Prevent Your Face Shield from Fogging Up

foggy visorTired of a foggy face mask, I set out to find a cure. I checked out a few different forums and read advice from motorcycle enthusiasts, SCUBA divers, other hockey players, and more. Several different materials were recommended; everything from your own saliva to expensive commercial products. I decided to run my own experiment based off something I saw in another review. Using a tea kettle to provide steam perfectly simulated a foggy environment. I also considered leaving the mask in the shower with me, but that would have taken longer.

The Experiment

I took each substance and squirted a small drop on the mask approximately the size of a dime. I then spread the liquid on one half of the mask using a microfiber cloth. I chose microfiber because it is not coarse like other rags that may leave my mask susceptible to scratches. By spreading each liquid on on side of the mask only, I was able to compare them side-by-side for effectiveness.

The Results

Here are the rankings in order of performance:

  1. Murphy’s Oil Soap
  2. Baby Oil
  3. Shampoo, Dish Soap, Baby Wash (3-way tie)
  4. Shaving Foam
  5. Lemon Pledge

Final Thoughts

It seems like the oil based substances work best, and that came as no surprise. If the water is unable to condense on the mask, it won’t build up and cause fog. The key is finding a good balance between an oil that is dense enough to repel water, but light enough to be completely transparent. If spread to thick the mask blurs, defeating the purpose of coating it. In addition, you may also see small halos around bright lights when looking through it. You’ll just have to experiment with different amounts until you find a good compromise.

Lastly, I was unable to test all of these liquids for endurance. Some may work well to resist steam from the tea kettle, but may not last through three periods. What have you found works best to combat fog? Share your results in the comments.

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2 Comments

  1. How To Hockey said on June 14, 2010

    Another great post. I scuba dive and a nice salty one right into the mask works like a charm! I wonder though if hockey is different because of the temperature difference, warm, moist air from your mouth vs the cold air on the other side of the shield.

    Did you try any of the stuff they sell in the stores? I guess windex is not recommended because it could hurt your eyes? Wish I could give some tips but I don't wear a visor.

    Jeremy

  2. derek said on November 2, 2013

    First of all Itech has dropped the ball , their shields scratch and dull no matter how you take care of them. their coating and resistance to scratching sucks…always has…waste of money even if you buy the 30 dollar throw aways. after a season. oakley has a great durable shield but you can’t touch their glass with anything but their product which is stupid piggish greedy expensive for 3 oz.they used to stand by all of their shields for replacement but now only give you 2 years. their prices are sick stupid piggish greedy ….70 dollars and up. the optics are the best period…nothing like it, but they price themselves out of the retail market, thats why the pros wear their shields for free. You can pull off the itech film on the inside of their deluxe shield when it dulls …that’s their answer for anti fog, the shield is then crystal clear but you are married to shampoo for every until you break it scratch it or dull it and toss it…….these companies are profit driven and offer no price breaks …quality or junk….you pay and bend over and pay more …its bull shit!

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