How Do I Wear a Face Mask Without Fogging Up My Glasses?

Photo: Blaine Harrington III/The Image Bank

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Friday that it recommended the use of a cloth face covering for all people in public settings. If you’re like me, the first thing you noticed when using a cloth mask was that it caused your hot breath to funnel right into your glasses, instantly making them foggy and useless.

I hate to break it to you, but there is no simple, perfect trick to solve the problem of foggy glasses. But there are a few methods you can try.

Insert a flexible “nose” into your homemade mask.

If you’re able to mold your mask around your face using a flexible “nose,” you can probably prevent a good amount of fogging. And if you’re handy and planning on sewing your own mask, you can use an online tutorial like this one to insert something bendable (like a bobby pin or a pipe cleaner) into a pocket at the top of your cloth mask.

Wash your glasses with soapy water.

According to a 2011 study released by the journal of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, performed to help doctors whose glasses fogged up while using surgical masks, washing your glasses with soapy water and letting them air-dry before you go out can help reduce fogging.

Your glasses become foggy while you’re outside because your hot breath causes condensation on the cool surface of the lenses, and surface tension causes it to stay there. “Washing the spectacles with soapy water,” the study says, “leaves behind a thin surfactant film that reduces this surface tension and causes the water molecules to spread out evenly into a transparent layer.”

Move your glasses toward the tip of your nose.

This is something I’m doing personally, and it seems to work … uh, fine. I just move my glasses down the bridge of my nose, so they’re less in the direct trajectory of hot breath escaping my mask. It does make it a little harder to see, but not as hard as fogginess does.

Please stay safe, and good luck seeing clearly!

How Do I Wear a Face Mask Without Fogging Up My Glasses?