog glasses are an essential tool because of an environment where fog is a constant challenge. However, in many other cases, only using an anti-fog treatment is an efficient way to prevent fog from impairing vision.

An important part of anti-fog treatments is making sure the solution is applied correctly and with the appropriate frequency. In general, the following steps will assure that the solution is properly implemented, whether to plastic or glass surfaces.

How To Apply Anti-Fog Solutions

  1. Clean the surface before applying anti-fog treatment. (For details on how to properly clean safety glasses, please see “How to Clean Your Safety Glasses.” Note that extremely dirty surfaces may require a second application. However, be sure to clean surfaces as best as possible before applying the anti-fog solution.
  2. Shake the solution several times before applying.
  3. Apply the solution. For safety glasses/goggles, apply the solution to both sides of lenses making sure the entire surface is covered with the product.
  4. Wait. Many solutions recommend waiting a minute before wiping off the solution, but some do not. Check package directions. Note that colder surfaces may require additional drying time.
  5. Wipe surfaces with a dry, lint-free cloth. A wet cloth may be counterproductive since many anti-fog solutions can be easily removed with clean water. Make sure the solution is evenly distributed over the surface of the lens.
  6. Buff surface with a dry, lint-free cloth until clear. After removing excess solution, buffing with a separate dry cloth or simply a dry part of the same material can give the surface a clean shine.

Additional Considerations for Using Anti-fog Treatments

  • Swim goggles and diving masks require special anti-fog solutions because of constant contact with water. Buy a solution specifically made for these circumstances. Other solutions will likely wash off easily.
  • Eliminating fog may not be entirely possible in extreme conditions such as going from freezing temperatures to a hot and humid environment. Keep this in mind when choosing between an anti-fog solution and other options such as anti-fog eyewear.

While following the proper steps when applying anti-fog solution is important, the frequency with which it is applied is another crucial aspect of keeping surfaces fog-free. Because many anti-fog solutions can be easily removed with clean water, rainy conditions could wash off the coating. Be sure to reapply anti-fog solutions if lenses get wet. Also, reapplying anti-fog solution before any physical activity is important to ensure that fog does not impair vision when it’s needed most. For sports, apply before each event, game or practice. In an environment where fog can be a constant challenge (such as for construction, manufacturing, service and retail workers), applying anti-fog solution daily and sometimes more than once a day may be necessary. For everyday wear, however, applying anti-fog solution every other day is usually sufficient.

The cost for anti-fog sprays and gels is quite reasonable with most falling between $4-$15. Super Strength Anti-Fog Treatment and Smith Optics Fog Master (both sprays) and Bangerz Anti-Fog Solution ( gel) all provide a reasonably-priced option for preventing fog on a variety of surfaces. Both gels and sprays work equally as well, and the choice between the two is one of preference. Anti-fog cloths such as Smith Optics Elite No-Fog Anti-Fog Cloth and Smith Optics Elite Smudgebuster Cleaning Cloth are another inexpensive option.

With the proper tools as well as a consistent process, keeping glasses and other surfaces clear of fog is an easy task. From sports safety to safety in work environments to everyday wear of glasses and sunglasses, anti-fog solutions can fight fog and help keep vision clear.