There’s nothing more frustrating that your safety glasses fogging up. It’s not only annoying, as a report by OH&S discovered fogging safety glasses actually contribute to more workplace accidents. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the common tricks to keep safety glasses from fogging up.
What causes safety glasses to fog up anyway?
You’ve probably all noticed condensation form on a cold beer when it’s removed from the fridge. Well fogging up of safety glasses is the result of exactly the same phenomenon.
When moist air comes into contact with a surface that is cooler than the air itself, water from the air condenses onto that surface. It’s especially common in humid climates, but can occur anywhere there is a temperature differential.
Safety glasses fog up because warm, moist air (normally heated from your skin), comes into contact with the cooler glasses lens. It condenses, forming fog. This can happen on the outside of your lenses if you have warm, moist air in front of you (perhaps leaning over a steam pipe), or from your warm body when working in cold air temperatures.
6 Tips to Stop Your Safety Glasses From Fogging
So, just how do you stop your lenses from fogging up? We’ve assembled 6 of the most popular solutions, ranging from home remedies to specialist products.
One of the most traditional ways to prevent your safety glasses from fogging is to rinse them in a soapy solution, and then let them dry without rinsing the soapy water off. Another variation on this version involves physically rubbing a bar of soap onto your lenses and then buffing it off afterwards. Some people find this approach to be very successful, and it’s certainly easy to do.
Anti-fog spray & wipes
Anti-fog safety glasses are made with a special coating to prevent them from fogging. Eventually, this coating does rub off, but you can buy replacements. Available in either sprays or glasses wipes, this is an extremely popular solution. Keeping a box of wipes available on site for everyone to use is a great way to solve the problem for everyone and clean your safety glasses at the same time.
Auto windshield coating
Another solution (and an in-house favorite at Workshopedia) is to use windshield anti-fog coating. Available at most auto shops, we find this to work better than wipes or soap. You apply the solution, leave it to dry and then gentle buff it off.
While glasses wipes and spray both work, we find windshield coating lasts longer and performs slightly better too.
Poor fitting glasses
One of the most common causes of foggy safety glasses is actually poor fitting safety glasses. If air is not able to properly circulate around the lenses, it heats up and condenses on the lenses.
When choosing safety glasses, look for a pair that leave a little gap between your face and the lenses. Even better, some glasses have venting systems to promote air circulation and reduce fogging. Everyone’s face is different, so a pair of safety glasses that work for one person may not work for someone else.
Using a mask
More often than not, you’ll have to wear a facemask in addition to your safety glasses. This presents an extra challenge, as very moist air from your breath collects in the mask and then escapes upwards onto your lenses.
The best thing to do is use a facemask with a vent valve, or, a metal nose bridge. Make sure you pinch the nose bridge tight over your nose to prevent air escaping around it. If that isn’t available, some people put a strip of tape over the top of the mask and on their nose to create a tight seal.
For those folks who still struggle, there is also the option of purchasing a special anti-fog facemask. The Airshield Pro, and other similar models, are designed to produce a constant flow of air across your face. This prevents moist air accumulation and prevents fogging. These masks are well suited to sanding and paint spraying, when you could wear you mask for extended periods of time.