Anti-Fog Solutions and Treatments

By Adrianna Larimer

The weather can be unpredictable, so when a rainy day hits without any notice what is the most common problem? Well besides being wet, fogging. If you ever use things like a car, goggles, visors, helmets, and even glasses every now and then or daily, then you will more than likely run into fogging. Fogging can be a hassle and a strain on our day to day lives which is why any solutions or temporary wins when it comes to fogging can be great and important. 

Coming down all the way to the basics, fog is essentially a cloud that can touch the ground. When it comes to fog, it can range from thick to thin which usually means people have trouble seeing through it. When fog gets so thick, it can be impossible to see through it making some conditions and situations dangerous. Now fog can develop when water vapor or water when its in its gaseous form, condenses. During that condensation, molecules of water vapor will combine in an effort to make tiny liquid water droplets that will hang in the air. Because of these tiny water droplets, we can see fog in the air. Fog happens when an area is very humid and has a high density, meaning there will have to be quite a bit of water vapor in the air for fog to form. 

Anti-Fogging

Anti-Fog

Anti-fog agents which are also referred to as anti-fogging agents, treatments, and solutions are different types of chemicals used to prevent condensation from water as small forms of droplets along a surface. The condensation from water as small droplets is what resembles fog. Anti-fog treatments were first created by NASA while Project Gemini was taking place. During one of the first space suit space-walk tests, one of the astronauts had fogged up his helmet visor. This created the process of NASA developing the anti-fog treatment/solution, and the anti-fog technology continues to improve and perfected till today. Nowadays anti-fog treatments can be used for the simplest things like transparent glass or plastic surfaces used in optical applications like a pair of glasses, a camera lens, and even display mirrors. 

Anti-fogging treatments are constantly improving and evolving to change with the times and needs. Some of the most common chemicals that have been used in anti-fog solutions and/or treatments are known as surfactants and the surfactants act by minimizing any surface tension of the water. The way anti-fog treatments work is by minimizing surface tension which results in non-scattering film of water instead of any water droplets. This is usually done by a surfactant film or a hydrophilic surface.

Now because fog is common and can happen anywhere and anytime, figuring out solutions for those fogging problems can be fairly simple. But like anything in the modern world, there are more than one solutions to every problem like DIY methods. The thing with DIY methods though is the majority of the time they do more harm than good or they ultimately don’t work. With anti-fogging DIY’s because there are certain factors that eliminate the fog from objects and surfaces, they can be harmful even if that isn’t the goal. Here are a few anti-fogging DIY methods that can actually do more harm than good that aren’t recommended. 

  • A naked flame. Using fire to treat glasses for fog can actually damage them and it may even deteriorate the anti-fog properties that may be in the glasses already.
  • Toothpaste. Toothpaste can actually work as a temporary anti-fog agent but it isn’t recommended because it can damage the glasses over time. Toothpaste could even remove any anti-fogging properties already placed in glasses.
  • Detergents such as shampoo, soap, and shaving creams also act like toothpaste and can work against fog but it can have negative effects over time on the object or surface the solution is used on.

Just because DIY’s seem to offer a simpler solution doesn’t always mean that’s actually the simplest or best solution. That’s why using a certified anti-fog treatment is the best route to go.

Like said above, Anti-Fog treatments are effective in reducing and overall preventing fog from forming on many various types of surfaces. These types of surfaces can range from refrigerator and freezer doors, bathroom mirrors, windows, cameras, and even binoculars. With these anti-fog treatments, many things can function greatly without the hassle of fog. For example, Glasses are subjected to fog in many ways, whether it’s cold outside or hot steam blowing up onto the glasses. With an anti-fog treatment, glasses without an anti-fog coating can temporarily function a lot better with the glasses fogging up. 

Using Anti-fogging solutions and treatments is quite simple but to be effective the anti-fogging treatment needs to be applied correctly and it will need to be applied as frequently as needed. Whether the appliance is glass or plastic surfaces here are some basic instructions to follow so that the proper steps are taken to be applied correctly.

Anti-Fog
  1. For this first step, a clean lense, glass or plastic surface is a must. So clean the appliance that needs an anti-fogging treatment thoroughly before applying the treatment.
  2. The next step is very simple. Shake the solution for the anti-fogging treatment thoroughly before applying it to any surface.
  3. Next, is applying the anti-fogging treatment solution to the object or surface that is needed for the treatment. Make sure that the object or surface in need is completely covered and if a lens, consider applying the solution to both sides of the lenses. 
  4. With different anti-fogging treatments, the directions vary so wait a minute or so before wiping off the anti-fogging solution. If the surface that got the anti-fogging treatment is cold then consider waiting a bit longer or until dry.
  5. Finally, Wipe the surface or lenses that the anti-fogging solution was used on with a lint-free cloth until deemed clear. Avoid using a wet cloth because it can remove some of the anti-fogging solution from the object or surface. With this technique, there will be a nice clean shine to the object or surface.

Overall, fog doesn’t have to an issue in your day to day lives when there are ways you can avoid it. Using an anti-fog treatment is the best and wisest route to go.