Years ago, we shared a tip from one of our readers, CraXyOW3, who offered up an effective method to keep glass from fogging up via the application of a bit of shaving cream. Of course, back then we were concerned about bathroom mirrors and being blinded upon stepping into a warm building on a frigid day. In 2020, when we’re all wearing face masks every time we go anywhere, the fogging issue is a year-round struggle, making this simple hack even more essential.
We were reminded of this visionary (ahem) anti-fog strategy when Reddit user celticdude234 offered up similar advice, and a quick google revealed it has spread far and wide in the age of coronavirus, but as we’re all going to be wearing masks for a lot longer, it certainly bears repeating. So if you’re tired of your glasses, bathroom mirror or even car windshield fogging up, all you need to prevent it is to clean the surface in question with a bit of shaving foam.
If you’re treating your glasses, simply pump a tiny bit of shaving foam on your lenses and work it into a lather, then wipe off with a soft cloth (don’t use a paper towel or toilet paper, which can leave small scratches in the surface). If you’re worried about streaks, they shouldn’t be a problem, provided you wipe off all of the visible residue.
The process works for the same reason that cleaning your glasses with hand soap can be effective — shaving foam contains surfactants, which leave behind an invisible but protective filmy coating that will keep the lenses from fogging when hit with moisture in the warm air leaking from the top of your mask. Shaving foam, which is generally denser and less slippery than hand soap, is easier to use and might give you longer lasting results.
This article was originally published in March 2011 and updated in August 2020. Changes included extensive rewriting to reframe the article, provide more complete information, and provide links to outside sources.