From construction workers to first responders to welders, dealing with fogged eyewear is incredibly frustrating. Lens fogging is also a significant safety issue. Anyone working outside in warm weather understands the struggle with fogging eyewear.
Several solutions exist for this problem. Before getting to those, let’s first look at the leading causes of fogging eyewear.
Why do lenses fog?
We’ve all seen a glass of cold water “sweat” in the sun. This sweating occurs because of the temperature difference between the inner and outer surface of the glass. Fogged eyewear results from the same process. A temperature difference between the inner and outer surfaces of the lens causes them to “sweat.”
Key Factors Contributing to Fogged Eyewear
- Ambient heat: The temperature of the surrounding environment.
- Tight eyewear: Snug eyewear causes a lack of air flow, a problem commonly associated with goggles and wraparound lenses.
- Increased humidity: The more moisture in the air, the more likely lenses will fog. High levels of humidity increase fogging problems on hot and humid days.
- Human exertion: Working hard causes the body to heat up and produce sweat. The added heat and moisture contribute to lens fogging.
Safety Issues Caused by Fogged Eyewear
Anyone with an eye for safety realizes the significant issues caused by fogged eyewear. Independent research, as reported in OH&S, confirmed this.
Fogging is the number one vision-related barrier to wearing safety glasses. In fact, 28% of safety professionals believe fogged eyewear contributed to injuries in their workplaces.
Non-compliance often comes when workers remove safety glasses because of fogging.
4 Solutions for Fogged Eyewear
While no product provides 100% fog-proof protection, solutions exist to significantly reduce and/or delay lens fogging.
- Change your eyewear design. A style allowing more air to flow around the lens may be all you need to reduce and/or delay fogging.
- Apply anti-fog coating. Some employers report the almost 100% elimination of problems caused by fogging eyewear after workers use an anti-fog coating to their safety eyewear. Knowing How to Use Anti-Fog Solutions is key to eliminating fogged eyewear.
- Buy Anti-Fog Eyewear. Many options exist now within available anti-fog safety eyewear. Anti-Fog lenses come in nearly any lens tint or style, even bifocal and polarized.
- Go extreme. For most, glasses with anti-fog coating are enough to solve the problem. Others, such as those who wear both prescription eyewear and safety eyewear and those who work in extreme heat, sometimes need a more radical solution. In such cases, Extreme Anti-Fog Goggles, with their dual-pane lenses that eliminate condensation and built-in fans that forcefully remove moisture and reduce fogging, may help.
A variety of available Anti-Fog Solutions, including anti-fog cloths, wipes, and sprays.
Don’t fall victim to fogged eyewear, one of the biggest frustrations with safety eyewear as well as the main reason for non-compliance. Consider the possible cause of your particular fogging problem, then take the necessary steps to eliminate it.
What solution have you found to prevent fogged-up eyewear?
We would love to hear from you. Let us know about your experiences with eyewear fogging and how you solved the problem. Please leave a comment below.
Hi, I found very useful to apply the same tricks I use with my diving mask, they are rub some babies shampoo on the googles or even rub some saliva.
I use these trick when going into an Alky plant where I need to wear wraparound googles and rubber suit protecting myself from head to toe, so there is no too much air coming into the googles, furthermore high ambient temperatures, sweating like a horse and breathing into the the head cover makes the perfect combination to have glasses fogging even if they are anti-fog.
Thanks for submitting your tips for preventing lens fogging. How often do you have to reapply the baby shampoo or saliva to your goggles?
Spit doesn’t work. Neither does Colgate toothpaste.
I shoot Trap & when it got hot & humid the fogging started. I tried shaving cream, it worked for about 1 hour then fogging started in the middle of shooting. I’m going to try baby shampoo next to see if it works.
Thanks for sharing your experiences and remedies for fogged lenses.
You should give our Super Anti-Fog Spray a try. The application is similar to applying car wax. You simply spray on a light coating, let it dry and then buff with a microfiber cloth. The coating changes how water vapor beads and drastically delays or eliminates the onset of fogging.
How long does it last tho?
The durability of anti-fog coatings varies on environmental conditions and how often you clean your eyewear. You can use anti-fog sprays to replace worn out anti-fog coatings.
I have not yet found a complete solution. I find that I have fogging or I have condensation. If I use regular safety glasses they contantly fog. If I use anti-fog lenses or spray they will not fog but have constant water droplets on the lenses. Either one obstructs vision so problem remains.
Correct, Rick, and therein lies the dilemma. Sometimes droplets can be seen around, and the lens may otherwise be clear. Still no perfect solution.
As a Safety Manager for a crew of 100 or so construction and asbestos abatement workers, fogging was a significant impediment to safety glasses use. We tried two different types of commercial anti-fog spray, but that only lasted a half hour at most. I scoured the internet and YouTube for solutions and heard about both baby shampoo or dish soap could solve some of my compliance issues. I purchased Dawn Ultra and mixed at 5:1 in a small spray bottle. Some of the guys say it lasts 2-3 days. I still have a couple of heavy perspiring workers that need something else. Hence this trip to the internet. We may have to try dual pane goggles. Has anyone had luck using those?
Richard, I have not heard of the soap trick, but that is interesting. The Super Strength anti-fog spray in the article actually works very well compared to other sprays we’ve tried, as well as many lens coatings applied during production. To answer your question, absolutely dual-pane goggles are an improvement. In the interest of saving time and space, I will direct you to a reply I wrote recently. Click here (https://blog.safetyglassesusa.com/what-does-ansi-z87-1-2010-certified-mean/) and scroll way down to March 9, 2018, where I addressed an anti-fog question. Dual-pane lenses are mentioned and a link is included.
It’s worth listing the newer and better anti-fog technologies out there. Bolle has Platinum Plus. Edge offers Vapor Shield. Pyramex has their H2Max. MCR Safety touts their MAX6. 3M offers Scotchgard, while Honeywell (Uvex) has Hydroshield. These are all a big step up from what was available just a few years ago. If you don’t go the route of dual-pane, I would suggest these (or both, if you can find it).