How to Wear a Face Mask Without Fogging Up Your Glasses

Precautionary measures for coronavirus come with their own problems.
Precautionary measures for coronavirus come with their own problems. / ChesiireCat/iStock via Getty Images

Of the many unintended consequences resulting from the current coronavirus pandemic, one wrinkle has emerged as a minor but irritating issue. When donning a manufactured or makeshift mask for the first time, people are finding that their glasses are beginning to fog up due to their exhaled air moving upward. Reducing the spread of germs is beneficial, but not if you’re walking into telephone poles.

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution. A few of them, actually. According to MEL, one purported to come from the Tokyo Police Department advises mask wearers to take a facial tissue and place it behind the mask. The tissue will absorb the moisture coming from your mouth that would otherwise be getting re-routed to your glasses.

Another alternative courtesy of a paper published in the Annals of the Royal College of the American Surgeons in 2011 is to wash eyeglasses in soapy water and then dry them. Because some soapy residue will remain, it will be difficult for mist to form on the surface. (Anecdotally, applying shaving cream also seems to have a similar effect.)

The problem of traveling exhaled air is why you’ll see medical-grade masks with the metal clip around the nose. Offering a tighter fit to provide better protection, it allows less air to move up. Those masks should be reserved for health care professionals, but with a little DIY effort, your makeshift covering can be fog-free, too.

[h/t MEL]