How to Keep Eyeglasses Clean While Wearing a Face Mask

Whether you wear eyeglasses for fashion reasons or to see properly, chances are, you’ve found a way to comfortably and aesthetically fit them into your daily lifestyle. However, there’s now a need for wearing face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). So, like a responsible citizen, you wear your mask but are then rewarded with totally fogged-up glasses. So, you ask, “What’s the deal with my glasses fogging up when I wear a mask?”

We’ve got that answer, along with tips to keep your eyeglasses clean and fog-free — even while wearing a mask.

Why Do Eyeglasses Fog When Wearing a Mask?

Airflow and body heat can cause eyeglass lenses to fog. When warm air comes in contact with a cool surface, condensation may form. Have you ever walked into a warm building after being outside in the cold, and your eyeglasses became foggy? The same thing can happen when wearing a mask. When you wear a mask, you’re breathing out warm air repeatedly. This air then sneaks out of your mask at the top and steams up your glasses.

And there’s proof: The Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England published a study that showed masks actually direct much of your exhaled air upward. Technically speaking, eyeglass lens “misting” occurs when your breath’s warm water vapor lands on your cooler lenses and produces tiny droplets, which scatter light and reduces the ability of your lenses to transmit contrast (dark colors stay dark and light colors stay light). According to the study’s authors, these droplets form due to the inherent surface tension of the water molecules.

For most people, this eyeglass fogging is quite a nuisance. And, because there are nearly 200 million adult vision correction users in the U.S., according to The Vision Council, that’s a lot of eyeglass fogging going on — and annoyed spectacles wearers in the process. But, once you gain an understanding of the reason why eyeglass fogging occurs, solving the problem is more attainable.

How to Keep Eyeglasses Clean While Wearing a Face Mask

Here are ways on how to keep your eyeglasses clean while you’re wearing a mask.

1. Use Soap and Water

Soap and water might sound like the most simple way to keep your eyeglasses clean, but you’d be surprised how many other “no-no’s” people turn to when trying to clean their glasses. The steps of basic cleaning of your eyeglasses with soap and water, which provides a thin surfactant film, are:

  • Run your eyeglasses under cold water.
  • Rub the lenses lightly with a mild dishwashing liquid soap.
  • Rinse your eyeglasses lightly under a stream of water.
  • Dry your eyeglasses off carefully with a soft lens cloth (ideally a lint-free, microfiber cloth).

2. Ensure Your Mask Fits Well

If your mask is loose-fitting, it directs your exhaled air toward your eyeglasses. However, if your mask fits snugly, it directs the air out the sides or bottom of your mask instead, away from your eyeglasses.

3. Mold the Mask to Your Nose

You should:

  • Mold the mask to your nose by adjusting the bendable metal strips, which reduce the flow of air through the top of your mask.
  • Consider adding a metal twist tie or pipe cleaner to create a similar effect if the mask you’re using doesn’t have a bendable metal strip or it’s homemade.
  • Pull your mask up with your eyeglasses sitting on top of it to hold it against and across the bridge of your nose. The weight of the eyeglasses will help block the flow of air from being directed out the top of your mask.

4. Seal Your Mask

One common trick doctors employ is to stick a strip of double-sided tape across the bridge of their nose before putting their mask on. If you add a double-sided tape strip between the bridge of your nose and the inside of your mask, it creates a better seal.

Or, you could also place an extra piece of masking tape or cellophane over your mask too. Some doctors swear by applying a bandage to the top of the mask and the nose.

5. Place a Tissue Inside the Top of the Mask

Horizontally fold the tissue and place it between the top of your mask and your face, so it sits just over the bridge of your nose. The theory here is the tissue will absorb the moisture from your breath rather than hitting your glasses.

6. Adjust Your Eyeglasses

Adjusting your glasses, while obvious, is a great solution as it adjusts where your eyeglasses sit on your nose. Pushing your glasses up forward on your nose allows increased airflow, which can help with fogging. You can also try resting your eyeglasses over the top of your mask, creating a tighter seal.

Products That Can Help Keep Your Glasses Cleaner for Longer

There are commercial cleaners and anti-fog products you can try for keeping glasses clean when wearing a face mask. Here are a few examples:

1. Castile Soap

Liquid castile soap is a highly versatile, gently formulated cleaning essential made with sensitive skin in mind. It’s less astringent and effective for just about any cleaning purpose.

2. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Rain Water Hand Soap

This is hand soap made with aloe vera, olive oil, essential oils, and other ingredients with no phthalates, parabens, or artificial colors.

3. Z Clear Lens Cleaner & Anti-Fog Spray

This is an anti-fog spray for preventing fog. It’s 100% ammonia and alcohol-free, safe on anti-reflective coated lenses, and made safe for all types of prescription eyeglasses.

Be sure you read all instructions on any product you decide to use since each product will be different. Always read the fine print as some anti-fog products could cause damage to lens coatings, such as their anti-glare coating. Some sprays and wipes may cause skin sensitivities as well.

4. MotoSolutions FogTech DX Anti-Fog Wipes
Available in packets of 1, 5, 12, 20, and 100, these anti-fog wipes are popular among snowboarders, skiers, motorcycle riders, welders, and more.

Some “Don’ts” When Cleaning Your Eyeglasses

  • Do not clean with your spit. Saliva is, well, unhygienic. Given COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, and we’re trying to stop its spread, spitting on your glasses isn’t recommended at this time.
  • Do not use harsh chemicals. Harsh chemicals found in products like window glass cleaners, for example, can damage the coatings on your lenses.
  • Do not use toothpaste. Some toothpaste has grainy substances, such as baking soda, mixed in. These can cause abrasions or scratches on your lenses, making it more difficult to see.
  • Do not use baby shampoo. You may think that baby shampoo is gentle and perfectly safe to use to clean your eyeglasses. However, we do not recommend using it because it could create a residue or film that inhibits your vision.
  • Do not use vinegar. Vinegar is highly acidic, which could strip away the coating on your lenses.
  • Do not dry with a fabric exposed to dryer sheets or fabric softener. These can leave a residue on your glasses.

Shop Replacement Lens Express for All Your Lenses Needs

Here at Replacement Lens Express, we provide you with an assortment of prescription eyeglass lenses online, including polarized lenses that protect your eyes from the sunlight, to offer you many aesthetic and vision benefits. Whether you love your old eyeglass frames but require an updated prescription or have badly scratched lenses, our team can replace your lenses, allowing you to keep your favorite frames.

Our own lab processes your lenses, so you can feel confident you’re getting the same product you would from an optical retail dispensary or eye care provider. We pride ourselves on our fair prices, quality of lenses, and stellar quality.

Visit Replacement Lens Express today to shop for your perfect eyeglass lenses. If you have any questions about lenses, about your order, or questions on simply how to keep your lenses & eyewear clean, email us at